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

George Kendall, Spy and a founder of Jamestown, Virginia

Thomas Honeyman had merchant interests and trade with the continent. This provided a route for the obtaining and transmitting of intelligence, and he was active in obtaining this for Cecil. He sent his brother to Spain for this purpose.

Was GK’s reference to the ‘Artillery Yard’ a reference to the artillery yard at Westminster, by Tothill street, where the men of Westminster used to practise their shooting? If so then this might be a residual link to the Tothill property sold by the Jennings son-in-law George Kendall.

Anyway, GK became a paid intelligencer for Robert Cecil. Extracts of correspondence and reports from the State Papers are as follows:

Dec 1 1600 from Paris – ‘At my arrival at Calais I found George Weekes (an agent) gone to Abbeville….at Abbeville I heard he was at Paris where I now found him. I perceive that Captain Smith has consorted….pretending danger in the Cardinal’s country; ……I know Smith is employed either to endanger Grave Maurice (leader of Dutch forces against Spain) or Captain Brown of Dover bulwark’. He goes on to detail suggestions for dealing with certain persons including the arrival of one John Ellis, and signs off rather dramatically ‘Your loyal servant to death, George Kendalle’.

Dec 1600 – Ellis is questioned in London, presumably on Cecil’s instructions, and he makes a statement on his activities and movements which includes: ‘…Kendal hoped that Weeks might be removed and that I might do him service in the Archduke’s country, where he was ordered to acquaint himself with Jaques and Stanley (Jaques de Francheschi, second in command to Sir William Stanley who was commanding the Scottish and English forces fighting for Spain)…….I waited for George Kendal’s letters, but hearing that he had gone to the Archduke’s court with his doublet turned inside out, I came for England’. (Pretending support for the Archduke must have been hazardous)

Dec 31 1600 – unknown writer – ciphered – general report from d’Orleans(?) forces where preparations made for the Galleys, progress made on Spanish mines etc – ‘The whole course of the business, George Kendall hath written to Mr Secretary’ (Cecil).



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