Charles Talbot, 1st Baron Talbot

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Lord Talbot by Gerhard Bockman.

Charles Talbot, 1st Baron Talbot PC (1685 – 14 February 1737) was a British lawyer and politician. He was Lord Chancellor of Great Britain from 1733 to 1737.


Talbot was the eldest son of William Talbot, Bishop of Durham, a descendant of the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury. He was educated at Eton and Oriel College, Oxford, and became a fellow of All Souls College in 1704. He was called to the bar in 1711, and in 1717 was appointed solicitor general to the prince of Wales. Having been elected a member of the House of Commons in 1720, he became Solicitor General in 1726, and in 1733 he was made lord chancellor and raised to the peerage with the title of Lord Talbot, Baron of Hensol, in the County of Glamorgan.[1]

Talbot proved himself a capable equity judge during the three years of his occupancy of the Woolsack. Among his contemporaries he enjoyed the reputation of a wit; he was a patron of the poet James Thomson, who in The Seasons commemorated a son of his to whom he acted as tutor; and Joseph Butler dedicated his famous Analogy to Talbot. The title he assumed derived from the Hensol estate in Pendoylan, Glamorgan, which came to him through his wife.[1]

After an illness during which the King and Queen enquired after his health every day, Talbot died on 14 February 1737 at his home in Lincoln's Inn Fields.[2]

Talbot is remembered as one of the authors of the Yorke–Talbot slavery opinion, as a crown law officer in 1729. The opinion was sought to determinate the legality of slavery: Talbot and Philip Yorke opined that it was legal. The opinion was relied upon widely before the decision of Lord Mansfield in Somersett's Case.


Talbot married, in the summer of 1708, Cecil Mathew (died 1720), daughter of Charles Mathew of Castell y Mynach, Glamorganshire, and granddaughter and heiress of David Jenkins of Hensol. There he built a mansion in the Tudor style, known as the Castle. They had five sons, of whom three survived him. He was succeeded in the title by his second son, William (1710–1782).[3]


  • Lord Campbell, Lives of the Lord Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal (8 vols. London, 1845–69)
  • Edward Foss, The Judges of England (9 vols. London, 1848–64)
  • Lord Hervey, Memoirs of the Reign of George II ( 2 vols. London. 1848)
  • G. E. Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. vii. (London, 1896)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Chisholm 1911.
  2. "From Wye's Letter and the London Prints, Feb 15". Newcastle Courant. 19 February 1737. Retrieved 26 January 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive. Unknown parameter |subscription= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3.  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1898). [ "Talbot, Charles (1685-1737)" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Dictionary of National Biography. 55. London: Smith, Elder & Co.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). [ "Talbot of Hensol, Charles Talbot, 1st Baron" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  •  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1898). [ "Talbot, Charles (1685-1737)" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Dictionary of National Biography. 55. London: Smith, Elder & Co.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Macnair, M. "Talbot, Charles, first Baron Talbot of Hensol (bap. 1685, d. 1737)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/26923.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Edmund Prideaux
James Craggs
Member of Parliament for Tregony
With: James Craggs to 1720
Daniel Pulteney 1720 – March 1721
John Merrill from March 1721
Succeeded by
James Cooke
John Merrill
Preceded by
George Baker
Thomas Conyers
Member of Parliament for City of Durham
With: Thomas Conyers to 1727
Robert Shafto 1727–1730
John Shafto from 1730
Succeeded by
Henry Lambton
John Shafto
Legal offices
Preceded by
Clement Wearg
Solicitor General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Dudley Ryder
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord King
Lord Chancellor
Succeeded by
The Lord Hardwicke
Peerage of Great Britain
New constituency Baron Talbot
Succeeded by
William Talbot