Talman, William (DNB00)

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TALMAN, WILLIAM (fl. 1670–1700), architect, was born at West Lavington in Wiltshire, where he owned some property. He attained considerable repute as an architect and surveyor, and was employed on several important buildings, notably Thoresby House, Nottinghamshire, commenced in 1671 for the Duke of Kingston; Dynham House, Gloucestershire, commenced in 1698 for William Blathwayt [q. v.]; Swallowfield in Berkshire, for Henry, earl of Clarendon; and Chatsworth, in Derbyshire, for the Duke of Devonshire. The last-named was commenced under Talman's directions on 12 April 1687, and was completed in 1706. Talman was appointed comptroller of the works to William III, and in that capacity was responsible for the carrying out of the extensive additions and alterations to Hampton Court Palace, begun in 1690 from the designs of Sir Christopher Wren [q. v.], with whose opinion Talman appears to have frequently disagreed. A portrait of Talman was engraved for Walpole's ‘Anecdotes of Painting’ (edit. 1798). A ‘Talman Collection’ was sold in 1766 in Covent Garden, and deposited in Eton College Library (Gwynn, London Improved, 1766, p. 63; Riou, The Grecian Orders, 1768, p. 57). A folio volume of Talman's drawings is preserved at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

John Talman (d. 1726), amateur artist, son of the above, was distinguished as a draughtsman and antiquary. He spent a great deal of his life in Italy, where he made a number of valuable and interesting drawings of antiquities. He travelled about with Giuseppe Grisoni [q. v.], who came to England with him in 1715. When the Society of Antiquaries was first constituted in its present form, Talman was elected director of the society at the first election of officers in January 1717–18, and in that capacity made some of the earliest communications to the society. Talman, who was possessed of an independent fortune, died in 1726, and was succeeded as director of the Antiquaries by Sir Charles Frederick. He appears to have possessed a residence at Hinkworth, near Baldock, Hertfordshire. His effects were sold by auction on 19 April 1727, when several prints and drawings were purchased by the Society of Antiquaries, to which he had already presented a considerable number. Others are in the print-room at the British Museum and other collections.

[Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, ed. Wornum; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. vi. 147–60; Law's History of Hampton Court Palace, vol. iii.; Blomfield's Hist. of Renaissance Architecture in England; Archæologia, vol. i., introduction; Minutes of the Meetings of the Society of Antiquaries.]

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