Anglo-French Relations The Cloak of Secrecy A personal voyage of detection



George Kendall, Spy and a founder of Jamestown, Virginia

With the allied English and Dutch forces in constant dispute – to quote Thomas Cecil, who was also there, in a letter to his father – ‘as that which we conclude over-night is broken in the morning. We agree not one with another but are divided in many factions’. Philip Sidney displayed great bravery in a number of actions, but was gravely wounded. One of those who had fought with him that day was his friend William Russell, who was with him when he died from his wounds. (The descendants of both these men were destined to be involved together a hundred years later in the Rye House Plot.)

In 1588 Bernardino de Mendoza reports to the King of Spain that ‘M. de Foix, Bearn’s envoy (Henri de Bourbon, Vicomte de Bearn) had left for Germany to attend the meeting of the Protestant Princes at Strasbourg… The Queen of England was sending thither to represent her, Sidney, the brother of Philip Sidney who died in Flanders…’ Since Paul de Foix had died in 1584, I am not sure which de Foix this was, but it may have been Germain-Gaston. Following his time as a hostage in 1559-60 he made at least two subsequent visits to London in 1567 and 1588. His daughter, Elizabeth the Queen’s goddaughter, may have remained in England. I have not been able to find anything more about this daughter.

The families of both the Sidneys and Dudleys, from their soldiering and diplomatic missions on the continent, clearly had considerable exposure to the wider de Foix family. Other members of the English government were also exposed through the presence of the de Foix hostages, and Germain-Gaston de Foix-Gurcon’s subsequent visits to London, together with the considerable London presence and activity of Paul de Foix.

If any English Kendalls related to the de Foix family had not been noted before as potential intelligence assets, the foregoing should have resulted in a heightened awareness.

Given that there were still a good number of Kendalls around, it ought to be possible to identify those that had a relevant background. However, I did not come across any Kendall directly mentioned in Dudley family correspondence; nor did I find any Kendall presence (with a couple of exceptions) in government or significant military positions.

 
 

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