Talbot, Robert (DNB00)

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TALBOT, ROBERT (1505?–1558), antiquary, born about 1505 at Thorpe Malsover, Northamptonshire, was son of John Talbot of that place. In 1517, at the age of twelve, he was admitted scholar at Winchester school (Kirby, p. 108), whence on 29 Sept. 1521 he was elected to a fellowship at New College, Oxford. He graduated B.A. on 17 July 1525 and M.A. on 10 Dec. 1529 (Oxford Univ. Reg. i. 140). He was one of the early reformers at Oxford, and got into trouble on that account. Afterwards he renounced protestant opinions, and was apparently made tutor to Lord-chancellor Wriothesley's children (Narr. of the Reformation, Camd. Soc. pp. 32–4). In 1539 he was presented to the rectory of Lackingdon with the chapel of ‘Laulingham,’ Essex (Lansd. MS. 980, f. 249). In 1540 he sat in convocation, and on 9 July signed the judgment pronounced by the convocations of both provinces on the nullity of Henry VIII's marriage with Anne of Cleves. On 23 June 1541 he was admitted to the prebend of Wedmore in Wells Cathedral, and from 1542 to 1546 he was vicar of Westwell, Kent. In the latter year he was instituted to the rectory of Thorpe Malsover, Northamptonshire. On 9 April 1547 Talbot was collated to the second stall in Norwich Cathedral, of which he also became treasurer. In 1554 he became rector of Burlingham St. Peter, Norfolk, and in 1555 rector of Haversham, Berkshire. He died in August or September 1558, and was buried in Norwich Cathedral. By his will, dated 20 Aug. 1558, he left his choicest manuscripts to New College, Oxford.

Talbot was an industrious antiquary; Leland was his intimate friend, and addressed verses to him (Leland, Encomia, 1589, p. 75). Camden calls him ‘a learned antiquary’ (Britannia, edit. 1789, ii. 72), and William Lambarde describes him as ‘a diligent trauayler in the Englishe hystorye’ (Perambulation of Kent, 1576, p. 353). Similar praise came from Dr. John Caius, Abraham Ortelius, and Bale. Talbot's only published work is his ‘Annotationes in eam partem Antonini itinerarii quæ ad Britanniam pertinet,’ which was printed in vol. iii. of Hearne's edition of Leland's ‘Itinerary,’ 1710–12. Manuscript copies are in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS. ci. art. 16, and in Cottonian MS. Vitellius D. vii.; a third, with additions by Dr. John Caius, is among the manuscripts of Caius College, Cambridge. William Burton (1609–1657) [q. v.] made extensive use of Talbot's work in his ‘Comment on Antoninus his Itinerary,’ 1658, fol. Talbot's other works are ‘Aurum ex stercore, versibus constans præcipue monasticis, moralibus, jocosis, medicis …’ extant in Corpus Christi College, Oxford, MS. cclviii. art. 8; and a miscellaneous collection of transcripts in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS. ccclxxix. An extract from his book of medical receipts, probably the ‘Aurum ex Stercore,’ is in Rawlinson MS. c. 816, f. 763.

[Authorities cited; Nasmith's Cat. MSS. C. C. C. Cambr. pp. 16, 372; Coxe's Cat. MSS. in Coll. Aulisque Oxon.; Cat. Rawlinson MSS. in the Bodleian Library; Bridges's Northamptonshire, ed. Whalley, ii. 79; Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, ed. Gairdner; Bale's Scriptores; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib.; Strype's Parker, ii. 499; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 263, and Fasti, i. 69; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl.; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714.]

A. F. P.