Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, KG (1516/1517 19 January 1547), was an English aristocrat, and one of the founders of English Renaissance poetry
He was the eldest son of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and his second wife, the former Lady Elizabeth Stafford (daughter of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham), so he was descended from kings on both sides of his family tree. He was reared at Windsor with Henry VIII's illegitimate son Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset, and they became close friends and, later, brothers-in-law. He became Earl of Surrey in 1524 when his grandfather died and his father became Duke of Norfolk.
In 1532 he accompanied his first cousin Anne Boleyn, the King, and the Duke of Richmond to France, staying there for more than a year as a member of the entourage of Francis I of France. In 1536 his first son, Thomas (later 4th Duke of Norfolk), was born, Anne Boleyn was executed on charges of adultery and treason, and the Duke of Richmond died at the age of 17 and was buried at one of the Howard homes, Thetford Abbey. In 1536 Surrey also served with his father against the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion protesting the Dissolution of the Monasteries
Henry VIII, consumed by paranoia and increasingly ill, became convinced that Surrey had planned to usurp the crown from his son Edward. The King had Surrey imprisoned - with his father - sentenced to death on 13 January 1547, and beheaded for treason on 19 January 1547 (his father survived impending execution only by it being set for the day after the king happened to die, though he remained imprisoned). Surrey's son Thomas became heir to the Dukedom of Norfolk instead, inheriting it on the 3rd Duke's death in 1554.
He is buried in a spectacular painted alabaster tomb in the church of St Michael the Archangel, Framlingham.