Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Talbot, Charles (1660-1718)

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TALBOT, CHARLES, twelfth Earl and only Duke of Shrewsbury (1660–1718), was born on 24 July 1660, and was named after Charles II, being the first of that sovereign’s godchildren after the Restoration (Collins). His parents were Francis, eleventh earl of Shrewsbury, and his notorious second wife, Anna Maria, daughter of Robert, lord Brudenell, afterwards second earl of Cardigan. Her amour with George Villiers, second duke of Buckingham [q. v.], which had begun six years previously (see Memoirs of Sir John Reresby, ed. Cartwright, 1875, p. 67), cost her husband his life. He died on 17 Jan. 1668 of a wound received in a duel with Buckingham, during which she was said, attired as a page, to have held the horse of her lover (see Grammont and Pepys). She continued for some time to live with Buckingham (cf. Evelyn, Diary, ed. Wheatley, ii. 271), but afterwards married George Rodney Bridges, and survived till 1702 (see Wheatley's note in his edition of Pepys's Diary, vii. 284; portraits of her are in the National Portrait Gallery and at Goodwood; a third, as Minerva, was bought by Sir Robert Peel at the Stowe sale; ib.).

The violent circumstances of his father’s death, together with the fact that his younger brother, Lord John Talbot, was killed in a duel with Henry, first duke of Grafton, on 2 Feb. 1686, when within a few days of the completion of his twenty-first year (Collins), were not ineptly supposed to have contributed to the ‘unaccountable faintheartedness’ which characterised much of Shrewsbury’s ordinary conduct (see Dartmouth’s note to Burnet’s Own Time, v. 453). The later career of his mother, who is said to have been a pensioner of France, and who certainly took an active part in the jacobite intrigues in which he was himself believed to have been involved, indisputably exercised an influence upon his own course of action.

Although brought up as a member of the church of Rome, Shrewsbury was induced by the ‘popish plot’ agitation to reconsider his position, if not his opinions. On 4 May 1679 he signified his adherence to the church of England by attending the service at Lincoln’s Inn chapel conducted by Tillotson, then dean of Canterbury. Burnet (iii. 275) declares that his conversion was the result of ‘a very critical and anxious inquiry into matters of controversy;’ and Shrewsbury’s anonymous biographer adds an elaborate statement as to the prolonged and circuitous conduct of this inquiry by means of arguments collected by Shrewsbury’s grandfather, the Earl of Cardigan, from Roman catholic priests, and answers furnished by Tillotson. It is certain that the latter took a warm interest in the young nobleman, to whom he shortly afterwards addressed a wise warning against an immoral connection in which he had become entangled (see Birch, Life of Archbishop Tillotson, 2nd edit. 1753, pp. 56–58; cf. Macaulay, chap. viii.).

Already under Charles II Shrewsbury, who held the hereditary dignity of lord steward of Ireland, was appointed to the earliest of the numerous lord-lieutenancies of English counties conferred upon him in the course of his career, that of Staffordshire, and also became one of the king’s gentlemen of the bedchamber extraordinary (Doyle). At the coronation of James II he bore the sword curtana before the sovereign, and soon afterwards was appointed to a captaincy, and thence promoted to a colonelcy, of horse, which he appears to have retained till July 1687. But in the earlier months of that year he had been in communication with Dykvelt during his confidential mission to England, and his house had been a frequent place of meeting between the agent and the friends of the Prince of Orange (Burnet, iii. 181), to whom Shrewsbury wrote in May with professions of devotion. He was one of the seven who in June 1688 attached their ciphers to the letter of invitation to the prince, and is said to have proposed the incognito shooting of Nottingham, who had declined to join in the design (Dartmouth’s note ad eund. p. 279). His whole-hearted co-operation in it was more surely attested by his crossing towards the end of August with Edward Russell (afterwards Earl of Orford) [q. v.] to Holland, where he lodged 12,000l. for the support of the prince in the bank at Amsterdam, having mortgaged his estates at home for 40,000l. (Macaulay, from Memoirs, 1718). Shrewsbury is said to have taken a leading part in resisting the proposal, made in the nonconformist interest, that the prince’s forthcoming declaration should uphold the dispensing power (Burnet, iii. 309). In November he landed with the Prince of Orange in England.

Shrewsbury took an active part in the operations by which the Revolution was accomplished. He was one of those principally concerned in the formation of the association for the protection of the prince’s person, and in December entered Bristol as representing his cause. Later in the same month he was one of the three noblemen appointed by the prince to convey to James II the message drawn up by the peers at Windsor. After waiting on him in his bedchamber at St. James’s early in the morning of 18 Dec., they accompanied him on his departure as far as the waterside, where Shrewsbury is said to have done all in his power to soothe the unhappy king (Macaulay). In the debates of the Convention parliament he steadily supported the ‘simple and consistent’ proposals of the whigs, thereby more and more establishing himself in the confidence of both William and Mary (Burnet, iii. 395, and cf. ib. iv. 71). It was accordingly natural that on the formation of the first administration of the new reign, after having been sworn of the privy council (14 Feb. 1689), he should have received the seals as secretary of state for the northern province (9 March). He was then not more than twenty-eight years of age; but while his youth appears to have elicited no unfavourable comment, except from the Spanish ambassador, Don Pedro de Ronquillo, Shrewsbury soon betrayed the uncertainty and self-distrust which, except when he was able to overcome it on one or two critical occasions, so fatally hampered his political influence. In the debates on the bill of rights he seconded Burnet’s proposal to add a clause absolving from their allegiance the subjects of a popish prince or of one who should marry a papist (Burnet, iii. 28); but some weeks before this (early in September) he had already begun to solicit the king's permission to retire from office, pleading ‘the comfortless prospect of very ill-health for the future.’ On this occasion he was prevailed upon by the king and his intermediary, Portland, to remain (Correspondence, pp. 6–14). In December he showed his fidelity to the whigs by seeking to dissuade the king from proroguing the Convention parliament with a view to its dissolution. When, early in 1690, it had been dissolved and succeeded by a parliament where the tories preponderated, and showed themselves indisposed to accept, unless in a hopelessly mutilated form, the abjuration bill warmly advocated by him, his resolution to resign became fixed (Burnet, iv. 81). In spite of the king's repeated refusals to accept his resignation and Tillotson's remonstrances, Shrewsbury sent back the seals by Portland on 3 June 1690, after having been dissuaded with difficulty by Burnet from making his way into the royal presence in order to speak his mind (ib.; cf. Correspondence, pp. 16–17 and note; Correspondence, &c. of Henry, Earl of Clarendon, 1828, ii. 316; Memoirs of Queen Mary, ed. Doebner, 1886). The answer to the question whether ‘temper’ or orders from St. Germains determined Shrewsbury's resignation depends on the general opinion to be formed of his conduct during the ensuing four years.

From June 1690 to March 1694 Shrewsbury remained out of office, maintaining a general attitude of opposition to the measures of the tory ministers. On the arrival, however, of the news of the disaster of Beachy Head (30 June 1690), he hastened from his retirement at Epsom to offer his services to Queen Mary, proposing to raise troops (Dalrymple, iii. 87, 99), and declaring his readiness to take the command of the fleet, should it be assigned to some great nobleman, with two experienced seamen to advise him (Shrewsbury to Caermarthen, ib. pp. 130–1; cf. Macaulay). In January 1693 he was one of the eleven peers who protested against the renewal of the act for subjecting literary publications to the control of a licenser. About the same time he came forward as the mover of the triennial bill, to which, although almost unanimously favoured by the lords, the opposition of the tories in the commons encouraged the king to refuse his assent (ib. chap. xix.). But a few months later misfortunes both by sea and land determined the king to throw himself once more upon the whigs; and on his return to England in November he took the seals of secretary of state from Nottingham, and personally offered them to Shrewsbury. The interview, however, ended unsatisfactorily, and Shrewsbury withdrew to Eyton, his seat in Oxfordshire. An effort to induce him to change his mind was now made by Elizabeth Villiers, the king's mistress, with the aid of a daughter of Robert Lundy [q. v.], the former governor of Londonderry, to whom Shrewsbury was attached. But, though their endeavours were seconded by some of the whig leaders, it was not until some months later, and after other whig appointments had been made, that Shrewsbury (4 March 1694) again accepted the secretaryship of state (Correspondence, pp. 19–30).

His return to office has, however, like his previous resignation, been thought to have had a hidden reason. According to Macaulay (chap. xix.) both these actions on his part were due to the change which had come over him with the dissolution of the Convention parliament, when his allegiance to the new régime had first begun to waver. He now, it is said, entered into relations of the most compromising character with the court of St. Germains; and it was by the direction of James II that in 1690 he resigned his secretaryship of state. So it was stated in a memorial submitted by James to Louis XIV in November 1692, and included in the ‘Nairne Papers,’ afterwards published in Macpherson's ‘Original Papers’ (i. 435). Elsewhere in the same series of papers his name stands forth conspicuously in the so-called ‘Melfort Instructions,’ which were conveyed by or through his mother, the Countess of Shrewsbury, to himself, Marlborough, and Russell [see Drummond, John, titular Duke of Melfort]. The chief purpose of these ‘instructions’ was to secure to Russell the command of the fleet, while Shrewsbury was to help to retard its sailing as long as possible (Original Papers, i. 456–7). His name was again prominent in a paper supposed to date from the last quarter of 1693, and giving a list of King James's chief supporters at home (ib. p. 459); and in Lloyd's account, stated to have been delivered at Versailles on 1 May 1694, this agent professed to have been assured by the Countess of Shrewsbury that her son had returned to office only when he had been informed by King William that he had cognisance of Shrewsbury's discourses concerning King James, and after having retired into the country with the design of joining the latter should he land in England; this expectation had broken down. But though he had thus again taken office under William as a measure of self-preservation, he was said by Lloyd to be even now prepared to serve James, and to do what was in his power to induce Russell to bring over the fleet (ib. pp. 481–2; [Clarke's] Life of James II, ii. 520–1; and Dalrymple, iii. 234). It has, however, been contended that the ‘Nairne Papers,’ on which the entire above set of statements rests, are not authentic, and that Lloyd's report in particular, if not a later forgery, was concocted at St. Germains by Melfort and Lloyd. Unfortunately no external evidence has been adduced to support this theory, plausible in itself, beyond the assertion of the jacobite second Earl of Ailesbury that William III permitted Shrewsbury, Marlborough, and Godolphin to correspond with Middleton at St. Germains so as to inspire a false confidence in James II and his advisers (see article by Colonel A. Parnell on ‘James Macpherson and the Nairne Papers’ in English Historical Review, vol. xii. April 1897).

Immediately after Shrewsbury's acceptance of office he was made a K.G. (25 April), and created Marquis of Alton and Duke of Shrewsbury (30 April). He was now regarded as head of the administration; and with William III's departure in May for the continental campaign of 1694 began a correspondence which lasted more or less continuously till his withdrawal from office in 1700. During the king's absences from May to October 1695 and 1696 Shrewsbury was one of the lords justices appointed to conduct the government of the kingdom. Queen Mary had died in December 1694. Shrewsbury's zeal in her service had unmistakably been animated by the chivalrous sentiment which formed part of his curiously composite nature; but the assertion of the unscrupulous ‘Jack’ Howe, vice-chamberlain up to 1692, that she cherished a tender passion for Shrewsbury, and that she would certainly have married him had she outlived King William (see Dartmouth's note to Burnet, v. 453), appears to be mere gossip, with perhaps a suspicion of malice (cf. Correspondence, pp. 218–19).

Shrewsbury's correspondence in 1694–5 (ib. pp. 55 seq. and 189 seq.) is very largely occupied with the party purpose of upholding Russell's management of his Mediterranean command; but in 1696 it shows him to have taken a zealous and effective part in the efforts made to raise the public credit and to obtain supplies by means of bank loans, although the largest share in the modicum of success which attended them belongs to Godolphin. Yet in the middle of this year Shrewsbury was thoroughly alarmed by the discovery of the so-called ‘assassination plot;’ the king frankly communicated to him the charge of complicity in Jacobite intrigues brought by one of the conspirators, Sir John Fenwick, in order to save his life, against himself and Godolphin. From this time onwards, vehemently pleading ill-health, he kept away from London and from the active exercise of the duties of his office (see Correspondence, pp. 145–65; cf. Dalrymple, iii. 258–61, and Burnet, iv. 309 n. Later, 3 Feb. 1699–1700, he protested to Rochester, with a view to settling at Cornbury, that he had ‘no decent place to live in;’ see Clarendon Correspondence, ii. 345; many of his letters are dated from Eyford in Gloucestershire, described by Macaulay as a small country seat in one of the wildest districts of the south of England). King William had readily accepted his explanation of his dealings with Middleton, though, if the theory noticed above were correct, no explanation would have been necessary. Fresh charges were brought against him in the summer of 1696 by an informer named Matthew Smith (fl. 1696) [q. v.], and, though he was cleared of them by an inquiry in the House of Lords, he could not bring himself to confront either his personal or public responsibilities. Even after Fenwick's execution, in January 1697, he remained in the country, and took no leading part in the negotiations preliminary to the peace of Ryswick, while resenting the king's reserve concerning them (Correspondence, pp. 316 seq. 380–2). He continued to ask permission to resign his office, and the king continued to press him to retain it (ib. pp. 171 seq.), till finally the latter suggested as a via media that he should exchange the secretaryship of state for the lord chamberlainship vacated by Sunderland. In October 1699 Shrewsbury accepted the less responsible post, without, however, abandoning his attitude of abstention. He was hereupon successively offered by the king the offices of lord treasurer and of lord-lieutenant of Ireland, the latter, which he was to hold together with the office of groom of the stole, being particularly pressed upon him. In fact he was allowed his choice of any employment under the crown (ib. p. 182). But his ill-health—he suffered much from blood-spitting, which he attributed to a fall from his horse—and his unwillingness to take an active part in public life continued; and on 20 June 1700 he went out of office. The king, whose patience had been unexampled, had in the end yielded to his solicitations, and he was at last free. During a few months he lingered in England, seeking in vain to bring about the harmony between the king and the whigs which it had been the object of his assuming office to promote; for there is no proof of the assertion of the editor of the ‘Vernon Papers’ that in October Shrewsbury had become thoroughly disgusted with the conduct of the whig party, and influenced the king in the direction of tory changes (Letters illustrative of the Reign of William III, iii. 142 n.) On 28 Nov., in a parting interview with the king, he obtained his leave to go abroad. Travelling by Paris, where Louis XIV received him ‘tolerably civilly,’ he reached Montpellier. The following summer he spent at Geneva, and in November 1701 he settled at Rome (Correspondence, pp. 185–6).

In Rome Shrewsbury remained three years, refusing to listen to any suggestion of a return to England or to public life. It was from Rome that, in June 1701, he wrote the often-quoted letter to Somers, in which he expressed his wonder ‘how any man who has bread in England will be concerned with business of state. Had I a son, I would sooner bind him a cobbler than a courtier, and a hangman than a statesman’ ({sc|Lecky}}, History of England, i. 58; Stanhope, Reign of Queen Anne, p. 22, from Hardwicke Collection, ii. 440; cf. Correspondence, p. 633). On Queen Anne's accession he was pressed by Marlborough and Godolphin to accept the office of master of the horse, but, although flattered by the proposal, declined it without hesitation (ib. pp. 634–5). His stay at Rome was, however, shortened in consequence of rumours which had circulated in England of his having become a Roman catholic once more. Somers communicated this report to him, and he thought it necessary to contradict it in a letter, soon afterwards published, to William Talbot [q. v.], bishop of Oxford, in which he expressed his warm attachment to the church of England (ib. pp. 639–48). According to Collins, Shrewsbury while at Rome had not only refrained from attending a Roman catholic service, but had converted the Earl of Cardigan and his brother to protestantism.

In 1705 Shrewsbury proceeded via Venice to Augsburg, where on 25 Aug. he, to the disconcertment of his English friends, married Adelhida, daughter of the Marquis Palleotti of Bologna, who is said on the mother's side to have claimed descent from Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester. She is stated to have abjured the faith of Rome before her marriage (Correspondence, p. 657). A cloud rests on her antecedents, possibly due to a prejudice from which she never contrived to escape; for she was certainly ignorant and flighty, and, according to insular notions, ill-bred, although Dartmouth may have gone too far in describing her as ‘the constant plague of’ her husband's ‘life, and the real cause of his death’ (note to Burnet, v. 453). In the latter half of Queen Anne's reign she played a conspicuous part in English society, provoking, however, much ridicule by a simplicity which seems to have been not wholly unassumed (see Wentworth Papers, pp. 213, 263), and some scandal by her Italian method of proclaiming her preferences (ib. p. 283). But her most signal social triumph dates from the beginning of the reign of George I, with whom she found so much favour that the town ill-naturedly said ‘she rivalled Madame Killmansack’ (ib. p. 439). To this period belongs the unflattering portrait of her in Lady Mary Wortley-Montagu's ‘Town Eclogue’ of ‘Roxana, or the Drawing Room’ (1715) (Letters and Works, ed. Wharncliffe, ii. 434):

    So sunk her character, so lost her fame;
    Scarce visited before your highness came.

After the marriage Shrewsbury travelled from Augsburg to Frankfort, where he had an interview with Marlborough; but notwithstanding the hopes of the latter, Shrewsbury declined to bind himself either before or after his return to England, which took place in January 1707. His proxy, however, was in Marlborough's hands (Correspondence, p. 660); and he was not disinclined in 1708 to accept the lord-lieutenancy of Ireland. Unfortunately the evidence of the family papers fails us from this period onwards; and in lieu of it little remains beyond Cowper's account of a statement made to him by Harley (Coxe, Memoirs of the Duke of Marlborough, ch. lxxxix.). According to this, Marlborough asked and obtained the assistance of Shrewsbury's influence with Queen Anne against the overbearing whig junta; and when a reconciliation was effected between them and Marlborough, Shrewsbury, who had entered into an understanding with Harley and St. John, adhered to it. The probability seems to be that, after seeking to ingratiate himself with both factions (Wentworth Papers, p. 117), Shrewsbury, as usual timorous and sagacious at the same time, had been gradually gained over by the wiles of Harley, and became more and more estranged from the whigs while still remaining on friendly terms with Marlborough and Godolphin (cf. Burnet, v. 452). Thus he was really instrumental in bringing about the great political change of 1710. His vote in favour of Dr. Sacheverell (March) showed that he had at last definitively chosen his side, and shortly afterwards (April) the queen, without consulting Marlborough and Godolphin, took the lord chamberlain's staff from the Marquis of Kent and bestowed it upon Shrewsbury (Wyon, Reign of Queen Anne, ii. 189–90; cf. Michael, Englische Geschichte, 1896, p. 253; see also Wentworth Papers, p. 136, as to Rochester's prediction of the speedy collapse of the intriguers Harley and Shrewsbury). Soon afterwards (January 1711) the Duchess of Shrewsbury was appointed a lady of the bedchamber.

Shrewsbury now entered fully into the plans of the tory ministry, and was one of the persons commissioned by the queen (August 1711) to enter into the preliminary negotiations with Ménager with a view to the conclusion of peace with France. In these transactions he showed his usual vacillation (Wyon, ii. 318, citing Torcy's Mémoires), and it is curious to find that he had already taken steps to place himself on a friendly footing with the elector of Hanover (Macpherson, Original Papers, ii. 194–5). The queen's refusal to allow him, after the debate on the address in December 1711, to conduct her from the House of Lords to her coach was thought to indicate that he and his new tory friends had again fallen in the royal favour (Wyon, ii. 342, from Swift's Journal to Stella); but the alarm proved unfounded. Shrewsbury was expected to be named lord-lieutenant of Ireland (Wentworth Papers, p. 243), but in November 1712 he was prevailed upon to accept the embassy to France with a view to accelerating the conclusion of peace. He was very courteously received by Louis XIV, who paid him the unusual compliment of providing him with a furnished mansion at Paris, the Hôtel de Soissons, and the duchess was much liked in France (ib. pp. 308, 321). But he declined taking part in the Utrecht negotiations, and it seems to have been a prescient desire on his part for more satisfactory terms as to commercial relations than were actually obtained from France which led to a coolness that ended in his recall (June 1713; for Bolingbroke's very definite instructions to Shrewsbury as to terms of peace, see Stanhope's Reign of Queen Anne, p. 542). In September 1713 he was appointed to the lord-lieutenancy of Ireland, towards which he had for some time been believed to incline (Wentworth Papers, pp. 282, 284), though in the opinion of Argyll such an appointment was a slight to Shrewsbury, ‘the only man whose word is to be relyed on’ (ib. p. 355). At Dublin faction was at its height, the Roman catholics siding with the tories, and the protestant dissenters with the whigs; a succession of tumults had taken place, in the midst of which it had been necessary to summon parliament in order to obtain supplies. Shrewsbury disappointed the expectations of the tories and catholics by celebrating the anniversary of the birth of William III with unusual magnificence (it was in connection with his toast on this occasion that the bishop of Cork pronounced drinking to the dead to be a wicked custom savouring of popery). He afterwards exerted himself in the direction of conciliation, and dissolved parliament after obtaining the required supplies (Wyon, ii. 473–5).

In June Shrewsbury was in London, in personal attendance on the queen and voting against the schism bill (Wentworth Papers, pp. 387–8). Various rumours ran as to the part played by him in the conflict between Oxford and Bolingbroke; the circumstances under which on July 30, two days before the queen's death, she placed the treasurer's staff in the hands of Shrewsbury, who had been recommended for the office at a meeting of the council in which Argyll and Somerset had taken part, are detailed elsewhere [see Anne, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland]. His courageous acceptance of the responsibility thrust upon him on so supremely critical an occasion made him for the moment the foremost man in the realm; and, as one of the lords justices appointed in accordance with the provisions of the Regency Act, he had a prominent share in the proceedings by which the accession of George I was duly accomplished. He showed, however, no desire to occupy a prominent position in the first administration of the new king, which was formed with a rapidity said not to have been to Shrewsbury's taste. On 26 Sept. he accepted the office of groom of the stole and keeper of the privy purse to the king, and on 17 Oct., having previously resigned the lord-lieutenancy of Ireland and the lord-treasurership, which he had continued simultaneously to hold, he accepted the lord-chamberlainship. The duchess, who, as has been stated above, enjoyed exceptional favour at the court of King George, was gratified by being made a lady of the bedchamber to the Princess of Wales.

Shrewsbury was not included in the cabinet council, and in truth he would have been out of place there among the whigs from whom he had become estranged, however true a friend he had proved himself to the protestant succession. In the debates on the address (April 1715) he was one of those who objected to the allusion to the damage inflicted upon the reputation of Great Britain by the action of the late ministry; but when the news arrived of the outbreak of the rebellion of 1715 (August) his voice was raised most loyally in support of the dynasty (Michael, i. 468, 508). Shortly before this (July) he had resigned his office as lord chamberlain. His health seems gradually to have broken down; and when the asthma, to which he had become subject, was complicated by a fever, he succumbed. He died on 1 Feb. 1717–18 at his seat, Isleworth in Middlesex. Shortly before his death he had declared himself before his household a member of the church of England, and had received the sacrament according to her rites (Collins). He left no issue, and on his death the dukedom became extinct, and the earldom passed to his first cousin, Gilbert Talbot, thirteenth earl of Shrewsbury (1670–1743). His widow died 29 June 1726.

In the career and character of Shrewsbury much that may at first sight seem paradoxical admits of easy explanation. Of a magnanimous disposition and a generous temper, he on more than one important occasion in his career, which also happened to be a decisive moment in the political affairs of the nation, acted on the impulses within him, thereby contributing very directly to great and beneficial results. Thus, when the grand style in which he bore himself and the rare charm of his manner are taken into account, it is not surprising that he should have become, in Swift's phrase, ‘the favourite of the nation.’ On the other hand, a want of moral stability and a tendency to brooding combined with weak health to make him repent at leisure, and to spend much of his life in torturing himself about the consequences of what he had done. He was never able wholly to identify himself with the whigs, while his junction with the tories ended in bringing them disaster. He was one of the chief movers in the revolution, and proved staunch in the moment of trial to the cause of the protestant succession; but, as in the earlier part of his career, there cannot be any reasonable doubt that he endeavoured by his intrigues with St. Germains to secure himself a retreat in case of emergency.

As to the personal attractions of Shrewsbury there is a general consensus of testimony. William III called him ‘the king of hearts,’ and, according to Burnet, was fonder of him than of any other of his ministers. Swift speaks of him as the ‘finest gentleman we have;’ and it seems certain that his accomplishments and intelligence were in harmony with the graceful courtesy of his bearing and the beauty of his person. This last was, however, marred by a blemish in one eye, which Lady Sunderland described as ‘offensive to look upon’ (Sidney, Diary, i. 239), and which is mentioned by other contemporaries. His picture was painted by both Lely and Kneller; the former is at the Charterhouse.

[For Shrewsbury's career from the revolution to the close of the century the chief authority is the Private and Original Correspondence of Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury, with King William, leaders of the Whig Party, &c., by Archdeacon Coxe, 1821 (it is here cited as ‘Correspondence’). This collection includes a few of the letters addressed to Shrewsbury by James Vernon, secretary of state, and published under the title of ‘Letters illustrative of the Reign of William III,’ from 1696 to 1708, by the late G. P. R. James, 3 vols. 1841. An anonymous Life of Charles, Duke of Shrewsbury, was published in 1718, on which Collins appears to have largely founded his biographical sketch in vol. iii. of the Peerage of England (5th edit. 1779). See also Doyle's Official Baronage, vol. iii. and G. E. C[okayne]'s Complete Peerage.]

A. W. W.