From this date till the battle of Flodden, in September 1513, he appears to have been occupied with his ecclesiastical duties and literary work.
After the disaster at Flodden he was completely absorbed in public business.
He fought at Flodden and escaped with his life, but his eldest son Alexander, (fifth of Merchiston) was killed.
In his seventieth year, as lieutenant-general of the North, he led the English host on the great day of Flodden, earning a patent of the dukedom of Norfolk, dated 1 February 1513/4, and that strange patent which granted to him and his heirs that they should bear in the midst of the silver bend of their Howard shield a demi-lion stricken in the mouth with an arrow, in the right colours of the arms of the king of Scotland.
The victor of Flodden is the common ancestor of all living Howards that can show a descent from the main stock.