Sir John Howard, or "Jockey of Norfolk" as he was affectionately know, was born around 1425 and was a prominent figure of the 15th Century. He served in France in 1451 and 1453 and earned a reputation as an excellent soldier.
Tiptoft and Howard were both stauch Yorkists for the entire Roses conflict, they certainly met and were present in court together. Of a similar age, Tiptoft and Howard were probably friends as well as dependable allies. There are records of them having shared duties given them by the king. Howard was elected Knight of the Shire for Norfolk in 1455 and Suffolk in 1467.
Oddly, Henry IV created him "Baron Howard" in 1470 on his brief readeption to the throne. This may have been part of a desparate attempt to win over staunch Yorkists as it is notable that only John Tiptoft, of the prominent Yorkist Lords was executed by Henry. It was oviously important to win over as much support as possible to try to strengthen his tenuous grip on the English throne. Howard seems to have kept himself out of harm's way and, regardless of the attempt to buy his loyalty with this title, remained loyal to Edward. He was one of the first to support him and proclaim him king when he returned to take the throne back in 1471. Fighting with him, against the Lancastrians, at the Battle of Tewkesbury.
With John Tiptoft dead, Edward now needed another loyal and trustworthy supporter to take his place. Howard seems to have filled that role to a large extent.
John Howard became incresingly more influential as the century wore on, and he was highly regarded as fine military leader and a skilled diplomat. The French king was especially impressed with him, and he served for some time as French ambassador and eventually received a pension from King Louis XI as a sign of his repect. He remained as a voluntary hostage, in Edward's stead, after negotiating peace after a military campaign in France. On his return he was granted lands confiscated from the Earl of Oxford, John de Vere.
At Edward IV's funeral in April 1483, Jockey carried Edward's Banner. He then attached himself to Richard III. On 13 May 1483, he was appointed High Steward of the Duchy of Lancaster and was made a Privy Councillor. A month later, John Howard was created Duke of Norfolk and Earl Marshall.
At Richard III's coronation, Howard performed many functions - he acted as High Steward, bore the crown, and, as Earl Marshall, was the King's Champion. Shortly afterwards, he was created Admiral of England, Ireland, and Aquitaine, and was appointed Chief of Commissioners to negotiate with James III of Scotland on 12 Sep 1484 at Nottingham.
His career with Richard effectively mimicked that of John Tiptoft and Edward 15 years earlier. In fact it can be argued that Howard took over from where Tiptoft had left off, as the king's most trustworthy lieutenant, an educated man of great influence and unswerving loyalty.