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Talbot, Charles Chetwynd (DNB00)

TALBOT, Sir CHARLES CHETWYND, second Earl Talbot of Hensol (1777–1849), born on 25 April 1777, was the elder son of John Chetwynd Talbot, first earl (1750–1793), by his wife Charlotte (d. 1804), daughter of Wills Hill, first marquis of Downshire [q. v.] Charles Talbot [q. v.], lord chancellor, was his great-grandfather. Charles succeeded to the peerage on the death of his father on 19 May 1793. He matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford, on 11 Oct. 1794, and was created M.A. on 28 June 1797. After leaving Oxford he joined Lord Whitworth's embassy in Russia as a voluntary attaché, and formed a lasting friendship with his chief. Returning to England about 1800, he devoted himself to the improvement of his estates and to the general promotion of agriculture in England. In 1803 he took an active part in organising a volunteer force in Staffordshire to oppose the invasion of England contemplated by Napoleon. In August 1812 he was sworn lord-lieutenant of the county, and continued to hold the office till his death. On 9 Oct. 1817 he was appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland, Sir Robert Peel acting as Irish secretary until 1818. During his term of office he rendered considerable services to the agriculture of the country, in recognition of which he was presented with the freedom of Drogheda. In 1821, during his viceroyalty, George IV visited Ireland, and on that occasion he was created a knight of the order of St. Patrick. Though he steadily opposed catholic emancipation, O'Connell gave him credit for impartiality, and Lord Cloncurry spoke of him as ‘an honourable high-minded gentleman.’ The discontent in Ireland, however, continued to grow during his administration, and in December 1822 he was somewhat ungraciously superseded by the Marquis Wellesley.

In 1839 Talbot received in recognition of his services as lord-lieutenant of Staffordshire a testimonial amounting to 1,400l., which he devoted to the endowment of a new church at Salt. He was one of the first peers to support Sir Robert Peel's plan for the extinction of the duties on foreign corn, and on 12 Dec. 1844, through that minister's influence, he was elected a knight of the Garter. Talbot died at Ingestre Hall, Staffordshire, on 10 Jan. 1849, and was buried in Ingestre church on 20 Jan. He married, on 28 Aug. 1800, Frances Thomasine (d. 1819), eldest daughter of Charles Lambert of Beau Parc in Meath. By her he had ten sons and two daughters. He was succeeded as third Earl Talbot by his second son, Henry John Chetwynd, who on 10 Aug. 1856 succeeded his distant cousin, Bertram Arthur Talbot, as eighteenth Earl of Shrewsbury. A portrait of the second Earl Talbot, painted by John Bostock and engraved by John Charles Bromley, was published by J. Shepherd at Newcastle in 1837.

[Times, 12 Jan. 1849; Gent. Mag. 1849, i. 313–15; Parker's Sir Robert Peel, 1891, i. 266, 383; Mr. Gregory's Letter Box, 1898, passim; Simms's Bibliotheca Staffordiensis, 1894, p. 445; G. E. C[okayne]'s Complete Peerage; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886; Doyle's Official Baronage, iii. 507.]

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