Charles Henry Talbot

on Tuesday, 24 March 2015. Posted in Talbot

Charles Henry Talbot was the only son of William Henry Fox Talbot, and inherited Lacock on his father’s death in 1877.

He never married and was a recluse, preferring to spend his time studying. His great interests were in history and archaeology and he did extensive research on the history of the Lacock buildings, Lacock itself and its residents. His love of antiquary and the quiet life meant that he accumulated a great deal of knowledge about his family and his family home, related families and documents. He also took an interest in the abbey itself and did some restoration work on the monastic parts of the house with the architect Sir Harold Brakspear.

Charles Henry Talbot - Hypochondria, Hereditary Illness, Hysteria or A Case of Syphilis?

on Tuesday, 01 November 2016. Posted in Talbot

Charles Talbot (1842–1916) was a private and seemingly shy man. He suffered long periods of ill health and spent two extended stays at Brislington House Lunatic Asylum, near Bristol. There is no account of a medical diagnosis, the cause of his illness, nor any definitive detailed description of his symptoms. However in the Lacock archive there are bills and receipts covering his hospitalisations and other medical treatments he received as well as personal diary entries and notes made by Charles and letters from family and friends. These include details of some of the remedies that he took and mention a few of his symptoms. The information is by no means complete. In 1879 whilst a patient at Brislington House he wrote in his diary “I wish to goodness I had kept all these doctors’ letters, but I destroyed most of them”. Again in 1881 Charles records “notes destroyed which it was necessary to destroy”. It would therefore seem that Charles felt that some information was too sensitive to be preserved with his extensive collection of papers and letters.

There are a number of possibilities for the ill health suffered by Charles. Certainly there was a family history of lives cut short by ill health and evidence of serious mental health problems. Some of the frequent remedies taken on a daily basis with some of the efficacious benefits or otherwise recorded along with occasional obsessions with food and drink intake hint at a level of hypochondria. Two admissions in a lunatic asylum leave no doubt that Charles suffered bouts of mental illness, the question is whether that was the result of a physical cause or a solely psychological illness? A retrospective diagnosis of syphilis may seem unusual for a bachelor who described himself as solitary: “A phonograph playing music would be a great resource to a solitary man. I would have the machine driven by some kind of power”. However, Charles had toured Europe as a young man and the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases was not an uncommon outcome. In the nineteenth century sexual experience was regarded as a rite of passage for many young men on their grand tour.

Ela and Rosamond Talbot –A brief snapshot of their lives

on Wednesday, 18 March 2015. Posted in Talbot

Ela Therese Talbot, born 1836, and Rosamond Constance Talbot, born 1837, were two of four children born to William Henry Fox Talbot and his wife Constance. These two young ladies were born into a wealthy family at a time of huge changes in Great Britain. Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, the railways were expanding in Britain and abroad, industrialisation was taking place and the Great Exhibition opened in May 1851.

Fox Talbot family with Amelina

Ela and Rosamond were educated at home by their mother and a governess named Amelina Petit de Billier. She had been the governess to William Henry Fox Talbot when he was a boy and after a period of time back in France, which was her original home, she was asked to return to the family to become a companion to Fox Talbot's wife and children. She spoke French, Italian and German. She was an accomplished musician and played the piano and the harp. Amelina's harp is still kept at Lacock Abbey. This talented lady was also an excellent artist and could draw and paint. Ela and Rosamond were very lucky to have this lady in their household and she stayed with the household until she died in 1876.

Insanity and Inebriation at Lacock Abbey: the lives of John Ivory and Mary Talbot.

on Wednesday, 15 June 2016. Posted in Talbot

John Ivory inherited Lacock Abbey estate in 1714 on the death of his maternal grandfather, Sir John Talbot, and took the name John Ivory Talbot. The following year he entered Parliament as a Tory and served as MP for Ludgershall for 7 years. Later he served as an MP for Wiltshire from 1727 - 1741. His career as an MP was less than distinguished. His entry in 'The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754' is brief. It records that he voted consistently against the Government and made only one speech in the House of Commons, against the Quakers title Bill in 1736. It is also noted that he was a possible Jacobite supporter in the event of an uprising against the new Hanoverian king. The last remark in the entry is, however, intriguing and reads:

'In 1735 the mother of his nephew, Thomas, 2nd Lord Mansel, then aged 14, objected successfully to his being made sole guardian of her son because she ‘did not care that Mr. Talbot, whose wife is mad ... and is himself driven to drink, should have the sole management of her son’s education’.

Evidence for these assertions have been sought in the Lacock Abbey archives and is found in the Account Books of the Lacock estate and in the correspondence between John and his wife, with John's brother-in-law, Henry Davenport.

John Ivory Talbot

John Ivory Talbot.


John Ivory Talbot

on Tuesday, 24 March 2015. Posted in Talbot

John Ivory (later John Ivory Talbot) was the eldest son of Anne Talbot and Sir John Ivory of Wexford. Because his grandfather Sir John Talbot did not have any surviving sons from either of his marriages, John inherited his estates through his mother. He assumed the name Talbot as a condition of his inheritance.

John Ivory Talbot

He married Mary Mansel, daughter of Sir Thomas Mansel of Margam, in 1716. They had four children: John Talbot the younger, who inherited Lacock; Thomas, who inherited Margam and Penrice through the will of his uncle Christopher Mansel; Martha, who married William Davenport, her cousin (the son of her aunt Barbara Ivory, who married Henry Davenport); and Ann, who died aged 29.

John Talbot

on Tuesday, 24 March 2015. Posted in Talbot

John Talbot was the eldest son and heir of John Ivory Talbot and Mary Mansel. He inherited the Lacock estate on the death of his father in 1772, but only lived a further six years. Before living at Lacock he lived at Charlton, with his spinster sister Ann. Charlton was another estate owned by Sir William Sharington and passed through the family to John Talbot.

John Talbot

Sharington Talbot the elder

on Tuesday, 06 October 2015. Posted in Talbot

Sharington Talbot the elder was the eldest son of John Talbot of Salwarpe and Olive, daughter of Sir Henry Sharington of Lacock.

Sharington Talbot I

Sharington Talbot the younger

on Tuesday, 24 March 2015. Posted in Talbot

Col Sharington Talbot succeeded to the Lacock estate on the death of his grandmother Olive. His father, also Sharington Talbot, had died four years earlier. His father married twice and had many children, and had succeeded to the Salwarpe estate on the death of his father John Talbot. When Sharington died in 1642, the Salwarpe estate passed to his son and Lacock in 1646 on the death of Olive. Despite probably being born at Lacock, he appears to have spent most of his life at Salwarpe: his children were all baptised there.

Sharington Talbot II

Sir John Talbot

on Tuesday, 24 March 2015. Posted in Talbot

Sir John Talbot was the second son of Colonel Sharington Talbot. His elder brother Sharington died in infancy so from a young age he was the heir to the estates owned by his father.

Sir John Talbot

Sir John was knighted in 1660 by Charles II as he was the first person to greet the King when he landed in England at his Restoration. He was a royalist and a prominent public figure, being Justice of the Peace for Worcestershire, Wiltshire, Middlesex and Westminster between 1660 and 1689. He was also an MP for Chippenham for a short time in 1679 and was also a member for Devizes and Ludgershall at different times.

The Army Career of William Davenport Talbot

on Thursday, 14 September 2017. Posted in Talbot

William Davenport Talbot was born on the 4th August 1763, in Bredon, Worcestershire. He died in London in August 1800 and was buried at Lacock on 8th August 1800. His parents were the Reverend Dr. William and Martha Davenport who was the sister of John Talbot. As John had no legitimate heir his nephew William inherited Lacock Abbey on condition that he took the surname Talbot, Martha also had a lifetime interest in Lacock Abbey. Martha and her nephew Thomas Mansel Talbot, the owner of Margam Castle and Penrice in Wales, were appointed as guardians of William until he came of age in 1784. William Davenport Talbot did not live at Lacock Abbey, as it was let on a long term lease to Lady Shrewsbury as Martha was already heavily in debt and the rental income was necessary to maintain the estate.

William embarked on his army career as an Ensign with the Worcester Militia on 20th September 1781 after leaving Christ Church College, Oxford. William’s commission had to be approved by King George III and this permission was granted in a letter received by the 6th Earl of Coventry, who was the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, in a letter from Lord Stormont on the 19th September 1781 saying: "Having received & laid before the King your Lordship’s Letter of the 15th Instant recommending Mr. William Davenport Talbot to be an Ensign in the Worcestershire Militia, I have the satisfaction to Acquaint your Lordship that his Majesty does not disapprove of that Gentleman". (Worcester Archive). It is possible that the King may have revised his opinion at a later date when William became a friend of his son, Prince Edward.


2664/3/1F/6 William’s Militia appointment certificate


The Inheritance of John Ivory

on Sunday, 12 February 2017. Posted in Talbot

John Ivory inherited the Manor of Lacock in 1714 on the death of his grandfather, Sir John Talbot. Sir John had had a son, Sharington, who had predeceased him and hence the inheritance passed to his eldest male grandson. The conditions of the bequest, as specified in the last will of Sir John (1), dated 1 August 1712, included an absolute requirement that the inheritor must adopt the name and arms of Sir John, and hence John Ivory became John Ivory Talbot. Sir John also made clear his intention to reach from beyond his grave as he also identified the line of succession should John Ivory die without “issue male”, identifying his other three grandsons as the next in line in birth order. The will also required “keeping the premisses in good repaire & not permitting any wast therein”.

John Ivory Talbot

John Ivory Talbot

The Sharington Talbots of Lacock Abbey

on Tuesday, 26 January 2016. Posted in Talbot

There are four people with this name associated with Lacock Abbey and village, although only one actually owned the property.

The first, Sharington Talbot, sometimes known as “the elder”, was born in 1577 the son of John Talbot and Olive Sharington. Unfortunately he died in 1642 and pre-deceased his mother who owned Lacock.

His son Sharington, “the younger”, born in 1599, inherited the estate from his grandmother. He died in 1677.

His first-born son, also Sharington, died in infancy so it was the second son John who inherited.

In accordance with tradition, John named his first son Sharington but sadly he too died before his father.

The following pages provide details of the lives of the three who grew to adulthood.

William Davenport Talbot

on Tuesday, 24 March 2015. Posted in Talbot

William Davenport Talbot was the third son of Reverend Dr William and Martha Davenport. He inherited the Lacock estate on the wish of his uncle John Talbot, who had no legitimate children. He assumed the name Talbot as a condition of the inheritance and became known as William Davenport Talbot. However he never lived there: the Abbey was leased to the Countess of Shrewsbury until several years after his death.