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SHREWSBURY, COUNTESS OF—SHREWSBURY, 1ST EARL OF

the queen died on the 1st of August Shrewsbury was thus in a position of supreme power with reference to the momentous question of the succession to the crown. He threw his influence into the scale in favour of the elector of Hanover, and was powerfully influential in bringing about the peaceful accession of George I., and in defeating the design of the Jacobites to place the son of James II. on the throne. His disinclination for the highest political offices remained, however, as great as before; and having resigned the lord-treasurership and the lord-lieutenancy of Ireland, he was appointed lord chamberlain. This place he resigned in July 1715, and he died on the 1st of February 1718.

The duke of Shrewsbury was one of the greatest noblemen of the reign of Queen Anne. Strikingly handsome in person, his demeanour was dignified and his manners full of grace and courtesy. Swift described him as “the finest gentleman we have,” and as “the favourite of the nation,” while William III. spoke of him as “the king of hearts.” Like most of his contemporaries he endeavoured to keep himself in favour both with the exiled house of Stuart and with the reigning sovereign in England; but at the two critical junctures of 1688 and 1714 he acted decisively in favour of the Protestant succession. At other times he appeared weak and vacillating, and he never whole-heatedly supported either whigs or tories, though he co-operated with each in turn. His magnanimous disposition saved him from the vindictiveness of the party politician of the period; and the weak health from which he suffered through life probably combined with a congenital lack of ambition to prevent his grasping the power which his personality and talents might have placed in his hands.

In 1705 Shrewsbury married Adelaide, daughter of the Marquis Paleotti of Bologna. This lady, who is said to have had “ a great many engaging qualities ” besides many accomplishments, was the subject of much malicious gossip. She was the widow, or as some declared, the mistress of a Count Brachiano; and Lady Cowper reported that the lady's brother had forced Shrewsbury to marry her “after an intrigue together.” After Shrewsbury's return to England the duchess became conspicuous in London society, where the caustic wit of Lady Mary Wortley-Montagu was exercised at her expense. On the accession of George I. the duchess of Shrewsbury became a lady of the bedchamber to the princess of Wales, a position which she retained till her death on the 29th of June 1726. Shrewsbury left no children, and at his death the dukedom became extinct, the earldom of Shrewsbury passing to his cousin Gilbert Talbot (see Talbot).

See Correspondence of Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury, with King William, the Leaders of the Whig Party, &c., edited by W. Coxe (London, 1821); Gilbert Burnet, History of his own Time (6 vols., 2l1d ed., Oxford, 18 3); F. W. Wyon, History of Great Britain during the Reign of Anne (2 vols., London, 1876); Earl Stanhope, History of England comprising the Reign of Anne until the Peace of Utrecht (London, 1870), and History of England from the Peace of Utrecht, vol. i. (7 vols., London, 1836–1854); The Wentworth Papers, edited by J. J. Cartwright (London, 1383); W. E. H. Lecky, History of England in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i. (new edition, 7 vols., London, 1892); and G. E. C., Complete Peerage, vol. vii. (London, 1896).  (R. J. M.) 

SHREWSBURY, ELIZABETH TALBOT, Countess of (1518–1608), better known by her nickname “Bess of Hardwick,” was the daughter and co-heiress of John Hardwicke of Hardwicke in Derbyshire. At the age of fourteen she was married to a John Barlow, the owner of a large estate, who did not long survive the marriage, and as his estates had been settled on her and her heirs, she became a wealthy widow. She remained single till the 2oth of August 1549, when she married Sir William Cavendish, who, to please her, sold his lands in the south of England and purchased the Chatsworth estates in Derbyshire. Six children were born of the marriage, three sons and three daughters. One of the sons was the founder of the ducal family of Devonshire, and another of the ducal family of Newcastle. Sir William Cavendish having died on the 25th of October 1 557, her third husband was Sir William St Lo (or St Loe or St Lowe), captain of the guard to Queen Elizabeth and owner of an estate at Tormarton in Gloucestershire. She insisted that his lands should be settled on her and her heirs, and when Sir William died without issue, she made good her claim to all his property to the detriment of his sister and cousins. Bess of Hardwick was now the wealthiest subject in England. Her income was calculated to amount to, {60,000, which was relatively a far more important sum then than it is to-day. She still retained much of her good looks; her charms and her wealth outweighed her reputation for rapacity, and she was much sought in marriage. With the approval of Queen Elizabeth, who was not by habit a matchmaker, she was married in 1568 for the fourth time to George Talbot, 6th earl of Shrewsbury. Bess made her usual good bargain as to settlements, and also insisted on arranging marriages between two of her children by Sir William Cavendish and two of the earl's by a former marriage. In 1 574 the countess took advantage of a visit of the countess of Lennox to marry her daughter Elizabeth to Charles Stuart, the younger son of the Lennoxes and brother of Lord Darnley, the second husband of the queen of Scots. She acted without the knowledge 'of her husband, who declined to accept any responsibility. As the Lennox family had a claim to the throne this match was considered as a proof of the ambition of the countess of Shrewsbury, and she was sent to the Tower by the queen, but was soon released. The child of the marriage was Arabella Stuart, whom her grandmother treated at first with favour but later on with cruelty and neglect.,

By this time the earl of Shrewsbury and his wife were on very bad terms with one another, and the former tried to obtain a divorce. The countess revenged herself by accusing him of a love intrigue with the queen of Scots, a charge which she was forced to letract before the council. In the meantime she had told some filthy scandal about Queen Elizabeth to Queen Mary, who made use of it in the extraordinary letter she wrote some time in 1584. In 1583 the countess of Shrewsbury went to live apart from her husband, with whom she was afterwards reconciled formally by the queen. After his death in 1590 she lived mostly at Hardwicke, where she built the noble mansion which still stands. She was indeed one of the greatest builders of her time at Hardwicke, Chatsworth and Oldcoates. It is said that she believed she would not die so long as she was building. Her death came on the 13th of February 1608 during a frost which put a stop to her building operations. She was buried in All Saints' Church, Derby, under a fine monument with a laudatory inscription which she took care to put up in her lifetime. Two portraits of her exist at Hardwicke, one taken in her youth, while the second, by Cornelius Ianssen, engraved by Vertue, represents her as an old woman. She had no children except by her second husband, and to them she left the vast estates she accumulated by her successive marriages. See White Kennett, Memoirs of the Cavendish Family (London, 1708); and Mrs Murray Smith (Miss E. T. Bradley), Life of Arabella ZS'tuar§ (London, 1889); Mrs Stepney Rawson, Bess of Hardwicke 1910 .


SHREWSBURY, JOHN TALBOT, 1st Earl of (d. 1453), was second son of Richard, 5th baron Talbot, by Ankaret, heiress of the last Lord Strange of Blackmere. He was married before 1404 to Maud Neville, heiress of the barons Furnivall, and in her right summoned to parliament from 1409. In 1421 by the death of his niece he acquired the baronies of Talbot and Strange. From 1404 to 1413 he served with his elder brother Gilbert in the Welsh war. Then for five years from February 1414 he was lieutenant of Ireland, where he held the honour of Wexford. He did some fighting, and had a sharp quarrel with the earl of Ormonde. Complaints were made against him both for harsh government in Ireland and for violence in Herefordshire. From 142O to 1424 he served in France. In 1425 he was again for a short time lieutenant in Ireland. So far his career was that of a turbulent lord of the Marches, employed in posts where a rough hand was useful. In 1427 he went again to France, where he fought with distinction in Maine and at the siege of Orleans; but his exploits were those of a good fighter rather than of general, and it was his stubborn rashness that was chiefly to