Kings and Dukes and Earls, oh my!
Favorite thing: As an American, the British system of hereditary titles is extremely baffling not only because it is hard to understand the rules but really more because we don't understand why the general population still adheres to it. Arundel Castle is the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk which trace their lineage back to King Edward I. The 1st Duke of Norfolk was Thomas de Mowbray (1366-1399), the title was handed down to his heirs until the 4th Duke of Norfolk who had no heirs. In 1481, Richard of Shrewsbury was the one and only Duke from his side of the family and in 1483 the Howard family took the title by virtue of marriage to a female member of the Mowbray family at which point they started to renumber the Dukes starting with John Howard, the (third) 1st Duke of Norfolk (1425-1485).
Thomas Howard, the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, is perhaps the most famous, he engineered two of the marriages to Henry VIII to his nieces, first with Anne Boleyn, Henry's 2nd wife who was beheaded after charges of adultery including various men including her brother. The 2nd marriage was to another one of his nieces, Catherine Howard who was Henry's 5th wife, more adultery, another beheading
The current owner of Arundel Castle is Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk.
St Philip Howard at Arundel Cathedral
Favorite thing: Philip Howard was the 13th Earl of Arundel and died alone in the Tower of London in 1595. he was the eldest son of Thomas, 4th Duke of Norfolk who had been beheaded as a traitor at the orders of Queen Elizabeth I after attempting to arrange a marriage to Elizabeth's cousin and rival for the English throne, Mary Queen of Scots.
In 1585, the catholic Philip Howard attempted to leave England without the permission of his second cousin Queen Elizabeth and was arrested and imprisoned. Although charges of High Treason were never proven he was never released from the Tower. On his death bed in the Tower of London he asked the Queen to allow him to see his wife and son (born after his imprisonment) and was told that if he would attend a protestant church service he would be released and have all his "honours and estates" restored to him. Philip refused and died of dysentery on 19th October 1595 at the age of 38. He was instantly proclaimed to be a catholic martyr. He was canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970.
His remains were originally buried without ceremony beneath the floor of the church of St Peter ad Vincula within the Tower of London. But 29 years later his widow and son obtained the permission of the new King, James I, to move his remains to the Fitzalan Chapel at Arundel Castle. After his canonisation in 1970 the tomb was then moved across the road to the catholic cathedral of Arundel in 1971, where it can be seen today at the shrine of St Philip Howard.
The sainted Earl is shown dressed in traditional Elizabethan costume at the shrine which contains his remains. He also appears along with his wife, Anne Dacre (also his stepsister!), in a stained glass window near the cathedral entrance.
- Historical Travel