Howard, Philip, St.
HOWARD, PHILIP, ST.
Earl of Arundel and English martyr; b. Arundel House, London, June of 1557; d. Tower of London, Oct. 19, 1595. Philip was the eldest son of the fourth Duke of Norfolk by his first wife Anne Fitz-Alan Howard, daughter and heir of the Earl of Arundel, the premier earl of England. As Earl of Surrey, heir to the only dukedom in Tudor England, heir to the premier earldom and five baronies, Philip was born to the highest position in the land after the throne. Philip II, king of Spain, stood godfather at his christening. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth, Philip's father adopted the new religion and Philip was brought up a Protestant, with John Foxe, the Protestant martyrologist, as tutor (see foxe's book of martyrs). However, the Arundels were disgraced when the duke proposed marriage to the captive mary stuart, queen of scots. She would have been the duke's fourth wife. He was tried, found guilty of high treason, and executed Feb. 11, 1572, after appointing Lord Burghley as Philip's guardian.
Burghley sent Philip to Cambridge and then introduced him to the glittering court. Philip was married to his stepsister Anne Dacres, daughter of the duke's third wife. Philip, witty, handsome, and well-born, neglected his wife and won the favor of the queen.
In 1580, on the death of his grandfather, Philip became the Earl of Arundel and was reconciled with Anne. In 1581 he attended a dispute at court between the notorious prisoner Edmund campion and Protestant theologians. Philip left convinced of the truth of Campion's mission, but he was still unable to sacrifice his gay life as a courtier and to face probable death as a Catholic. Meanwhile the queen became angered at Philip's devotion to his wife, who had become a Catholic.
In 1584 he was received into the Church by William weston, SJ. He attempted to leave England on April 14, 1585, but was betrayed and captured at sea. He was fined and sent to the Tower. He was never allowed to see Anne again or to see his son born after his imprisonment. In the Tower Philip grew in holiness, assisted by letters from Robert southwell (later published as The Epistle of Comfort ). Philip was tried in 1589 for allegedly having prayed for the success of the Armada. Although his accuser admitted the story was fabricated and many judges thought a prayer could not constitute treason, he was found guilty and sentenced to death. The queen stayed the execution expecting Philip to recant. After 11 years of imprisonment he died from the hardships.
Philip Howard, whose body is venerated in the Fitz-Alan Chapel, Arundel, was beatified by Pius XI on Dec. 15, 1929, and canonized by Paul VI on Oct. 25, 1970, as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.
Feast: Oct. 19; Oct. 25 (Feast of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales); May 4 (Feast of the English Martyrs in England).
See Also: england, scotland and wales, martyrs of.
Bibliography: h. g. f. howard, ed., The Lives of Philip Howard and of Anne Dacres, His Wife (London 1857). a. butler, The Lives of Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v., (New York, 1956) 4:152–154. m. waugh, Blessed Philip Howard (Postulation pamphlet; London 1961). Publications of the Catholic Record Society, v. 21 (1919) devoted to Philip Howard. m. creighton, in The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 1885–1900; reprinted with corrections, 21 v., 1908–09, 1921–22, 1938; supplement 1901– ) 10:52–54.