TALBOT, Sir William (d.1429), of Moditonham in Botus Fleming, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Nov. 1414

Family and Education

s. of Sir William Talbot (d.1396) of Moditonham by his w. Margaret. m. (1) bef. 1397, Thomasina (d.1402), da. and h. of Sir John Raleigh, wid. of Sir John Chichester of Treverbyn, Cornw. and Begarn-Huish and Dunweer, Som., 5s. 1da.; (2) by 1410, Eleanor (c.1382-11 Apr. 1439), er. da. and coh. of Thomas Peverell of Whelmston in Colebrooke, Devon and Parke, Cornw. by Margaret, da. and coh. of Sir Thomas Courtenay, wid. of Otto Trenewith alias Bodrugan and of John, s. of Sir John Raleigh (d.1372) of Nettlecombe, Som. Kntd. by Dec. 1399.

Offices Held

Commr. of inquiry, Cornw. Apr. 1398 (piracy), Mar. 1401, Mar. 1403 (claims to (Sir) Thomas Shelley’s* estates), Devon Dec. 1406 (piracy), Cornw. June 1418 (murder), Nov. 1418 (treason and felony); array Dec. 1399, July 1402, Aug., Sept. 1403, July, Nov. 1405, Cornw., Devon Apr. 1418, Cornw. Mar. 1419, June 1421; to make proclamation of Henry IV’s intention to govern well May 1402; treat for loans Sept. 1405, Nov. 1419, Jan. 1420; of oyer and terminer, Devon Sept. 1412; to take musters Feb. 1417, June 1421; of arrest, Cornw. July 1421.

J.p. Cornw. 14 Mar. 1403-Dec. 1405, Mar.-July 1410, 16 Jan. 1414-Feb. 1416, 18 Feb. 1419-June 1427.

Tax collector, Cornw. Mar. 1404.

Escheator, Devon and Cornw. 1 Dec. 1405-12 Feb. 1407, 30 Nov. 1417-4 Nov. 1418.

Sheriff, Cornw. Mich. 1409-10, 1 Dec. 1415-30 Nov. 1416, 6 Nov. 1424-15 Jan. 1426, Devon 30 Nov. 1416-10 Nov. 1417.


The first incident to be traced of Talbot’s career was his involvement, along with his father (and others), in an attack in September 1393 on Trematon castle, then held by John Holand, earl of Huntingdon, Richard II’s half-brother. A year later, however, he accompanied the King to Ireland, and in June 1399, as William Talbot ‘esquire’, he returned to that province in the company of the same John Holand, now promoted duke of Exeter. It is uncertain whether he owed his knighthood to service with Richard II, or to a timely desertion to Henry of Bolingbroke, though his presence in the great council in August 1401 and in Parliament in 1402 may suggest the latter. For the next 20 years his services were in great demand in both Devon and Cornwall, especially in the period 1415-18, when he was either sheriff or escheator, key roles in county administration. By virtue of his office as sheriff of Cornwall, Talbot held the parliamentary elections there in 1416, 1425 and 1426, having in the meantime, as sheriff of Devon, held the elections at Exeter in 1417.1

Talbot inherited from his father the duchy of Lancaster tenancy at Spreyton and Boasley, together with the manors of Sourton, Rode, Prewley (Devon), Moditonham and St. Mewan, and property in Launceston (Cornwall). His first wife, Thomasina, held the manors of Began-Huish and Dunweer in Somerset and Raleigh and ‘Rokeford’ in Devon, which after her death in 1402 were supposed to pass to John Chichester, her son by a former marriage, but instead were retained by Talbot, presumably ‘by the courtesy’, who thus for a short while enjoyed an additional income of about £60 a year. His second marriage was even more beneficial: Eleanor was coheir to her father, Thomas Peverell, who held ten manors in Cornwall, six in Devon, six in Somerset and one in Oxfordshire; and through her mother, a niece of Hugh Courtenay, 2nd earl of Devon, she was also heir to some of the de Moels estates. This marriage also gave Talbot important connexions, for his wife’s younger sister, Katherine, married Sir Walter Hungerford, the Speaker of the Leicester Parliament of 1414. Besides estates inherited from her father in about 1405 and her mother in 1422, Eleanor also brought to Talbot that part of the Bodrugan estates which she held in dower as an outcome of her first marriage, and an income of 20 marks a year received in lieu of dower after the death of her second husband.2

Talbot died shortly before 1 Apr. 1429, when his executors (the rector of Botus Fleming, William Talbot of Villaton and Roger Wendre) refused to deal further with his estate. Administration was subsequently granted by Bishop Lacy of Exeter to Talbot’s sons, Thomas and Richard, and the former inherited their father’s own property. After Sir William’s widow’s death ten years later her share of the Peverell estates passed to her nephew, Sir Robert Hungerford, Hungerford’s heir.3

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421


  • 1. CPR, 1391-6, pp. 357, 482; C219/11/8, 12/2, 13/3, 4; PPC, i. 163.
  • 2. CCR, 1435-41, pp. 217-19; Reg. Stafford ed. Hingeston-Randolph, 153, 196, 281; Cornw. Feet of Fines (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. 1950), 1125; CP, vi. 615-16; Reg. Lacy ed. Hingeston-Randolph, i. 132; CPR, 1422-9, p. 70; Som. Feet of Fines (Som. Rec. Soc. xxii), 182; Some Som. Manors (ibid. extra ser. 1931), 80, 369-70; C137/44/36; C139/5/43.
  • 3. Reg. Lacy (Canterbury and York Soc. lx), 218-19; C139/93/51.