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



George Kendall, Spy and a founder of Jamestown, Virginia

He masterminded the activities of Sir Horatio Palavicino, who was envoy to France and Germany in 1590 and 1591, ensured that Palavicino received letters to the French king and German princes, drew up detailed instructions and drafted Burghley’s letters to the envoy. Between 1590 and 1594 he was immersed in the business of the Netherlands, seeing to the supply of ordnance and corresponding with the marshal of Flushing, and with the English ambassador. (The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1556-1603, P.W.Hasler)

Palavicino was an important figure at that time and I quote from Dictionary of National Biography vol.43: Queen Mary appointed him collector of papal taxes. On Mary’s death, Palavicino, according to tradition, abjured his Romanism, and, appropriating the sums he had collected for the pope, laid the foundations of an enormous fortune. Devoting himself to commercial enterprise, he seems to have extended his business operations to most quarters of the globe. The wealth he thus acquired made him an important financial agent. He lent largely to Queen Elizabeth, Henry of Navarre, and the Netherlands, and always at a usurious interest; so greatly was Elizabeth indebted to him that the fate of the kingdom was said to have depended upon him; while on one occasion he furnished Henry of Navarre with no less than one hundred thousand French crowns. Palavicino’s position as a collector of political intelligence was equally important, and his numerous commercial correspondents frequently enabled him to forestall all other sources of information. He was himself often employed by the government to furnish intelligence from abroad.

In 1600 Sir Horatio Palavicino died and Maynard, Thomas Howard (Suffolk), Thomas Knevett and a lawyer were appointed by his wife as estate administrators. Maynard seems to have been a substantial indirect beneficiary of this administration. In 1609 he sold two acres by Charing Cross to Robert Cecil. The Maynards held and increased their property portfolio, eventually selling property to Gervase Andrews, goldsmith. The main country base of the Maynards was Little Easton in Essex. His eldest son was made Lord Maynard of Wicklow in Ireland where they also held property.

 
 

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