William Talbot
Bishop of Durham
William Talbot by Kneller.jpg
Portrait by Godfrey Kneller, 1718
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Durham
Personal details
Born1658 (1658)
Died10 October 1730(1730-10-10) (aged 71–72)

William Talbot (1658 – 10 October 1730) was an English Anglican bishop. He was Bishop of Oxford from 1699 to 1715, Bishop of Salisbury from 1715 to 1722 and Bishop of Durham from 1722 to 1730.[1]


The son of William Talbot of Lichfield, by his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Stoughton of Whittington, Worcestershire, he was born at Stourton Castle, Staffordshire, around 1659. On 28 March 1674 he matriculated as a gentleman commoner at Oriel College, Oxford, and graduated B.A. on 16 October 1677, and M.A. on 23 June 1680.[1]

Talbot's first preferment was the rectory of Burghfield, Berkshire (1682), a living in the gift of his kinsman, Charles Talbot, 1st Duke of Shrewsbury. The deanery of Worcester was vacant after the deprivation of George Hickes as a nonjuror, and Shrewsbury's interest secured the appointment of Talbot in April 1691. Hickes drew up a protest (2 May) claiming a "legal right", which he affixed to the entrance to the choir of Worcester Cathedral. John Tillotson then gave Talbot (8 June) a Lambeth degree of D.D.[1]

In 1699 Talbot succeeded John Hough as bishop of Oxford (consecrated 24 September), retaining his deanery in commendam; he had been made D.D. of Oxford on 8 August. In the debate in the House of Lords following the trial (1710) of Henry Sacheverell, he was one of four bishops who spoke for his condemnation. His charge of 1712 maintained the validity of lay baptism against Roger Laurence. In 1718 he was made Dean of the Chapel Royal. On 23 April 1715 he was translated to the see of Salisbury, and resigned the deanery of Worcester.[1]

At Salisbury, through his son Edward Talbot, he was brought into connection with Thomas Rundle, Joseph Butler, and Thomas Secker, all of whom he helped by his patronage. On the death of Nathaniel Crew Talbot was translated (12 October 1721) to the see of Durham. There he became unpopular by promoting (February 1723) a bill empowering bishops to grant new mining leases without the consent of chapters. The bill was emasculated in the House of Commons, but Talbot in course of time managed the chapter through prebendaries of his appointment. He incurred further unpopularity by advancing the fines on his own leases and commending the example to the chapter. His profuse expenditure kept him short of money.[1]

Talbot died in Hanover Square, London, on 10 October 1730, and was buried on 14 October in St. James's, Westminster.[1][2]


Talbot published single sermons (1691–1717), his speech in the Lords on the Sacheverell case (1710), two charges (1712–17), and a circular to the Salisbury clergy directing collections for Moravians (1716). His volume of Twelve Sermons (1725 and 1731) follows the theology of Samuel Clarke.[1]


Talbot had two sisters, Frances Talbot and Catherine Talbot. His father was a descendant of Sir Gilbert Talbot and Elizabeth Knollys.

He married, first, a daughter of Crispe, an attorney at Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, who died without issue; secondly, Catharine (d. 23 Nov. 1730), daughter of Alderman Richard King of London, by whom he had eight sons and several daughters.[1] The sons included:

Their daughter, Henrietta Maria, married Charles Trimnell, bishop of Winchester.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Talbot, William (1659?-1730)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  2. ^ The Register of Burials in the Parish of St James within the Liberty of Westminster. 1723-1754. 14 October 1730.
  3. ^ "Talbot, Catherine" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.


Church of England titles Preceded byJohn Hough Bishop of Oxford 1699–1715 Succeeded byJohn Potter Preceded byGilbert Burnet Bishop of Salisbury 1715–1722 Succeeded byRichard Willis Preceded byThe Lord Crew Bishop of Durham 1722–1730 Succeeded byEdward Chandler Honorary titles Preceded byThe Earl of Scarbrough Lord Lieutenant of Durham 1722–1730 Succeeded byEdward Chandler