Talbot, Charles

, lord high chancellor of Great Britain, descended from the noble family of Talbot, was the son of William ,*


William Talbnt, bishop of Durham, was descended from sir Gilbert Talbot of Graftun, knight banneret, and knight of the most noble order of the garter, third son of John the second earl of Shrewsbury, and was grandson of Sherrington Talbot of Salwarp in Worcestershire, esq. and son of William Tallot of Stourton castle in Staffordshire, by Mary daughter


of Thomas Doughty of Whittington "in Worcestershire, esq. He was born at Stourton castle in 1659, and in the beginning of 1674 entered a gentleman commoner of Oriel college in Oxford. On October the 16th, 1677, he took the degree of bachelor of arts, and June the 23d, 1680, that of master. He afterwards entered into holy orders, and in the reign of king James II. preached and acted with great zeal against popery. In April 1691 he was nominated to the deanery of Worcester, in the room of Dr. George Hickes, ejected for refusing the oaths to king William and queen Mary; and in 1699 was advanced to the bishopric of Oxford, to which he was consecrated September the 24th, having leave to hold his deanery in commendam. In 1715 he was translated to the bishopric of Sarum, in which he was confirmed April the 23d. In September 1722 fce was translated to the bishopric of Durham, of which county he was made lord lieutenant and custos rotulorum. He died October the 10th, 1730. He married Catharine, daughter of King, esq, one of the aldermen of London. He had eight sons, and several daughters of whom those who lived to maturity were, 1. Charles, the lord Chancellor. 2. Edward, arehdeacon of Berks, who died in 1720. 3. Sherrington, a captain of foot. 4. Henry, one of the commissioners of the salt office. 5. Henrietta Maria, married to Dr. Charles Trimnel, late bishop of Winchester. 6. Catharine, married to Exton Sayer, LL.D. chancellor of Durham, and surveyor of his majesty’s land revenues. There are in print two speeches of his in the House of Lords, one in favour of the union between England and Scotland, and the other upon the trial of Dr. Sacheverell. He published likewise a volume of sermons in 8vo.

bishop of Durham, and was born in | 168k In 1701 he was admitted a gentleman commoner of Oriel college, Oxford, where he proceeded A.B. in 1704, at three years standing, a privilege allowed him as the son of a bishop. In November of the same year, he was elected a fellow of All Souls, but voided this by marrying, in a few years, Cecily, daughter and heir of Charles Matthews, of Castle Munich, in the county of Glamorgan, esq. and great grand-daughter, by the mother’s side, of the famous judge Jenkins.

From his first admission into the university, he had fixed upon the law as a profession, and leaving Oxford before he proceeded farther in arts, was admitted a member of the society of Lincoln’s-inn, and was called to the bar a considerable time before his course of reading was expired. He set out with great success, and in 1719 was chosen member of parliament for Tregony in Cornwall. In April 1726 he was made solicitor-general, and likewise was chosen member for the city of Durham, probably assisted by his father’s interest, who was then bishop of that see. In Nov. 1733, George II. delivered to him the great seal, and he was then sworn of his majesty’s privy council, and likewise constituted lord high chancellor, and created a baron of Great Britain by the title of lord Talbot, baron of Hensol, in the county of Glamorgan. On these promotions, he resigned the chancellorship of the diocese of Oxford, which had been given him by his father, when bishop of | that sec; and in August 1735, the honorary degree of doctor of laws was conferred upon him by that university. He died, in the height of his fame and usefulness, of an illness of only five days, Feb. 14, 1737, at his house in LincolnVinn-fields, in the fifty-third year of his age. He was interred at Barrington in Gloucestershire, where his estate was, in the chancel of the church.

It has been said of lord chancellor Talbot, that eloquence never afforded greater charms from any orator, than when the public attention listened to his sentiments, delivered with the most graceful modesty; nor did wisdom and knowledge ever support it with more extensive power, nor integrity enforce it with greater weight. In apprehension he so far exceeded the common rank of men, that he instantaneously, or by a kind of “intuition, saw the strength or imperfection of any argument; and so penetrating was his sagacity, that the most intricate and perplexing mazes of the law could never so involve and darken the truth, as to conceal it from his discernment. As a member of each house of parliament, no man ever had a higher deference paid to his abilities, or more confidence placed in his inflexible public spirit; and so excellent was his temper, so candid his disposition in debate, that he never offended those whose arguments he opposed. When his merit, and the unanimous suffrage of his country, induced his prince to intrust him with the great seal, his universal affability, his easiness of access, his humanity to the distress, which his employment too frequently presented to his view, and his great dispatch of business, engaged to him the affection and almost veneration of all who approached him. And by constantly delivering with his decrees the reasons upon which they were founded, his court was a very instructive school of equity, and his decisions were generally attended with such conviction to the parties, against whose interest they were made, that their acquiescence in them commonly prevented any farther expence. As no servile expedient raised him to power, his country knew he would use none to support himself in it. He was constant and regular in his devotions both in his family and in public. His piety was exalted, rational, and unaffected. He was firm in maintaining the true interest and legal rights of the church of England, but an enemy to persecution. When he could obtain a short interval from business, the pompous formalities of his station were thrown aside; his table was | a scene where wisdom and science shone, enlivened and adorned with elegance of wit. There was joined the utmost freedom of dispute with the highest good breeding, and the vivacity of mirth with primitive simplicity of manners. Whtii he had leisure for exercise, he delighted in field-sports; and even in those trifles shewed, that he was formed to excel in whatever he engaged; and had he indulged himself more in them, especially at a time when he found his health unequal to the excessive fatigues of his post, the nation might not yet have deplored a loss it could ill sustain. But though he was removed at a season of life when others but begin to shine, he might justly be said,” satis & ad vitam & ad gloriam vixisse" and his death united in one general concern a nation, which scarce ever unanimously agreed in any other particular; and notwithstanding the warmth of our political divisions, each party endeavoured to outvie the other in a due reverence to his memory. 1


Gen. Dict.—Biog. Brit.