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Thomas Howard Suffolk, 1st earl of

Suffolk, Thomas Howard, 1st earl of, 1561–1626, English nobleman; son of the 4th duke of Norfolk. He was attainted at the time of his father's execution (1572), but his rights were restored in 1584. He volunteered for naval duty against the Spanish Armada (1588), was knighted at sea, and rose quickly to high rank. Howard led the squadron that attacked the Spanish treasure fleet off the Azores in 1591 and shared command of the expedition against Cádiz in 1596. He was created Baron Howard de Walden in 1597. Upon the accession (1603) of James I, he was created earl of Suffolk and later held a number of official posts. In 1614 he became lord high treasurer. His daughter, Frances Howard, and her husband, Robert Carr, earl of Somerset, were tried and convicted (1616) of the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury. Suffolk himself was accused (1618) of embezzlement and fraud as treasurer. He was tried (1619), convicted, and heavily fined. Although both he and his wife, who was thought to have influenced him, were soon released, he did not regain prominence.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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