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"The banner of sir john howard, 1st duke of norfolk in 1485 ?" Topic

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02 Dec 2020 5:35 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "The banner of sir john howard ,1st duke of norfolk in 1485 ?" to "The banner of sir john howard, 1st duke of norfolk in 1485 ?"
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    01 Dec 2020 11:24 p.m. PST
    01 Dec 2020 11:24 p.m. PSTCrossposted to Flags and Banners board

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hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP02 Dec 2020 12:24 a.m. PST

Hello all ,

I saw two versions for the banner of sir john howard of wiggenhall, 1st duke of norfolk killed at bosworth in 1485:

The one from freezywater publications without a silver crawling lion and one on the internet with a silver crawling lion?

Who is what is the correct one?

Thank you

Warspite102 Dec 2020 6:54 a.m. PST

@ all members:
As previously discussed, the written description of Howard's standard on page 39 of the Freezywater standards book is correct, unfortunately it then refers to the illustration of his son's flag and this has caused confusion.

and look at 1).

Also the short standard shown in the Osprey Wars of the Roses book (Plate G) is correct.


hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP02 Dec 2020 10:01 a.m. PST

Deleted by Moderator… Here on this topic, it is not a question of its long standard but of its personal banner!

If anyone knows the one he had in 1485…


BillyNM02 Dec 2020 11:26 a.m. PST

1st Howard Duke of Norfolk – of course the Mowbrays got there first.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Dec 2020 12:19 p.m. PST

Not exactly sure what you mean by the 'crawling' lion – do you mean the lion in the same pose as on the English royal arms ?

I can only find square banners attributed to him that match his arms – as shown in the link above.

I am not aware that he ever used the old Howard arms.

Warspite102 Dec 2020 3:54 p.m. PST

@ all members:
As we are probably aware the heraldic blazon (family shield) is the main identifier of a knight or lord. It features pure heraldry and may not relate either to the family's badge or the family livery. For example Richard III's does not contain a white boar or any murrey (claret). It is the arms of England and France with a label of three points upon it before he became king. That was his shield as a senior Plantagenet. When he became king he removed the label of three points.

The long standard and the livery banner are basically variations of each other. I rarely use the long standard on the wargames table as the quoted length (up to 18 feet) seems far too clumsy to be of any real use. Freezywater's standards book (McGill and Jones) says on page 7 "there has been much debate as to whether this style of standard was carried on the battlefield…"
They add
"…they were probably rarely seen on an English battlefield during the WOTR.."
They go on: "It was for this reason that the second style () evolved…"
McGill and Jones then describe a simpler flag in livery colours and with just one badge upon it. A simple aid for the troops who had to follow it as it matched their jackets and their own badge.
There are two Beaufort examples here:
Note that on one the colours are vertical, on the other horizontal. Either is possible but I prefer the vertical.

So for my wargames units I prefer the blazon (or shield) as one flag and a simple livery banner for another – in the same unit.

My interpretation of a Howard Duke of Norfolk livery banner is here:
see 1)
Three interpretations of other livery banners are here:
see 1 to 3)

Finally it has been noted that some lords had more than one badge. Edward IV is noted with more than nine badges.
It is possible only a theory that lords with many estates used their different badges to identify troops from these different estates. Same colours different badges.

So note that the Beaufort example (link above) shows both the Beaufort portcullis and the yale badges on separate livery banners. This may have indicated troops from different counties or different estates.

There was probably considerable variation in these livery banners. McGill and Jones (page 7 again) refer to a Richard III version from Bosworth as a dun (brown) cow on a background of yellow tartan or chequers. For the sake of visuals I keep the background colour to that of the livery jacket but this known variation of colour may indicate what led to the famous confusion between Oxford and Edward IV's banners in the fog at Barnet. Not just the star and the sunburst were confused, the background colours may have been 'non livery' and added to the confusion.


Warspite102 Dec 2020 4:09 p.m. PST

@Billy NM:
It is usual for major lords to renumber when the family surname changed. The term Howard, first Duke of Norfolk, means he was the first HOWARD duke, the first of that 'creation'.

This is an example of 'creations'.

It is a tad complicated! :(


hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2020 12:56 a.m. PST

For John Howard and his son Thomas, the entry from the Book of Banners of Freezywater publication is correct until 1483 when he was Lord Howard KG, confirmed as these are the arms on his Garter stall plate.

When Richard III took the throne, supported by the Howard, John Howard finally obtained his reward, the Duchy of Norfolk, via his Mowbray ancestry which had been denied to him by Edward IV. On the death of Anne Mowbray, (born 1472, died 1481, married 1478 to Richard Duke of York, who was later assassinated in the tower 1483 ish).

The heraldic coat of arms seen on some websites is therefore correct.

These are the weapons he was entitled to in 1483 and were subsequently used by the Howard Dukes of Norfolk.

The only time they would have been seen used by John Howard is probably at the Battle of Bosworth…

He would not have dared to use them before the death of Edward IV, as that would have been a betrayal, because by wearing them he would have declared his claim on what the son of Edward IV had …

For the long standard of his son Thomas Howard which is drawn in the Book of Banners of Freezywater publication, it is the same thing, it is only valid until 1483 …


hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP05 Dec 2020 9:04 a.m. PST

@ all members:

The only arms which are definitively attributed to Sir John Howard, Lord Howard, Knight of the Garter, later Duke of Norfolk are the arms of his Garter Stall Plate which still stands in George Chapel at Windsor Castle, the home of the Knights of the Garter.

In the past I think I have also seen an illustration of a seal with these arms as well as 1 & 4 Howard, 2 & 3 De Brotherton.

These were the only arms he was legally allowed to strip until Anne Mowbray's death in 1478.

His mother was Margaret of Mowbray but she was not an heiress so the Howards did not spread their arms with them.

Mowbray only From Brotherton.

On the death of Anne de Mowbray, daughter of John De Mowbray Duke of Norfolk around 1481 who had married Richard Duke of York, son of Edward IV around 1475, when she was 3 years old.

John De Mowbray died in 1476 and, as in the marriage contract, title and lands went to Richard of York who held him until 1483 when Richard III usurped the throne.

Prior to this date he was not entitled to the arms shared with Mowbray, only when Richard III presented the title of Duke of Norfolk to John Howard as the rightful heir and as a reward for supporting Richard III in his seizure of the throne of Edward V.

Before that, he would not have dared to wear these arms when Edward IV was alive, as he would have declared that he was the rightful Duke of Norfolk, an act of treason even though he was technically entitled to the title of De Mowbray's main surviving heir through his mother Margaret De Mowbray.

What arms did he carry in Bosworth?

He had the right to use weapons 1 & 4 Howard, 2 De Brotherton, 3, Mowbray.

But there are no contemporary documents that show that he actually used these arms at Bosworth.

The "long" standards been used in combat?

Unlikely except on horseback as they were probably up to 4 meters or more in length.

I suspect that badge (Livery banners)were more than likely the norm of the day during the Wars of the Roses.

This is my opinion, but am I right or wrong?


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