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



George Kendall, Spy and a founder of Jamestown, Virginia

An ancillary bit of information for interest is that Isabelle de Foix (who married Archambaud de Grailly, and de Foix names and titles came from her) had a cousin Bernardo de Foix, a bastard son of Gaston-Phoebus de Foix, who married in 1368 Isabel de la Cerda and became Comte de Medinaceli. Four generations later Louis de la Cerda, who served well against the Moors, was created in 1491 Duque de Medinaceli (by King Ferdinand of Spain), having married Catalina de Mendosa, making him probably one of the richest people in Spain. After Christopher Columbus’ first voyage he needed finance for a second, and visited Louis de Medinaceli who had extensive merchant interests, and Columbus stayed with him for two years. Permission was finally gained from the Queen for them to send four caravels annually to the newly discovered lands.

Medinaceli’s grandson Juan II was appointed Viceroy of Navarre (Navarre had been a de Foix property so this was an element of de Foix continuity) and Captain General of the Netherlands in succession to Alva. He arrived off the coast of Flanders in May 1572, where a goodly part of his fleet was captured and looted. He then proceeded to Brussels to meet Alva, who refused to resign his Governorship, so Medinaceli returned home. He died in 1575.

His son Juan III was the happy Admiral who in 1588 led the Spanish Armada past the coast of Cornwall and Devon and, admiring the position of Mount Edgecombe, is said to have selected this as his future residence in England.

Thwarted by ill-winds, good British tactics, incompetent Spanish communications with the invasion force in Flanders – oh yes – and the distressingly effective fire-ships, he saw his plans go up in smoke, and what those things did not finish, the storms did.

I lose track of George Kendall (GK) until he appears as a participant in the 1606 voyage to Virginia. In April, King James had signed the first Charter of Virginia allocating stretches of the eastern American coast to two separate colonies. Those who were to make up the Jamestown colony included Edward Maria Wingfield and GK, representing London interests.

 
 

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