TALBOT, Sir Gilbert (by 1479-1542), of Grafton, Worcs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1479, 1st s. of Sir Gilbert Talbot of Grafton by Elizabeth, da. of Ralph, 5th Lord Greystoke, wid. of Thomas, 5th Lord Scrope of Masham. m. (1) by 1505, Anne, da. and coh. of William Paston of Norwich, Norf. and London by Anne, da. of Edmund Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset, 3da.; (2) Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Hungerford of Down Ampney, Glos., wid. of Roger Winter (d.1534) of Huddington, Worcs.; 2s. 2da. illegit. Kntd. 14 Oct. 1513; suc. fa. 16 Aug. 1517.2

Offices Held

J.p. Worcs. 1506-d.; commr. subsidy 1512, 1514, 1515, 1524, benevolence, Salop 1529, musters Worcs. 1539; other commissions 1530-39; knight of the body by 1533; sheriff, Worcs. 1539-40.3


The elder Sir Gilbert Talbot, a younger son of the 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury who during the minority of his nephew wielded the power of the earldom, had joined Henry Tudor before Bosworth and commanded the right wing in the battle. The Worcestershire manors of Grafton and Upton Warren, forfeited by Humphrey Stafford and granted to Talbot in tail male in July 1486, formed part of his reward; the grant was confirmed to his son by an Act of 1542 (33 Hen. VIII, c.41). In 1507 he was appointed lieutenant of Calais and his son evidently served under him, joining with him in several recognizances made to the King. At a time when the father was very ill his son commanded a force of 100 men in the campaign of 1513 under his cousin Shrewsbury, and was knighted at Lille. In the following year Talbot sued out a pardon, perhaps as a precaution against any proceedings that might be brought against him in connexion with an act of piracy committed in 1513 by a man using his name. When his father died in August 1517 he inherited a widespread estate which included, besides the principal lands in Shropshire and Worcestershire, the manor of Burghfield in Berkshire, property in Nayland, Suffolk, and a house with 117 acres in Calais, which he was to visit again in 1520 in attendance upon the King. His marriage had already brought him lands in Norfolk.4

As a great landowner in Worcestershire, with extensive interests elsewhere and a claim on the King’s favour, Talbot may well have begun his parliamentary career before his return on 12 Aug. 1529 as knight of the shire with John Russell I. Nothing is known of his part in the proceedings of the House but between the seventh and eighth sessions he and Russell brought an action in the Exchequer against Sir Edward Ferrers, sheriff of Worcestershire, for withholding payment of their combined wages of £160 for 400 days’ service, claiming damages of £40. A writ de expensis had been obtained on 2 Apr. 1534, three days after the end of the sixth session, and had been promptly delivered to Ferrers who executed it on the following 20 Aug. The wages claimed were evidently for the 365 days of the Parliament to date, with an allowance of 35 days for 12 journeys to and from Parliament. The outcome of the case is unknown. The two were presumably returned again in 1536, in accordance with the King’s general request for the re-election of the previous Members, but three years later Russell moved into the senior place and the junior one was taken by John Pakington, a distinguished lawyer whom Cromwell may have wished to see in the House. There is no reason to suppose that Talbot was out of favour: he had continued to render service, dealing firmly with the loose-tongued vicar of Crowle in September 1536, shortly afterwards being summoned to attend upon the King with 100 men for the suppression of the northern rebellion, and fulfilling his only term as sheriff during the lifetime of the Parliament of 1539 itself. It is not impossible that he had a hand in Pakington’s election, as it was about this time that his grandson John Lyttelton married Pakington’s daughter.5

Talbot was again senior knight in the Parliament of 1542, when he doubtless sponsored the private Act confirming his possession of his father’s manors, but he died on 22 Oct. 1542, between the first and second sessions, and was replaced by Thomas Russell, the son of his former colleague. He had made his will three days before his death. He asked to be buried, as his father had been, at Whitchurch, Shropshire, beneath a marble tomb, and his provision for a chantry there is the only indication that he shared the religious sympathies of his father, ‘a friend to churchmen and religious’, and his half-brother, who was to found a family of recusants. Two of Talbot’s daughters by his first wife, and the third daughter’s eldest son, John Lyttelton, were later found to be his heirs, but he also provided for four other children, two sons and two daughters, who must have been illegitimate although not so described in the will: Eleanor, one of the daughters, was married to Geoffrey Dudley, a younger brother of John, 3rd Lord Dudley. Her brother Humphrey was appointed executor, with Talbot’s half-brother Sir John, who was left a London lease and upon whom Burghfield, Grafton and Upton Warren had earlier been settled; the supervisor was the bishop of Worcester.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/39/96. Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xxvii), 133-4, 148, 272; Vis. Yorks. (Harl. Soc. xvi), 310; Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. xxxii), 216; PCC 22 Spert; C1/1079/6-7, 142/65/13. The identity of Talbot’s mother has been questioned, D. Biddle, A Gen. Puzzle; CP, xi. 569 has been followed here.
  • 3. CPR, 1494-1509, p. 666; LP Hen. VIII, i-v, xii-xiv; Statutes, iii. 86, 112, 173.
  • 4. CPR, 1485-94, p. 111; CCR, 1500-9, p. 361; LP Hen. VIII, i, ii, iv, xvii; VCH Berks. iii. 401; Copinger, Suff. Manors, iv. 202; Chron. Calais (Cam. Soc. xxxv), 21, 23; Blomefield, Norf. v. 20; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. lx. 278-80.
  • 5. E13/214/11; LP Hen. VIII, xi, xii; Merriman, Letters Thos. Cromwell, ii. 30-31.
  • 6. C142/65/13; PCC 22 Spert, abstracted Test. Vet. ed. Nicolas, 695; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 4), xi. 27; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. v(2), 107n; HMC Var. ii. 309.