Talbot, William (d.1633) (DNB00)

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TALBOT, Sir WILLIAM (d. 1633), first baronet, Irish politician, was son of Robert Talbot of Carton, co. Kildare, and grandson of Sir Thomas Talbot of Malahide, co. Dublin. He was educated for the law, and subsequently attained to a leading position as a lawyer in Dublin. About 1603 he was appointed recorder of Dublin, but, being a staunch Roman catholic, he was soon afterwards removed for recusancy. On 13 April 1613 he was returned to the Irish parliament for co. Kildare, and he at once became the 'legal oracle of the catholic party in the Irish House of Commons' (Gardiner)). (Sir) Thomas Ryves [q. v.] complained to the home government that Talbot had abetted the return to parliament for Dublin 'of two of the most Spanish and seditious schismatiques in all the city' (Cal. State Papers, Ireland, 1611-14, p. 350). During the disorderly scenes which marked the election of a speaker in the Irish House of Commons [see Davies, Sir John; O'Brien, Barnabas; St. John, Oliver, 1559-1630], Talbot urged that the house should first purge itself of such members as had been elected by illegal means. On 30 May he was appointed by the house one of the deputies to represent to James I the corrupt practices employed in the elections to secure a protestant majority, and the arbitrary treatment of the Anglo-Irish catholics. He crossed to England in July, and was examined by the privy council on his conduct in the Irish House of Commons. During the discussion of this question Archbishop Abbot demanded Talbot's opinion on a book (probably the 'Defensio Fidei Catholicae') in which the Jesuit Suarez openly maintained the right of catholics to kill an heretical king. Talbot hesitated to express abhorrence of this doctrine, but was ready to acknowledge James I as lawful king. The council was not satisfied, and on 17 July Talbot was committed to the Tower. On 13 Nov. following the Star-chamber sentenced him to a fine of 10,000l. Early in the following year, however, Talbot was allowed to return to Ireland, and probably the fine was remitted. James I, on releasing him, disclaimed any intention of forcing the Irish catholics to change their religion (Cal. State Papers, Ireland, 1611-14, p. 542). From this time Talbot became a supporter of the government, but took little part in politics. On 4 Feb. 1621-2 he was created a baronet, and he subsequently received various grants of land (Morrin, Cal. Pat. Rolls, Charles I, pp. 346, 438). He died on 16 March 1632-3.

By his wife Alison, daughter of John Netterville of Castleton, co. Meath, Talbot had issue eight sons and eight daughters. The eldest son, Robert, succeeded as second baronet, and from his daughter Frances, who married Richard Talbot of Malahide, descended the barons Talbot of Malahide. The second son was Peter Talbot [q. v.], Roman catholic archbishop of Dublin, and the eighth was Richard Talbot, duke of Tyrconnel [q. v.]

[Cal. State Papers, Ireland, passim; Cal. Carew MSS. 1603-24, p. 274; Cal. Rot. Pat. Hiberniae (Record publ.); Coxe's Hibernia Anglicana, 1689, ii. 22-3; Carte's Life of Ormonde, i. 39; Spedding's Bacon, v. 5; Desiderata Curiosa Hib. i. 197, 201, 232, 321; Off. Ret. Members of Parl. ii. 618; Gardiner's Hist, of England, ii. 290, 294-5; Burke's Peerage, s.v. 'Talbot de Malahide,' and Extinct Peerage, s.v. 'Tyrconnell.']

A. F. P.