Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey


Hughey, Arundel

Ruth Hughey, The Arundel Harington Manuscript of Tudor Poetry, 2 vols (Columbus, Ohio, 1960).

Hughey, Harington of Stepney

Ruth Hughey, John Harington of Stepney: Tudor Gentleman (Columbus, Ohio, 1971).

Hughey, Library (1935)

Ruth Hughey, ‘The Harington Manuscript at Arundel Castle and Related Documents’, The Library, 4th Ser. 15 (1934-5), 388-444.


Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, Poems, ed. Emrys Jones (Oxford, 1964)


Ivy Lilian Mumford, ‘Musical Settings to the Poems of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey’, English Miscellany, 8, (1957), 9-20.


The Works of Henry Howard Earl of Surrey and of Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder, ed. George Frederick Nott, 2 vols (London, 1815-16)


The Poems of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, ed. Frederick Morgan Padelford, 2nd edition (Seattle, 1928; reprinted New York, 1966).


Tottel's Miscellany (1557-1587), ed. Hyder Edward Rollins, 2 vols (Cambridge, Mass., 1928-9).



No poetical manuscripts are known to survive in Surrey's own handwriting. The only examples of his hand are a few letters chiefly in the National Archives, Kew, and in the British Library, certain of which are entirely in his hand but most of them written by amanuenses and signed by him. These documents (not given entries below) have been extensively quoted by Surrey's biographers: see particularly Edwin Casady, Henry Howard, Early of Surrey (New York, 1938). A facsimile example of Surrey's hand from Cotton MS Titus B. II, ff. 39-40v, in the British Library, appears in The Works of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and of Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder, ed. George F. Nott, 2 vol (London, 1815-16), I, facing p. 167, and facsimile examples from Harley MS 283, f. 329r, in the British Library, appear in Petti, English Literary Hands, No. 20, and also in Joseph Netherclift & Son, A Collection of A Hundred Characteristic and Interesting Autograph Letters (London, 1899).


Besides an interesting scribal copy of his translation of Virgil's Aeneid, Book IV (SuH 70), there are two main manuscript texts of Surrey's poems. Both are miscellanies which were begun by John Harington of Stepney (1520?-82) and continued by his son, Sir John Harington of Kelston (1560-1612): namely, British Library, Add. MS 36529, and The Duke of Norfolk, Arundel Castle, MSS (Special Press), Harrington MS. Temp. Eliz. (the Arundel Harington MS). A manuscript transcript of the latter made c.1810 for George F. Nott is in the British Library (Add. MS 28635) and was used by Padelford and Rollins in place of the Arundel MS itself. These manuscripts essentially supplement the main printed text of Surrey's poems, Richard Tottel's miscellany Songes and Sonettes (London, 1557).

A few copies of particular poems are to be found in other sixteenth- and seventeenth-century manuscript miscellanies and music books. These do not contradict the evidence, however, that the contemporary circulation of Surrey's poems in manuscript form was circumscribed: see the general survey in A.S.G. Edwards, ‘Manuscripts of the Verse of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey’, Huntington Library Quarterly, 67/2 (2004), 283-93.

The Canon

The canon accepted for present purposes is based on Padelford, from which first lines (but not his supplied titles) are here cited. Although, as with Wyatt, the canon is likely to remain a subject of debate, there have been few attempts to amend Padelford's version of it. One poem, actually ascribed to Surrey in a manuscript, has been published in Edwards, op. cit. (SuH 36.5). In his article ‘Surrey Poems in the Blage Manuscript’, N&Q, 205 (October 1960), 368-70, Kenneth Muir attributes to Surrey a verse fragment beginning ‘…degrese of Lyghtnes lefte be hy[nd]e’ and a poem beginning ‘If right be rackt, and ouerronne’, both of which appear in the Blage MS at Trinity College, Dublin (MS 160, ff. 176v, 179r). The second poem also appears in the Arundel Harington MS (f. 22r-v) and is inscribed in part by Queen Elizabeth in a New Testament in the British Library (C.45.a.13). It appears in the Blage MS, however, in the hand of John Harington the Elder (d.1582), and both pieces are attributed to him on clear evidence in Hughey, Harington of Stepney, pp. 87, 257, and 85-6, 256 (with a facsimile of f. 179r facing p. 53). Ruth Hughey herself (Arundel, II, 84-5) tentatively attributed to Surrey a poem beginning ‘Vnto thee lyving lord for pardon do I praye’ which appears in the Arundel Harington MS (f. 37v) and elsewhere, but there is a distinct lack of evidence for this speculation

Musical Settings

Manuscript musical settings of Surrey's poems are included here, even where only the incipit is quoted. Most of the settings are discussed in Mumford. There, and in Hughey, Library (1935), 394-5, a printed exemplum of Songes and Sonettes (London, 1557) is mentioned which was once owned by Sir W.W. Wynne and in which contemporary musical notation was written in the margins against three of Surrey's poems: “In winters iust returne, when Boreas gan his raigne”, “Marshall, the thinges for to attayne”, and “When youthe had ledd me half the race”. This volume may have been destroyed by fire with the bulk of the Wynnstay library on 5-6 March 1858. The tunes were printed in George F. Nott's edition of Songs and Sonnets (1814?), but that edition suffered the similar fate of being almost totally destroyed by fire. The only surviving exemplum to contain the music is in the library of the Duke of Norfolk at Arundel Castle (ref. 13C).


Some additional items of possible editorial interest are certain printed volumes annotated by George F. Nott. Nott's annotations on sources of Surrey's poems and his collations of manuscripts and printed texts can be found in the following: in two imperfect exempla of his edition of Songs and Sonnets (1814?) in the British Library (c.600.13, and 11623.ff.1), the first of which is accompanied by an octavo volume of his notes; in an exemplum of Poems of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, printed for W. Meares and J. Brown (London, 1717), at Arundel Castle; and in an exemplum of Songes and Sonettes, reprinted by E. Curll (London, 1717), also at Arundel Castle. It should be noted that in his annotations Nott cites the Arundel Harington MS as ‘Harington MS. No. II’ and the Harington miscellany, Add. MS 36529, as the ‘Hill MS’ (it once belonged to Thomas Hill (1786-1840)). Those volumes, as well as other interesting volumes of Surrey's poems at Arundel Castle, are discussed in Hughey, Library (1935). Among other printed exempla of Surrey's poems that contain notable manuscript annotations are an exemplum of Songes and Sonnets (London, 1587) annotated by John Horne Tooke (1736-1812), now at Arundel Castle; two exempla of the Meares-Brown edition of Surrey's poems (1717), one annotated by Thomas Park (1759-1834), the other annotated by Park and by Joseph Haslewood (1769-1833), now in the British Library (1077.g.17 and 1077.g.13. (1)); and an exemplum of The Poems of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, ed. W. Pickering (London, 1831), annotated by F.T. Palgrave (1824-97), also in the British Library (11612.i.3).

Peter Beal