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



George Kendall, Spy and a founder of Jamestown, Virginia

With the death of the Russell sisters, Edward Kendall’s sponsorship seems to move to the household of Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk. His wife was Catherine Knyvett with whom he had thirteen children. She, it is said, was a lover of Robert Cecil – King James to Cecil in 1603: ‘I know Suffolk is married and hath also his hands full now in harbouring that great little proud man that comes in his chair’.

Suffolk’s relation, Charles Howard (Earl of Nottingham, and he was in 1559 Ambassador to France and a negotiator of the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis) led the English fleet, but Suffolk successfully commanded the Golden Lion against Medinaceli’s Armada. In 1596 Suffolk was vice-admiral in the expedition to Cadiz that captured the city and burnt the Spanish fleet. He was active in supporting privateering activities as well as being a principal sponsor of the Second Virginia Charter. Suffolk was actively involved with the negotiation of peace with Spain in 1604, as were Charles Howard who led the negotiations, and Henry Howard who was involved with drafting the treaty. Suffolk received a gift from the Spanish Ambassador, but it was his wife who proved a more valuable source of intelligence for Spain, in return for cash and jewels totalling over £8,000 and an annual pension from Spain of £1,000. It was his wife’s greed that finally brought them to task. He was dismissed from his post as Lord Treasurer (1614-18) and had to pay a large fine for his malfeasance. With regard to the ‘Gunpowder Plot’, it was Suffolk who spotted that something was wrong and his brother-in-law Sir Thomas Knyvett who made the search and discovered Guy Fawkes. Robert Cecil died in 1612 and praised Suffolk’s friendship. Suffolk’s daughter Catherine married Robert’s son William Cecil in 1608.

So the Cecil connection could be one reason for Edward Kendall’s subsequent attachment to the Howards. It is also possible that it was the result of a possible involvement of George Kendall with obtaining intelligence on Spain, used by the Howards, Sackville, and Cecil during the negotiation of peace with Spain in 1604. It could also in part be the Bosworth affinity – John Howard (forebear of Suffolk) died there with John Kendall, Richard III’s Secretary of State. It could also be that the Howard family gained substantial property in Norfolk and Suffolk from the attainder of the de la Poles – by virtue of a tracing of rights back to the Kerdeston family. If Edward Kendall was a Kerdeston descendent then that might have had a bearing on Howard patronage.

 
 

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