Norfolk, Thomas Howard, 4th duke of

Norfolk, Thomas Howard, 4th duke of,

1536–72, English nobleman, son of Henry Howard, earl of Surrey. He succeeded his grandfather, the 3d duke, in 1554. He was favored by Queen Elizabeth I, although he was jealous of the larger measure of confidence she placed in Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester. Norfolk commanded the English forces that intervened in Scotland in 1559–60 and in 1568 was chief of the commission that inquired into Scottish affairs after the flight of Mary Queen of ScotsMary Queen of Scots
(Mary Stuart), 1542–87, only child of James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise. Through her grandmother Margaret Tudor, Mary had the strongest claim to the throne of England after the children of Henry VIII.
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 to England. A widower, he conducted secret negotiations for Mary's hand. Elizabeth heard of the project, however, and forbade it, and Norfolk was imprisoned (1569–70). On his release Norfolk was drawn into the plot of Ridolfi, agent of Philip II of Spain, who was planning a Spanish invasion and the dethronement of Elizabeth. The plot was discovered, Norfolk was imprisoned (1571) in the Tower of London, tried, and beheaded.