King Richard the Third's Secretary of State: A son of Jean de Foix, Earl of Kendal?
- As a result of this the Grailly family property in Savoie and Burgundy had to be sold to pay a large ransom that still had a sum outstanding.
- Holding Jean de Foix, a Knight of the Garter, for ransom or as a prisoner, I would suggest, was not an honourable option in 1460.
- As noted, he was granted a sum towards his ransom and on 7.12.1460 and the right to export 2000 sacks of wool, an indication of the high regard in which he was held.
- Jean de Foix and his family enjoyed special rights and privileges in Bordeaux and he almost certainly had a role in persuading Louis IX to re-instate Bordeaux’s rights to free commerce in March 1461. Jean had a pressing need to derive profits to pay his ransom and improve his estates, and trade with England was the easiest route to achieve this. A son in England would eventually assist this goal.
- Jean was given in custody to Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, with whom he went to Calais.
- It should also be noted that from this point Richard Neville developed a strongly pro-French position, working hard with Louis XI (with whom de Foix was now on good terms) to try and achieve an alliance up until about 1468.
- The deal that Jean de Foix had done with Charles VII in 1451 resulted in his eldest son being left in the care of his cousin Gaston de Foix-Grailly, and that son could choose whether he wished to be English or French when he came of age.
- Two sons and two daughters are recorded for Jean by du Chesne and Pere Anselme (although Anselme records the existence of other sons) but neither records a further son remaining in England, however their listings are not infallible, and moreover they are focused on French interests.
- The logic of de Foix leaving a son in England is that from the standpoint of the Yorkists, the Earl of Kendal would behave, and not support a Lancastrian revival; and from de Foix’s standpoint he would be continuing the Grailly/Foix tactic of establishing centres of territorial influence.
© Richard Despard 2013