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?
  • In the Tower of London in 1460 with Jean de Foix was Anne Plantagenet, Duchess of Exeter, (King Edward IV and Richard III’s sister), and Richard West, Lord De La Warr. Richard West’s sister Anne married Maurice Berkeley, who died in 1474, and his sister Elizabeth married William Berkeley
  • A critically important point is that the property of John Kendall in Gloucestershire (and note – it was not in Yorkshire, which might indicate that he had no familial ties there) was but a short walk across the fields from Berkeley Castle. It has been suggested that a sister of Margaret Kerdeston had married a son of Maurice Berkeley. If John Kendall was Jean de Foix and Margaret’s son, then Berkeley and his wife were Uncle and Aunt to John Kendall, Richard III’s Secretary, and among his closest English relations. The fact that Elizabeth West had been married to Berkeley until 1467 may also be relevant.
  • Another important point is that a short distance east of Berkeley Castle were the West, De La Warrs, who lived at Wickwar. This was where Thomas de Grelley, the last of the legitimate English Grailly went to live at the end of his life (d1314), and it was the De La Warr marriage to his sister that resulted in them being the inheritors of the majority of the estates of  the English Grailly/Grelley. The contemporary connection of Richard West to Jean de Foix, and of Richard’s sisters to the Berkeleys produces a strong rationale for John Kendall’s Gloucestershire property holdings.
  • Holding land of Berkeley at that time was a Josias Graile, who I have to assume, was from a bastard line of the English Grelley.
  • I do not know whether the land that John Kendall had was bought or gifted, but I do not think that he was based there by chance. There may also be some relevance in the fact that Walter de la Pole had married Elizabeth the heiress of Bradeston with property circa 3 miles north-east of Berkeley, and on the death of their son Edmund, he was found to hold with his wife, Elizabeth Haudlo, property including the Gloucester manors of Coln St Aldwyn, Hatherop and Wyke.


  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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