1630-1714. Gentleman of the Privy Chamber.


This text was copied from Wikipedia on 20 April 2024 at 5:11AM.

John Talbot
Sir John Talbot, MP
MP for Devizes
In office
MonarchJames II
MP for Chippenham
In office
March 1679 – July 1679
MonarchCharles II
MP for Knaresborough
In office
MP for Worcestershire
In office
April 1660 – December 1660
Personal details
Born7 June 1630
Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire
Died13 March 1714(1714-03-13) (aged 83)
Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire
Parent(s)Colonel Sharington Talbot, (1599–1677)
Jane Lyttelton
OccupationPolitician, landowner, soldier
Military service
Allegiance England
Years of service1661 to 1688
Unit6th Dragoon Guards

Sir John Talbot (7 June 1630 – 13 March 1714) was an English politician, soldier, and landowner, who was Member of Parliament for various seats between 1660 and 1685. He held rank in a number of regiments, although he does not appear to have seen active service.

He took part in several duels, as both principal and second, including one in 1667 between George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and his relative, Francis Talbot, 11th Earl of Shrewsbury, which ended in the latter's death.

Like most of his family, he was a Stuart loyalist, and lost his positions following the November 1688 Glorious Revolution. He refused to swear allegiance to the new regime of Mary II and William III, but did not take part in any Jacobite plots.

He died in March 1714; his property was left to his grandson, John Ivory-Talbot (1691–1772).


Lacock Abbey from the south

John Talbot was born on 7 June 1630, the eldest surviving son of Colonel Sharington Talbot (1599–1677), and Jane Lyttelton. He had a sister, Elizabeth (died 1709).

Related to the Earls of Shrewsbury, the Talbots' main estates were in Salwarpe, Worcestershire. They acquired Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire through his great-grandmother, Olive, who died at the age of 97 in 1646. Like John himself, both his uncle Sir Gilbert and father lived into their 80s, as did many other close relatives.[1]

In 1653, he married Elizabeth Keyt, who died in childbirth in 1656, and was buried with her infant son in Stow-on-the-Wold.[2] He married again in 1660, this time to Barbara Slingsby (1633 –1703), daughter of Sir Henry Slingsby, executed in 1658 for plotting against the Protectorate. They had three daughters who lived to adulthood; Anne (1665–1720), Barbara (1671–1763), and Gilberta (1675–1746). His estates were inherited by his grandson John Ivory-Talbot (1691–1772), son of Anne and her husband Sir John Ivory.


In the First English Civil War, his father played a prominent role in raising Wiltshire for Charles I, and garrisoned Lacock Abbey until its capture in September 1645.[3] He was imprisoned for a year, and eventually released after paying a fine of £2,000; John's uncle, Sir Gilbert, was arrested in 1650 on suspicion of conspiring to restore Charles II, and went into exile.[4]

Painting of young girl in 17th century dress
Talbot's second daughter, Barbara (1671–1763)

In August 1659, Talbot was briefly arrested for alleged complicity in Booth's Rising, a Royalist rebellion easily crushed by John Lambert.[5] In the lead up to the 1660 Restoration, he was elected for Worcestershire in the Convention Parliament, and knighted by Charles II at Whitehall on 6 June 1660.[6] He was made captain in a company of the Foot Guards in February 1661.[7]

In April, he was elected to the Cavalier Parliament as MP for Knaresborough, a constituency controlled by the Slingsby family. He played an active role in co-ordinating votes in Parliament, and like his uncle, was closely associated with the Duke of Ormond.[8]

English politics was riven by factionalism, which combined with a passion for duelling often resulted in violence. Talbot took part in two famous duels involving his relatives, the first in 1666 between Thomas Belasyse[a] and Thomas Osborne, later Lord Danby, then a supporter of the Duke of Buckingham. In January 1668, he acted for Francis Talbot, 11th Earl of Shrewsbury in a duel with Buckingham, in which the Earl was fatally wounded. At the time, it was common for seconds to participate; Talbot was also injured, one of Buckingham's supporters killed.[9]

When the Third Anglo-Dutch War began in March 1672, Talbot was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the Barbados Dragoons, which was disbanded after the Treaty of Westminster in February 1674.[10] England re-entered the Franco-Dutch War in March 1678 after signing a defensive alliance with the Dutch Republic; Talbot was appointed colonel of a Regiment of Dragoons, but the war ended before it saw service.[11]

The 1679 Parliament was dominated by the Exclusion Crisis, over whether the Catholic James could succeed his brother as king. Talbot was MP for Chippenham; in Lord Shaftesbury's analysis of MPs, he is marked as opposing exclusion, or 'Vile'. In addition to his military offices, he is listed as receiving '£800 per year from the Wiltshire Excise, and the reversion of the Jewel Office', then held by Sir Gilbert.[12]

Described by the French ambassador as 'very Protestant, and very Royalist', he summarised the dilemma of many, who supported James' right to the throne, but opposed concessions to Catholicism in general. In 1681, Talbot was elected for Ludgershall; the return was disputed, Parliament dissolved within a week, and he never took his seat.[8]

Lacock's 1914–1918 war memorial; the facade and columns came from Sir John's tomb, removed during 19th century renovation works

James succeeded as monarch in February 1685, and in March, Talbot was elected for Devizes in the Loyal Parliament, so-called for the large majority who backed his right to the throne. When the Monmouth rebellion began in June, he raised a troop of horse, which was disbanded after the revolt collapsed. However, James used the opportunity to expand the Royal Army, and Talbot became lieutenant-colonel of Lord Peterborough's dragoons.[8]

In a measure of how seriously James misjudged the situation, Parliament refused to pass his religious policies, which were seen as undermining the Church of England. It was suspended in November 1685, and not held again during his reign.[8] At the same time, resistance within the army to the appointment of Catholic officers resulted in the resignation of many senior officers. They included Lord Lumley, whom Talbot replaced as colonel of the Queen Dowager's dragoons in January 1687.[13]

By 1688, James had alienated much of his support base, except for loyalists like Talbot, and his uncle, Sir Gilbert. In the November 1688 Glorious Revolution, William of Orange landed in Torbay. The majority of the Royal Army defected, Talbot being one of the few to return his commission to James in person, on 20 December 1688.[8]

This ended his military career; in 1690, he refused to swear allegiance to Mary II and William III, which meant he was ineligible for any public offices. Many High Church Tories like Talbot did so because they felt bound by their original oath, not necessarily because they were Jacobites; he was briefly held during the Jacobite invasion scare of 1692, and remained sympathetic, but does not appear to have been an active participant.[14]

He died on 13 March 1714, leaving his estates to his grandson, James Ivory Talbot. He was buried in St Cyriac's Church, Lacock; his tomb was removed during 19th century renovation works, but parts of it were re-used for the 1914–1918 village war memorial.[15]


  1. ^ Barbara Belasyse (1609/1610 to 1641), was his wife's mother



  • Browning, Andrew (1953). English Historical Documents 1660-1714 Volume VI (1995 ed.). Routledge. ISBN 978-0415143714.
  • Brydges, Egerton (1812). Collins Peerage of England, Volume V. Rivington and others.
  • Cannon, Richard (1839). Historical Record of the Sixth Regiment of Dragoon Guards, or the Carabineers. HMSO.
  • Childs, John (1976). The Army of Charles II. Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 978-0710083012.
  • Crosette, JS P (1983). TALBOT, Sir Gilbert (c.1606-95), of Whitehall and Lacock Abbey, Wilts in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660–1690. Haynes Publishing. ISBN 978-0436192746.
  • Dalton, Charles (1892). English Army Lists and Commission Registers, 1661–1714, Volume I, 1661–1685. Eyre & Spottiswode.
  • "Devizes and Winchester, September-October 1645". BCW Project. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  • Harris, Tim (2007). Revolution; the Great Crisis of the British Monarchy 1685-1720. Penguin. ISBN 978-0141016528.
  • Helms, M.W.; Henning, Basil Duke (1983). "TALBOT, John (1630-1714), of Lacock Abbey, Wilts., Long Acre, Westminster and Salwarp, Worcs". In Henning, Basil Duke (ed.). The History of Parliament:the House of Commons 1660-1690. Boydell and Brewer.
  • Jesse, John Heneage (1843). Memoirs Of The Court Of England, From The Revolution In 1688 To The Death Of George The Second, Volume 3 (2015 ed.). Palala Press. ISBN 978-1342803641.
  • Lesaffer, Randall. "The Wars of Louis XIV in Treaties (Part V): The Peace of Nijmegen (1678–1679)". Oxford Public International Law.
  • Shaw, William (1906). The Knights of England, Volume II. Sherratt and Hughes.
  • Smith, G (2003). The Cavaliers in Exile 1640–1660. AAIA. ISBN 978-1403911681.

3 Annotations

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Valiant Sir John Talbot, [M.P., Knaresbourough,] a foot company, a company of dragoons, a commissioner of the prizes, of the excise, and for the sale of fee-farm-rents, 800l. per annum out of the Wiltshire excise, the reversion of the Jewel-office.
---A Seasonable Argument ... for a New Parliament. Andrew Marvell, [1677] 1776.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sir John Talbot MP sounds like a fighting man who tried to calm down as a MP. An abbreviated look at his career during Diary times:

In 1659 Anglican Col. John Talbot was arrested for complicity in Booth’s Rising.

Although under the Long Parliament ordinance his eligibility was doubtful, he stood for Parliament in 1660, but was defeated by a Presbyterian.

A moderately active Member of the Convention Parliament, Col. John Talbot paraded his troop on Blackheath at the arrival of Charles II, and was knighted.

On 6 July 1660 Sir John Talbot MP supported the indemnity bill to exclude lawyers who had acted for the prosecution in state trials under the Protectorate. He expressed surprise on 16 July 1660 that ‘those that formerly desired to hasten the settlement of religion most obstruct the question’.

Talbot was appointed to the committee to settle ministers in their livings.

On 2 Aug. 1660, he wed a second wife, Barbara, da. of Sir Henry Slingsby, 1st Bt. of Scriven, Yorks.

After the recess, Talbot was added to the committees for the militia bill and the revenue.

Sir John Talbot MP supported a bill to compensate two Nottinghamshire Cavaliers out of the estate of John Hutchinson.

Sir John Talbot MP was returned for Knaresborough on the interest of his brother-in-law, Sir Thomas Slingsby.

Although Col. Sir John Talbot MP was given a regular commission in the guards and served in the army for most of Charles II’s reign, he was an active member of the Cavalier Parliament. The marshalling of votes perhaps appealed to his military mind, for he was teller in 60 divisions. He was named to more than 400 committees and made 26 recorded speeches.

After the Christmas recess, Sir John Talbot MP was on the deposition sent to ask Charles II on 8 Apr. 1662 for the suspension of the Merchant Adventurers’ monopoly for the rest of the year.

A zealous friend to the Lord Lt. of Ireland, Thomas Butler, Duke of Ormonde, Sir John Talbot MP was ordered on 12 May, 1662 to obtain an undertaking from his son, Thomas Butler, MP, Lord Ossory not to fight a duel with the Hon. Philip Howard MP.

In 1663 Sir John Talbot MP acted as teller about the Declaration of Indulgence and for committing the bill for the maintenance of the urban clergy. Talbot was named to the committee to consider a bill to prevent the growth of Popery, although Andrew Marvell believe him the leader of the unacknowledged Papists in the House, perhaps because the head of his family, Francis Talbot, 11th Earl of Shrewsbury, was Catholic.

Sir John Talbot MP favored the bill for improving the revenue from the Forest of Dean, and served on the delegation to ask Charles II to preserve the timber.

Lady Barbara and Sir John Talbot MP entertained Charles II at Lacock Abbey, Wilts., in the autumn of 1663.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


As one of the Duke of Ormonde’s supporters in the House, Sir John Talbot MP opposed the prohibition of Irish cattle imports in the Oxford session.

In October 1666 Talbot was second to Lord Fauconberg in a duel with Sir Thomas Osborne MP (then one Buckingham’s followers). Fauconberg was badly wounded. A few days later Talbot was named to the committee on a bill to prevent dueling.

When a petition was presented to the House of Commons on behalf of the merchants trading with France on 22 Jan. 1667, Sir John Talbot MP opposed hearing it, but a week later he was one ordered to attend Charles II with an address on their behalf.

Also on 22 January, 1667, Sir John Talbot MP was teller for the motion to allow John, Lord Mordaunt counsel during his impeachment.

As an opponent of Buckingham, Talbot cannot have welcomed the fall of Clarendon. He was appointed to the miscarriages of the second Anglo-Dutch war committee, to consider charges against John, Viscount Mordaunt, and to consult with Albemarle about measures against highwaymen.

When John Wildman MP was proposed for the commission of public accounts, ‘Sir John Talbot did fly out ... and took notice how [he] was entertained in the bosom of the Duke of Buckingham’.

On 16 Dec. 1667 Talbot acted as teller for the second reading of the Lords’ bill to banish and disable Chancellor Clarendon, and was appointed to the committee, and was teller for the motion to agree with the Lords on the Clarendon bill.

After the Christmas 1667/68 recess, Sir John Talbot was involved in the duel as second to the elderly Francis Talbot, 11th Earl of Shrewsbury, who was mortally wounded by his wife’s paramour, Buckingham.

Talbot was also injured in the arm, but had returned to the House by 27 Mar. 1668, when he was teller for the bill to reform the collection of hearth-tax, and took a few days leave to attend Shrewsbury’s funeral.

During the short 1669 session, Talbot was appointed to the committees on the bills for extending the Conventicles Act.

Still a zealous friend of the Duke of Ormonde, on whose behalf Sir John Talbot MP talked ‘mighty high’, he was noted as a court supporter at this period both by Government and Opposition.


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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.