SINCE RICHARD III bestowed the dukedom of Norfolk on Sir John Howard in 1483, no noble family has suffered such extremes of fortune. The 1st duke died in battle with his sovereign at Bosworth Field two years later. The 2nd duke was the victor of Flodden. The 3rd duke made two of his nieces Queen of England; but both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were beheaded, and he himself escaped the same fate only because Henry V111 died on the morning of his proposed execution. The next two heads of the Howard family were not so lucky; they were similarly sent to the scaffold for treason.
Yet rich and powerful dukes have also perched precariously in that family tree, as well as two cardinals, a poet, a drunkard, a trafficker in rotten boroughs, several Fellows of the Royal Society, the first Lord Mayor of Sheffield, and the manager