Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2007-12 > 1197740735

From: "Tony Hoskins" <>
Subject: Killigrew and Kinsky
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 09:45:35 -0800

With respect to the recent discussion of Elizabeth Countess Kinsky and
her Killigrew connection. The career of Sir Henry Killigrew (c1526-1603)
in central Europe may well have set the stage for the eventual Kinsky
marriage. This - perhaps of interest - from the _Oxford Dictionary of
National Biography_:

Killigrew, Sir Henry (1525x8*1603), diplomat, was the fourth son of
John Killigrew (d. 1568), landowner of Arwennack, Cornwall, and his
wife, Elizabeth, second daughter of James Trewennard. His brothers
included the MPs John Killigrew (d. 1584) and Sir William Killigrew (d.
1622). Based in Cornwall since the mid-thirteenth century the Killigrews
owned land in the parish of St Erme near Truro, although the family seat
at Arwennack, where Henry Killigrew was most likely born, was not
established until 1385. By the reign of Henry VIII the Killigrews were
well placed among the west country gentry, John Killigrew being
entrusted by the king with the sensitive office of captain of Pendennis
Castle. Henry Killigrew may well have attended Cambridge University,
although there is no evidence that he ever obtained a degree.
Nevertheless he was certainly educated to a high standard. In addition
to a thorough grounding in classical languages and literature and a keen
interest in music and painting, he possessed a strong grasp of both
Italian and French.

Early career and exile, 1552*1558
Killigrew's career as a public servant began in 1552 with his
appointment as harbourmaster for the duchy of Cornwall, the same year
that he received the office of collector of rents for the manor of
Helston, Cornwall. On 18 February 1553 he was returned as MP for
Launceston. No doubt in part this small but useful collection of offices
reflected the natural expectations that even a younger son born to a
well connected landowning family might reasonably have. It also
demonstrated the value of holding the correct religious sympathies under
a particular regime. He was already known to John Dudley, duke of
Northumberland, for his service to him as a gentleman usher in the
mid-1540s, and the strong protestant faith evinced by Killigrew and his
family did much to bolster their popularity with the government.

Killigrew's Dudley association did not extend to support for
Northumberland's efforts to alter the succession. Killigrew and his
family made no effort to oppose Mary's accession. Only when it became
clear that a corner-stone of the Counter-Reformation in England would be
the queen's marriage to Philip of Spain did Killigrew and his brothers
repudiate their allegiance. By December 1553 Killigrew had travelled to
the French court to seek the support of Henri II for a planned rising.
When this rising failed the French king swiftly distanced himself from
the affair, leaving Killigrew and his co-conspirators adrift and exiled.
Killigrew remained in Europe until Elizabeth I's accession. By mid-1554
he had joined the household of the protestant François de Vendôme,
vidame de Chartres. It was in this capacity that Killigrew gained his
first military experience, fighting with the vidame in Italy, experience
that was augmented when he once again fought for the French at St
Quentin in August 1557. Ironically, another facet of Killigrew's
development largely formed during his exile was a strong distrust of the
French. For all that he and his fellow exiles were welcomed into the
French army, once their usefulness as rebels was exhausted Henri and his
advisers treated them with thinly veiled contempt. This poor treatment
cemented in Killigrew an enduring dislike of the French that coloured
his attitude towards them during his time as a leading Elizabethan
diplomat. Most important, it was during this period that he gained
invaluable experience of European courts. In addition to the many
contacts he made in France he spent time in Italy, not only as part of
the vidame's forces, but also in 1556 on a sensitive mission to Edward
Courteney, earl of Devonshire, seeking to gain his commitment to lead
yet another rebellion against Mary. When this proved unsuccessful, and
no doubt heartily disillusioned with his French hosts, Killigrew
travelled to Germany and took up residence in Strasbourg. It was there
in November 1557 that Thomas Randolph found him, and on Mary's behalf
requested that he perform a reconnaissance mission in France. It was
significant that this request was apparently made with the full
knowledge of Princess Elizabeth. Having completed the mission Killigrew
returned to Strasbourg, where he remained until Mary's death. The
earlier suggestion that Elizabeth was aware of both Killigrew and his
suitability for diplomatic work was confirmed when shortly after her
accession the young queen summoned him back to London as a prelude to
dispatching him as her envoy to the protestant princes of Germany.

France and Scotland: diplomat and soldier, 1558*1563
Throughout the thirty-five years that Killigrew served Elizabeth as
agent and ambassador the focus of his work was to protect England from
the encroachment of Catholic Spain and France. By turns ordered to sow
dissent among Catholics and forge consensus between protestants,
Killigrew's abiding inspiration and succour was his profound protestant
faith. Within months of his return to England he was sent on a low-key
mission to Otto-Heinrich, the elector palatine, and Christoph, duke of
Württemberg, with the aim of re-establishing friendly relations
between Germany's protestant princes and England. When he arrived in
Heidelberg in December 1558 Killigrew's enthusiasm was such that he may
have given the mistaken impression that Elizabeth was actually seeking
an alliance with the princes, much to the queen's irritation. Even so,
the mission was not entirely fruitless. In addition to signalling
England's readiness to reopen communications with Germany's protestant
princes, Killigrew also held useful discussions with the new elector
palatine, Friedrich III, and his son John Casimir, about the possibility
of supplying Elizabeth with mercenaries.

>From Germany Killigrew travelled to France to meet his old master, the
vidame, now the governor of Calais. His objective was to discuss with
him the possibility of the French reinstating Calais to English rule.
Killigrew was gulled by the vidames into believing that Henri might
entertain such a proposal. He duly forwarded this misinformation both to
Elizabeth at court and to her commissioners at Câteau-Cambrésis before
arriving at Câteau-Cambrésis himself. There he was promptly detained by
the leader of the French negotiators, Anne de Montmorency, constable of
France, who took a decidedly dim view of his interference. Killigrew
contributed nothing more to the peace talks. He remained in detention
until peace was signed after which the constable, no doubt confident
that his charge could do no more damage, released him, allowing
Killigrew to return home by late March 1559.

Killigrew's homecoming was brief. In May he was dispatched to Paris to
serve as secretary to Elizabeth's resident ambassador in France, Sir
Nicholas Throckmorton. After Henri died on 10 July 1559 as a result of a
jousting accident, leaving the ultra-Catholic Guise faction in control
of the French crown, the central aim of the English ambassador and his
attaché was to minimize the ability of France to threaten England
through her support of Scotland. To this end they gave what tacit
support they could to the Huguenot leaders with the hope of further
destabilizing France. Additionally they sought, through the dispatch of
reports detailing the dangers of further French involvement in Scotland,
to persuade the queen and her advisers of the necessity of lending
tangible aid to the lords of the congregation. Given the continued
presence of French troops in Scotland and the ongoing efforts to
increase their numbers, the reports of Throckmorton and Killigrew were
sufficient to convince Elizabeth of the need for action. In March 1560
she ordered William Grey, thirteenth Baron Grey of Wilton, to lead an
army to Berwick where it would ready itself to aid the lords of the
congregation in their siege of the French garrison in Leith. Ever
cautious, however, Elizabeth also attempted to secure a peaceful
resolution, acquiescing to the dispatch of a French envoy, Jean de
Monluc, bishop of Valence, to Scotland in the hope that he might yet
broker an agreement between the regent, Mary de Guise, and the rebels.
Both to act as escort, and to ensure that Monluc did not stray from his
remit, Killigrew was appointed to accompany him. The two men arrived in
Scotland in April, but due largely to the intransigence of both parties
the talks came to nothing. In consequence the Anglo-Scottish force
assaulted Leith and was duly repulsed with heavy losses. Arriving in
London on the same day as the unfortunate news, Killigrew was one of
those to bear the queen's wrath. However, his fall from grace was brief.
The treaty of Edinburgh and the withdrawal of French troops from
Scotland vindicated the hardline policy that Killigrew had so
energetically urged upon Elizabeth and the zealous diplomat was once
more restored to favour.

For two years Killigrew remained in England, with Sir Robert Dudley
acting as his patron. Then in August 1562 he was once again called upon
to travel to France. In the aftermath of Henri's death and with the
support of the dowager queen, Catherine de' Medici, the Guise opposition
to the Huguenot cause was proving implacable. By autumn 1562 the
Huguenots had been confined to a handful of strongholds to which their
enemies were consistently and successfully laying siege. In sending
Killigrew to Normandy, Elizabeth sought to discover the strength of the
Huguenot forces and fortifications, and whether, in return for her
military and financial support, their leaders would be prepared to cede
Calais to the English. With extreme reluctance the French rebels agreed
that, in return for an army of 6000 men and a gift of a million crowns,
they would permit the English to garrison Newhaven (Le Havre) and Dieppe
until such time as they were in a position to restore Calais. At the
beginning of October Sir Adrian Poynings sailed with the 1500 strong
vanguard of the expeditionary force to Le Havre, where Killigrew awaited
him. Without official sanction, but quite possibly with the tacit
approval of the queen, Killigrew, in company with Thomas Leighton,
immediately set out from Le Havre at the head of a 400 strong
Anglo-French force intent upon bringing aid to the Huguenots besieged at
Rouen. Their effort proved to be too little too late. Having gained
entry to the city Killigrew and Leighton's force could do nothing but
forestall the inevitable. Rouen fell on 26 October, and Killigrew was
one of the few Englishmen captured who was not subsequently hanged. He
became the captive of Henri d'Anville de Montmorency, son of the
constable. After the payment of a considerable ransom, Killigrew
returned home in May 1563.

Triumph in Scotland, 1563*1575
In recognition of Killigrew's work in Scotland he was appointed in June
1561 to the lucrative office of teller of the exchequer. In addition to
the salary of £33 6s. 8d. Killigrew and his three colleagues were
responsible for the receipt and dispersal of nearly all the exchequer's
revenue, providing them with the opportunity to make considerable
profits from short-term speculation. It was another sixteen years before
Killigrew received his next appointment, when, in 1577, he was made
receiver of piracy fines. Finally, in 1580 Elizabeth appointed him
surveyor of the royal armoury. Undoubtedly these offices provided
Killigrew with a healthy income, much needed to subsidize the relatively
poor diets he received as an ambassador*on average £2 per day; they
did not, however, make him an influential figure within the government.
He was MP for Saltash in Cornwall in 1563 but did little in parliament.
Throughout Elizabeth's reign Killigrew's best hope of exercising
influence rested in his relationships with the queen's great favourites,
his long time patron, Dudley (now earl of Leicester), and from the later
1560s Killigrew's brother-in-law, Sir William Cecil (1520/21*1598). On
4 November 1565 Killigrew married Katherine [see Killigrew, Katherine
(c.1542*1583)], fifth daughter of gentleman and scholar Sir Anthony
Cooke (1505/6*1576), royal tutor, of Gidea Hall, Essex, and his wife,
Anne. The marriage, for all the advantages it conveyed to the young
diplomat, was apparently one of love. The couple had four daughters. Sir
Nicholas Bacon (1510*1579), lord keeper, was an influential
brother-in-law, but the most important connection was with Cecil. The
link to Cecil, originally little to the principal secretary's liking,
ultimately secured for Killigrew the support of the most influential man
in England.

Barring two brief missions to Scotland in 1566 and 1567 Killigrew
remained in England for more than six years after his ill-starred
military escapades in France. His next diplomatic mission, begun in
February 1569, took him once again to Heidelberg. In response to an
overture made by Friedrich III, Killigrew travelled to Germany to
explore the possibility of a defensive alliance and discuss conditions
under which the queen might grant a loan of 100,000 crowns in order to
finance a protestant military expedition against the Low Countries and
France. The mission, to which Killigrew was strongly committed,
foundered on the reluctance of Friedrich's German allies to form a
confederation with a foreign power, and Elizabeth's fear that too close
an association with the protestant princes might well serve simply to
draw the wrath of the Catholic powers directly upon her. Killigrew was
returned as MP for Truro in 1571 and 1572 and was more active on
committees than in previous parliaments, including sitting on one
concerned with Mary, queen of Scots (12 May 1572).

On 24 August 1572 thousands of Huguenots were killed in the St
Bartholomew's day massacre. This did much to convince Elizabeth and her
privy councillors that once free of civil war France might well make a
determined effort to restore Catholicism to England, as ever using
Scotland to facilitate its efforts. To avoid this it would be vital to
ensure that Scotland was united under a strong protestant government. To
this end Killigrew, recently returned from France, where for the
previous three years he had been serving as secretary to the resident
ambassador, Sir Francis Walsingham, was dispatched to Edinburgh. His
instructions were to broker a peace between the regency government of
James VI, headed by John Erskine, first earl of Mar, and James Douglas,
fourth earl of Morton, and the supporters of Mary, Sir William Kirkcaldy
of Grange and William Maitland of Lethington. He was instructed to
persuade the regency government to take custody of Mary, who was then a
prisoner in England, and then arrange her execution as expeditiously as
possible, thus relieving Elizabeth of the unwholesome task.

The mission, probably the most challenging of Killigrew's career, also
witnessed his greatest success. The ambassador could only get Mar and
Morton to connive at the judicial murder of Mary if Elizabeth openly
supported them in the act. However, Killigrew was considerably more
successful in other respects. Mar died on 29 October 1572, leaving a
power vacuum in the regency government. His natural successor, Morton,
was disinclined to accept the role without financial and, preferably
also, military support from England. Killigrew tried to convince Morton
in mid-December that the demands the latter had made were about to be
met by Elizabeth. However, Morton was dubious and refused to give way to
Killigrew's persuasions that he declare himself governor without firm
support in money and military aid from England, which he got. On 31
December the ten-month truce between the two Scottish factions expired
and the possibility of renewed conflict seemed great. The leaders of the
Scottish queen's party, Kirkcaldy and Maitland, from their position of
relative strength in Edinburgh Castle, resisted all Killigrew's attempts
to make peace. However, the ambassador had considerably more success
with their allies beyond the city. In February 1573 he met the leaders
of the two parties, excluding Kirkcaldy and Maitland, at Leith and
successfully negotiated an agreement by which the Marians accepted the
rule of the regency government in return for liberal concessions on the
part of the king. Having helped both to secure the appointment of Morton
as governor and to isolate the opposition leaders it only remained for
Killigrew to secure the English military support necessary to reduce
Edinburgh Castle. This he finally gained in April when Sir William
Drury, captain of Berwick, led a force of 1500 men and thirty-three
pieces of artillery to Edinburgh. Finally, on 26 May the garrison
surrendered. Maitland died in prison on 9 June and Kirkcaldy was
executed on 3 August. Due in no small part to the unrelenting efforts of
Killigrew, opponents of the regency were either broken or won over, and
the danger of a Franco-Scottish alliance eliminated. Over the next two
years Killigrew performed two further embassies to Scotland in which he
made every effort to nurture Anglo-Scottish relations and support
Morton's regency. Elizabeth recalled him in September 1575, bringing to
an end the most productive period of his diplomatic career.
Final years, 1575*1603
Aside from his lucrative work as teller of the exchequer, Killigrew was
also called upon to offer advice on diplomatic affairs and to act as
interpreter and companion to high-ranking foreign guests. His long
service to Elizabeth did not go unrewarded. In recognition of his work
in Scotland he was granted the manor of Lanreath, Cornwall, in May 1573.
The following year Killigrew added to his Cornish holdings with the
purchase of the manor of Bottlet from Henry Hastings, third earl of
Huntingdon, for £3600. Additionally, he owned an estate in Hendon in
Middlesex and a house next to St Paul's churchyard. His position as a
significant landowner was reflected in his involvement in local
government. In addition to serving as MP for Truro (elected in 1571 and
1572), between about 1579 and 1587 he served on the quorum of the peace
for Cornwall. Much of his personal life seems to have been devoted to
the management of his estates and correspondence with his puritan
friends such as Elizabeth's resident ambassador to the Netherlands,
William Davison, and his patrons Burghley and Leicester. In December
1584 his daughter Anne (d. 1632) married Henry Neville (1561/2*1615)
of Wargrave in Berkshire. He was the first of several sons-in-law with
whom Killigrew got on well.

In November 1585 Killigrew was summoned to perform his penultimate
foreign mission, as one of Leicester's key advisers in the Netherlands.
For all that the earl commanded an English relief force that represented
one of the best hopes of the states general to defeat the Spanish, his
high-handed manner and divisive policies made bitter opponents of the
Dutch leaders. As one of Leicester's most senior advisers Killigrew
shared in this odium. His situation became still less comfortable when
Leicester appointed him joint head of the new chamber of finance in July
1586. Killigrew's main responsibilities were to investigate corruption
among the Dutch leadership and to impede commercial activities between
the Provinces and their Spanish enemies. Relief came when in November he
followed Leicester back to England. In June 1587 he returned to the Low
Countries, but unlike Leicester, who received his final recall in
November, Killigrew remained with the Dutch for another year. With
Leicester's departure he became the most senior civilian English
representative in the Netherlands. This was a somewhat empty honour
given the distrust and resentment with which the English were regarded
by the Dutch leaders, in particular Paul Buys and Johan Oldenbarnevelt.
Much of Killigrew's remaining time in the Netherlands was devoted to
undoing Leicester's work and seeking to make peace between the states
general and those towns that had rejected its authority. Killigrew's
long-sought recall finally came in January 1589, largely the result of
his continuing unpopularity with the Dutch leaders; it was also an
acknowledgement that one of Elizabeth's longest serving diplomats was
now both old and tired.

Killigrew's final foreign mission, begun in July 1591, as part of an
English expeditionary force sent to assist Henri of Navarre in his siege
of Rouen, saw him serving as adviser to Robert Devereux, second earl of
Essex, and in company with his old comrade, Leighton, attempting to
restrain the incautious young general. He was also responsible for much
of the logistical organization of the 3400 strong army. Despite his age
and growing infirmity Killigrew seems to have performed this latter duty
with considerable competence. He went to great lengths to ensure that
the army was fed and discipline maintained, as well as expending much
effort and money in arranging for the sick to be transported home.
Neither he nor Leighton were able to stop Essex treating the campaign as
something of an adventure, nevertheless, the general made clear his
gratitude for Killigrew's efforts when he knighted the old diplomat on
20 November, a week before his return to England.

Killigrew largely retired from public service. He retained the
tellership of the exchequer until March 1599, and occasionally returned
to court to participate in diplomatic negotiations. Katherine Killigrew
died on 27 December 1583, and her widower married a Frenchwoman, Jaél de
Peigne (d. 1617×34), on 7 November 1590. The couple had three sons,
Joseph, Henry, and Robert, and one daughter. Killigrew intervened on
behalf of Neville in early 1601, who had become embroiled in Essex's
revolt. Killigrew died on 2 March 1603 and was buried in London at St
Margaret, Lothbury. His will, proved on 16 April, provided annuities for
his wife and two younger sons totalling £140, as well as further
bequests to them with a value of £1700.

Luke MacMahon
© Oxford University Press 2004-7 All rights reserved

Luke MacMahon, 'Killigrew, Sir Henry (1525x8-1603)', Oxford Dictionary
of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
[, accessed 15 Dec 2007]

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