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



George Kendall, Spy and a founder of Jamestown, Virginia

I have to highlight here that both Louis and Henry and subsequent court papers, refer to members of the Foix-Candalle and Foix-Doazit families in France as Candalle, the French spelling of Kendall. P. Boaistuau in the article quoted above also refers to de Foix as ‘de Candalle’.

Thomas Cecil was in France to further his education, and the correspondence that his father, William, Lord Burleigh, has with his son and Throgmorton, displays both a great concern with regard to how this is advanced and how his son behaves generally. Thomas seems to have much enjoyed himself, to the worry of his father! He spent much of his time as a courtier, and witnessed a terrible battle between a lion and three dogs. The dogs won. One has to assume that Windebank had a wider brief than young Thomas’ education, and he clearly spent time gathering information, and with Nicholas Throgmorton. (With shots fired at his house, Throgmorton was finding that being a protestant supporting Englishman was made as uncomfortable for him by the Parisians, as it had been for the servants of the French hostages in London). In April 1562 Throgmorton to the Queen: ‘has sent Thomas Windebank to Orleans to the Prince of Condé and the Admiral (Coligny) with letters to inform them of the Queen’s affection and desire for their prosperity in these actions, and also to get knowledge of their power and of the country about them’. In September 1562 the secret Treaty of Richmond was signed with the Huguenot leaders, providing that Le Havre was to be garrisoned by 3000 English troops and held as a pledge until Calais was surrendered. A further 3,000 men were to be placed at Condé’s disposal for the defence of Dieppe and Rouen, and 140,000 crowns were to be provided as a war loan to the Huguenots, repayable once the English were in possession of Calais. The terms of this were so severe from a French standpoint that, offered the chance of a reconciliation by the Peace of Amboise in March 1563, Condé signed up, effectively voiding this agreement. Windebank and Thomas Cecil returned to England in early 1563.

Windebank continued to enjoy Cecil’s patronage acquiring eventually the not insignificant positions of ‘Clerk of the Signet’, and Private Secretary to the Queen. From the Cecils’ standpoint this was an invaluable set of eyes and ears with regard to the Queen’s affairs. He also became a conduit for easing into the Queen’s acceptance certain issues that might otherwise prove contentious.

 
 

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