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

King Richard the Third's Secretary of State: A son of Jean de Foix, Earl of Kendal?

The Duchess of Brittany was Margaret de Foix-Grailly, a cousin of Jean de Foix. She financed part of Henry’s eventual invasion of England. As noted above, in 1462 Henry VI’s wife Marguerite d’Anjou sought help from the French King to recover the throne for her husband. If she succeeded, then she undertook that either Jasper Tudor or Jean de Foix would be appointed governor to effect the handover of Calais to King Louis. One has to assume that these two were known to each other, and possibly friends.

All of the foregoing produced a strong set of relationships between the de Foix family and the Kings of England.

Also dying at Bosworth Field was Richard III’s Secretary of State, John Kendall. First mention of John Kendall seems to be a reference to him in a letter patent in 1474 as the Secretary to Richard, Duke of Gloucester.

Then in 1478 he was the signatory on a letter from Richard to Sir William Stonor of Oxfordshire. Kendall was in 1480 granted £80 during the life of the attainted Sir William Stonor’s mother. She was Jane de la Pole, the illegitimate daughter of William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk (See Tree 2). De la Pole’s wife was Alice Chaucer, and her father was Thomas Chaucer, and it was he that had the wardship of the young Thomas Stoner, father to William and who married Jane as above. The Stonors and Chaucers were Oxfordshire neighbours and had maintained strong family relations.



  1. Since King Richard’s will is of such importance these days in the debate about where he intended to be interred, do you have a source for your statement that he changed his will to appoint his nephew John de la Pole as his successor? Some people argue that we cannot know Richard’s intention in that regard since he left no will, while others are of the opinion that Richard, like other medieval men going to battle, certainly left a will, but that it was probably destroyed by Tudor’s men after Bosworth.

    1. Thank you for this. I do not have a primary source but secondary sources are many eg:
      William Toone’s The Chronological Historian (1828) Vol 1 p.110
      James Anderson’s A genealogical History of the House of Yvery (1742) Vol.1 p294
      The Works of Francis Bacon (edition 1854) Vol 1 p.739
      King Richard’s appointment of John de la Pole as his successor is what gave rise to the claims of the ‘White Rose’ please see Desmond Seward’s book of that title.

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