The author of this description, is Pierre Boaistuau, or Boistuau, ‘dit Launay’, the subject of the following eulogy by Lacroix du Maine : – ‘ Boaistuau a été homme très docte et des plus eloquens orateurs de son siècle, et lequel avoi. une façon de parler autant douce, coulante, et agréable qu’autre duquel j’aye lu les écrits.’ He is also said to have been one of the first writers who recommended mothers to suckle their children.
Well, thus informed we see that the hostages had remarkable freedom to move around and enjoy what London had to offer. Their servants less so, and there were a number of incidents where being French in London was made uncomfortable.
The de Foix cousins attended Court during 1559, and had numerous meetings with William Cecil, who was Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth. They also entertained and were entertained by Robert Dudley. In 1558 Dudley had been appointed Elizabeth’s Master of Horse and from about that time he was one of her closest friends and possibly her lover. On 6 August 1559 Henri de Foix-Candalle, Frederic’s eldest son sends Dudley ‘des garnitures doyseaulx’ and a glove with ‘des coleurs de mamye lequel je vous prie porter pour lamour delle’. This would seem to imply that either Henri was also in London at that time too, or that Dudley had become acquainted with him on the Continent. Clearly they shared an understanding! Germain-Gaston de Foix-Gurcon had a daughter Elizabeth, and Queen Elizabeth became her Godmother. Michel de Montaigne dedicated his Essay on the education of children to de Germaine-Gaston’s wife. Twenty years later, three of his sons died at the siege of Montcrabeau, France, and Queen Elizabeth wrote to him with condolences. The hostages were exchanged in early 1560 with the de Foix returning to France.
At this point Robert Dudley was still married to Amy Robsart (who died at Cumnor the following year). They had the use of the Syderstone (Sedistern) Estate close to King’s Lynn in Norfolk. Robert became Constable of Castle Rising. The Amy’s father Sir John Robsart lived at Stanfield Hall. Amy was a great grand-daughter of Sir Terry Robsart who had married Elizabeth Kerdeston, whose sister Margaret had married Jean de Foix, Earl of Kendal.