These notes from deeds, evidently collected by an honest inquirer, make no extravagant claims of ancient ancestry or illustrious origin for the Howards, although the facts contained in them were recklessly manipulated by subservient genealogists.
By the admiral's wife Alice, sister and heir of Sir Robert de Boys, the Howards had the Boys manor of Fersfield, near Diss, which is still among the possessions of the dukes of Norfolk.
By his first wife, Margaret, daughter and heir of Sir John Plays, Sir John Howard had a son who died before him, leaving a daughter through whom descended to her issue, the Veres, earls of Oxford, the ancient Norfolk estates of the Howards at East Winch and elsewhere, with the lands of the houses of Scales, Plays and Walton, brought in by the brides of her forefathers.
Thus charged on the silver bend, it makes bad armory and it is worthy of note that, although the grant of it is clearly to the duke and his heirs in fee simple, Howards of all branches descending from the duke bear it in their shields, even though all right to it has long passed from the house to the duke's heirs general, the Stourtons and Petres.
The victor of Flodden is the common ancestor of all living Howards that can show a descent from the main stock.
Was allying himself with the Howards, Thomas Howard, a boy of eleven, had been betrothed to Anne, daughter of the late King Edward IV., and Henry VII.
His grandson Thomas succeeded him in 1554, and in 1556 made the second of those marraiges which have given the Howards their high place among the English nobility.
The Mowbray match had already brought to the Howards the representation of an elder line of the Fitzalan earls, who sat in the seats of their ancestors, the Aubignys and Warennes, great earls near akin to their sovereigns.
From this time the spreading genealogy of the Howards drew its origins from most of the illustrious names of the houses founded after the Norman Conquest.
Thus it befell that, of the chiefs of the Howards born since the great Mowbray alliance, two had died by the axe and one in the prison from which a fourth had hardly escaped.
The ill fate of the Howards seemed to be appeased by the death of Philip, earl of Arundel.
He survived the reign of Henry VIII., that perilous age for the Howards, with no worse misadventure than the conviction of himself and his wife of misprision of treason in concealing the offences of his niece, Queen Catherine.
From Sir Francis Howard, a cavalier colonel and a younger son of "bauld Willie," come the Howards of Corby Castle in Cumberland, a branch without a hereditary title.
The great nobles, the Howards, and Gardiner would not hear of such a proposal; and all the efforts of the court throughout Mary's reign failed to induce parliament to listen to the suggestion that Elizabeth should be deprived of her legal right to the succession.
Howards Introduction to the Local Constitutional History of the United States (Baltimore, 1889) is of use, although the authors theories, are questionable.
It then came into the hands of Henry VIII., passed from him to his wife Catharine Parr, and thereafter had a succession of owners, among whom were the Howards, to whom it was granted by Queen Elizabeth, and the Cheynes, from whom it was purchased in 1712 by Sir Hans Sloane, after which it passed to the Cadogans.
Howard was no doubt an exceedingly kind and worthy man in his way, and has his reward; but, comparatively speaking, what are a hundred Howards to us, if their philanthropy do not help us in our best estate, when we are most worthy to be helped?