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

Irish Despard Origins

In my King Richard the Third Article I highlight the fact that Margaret, Countess of Salisbury attended the wedding of Anne Foix-Candalle to Vladislas Jagellon, King of Poland. I indicate that this was probably because of familial connections that Anne had in England, possibly to the de la Poles, possibly to the Kendalls.

Margaret’s husband was Sir Richard Pole. They had a grand-daughter Catherine Pole, who married Francis Hastings, and it was their son Henry Hastings who had the wardship of Henry Kendall, granted 31.5.1567. Henry Hastings’ wife was Catherine, sister to Robert and Ambrose Dudley (who bore, incorporated, the Grelley arms). It was Edward Kendall who was active for Ambrose Dudley’s wife (see George Kendall Article). Margaret Pole had another grand-daughter, Winifred, who married firstly Thomas, brother to Henry Hastings and secondly Sir Thomas Barrington.

His descendent, Sir John, had as his inheritor Thomas Barrington, who married Anne Rich daughter of the Earl of Warwick. Her sister, Essex, married Daniel Finch, eventually Earl of Nottingham. It was Nottingham’s aunt, Anne Finch who was the wife of Edward Conway, Anne Thompson’s correspondent mentioned earlier. These Kendall connections may be relevant to John Despard’s possible role as an intelligence gatherer for Ruvigny and Nottingham.

William Despard’s marriage to Elizabeth Armstrong (probably circa 1670 – see Tree 4) probably made Sir Thomas Armstrong kin. Armstrong was in France in June 1670 at the time that King Charles’ sister Henriette died.



  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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