The Lord Talbot
Portrait by John Vanderbank
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
In office
29 November 1733 – 14 February 1737
MonarchGeorge II
Prime MinisterSir Robert Walpole
Preceded byThe Lord King
Succeeded byThe Earl of Hardwicke
Personal details
Died(1737-02-14)14 February 1737
Lincoln's Inn Fields
EducationEton College
Alma materOriel College, Oxford
Lord Talbot by Gerhard Bockman.

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

Early life

Talbot was the eldest son of Rt. Rev. William Talbot, Bishop of Durham, a descendant of the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, and Catherine King.

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; Joseph Butler dedicated his famous Analogy to Talbot, as was Upton's edition of Epictetus. The title he assumed derived from the Hensol estate in Pendoylan, Glamorgan, which came to him through his wife.[1]

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.

Personal life

The tomb of Cecil Talbot, née Matthew.

Talbot married, in the summer of 1708, Cecil Mathew (d. 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:

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] He was succeeded in the title by his second son, William (1710–1782).[3]



  1. ^ a b 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.
  3. ^ Lee, Sidney, ed. (1898). "Talbot, Charles (1685-1737)" . Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 55. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
Parliament of Great Britain Preceded bySir Edmund PrideauxJames Craggs Member of Parliament for Tregony 1720–1722 With: James Craggs to 1720Daniel Pulteney 1720 – March 1721John Merrill from March 1721 Succeeded byJames CookeJohn Merrill Preceded byGeorge BakerThomas Conyers Member of Parliament for City of Durham 1722–1734 With: Thomas Conyers to 1727Robert Shafto 1727–1730John Shafto from 1730 Succeeded byHenry LambtonJohn Shafto Legal offices Preceded byClement Wearg Solicitor General for England and Wales 1726–1733 Succeeded byDudley Ryder Political offices Preceded byThe Lord King Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain 1733–1737 Succeeded byThe Lord Hardwicke Peerage of Great Britain New creation Baron Talbot 1733–1737 Succeeded byWilliam Talbot