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SHREWSBURY, EARLS OF—SHREWSBURY, DUKE OF

young may be found in the nests; they are naked, blind and toothless at birth, but soon run about snapping at everything within reach.

The alpine shrew (S. alpinus), restricted to the alpine region of Central Europe, is slightly longer than the common shrew and differs in its longer tail, which exceeds the length of the head and body, in the colour of the fur, which is dark on both surfaces, and in the large size of the upper ante penultimate premolar. The water-shrew (Neomys fodiens), the third species inhabiting England, differs from the common shrew in being larger with a shorter and broader muzzle, smaller eyes and larger feet adapted for swimming-the sides of the feet and toes being provided with comb-like fringes of stiff hairs. The tail is longer than the body, and has a fringe of moderately long regularly ranged hairs, which extend along the middle of the under surface from the end of the basal third to the extremity. The fur is long and dense, varying in colour in different individuals; the prevailing shades are dark, almost black, brown above, beneath more or less bright ashy tinged with yellowish; but occasionally we find individuals with the under surface dark-coloured. In the number and shape of the teeth the water-shrew differs from the common shrew: there is a premolar less on each side above; the bases of the teeth are more prolonged posteriorly; and their cusps are less stained brown, so that in old individuals they often appear white. This species is aquatic in habits, swimming and diving with agility. It frequents rivers and lakes, making burrows in the banks, from which when disturbed it escapes into the water. Its food consists of water insects and their larvae, small crustaceans and probably the fry of small fishes. It is generally distributed throughout England, is less common in Scotland and not recorded in Ireland.

The geographical range of the common shrew is wide, extending eastwards through Europe and Asia to Amurland. The lesser shrew extends through Europe and Asia to Sakhalin Island; and specimens of the water-shrew have been brought from different parts of Europe and Asia as far east as the Altai. In Siberia the common shrew is abundant in the snow-clad wastes about the Olenek river within the arctic circle. Other species of red-toothed shrews are restricted chiefly to North America, where they are found in greater variety than in the Old World, though Neomys is not represented. Its place is taken by Sorex palustris east of the Rocky Mountains, and S. hydrodromus in Unalaska Island, which, like the water-shrew, have fringes of hair on the feet, but the infringed tail and dentition of the common shrew. Of the American forms S. bendiri is the largest. Other red-toothed shrews belonging to the genus Blaring, distinguished from Sorex by the dentition and the shortness of the tail, are common in North America. All red-toothed shrews (except the aquatic forms) closely resemble one another in habits, but the short-tailed North American shrew supplements its insectivorous fare by feeding on beech nuts. In destroying numbers of slugs, insects and larvae, shrews aid the farmer and merit protection. Although their odour renders them safe from rapacious animals, they are destroyed in numbers by owls.  (G. E. D.) 


SHREWSBURY, EARLS OF. The earldom of Shrewsbury, one of the most ancient in the English peerage, dates from the time of William the Conqueror. Roger de Montgomery (c. 1030–1094), son of another Roger de Montgomery, known as “the Great,” was a councillor of William, duke of Normandy, before his invasion of England, and was probably entrusted by William with the government of Normandy during the expedition of 1066. Roger carne to England in the following year and received extensive grants of land in different parts of the kingdom. Obtaining thus a large territory in Sussex, including the city of Chichester and the castle of Arundel, he became earl of Arundel, or probably and more correctly earl of Sussex. In 1071 the greater part of the county of Shropshire was granted to him, carrying with it the title of earl of Shropshire, though, from his principal residence at the castle of Shrewsbury, he like his successors was generally styled earl of Shrewsbury. He probably exercised palatine authority. He was the founder of Shrewsbury Abbey in 1083. His first wife was Mabel, daughter of the seigneur of Belesme and Alengon; hence his son Robert, who, after the death of another son, Hugh, succeeded to the earldoms of Shrewsbury and Arundel, was generally known as Robert de Belesme (q.v.), one of the most celebrated of the feudal nobles in the time of Henry I. Robert having been deprived of all his English estates and honours in 1102, the earldom of Shrewsbury was next conferred in 1442 on John, 5th baron Talbot, whose descendants have borne the title to the present day. (See Talbot; and Shrewsbury, 1st Earl of, below.)


SHREWSBURY, CHARLES TALBOT, Duke of (1660–1718), only son by his second wife of Francis Talbot, 11th earl of Shrewsbury, was born on the 24th of July 1660. His mother was a daughter of Robert Brudenell, 2nd earl of Cardigan, and the notorious mistress of the 2nd duke of Buckingham, by whom his father was killed in a duel in 1668. Charles was a godson of King Charles II., after whom he was named, and he was brought up as a Roman Catholic, but in 1679 under the influence of Tillotson he became a member of the Church of England. On his father's death in 1668 he succeeded to the earldom of Shrewsbury; he received an appointment in the household of Charles II., and served in the army under James II. But in 1687 he was in correspondence with the Prince of Orange, and he was one of the seven signatories of the letter of invitation to William in the following year. He contributed towards defraying the expenses of the projected invasion, and having crossed to Holland to join William, he landed with him in England in November 1688. Shrewsbury became a secretary of state in the first administration of William and Mary, but he resigned office in 1690 when the tories gained the upper hand in parliament. While in opposition he brought forward the triennial bill, to which the king refused assent. In 1694 he again became secretary of state; but there is some evidence that as early as 1690, when he resigned, he had gone over to the Jacobites and was in correspondence with James at St Germains, though it has been stated on the other hand that these relations were entered upon with William's connivance for reasons of policy. However this may be, William appears to have had no suspicion of Shrewsbury's loyalty, for on the 30th of April 1694 the latter was created marquess of Alton and duke of, Shrewsbury, and he acted as one of the regents during the king's absence from England in the two following years. In 1696 definite accusations of treason were brought against him by Sir John Fenwick, which William himself communicated to Shrewsbury and about this time the secretary of state took but a small part in public business, again professing his anxiety to resign. His plea of ill-health was a genuine one, and in 1700 the king reluctantly consented to his retirement into private life.

For the next seven years Shrewsbury lived abroad, chiefly at Rome, whence in 1701 he wrote a celebrated letter to Lord Somers expressing his abhorrence of public life and declaring that if he had a son he “would sooner bind him to a cobbler than a courtier, and a hangman than a statesman.” On the accession of Queen Anne the Whig leaders made an ineffectual attempt to persuade Shrewsbury to return to office. When, however, at last he did return to England in 1707 he gradually became alienated from his old political associates, and in 1710 he accepted the post of lord chamberlain in the tory administration to which the queen appointed him without the knowledge of Godolphin and Marlborough, while his wife was at the same time made a lady of the bedchamber. After a diplomatic mission to France for the purpose of negotiating preliminaries of peace, Shrewsbury became lord lieutenant of Ireland in 1713; but he was in London in July 1714 during the memorable crisis occasioned by the impending death of Queen Anne. On the 27th of July, when the queen was dying, the earl of Oxford received his long-delayed dismissal from the office of lord treasurer. On the 30th Shrewsbury and other ministers assembled at Kensington Palace, and being admitted to the queen's bedchamber Bolingbroke recommended the appointment of Shrewsbury to the vacant treasurership; Anne at once placed the staff of that high ollice in the duke'S hands. When