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

George Kendall, Spy and a founder of Jamestown, Virginia

1631 – Katherine, Countess of Suffolk to Mr. Cendall – ‘Thanks for his good news, that the King has given Grinfield’s fine to her son. It will free her son of a great deal of trouble. Hears that Lady Grinfield (Grenville?) will be in London the week before the term. Begs Cendall to speak with Mr. Courtney, to find out such lands as are fittest for her to tie upon Bess Howard. Is sorry to hear the Baron will be cut. Hoped Lady Shelley’s water would have brought down the gravel. Knows he has a great heart and a brave spirit to undergo anything, and if the Frenchman be skilful, hopes there will be no danger.’ (So who was the Baron? Would an English Lord have been referred to as ‘the Baron’ at this date or was this a French title? See next letter.)

21.11.1633 – Project, said in an endorsement of Sec. Windebank, to have been delivered to him by Mr. Kendall, a gentleman of the Earl of Suffolk. ‘The projector proposed a scheme whereby the King might gain 100,000L per annum, make himself master of the seas, have all the principal seamen of Europe at his devotion, and make all Christendom refer their marine controversies to him. The way to effect this was by permitting Hollanders and Spaniards to bring their prizes into English ports, and sell them there, yielding such tenths and fifteenths to the King as his own subjects have done in times of reprisals.’ (A sort of free-port – not a bad idea! Windebank is the son of Thomas Windebank, who had spent time in Paris with Thomas Cecil) Kendall then considers the then state of foreign nations, especially France under the administration of Cardinal Richelieu. (So what were the sources for Edward Kendall’s report on European affairs – especially France? Had he visited France? Were de Foix connections helpful?)

It seems that Edward Kendall died in January 1640.

With the foregoing, I have tried to give a background to George Kendall, a spy for Robert Cecil and a founder of Jamestown, Virginia. He led an interesting and dangerous life. Both he and his brother Edward were well connected with members of the English government and administration.

Were these Kendalls descendants Jean de Foix, Earl of Kendal, and John Kendall, King Richard the Third’s Secretary, who I believe was Jean’s son? I will try here to extract from all the foregoing information some of the key facts.



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