Thomas Howard 1st earl of Suffolk
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Howard, Thomas, 1st Baron Howard de Walden and earl of Suffolk
Howard, Thomas, 1st Baron Howard de Walden and earl of Suffolk (1561–1626). Howard's father, the 4th duke of Norfolk, was executed in 1572 when Thomas was 11 for conspiring to rescue Mary, queen of Scots. His mother was heiress to Baron Audley of Walden, Henry VIII's lord chancellor, and he inherited Audley End. In 1584 he was restored in blood and four years later was knighted for gallantry against the Armada. He served at sea in the 1590s and was given the Garter in 1597. The same year, when he was believed to be on his death-bed, he was summoned to Parliament as Baron Howard de Walden. He was in favour with James I, who made him earl of Suffolk and employed him as lord chamberlain 1603–14. From 1614 to 1618 he was lord high treasurer. His daughter Frances married the favourite Somerset and Howard was nearly brought down over the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury. His building programme at Audley End was on a lavish scale and pushed him heavily into debt. In 1619 he was imprisoned in the Tower and fined £30,000 for peculation. Though he was restored to favour in 1620 and the fine reduced, he never recaptured his former influence at court.
J. A. Cannon