Talbot, William (1659?-1730) (DNB00)

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TALBOT, WILLIAM (1659?–1730), bishop of Durham, son of William Talbot of Lichfield, by his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Stoughton of Whittington, Worcestershire, was born at Stourton Castle, Staffordshire, about 1659. On 28 March 1674 he matriculated as a gentleman commoner from Oriel College, Oxford, and graduated B.A. on 16 Oct. 1677, M.A. on 23 June 1680. His first preferment was the rectory of Burghfield, Berkshire (1682), a living in the gift of his kinsman, Charles Talbot, afterwards duke of Shrewsbury [q. v.] The deanery of Worcester being vacant by the deprivation of George Hickes [q. v.] as a nonjuror, 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. Tillotson gave Talbot (8 June) a Lambeth degree of D.D. In 1699 he succeeded John Hough [q. v.] as bishop of Oxford (consecrated 24 Sept.), retaining his deanery in commendam; he had been made D.D. of Oxford on 8 Aug. In the debate in the lords following the trial (1710) of Henry Sacheverell [q. v.], he was one of four bishops who spoke for his condemnation. His charge of 1712 maintained the validity of lay baptism against Roger Laurence [q. v.] In 1714 he was made dean of the chapel royal. On 23 April 1715 he was translated to Salisbury, and resigned the deanery of Worcester.

It was now that, through his son Edward [see Talbot, Catherine], he was brought into connection with Thomas Rundle [q. v.], Joseph Butler [q. v.], and Thomas Secker [q. v.], all of whom experienced the benefit of his patronage. On the death of Nathaniel Crew [q. v.] Talbot was translated (12 Oct. 1721) to the see of Durham. He was well received, but soon 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 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. These measures were due to a profuse expenditure which kept him constantly in want of money. He died in Hanover Square, London, on 10 Oct. 1730, and was buried on 14 Oct. in St. James's, Westminster. His portrait, by Kneller, has been engraved by Vertue and others. 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. His eldest son, Charles Talbot, baron Talbot of Hensol [q. v.], is separately noticed. His daughter, Henrietta Maria, married Charles Trimnell [q. v.], bishop of Winchester.

He published many single sermons (1691–1717), his speech in the lords on the Sacheverell case (1710), two charges (1712–17), a circular to the Salisbury clergy directing collections for Moravians (1716), and a volume of ‘Twelve Sermons,’ 1725, 8vo, 1731, 8vo (the theology of these is Clarkean).

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss) iv. 507; Wood's Fasti (Bliss), ii. 360, 372; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Kettlewell's Life, 1718, App. iv.; Burnet's Own Time, 1734, ii. 544; Whiston's Memoirs, 1753, pp. 230 sq.; Hutchinson's Durham, 1785, i. 566 sq. (portrait); Noble's Continuation of Granger, 1806, iii. 72 sq.; Fisher's Companion and Key to Hist. of England, 1832, pp. 736, 743; Bartlett's Memoirs of Butler, 1839, pp. 14 sq.; Low's Durham (Diocesan Histories), 1881, p. 295; Marshall's Oxford (Diocesan Histories), 1882, pp. 164 sq.; Onslow's Worcester (Diocesan Histories), 1883, pp. 323, 341; Watts's Durham, 1888, App. p. xiv; certified extracts from the diocesan register, Salisbury; information from the Rev. Henry Lewis, rector of East Hendred.]

A. G.