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?

On 26th May 1532 Henry VIII wrote to ‘Mons. de Bordeaux et a Mons. de Candalle’ to notify them of a prohibition on wine coming from Gascony in French ships. The Archbishop of Bordeaux at that time was Jean de Foix-Candalle, and Mons de Candalle was Gaston, his brother. I have to highlight here that both Louis and Henry refer to these de Foix as ‘Candalle’, the French spelling of Kendall. Other records also show a spelling of Foix-Candale.

Commerce with France provided then and subsequently, an important cover for intelligencers and information gathering. Given the uniquely strong position of the French de Foix family, it is very probable that any related Kendalls based in England will have been involved with the merchanting of wine and other products from the south-west of France, and probably the export of wool, etc from England.

There the information begins to dry up until we get to the Queens Mary and Elizabeth.

If there had not been evidence to support familial continuity from John Kendall, then my case that he was a son of Jean de Foix might have been weakened. With the continuity it is strengthened. In my article on George Kendall I set out Kendall connections and activities in Tudor and Stuart times that also evidence strong ties with France.

(See separate listing for works of general reference)



  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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