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

Irish Despard Origins

The re-building of this fort nearer the sea than it was will secure those ships which shelter there, prevent this correspondence with France, unkennel those thieves that from thence do so much mischief, and every year save more than the whole charge will come to.’ An optimistic ambition, and I am not sure that it was ever rebuilt.

The grants to Despards in Bantry and Queen’s Co. were large land holdings in two strategically critical locations. They would probably only have been made to people who had served King William’s administration well already. It is also possible that if Elizabeth Anne Despard had married a Thompson relation of the Annesleys, then the Annesley family would have become ‘kin’. The Annesley property grants and the links to the Thompsons keep taking me back to the Secret Treaty of Dover and the routing of the French funding via the merchants. I suspect that Despards (or Kendalls) were involved in this in some way. If the smuggler Mr D was Despard and Mr A was Charles Annesley – then the fact that Sir John Thompson was Charles’s brother-in-law provides a direct link to the Treaty of Dover funding. This would explain the ease and success Despard’s operations at Bantry with White, and the connection to the Annesley family. Ruvigny would have been aware of such an earlier involvement, and so too would William Bentinck, Earl of Portland, whose brother-in-law was married to Barbara, daughter of William Chiffinch, King Charles’s coordinator of the flow of French funds.

A further connection may come from the marriage of Sir James Altham’s daughter Elizabeth to Arthur Annesley. It was Elizabeth I suspect who approved the property grants to Despards in Ireland. Sir James Altham’s second daughter, Frances, married Richard Vaughan (Earl of Carbery). The Vaughan’s eldest son Francis married Rachel Wriothesley, first cousin to Henri de Ruvigny, Earl of Galway. (Her second marriage was to Lord William Russell the executed Rye House Plotter – See Treaty of Dover Article). Francis’s brother, John Vaughan, succeeded Arthur Annesley in 1661 as a Member of Parliament for Carmarthen, and was an Admiralty Commissioner 1683-4 and 1689-90. Richard Vaughan, a cousin, was an executor of Ruvigny’s estate in 1720

It may also be relevant that a John Kendall was intricately involved in sorting out the legal affairs of the Barrington family in Essex and in Ireland from 1630 to 1672. I do not know whether John Kendall was Edward Kendall’s son (see George Kendall Article) but the following connections are interesting.



  1. Please don’t publish my name or email. I have not read everything here, so perhaps I missed this information, but the reason that the Despards in Ireland are traced only to the date you mention is that the family, as Huguenots had fled to Ireland from France after The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.

    1. Thank you for that. However – from 1572 until 1692 there are no records showing the use of the Despard or d’Espard names in either Ireland or England. There are no records of the use of that name in France before that date. Balzac, writing in circa 1840 used that name in a coded fashion which I analyse in my article.

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