Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of NorfolkThomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
) and 1st Earl of Southampton
, was entrusted by Queen Elizabeth I of England
with public office despite his family history and his support for the Catholic
cause. She imprisoned him in 1569
for scheming to marry Mary, Queen of Scots
. Following his release, he participated in the Ridolfi plot
with King Philip II of Spain
to put Mary on the English throne and restore Catholicism
in England and was executed for treason. Some doubt the strength of the evidence for his participation in the Ridolfi plot.
Norfolk was the son of the poet Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and grandson of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk.
Norfolk's lands and titles were forfeited, although much of the estate was restored to his sons. The title of Duke of Norfolk was eventually restored 4 generations later, by his great-great-grandson, Thomas Howard.
A very fictionalized version of the 4th Duke of Norfolk appears as a character in the film Elizabeth, played by Christopher Eccleston.