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



George Kendall, Spy and a founder of Jamestown, Virginia

March 2 1602 GK to Cecil – ‘I have been with his Excellency now thrice for the performance of my business, but he findeth his forces so weak by means of the relief of Ostend, and his reinforcements grow so slender as he is unable to lose so much time and men. I am here myself still to be ready as I shall be commanded. I dare assure your Honour of a mutiny in the enemy’s quarter, which must enforce them to rise from before Ostend. The (Arch)Duke is more than half the procurer of it to save his honour and to be more able to reinforce himself against this spring’.

GK seems to have moved around Europe with remarkable ease and was in and out of Graf Maurice’s headquarters and the Archduke’s with equal facility. I do not know whether he had, or was in a position to claim, kinship with the Archduke through Anne Foix-Candalle (Tree 2), nor do I know whether his path crossed with the de Foix at the Archduke’s court. How useful his activities were, I cannot judge, only conclude that he was a cool customer and not lacking in courage!

Cecil had also been working to smooth the way to the succession of the Protestant King James in Scotland to the English throne. James seems to have had open discourse with the Archduke, presumably to keep abreast of possible Spanish claims on the English throne. I insert here a coded letter written in 1602 from Lord Henry Howard to the Earl of Marr in the hope that at some point I can be enlightened with regard to the de Foix mentioned, and as to why he was there:

‘If during this long space of intermitting traffic by intelligence, most noble, dear, and worthy Lord, I had not understood by 9 (probably David Murray), the messenger of satisfaction, that his Majesty, with your Lordship, and worthy Mr Edward Bruce, were in good state of health, I should have been disquieted more than I can express: for every morning I wish for the Earl of Foix his familiar at my chamber-door, to bring me word, that in hac triplicitate there is solida et perfecta sanitas………etc’.

King James peacefully acceded to the English throne in 1603 and peace was signed with Spain the following year. Henry Howard was made Earl of Northampton, and he was a Commissioner who drafted the treaty of peace with Spain.

 
 

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