Sir William Talbot, 1st Baronet

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Sir William Talbot, 1st Baronet (died 16 March 1633), was an Irish lawyer and politician.


He was the son of Robert Talbot of Carton, County Kildare, who was the third son of Sir Thomas Talbot of Malahide, County Dublin; his mother was Jenet FitzGerald, daughter of Thomas Fitzgerald. He was educated for the law, and attained a leading position as a lawyer in Dublin. About 1603 he was appointed Recorder of Dublin, but, being a staunch Roman Catholic, he was soon afterwards removed for recusancy.

On 13 April 1613 he was returned to the Irish Parliament as MP for County Kildare, and became the unofficial legal adviser to the Roman Catholic party in the Irish House of Commons. Thomas Ryves complained to the Westminster government that Talbot had abetted the return to Parliament of two schismatics. During the stormy scenes which marked the election of a Speaker in the Irish House of Commons, culminating with one of the rival Speakers (who was an extremely fat man) sitting on the other, Talbot urged that the House should first purge itself of members elected by illegal means. On 30 May he was appointed by the House one of the deputies to represent to James I the corrupt practices employed in the elections to secure a Protestant majority, and the arbitrary treatment of the Anglo-Irish Catholics. He crossed to England in July, and was examined by the Privy Council on his conduct in the Irish House of Commons. During the discussion of this question Archbishop George Abbot demanded Talbot's opinion on a book (probably the Defensio fidei Catholicae adversus Anglicanae sectae errores) in which (he said) Francisco Suárez openly maintained the right of Catholics to kill an heretical king. Talbot hesitated, but acknowledged James as lawful king. The Council was not satisfied, and on 17 July Talbot was committed to the Tower of London.

On 13 November 1613 the Star Chamber sentenced him to a fine of £10,000. Early in the following year, however, Talbot was allowed to return to Ireland, and probably the fine was remitted. James I, on releasing him, disclaimed any intention of forcing the Irish Catholics to change their religion. From this time Talbot became a supporter of the government, but took little part in politics. On 4 February 1622 he was created a baronet, and he subsequently received various grants of land. He died on 16 March 1633 and is buried in Laraghbryan Cemetery outside Maynooth.


By his wife Alison, daughter of John Netterville of Castleton, co. Meath, Talbot had issue eight sons and eight daughters. The eldest son, Robert, succeeded as second baronet, and from Robert's daughter Frances, who married Richard Talbot of Malahide, descended the Baron Talbot de Malahide. The second son was Peter Talbot, Archbishop of Dublin, and the eighth was Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell.

Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell, Sir William's eighth son

Of Sir William's daughters, Margaret married the landowner Sir Henry Talbot; Frances married James Cusack; Eleanor married Sir Henry O'Neill, 1st Baronet, of Killelagh, and was the mother of Sir Neil O'Neill; Mary married Sir John Dongan, 2nd Baronet, and had at least ten children, including Sir Walter Dongan, 3rd Baronet, William Dongan, 1st Earl of Limerick, and Thomas Dongan, 2nd Earl of Limerick.



Baronetage of Ireland
New creation Baronet
(of Carton)
Succeeded by
Robert Talbot