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Lord Talbot by Gerhard Bockman.
Lord Talbot bt John Vanderbank.
See also Charles Talbot

Charles Talbot, 1st Baron Talbot PC (1685 – 14 February 1737) was a British lawyer and politician. He was Lord Chancellor of Great Britain from 1733 to 1737.

Talbot was the eldest son of William Talbot, Bishop of Durham, a descendant of the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury. He was educated at Eton and Oriel College, Oxford, and became a fellow of All Souls College in 1704. He was called to the bar in 1711, and in 1717 was appointed solicitor general to the prince of Wales. Having been elected a member of the House of Commons in 1720, he became Solicitor General in 1726, and in 1733 he was made lord chancellor and raised to the peerage with the title of Lord Talbot, Baron of Hensol, in the County of Glamorgan.

Talbot proved himself an equity judge of exceptional capacity and of the highest character during the three years of his occupancy of the Woolsack. Among his contemporaries Talbot enjoyed the reputation of a wit; he was a patron of the poet James Thomson, who in The Seasons commemorated a son of his to whom he acted as tutor; and Butler dedicated his famous Analogy to the lord chancellor. The title assumed by Talbot was derived from the Hensol estate in Pendoylan, Glamorgan, which came to him through his wife.

Talbot is also remembered as one of the two authors of the Yorke-Talbot slavery opinion whilst he was a crown law officer in 1729. The opinion was sought to determinate the legality of slavery and Talbot and (Philip Yorke, later Lord Hardwicke) opined that it was. The opinion was disseminated and relied upon widely prior to the decision of Lord Mansfield in Somersett's Case.


  • Lord Campbell, Lives of the Lord Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal (8 vols. London, 1845-69)
  • Edward Foss, The Judges of England (9 vols. London, 1848-64)
  • Lord Hervey, Memoirs of the Reign of George II ( 2 vols. London. 1848)
  • G. E. Cockayne, Complete Peerage, vol. vii. (London, 1896)


Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Edmund Prideaux
James Craggs
Member of Parliament for Tregony
1720 – 1722
With: John Merrill from March 1721
Succeeded by
James Cooke
John Merrill
Preceded by
George Baker
Thomas Conyers
Member of Parliament for City of Durham
1722 – 1734
With: Thomas Conyers to 1727
Robert Shafto 1727–1730
John Shafto from 1730
Succeeded by
Henry Lambton
John Shafto
Legal offices
Preceded by
Clement Wearg
Solicitor General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Dudley Ryder
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord King
Lord Chancellor
Succeeded by
The Lord Hardwicke
Peerage of Great Britain
New constituency Baron Talbot
Succeeded by
William Talbot


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