Sir Thomas Howard - Earl of Surrey
Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, was the eldest son of John Howard, 1st Duke 0f Norfolk.
He was a fine soldier and fought alongside his father in a number of encounters in the Wars of the Roses, most notably at Barnet, where he was badly wounded, and at the Battle of Bosworth. After his father and King Richard III were killed at Bosworth Thomas was imprisoned by the victorious Henry VII and remained in custody for several years.
Although a devoted Yorkist, Thomas was eventually freed from prison and asked to serve the Tudors as a military commander in the wars against the Scots. In 1497 he successfully repelled the Scots army at Norham Castle and again at the Bishopric of Durham.
In 1511 he was appointed Warden General of the Northern Marches and continued his rise in favour.
The Scots position was so strong, and their numbers superior (about 30,000) that Surrey could have no chance of winning such an encounter. However, he was short on supplies and he realised he had to take action or face withdrawing. On the evening of 8th September Thomas Howard bagan marching his army north and west, around the Scots in a calculated attempt to outflank them and cut off their supply route back into Scotland. It was a risky and bold move, as the army was spread out and had to move fast.
The move seems to have taken James completely by surprise. He was unaware of the position of the English until after noon the next day, when the morning mist had cleared. The result was that the Scots now faced the English from the top of much gentler slope. They were also facing the wrong way, cut off from their supply trains and were forced into a hurried redeployment.
The battle began with an artillery duel, the English guns proving much more effective and accurate, as the Scots could not aim theirs low enough to fire accurately on the soldiers below them.
In the ensuing encounter, the English bills proved much more effective than the Scots long, cumbersome pikes and in a desparate charge down the hill, James and many of the Scottish nobles fighting with him were cut down and killed.
The action was a resounding English success, due to Howard's military skills and the Scots impetuousity. It effectviely destroyed the Scots as a serious threat and they were never to recover from the loss of so many of their high ranking nobles. The English losses are estimated at about 1,500 and the Scots at close to 10,000.
Thomas Howard was rewarded with his rightful title of 2nd Duke of Norfolk, the title that he should have inherited from his father but for the bill of attainder passed after Bosworth.
Howerd died in 1524 and was buried at Thetford Priory, but moved during the dissoution of the monasteries to Framlingham church.