TALBOT, Edward (c.1561-1618), of Bothal Castle, Northumb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

bap. 25 Feb. 1561, 3rd s. of George, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, by his 1st w. Lady Gertrude Manners, da. of Thomas, 1st Earl of Rutland; bro. of Gilbert and Henry. educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf. 1579; travelled abroad 1582-3. m. Dec. 1583, Jane, e. da. and coh. of Cuthbert, 7th Lord Ogle of Ogle, Northumb., 1s. d.v.p. suc. bro. as 8th Earl of Shrewsbury 8 May 1616.

Offices Held

J.p. Northumb. from c.1592, sheriff 1601-2, 1609-10, custos rot. 1603; j.p. Yorks. (W. Riding) from 1602; muster commr. of the middle march 1596; member, high commission, province of York 1599, council in the north 1603-d, council in the marches of Wales 1616; jt. border commr. and guardian of peace 1618.1


After leaving Oxford, Edward and his younger brother Henry went to court before leaving for a tour abroad early in 1582, in the company of their father’s servant Thomas Baldwin. They went to Italy and France, where, under the general care of the ambassador, Sir Henry Cobham, they visited Paris and Orleans, and travelled in Brittany and Poitou. They returned in the summer of 1583, by which time his father had arranged for Edward to marry Lord Ogle’s daughter, a previous proposed match with Lord Burghley’s daughter Elizabeth having fallen through in 1574. Jane Ogle’s younger sister Catherine later married Shrewsbury’s stepson, Sir Charles Cavendish.2

Both Talbot brothers were elected to the next two Parliaments summoned after their return to England, Henry for Derbyshire and Edward for Northumberland. Neither is named in the records of the House. Edward could have attended the subsidy committee appointed 24 Feb. 1585.3

Edward Talbot was not involved in the estrangement between his father and stepmother, Bess of Hardwick, but on his father’s death in 1590 he declined to be an executor and soon quarrelled with his elder brother Gilbert, now 7th Earl, about the inheritance. In 1594 Gilbert challenged Edward to a duel, which was declined in terms of studied moderation. The correspondence was shown to the Queen, and no doubt served Edward well when Gilbert again challenged him, this time in Star Chamber. Gilbert charged Edward with conspiring with one Wood, an apothecary, to poison him; Edward brought an action for slander against the physician. But the Queen’s patience had been exhausted by the 6th Earl’s behaviour towards Bess of Hardwick, and she was in any case less well disposed to the 7th Earl. After Gilbert’s accusation of poison she banished him from court.4

In 1597 the brothers were again opposed over the Yorkshire election, when Gilbert supported Sir John Savile and Sir William Fairfax against Sir John Stanhope and Sir Thomas Hoby. Edward was Stanhope’s lieutenant, and took a prominent part in the protests which followed his defeat. Gilbert’s hatred of Edward re-emerged when, on his deathbed in 1616, he secured letters from the Privy Council forbidding Edward to enter the estates until he could establish a legal title, though he could not prevent him inheriting the earldom, and it was as 8th Earl of Shrewsbury that Edward Talbot died on 8 Feb. 1618, in London. He was buried in Westminster abbey next day.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: B.D.


  • 1. CP; HMC Hatfield, ix. 396; Reid, Council of the North, 496.
  • 2. E. Lodge, Illus. ii. 52-6, 184, 190, 202; Les Reportes del Cases in Camera Stellata, ed. Baildon, 18; CSP For. 1583, p. 420; Border Pprs. i. 156; HMC Shrewsbury and Talbot, ii. 96-7, 118-19.
  • 3. Lansd. 43, anon. jnl. f. 171.
  • 4. Lodge, 463, 472-9; Camera Stellata, 13-19; St. Ch. 5/T12/16; D. N. Durant, Bess of Hardwick, 119, 151, 190-1.
  • 5. HMC 10th Rep. I, 109; APC, 1615-16, pp. 526, 566-7; St. Ch. 8/277/6; J. Hunter, Hist. Sheffield (ed. Gatty), 125 seq.