Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was -as his name implies- a politician and nobleman. He was also the cousin of both Anne Bolen and Catherine Howard, and the last person executed at the behest of King Henry VIII. Henry Howard was ballsy and quick-tempered, which was what put him in disfavour with Henry VIII, but he was also very sensitive and emotional. Despite being a founding father of English Renaissance poetry, the only poem published within his lifetime was an epitaph for Sir Thomas Wyatt entitled "Wyatt Resteth Here." 2

Evidently he was quite fond of Wyatt, for he said " A hand that taught what might be said in rhyme; That reft Chaucer the glory of his wit; A mark the which (unperfited, for time) Some may approach, but never none shall hit." 3 Basically stating that Wyatt rendered the works of Geoffrey Chaucer irrelevant and that no one has ever been or will ever be as intelligent as him.

He and Wyatt were the first English sonnet writers. The English sonnet is often attributed to William Shakespere but Howard did it first. He and Wyatt were the pioneers of the English sonnet.