(4th E. Shrewsbury)Born: 1468, Shifnal, Salop, Shropshire, England
Died: 26 Jul 1538, Wingfield Manor, Derbyshire, England
Buried: 27 Mar 1539, St. Peter, Sheffield, England
Notes: Knight of the Garter. Knight of the Bath, 18 Apr 1475 [DNB] Earl of Waterford.
Father: John TALBOT (3º E. Shrewsbury)
Mother: Catherine STAFFORD (C. Shrewsbury)
Married 1: Anne HASTINGS (C. Shrewsbury) BEF 27 Jun 1481, Kirby, Leicestershire, England
1. Mary TALBOT (C. Northumberland)
2. Francis TALBOT (5º E. Shrewsbury)
3. Margaret TALBOT
4. Elizabeth TALBOT (B. Gillesland)
5. Dorothy TALBOT
6. Richard TALBOT (b. Chelsea - had no Children)
7. Henry TALBOT (d. BEF his father; i. Calke Priory, Derbys - The Complete Peerage vol.XI,p.709)
8. John TALBOT (d. in infancy; i. Ashby de la Zouch)
9. John TALBOT (d. in infancy; i. Ashby de la Zouch)
10. William TALBOT (had no Children) (Marshal, Ireland)
11. Lucy TALBOT
Married 2: Elizabeth WALDEN (C. Shrewsbury) (b. 1491 - d. Jul 1567 - i. Erith - Will (...) 30 Jun 1567/17 Jul 1567) (dau. and coheir of Sir Richard Walden of Erith, Kent Knight) ABT 1512
12. Anne TALBOT (C. Pembroke)
Born in 1468, at Shifnal, Shropshire, was son and heir of John Talbot, third earl of Shrewsbury, and Catherine, fifth daughter of Humphrey Stafford, first duke of Buckingham.
A guard of William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings, married his guardian daughter Anne. His daughters were Elizabeth, married to William Dacre, 3rd Baron Dacre, Margaret, married, as his first wife, Henry Clifford, 1st Earl of Cumberland and Mary, married Henry Percy, 6th Earl of Northumberland. By his second wife, Elizabeth Walden, dau. and coheir of Sir Richard Walden of Erith, Shrewsbury had a daughter Anne, who married first Peter Compton and second William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke.
George succeeded to the peerage in 1473, when only five years old, and was made a knight of the Bath on 18 Apr 1475. In Sep 1484 he took part in the reception of the Scottish ambassadors. At the coronation of Henry VII on 30 Oct 1485 Shrewsbury bore the sword 'curtana', a ceremonial sword used at the coronation of British kings and Queens that to symbolise mercy. The same function he also performed at the coronation of Henry VIII on 24 Jun 1509. On 7 Nov 1485 he was granted license to enter on his inheritance without proving himself of age, and on 9 Mar 1485 he was appointed justice in eyre for various lordships on the Welsh marches. In May 1487 he was made a captain in the army, and fought against Lambert Simnel at the battle of Stoke on 16 Jun. He was installed a knight of the Garter on 27 Apr 1488, and on 23 Dec following was made chief commissioner of musters in Staffordshire. In 1489 he joined the English expedition to Flanders to aid the Emperor Frederik III against the French. The same year, upon the birth of Henry's second child, a daughter named Margaret Tudor, Talbot became the first Tudor princess's godfather. In 1489 he served on various commissions of oyer and terminer, and in Jul 1490 was appointed to the command of an army of eight thousand men, destined for the defence of Brittany against Charles VIII of France. In Oct 1492 he accompanied Henry VII to Boulogne, and was present when the peace of Etaples was signed on 3 Nov. In 1494 he was serving at Calais, and in Nov of that year took part in the ceremonies of Prince Henry's creation as Duke of York. Various grants followed in 1495. In Dec 1508 he was appointed to meet the Flemish ambassadors at Deptford and conduct them to court.
On the accession of King Henry VIII, the Earl continued to serve the King as he did his father and again distinguished himself amongst his peers as a great warrior. During Henry's reign the Earl became a powerful man.
On 10 Nov 1511 he was appointed joint ambassador with the Earl of Surrey to Julius II, with the object of concluding a 'holy league' against France, and a year later he was sent on a similar mission to Fernando of Aragon. In 1513, after serving as commissioner of array in Derbyshire, Staffordshire, and Shropshire, he was on 12 May appointed lieutenant-general of the first division of the army in France, and served throughout the siege of Therouenne. In the autumn of 1514 he was nominated joint ambassador to the Lateran council, but sickness apparently prevented his departure.
In 1522 Shrewsbury was appointed steward of the Duke of Buckingham's lands, and in the same year he was placed in command of the English army sent to the Scottish borders against John Stewart, duke of Albany. But his health was bad and his conduct feeble, and he was soon superseded by the Earl of Surrey.
Already hereditary Lord High Steward of Ireland from 1473 to 1538, he was then appointed Lord Steward of the King's Household and a Chamberlain of the Exchequer from 1509 to 1538, a Privy Counsellor in 1512 and Lieutenant-General of the North in 1522. He was Lieutenant-General of the English army sent to invade France in 1512, where he was present at the Battle of the Spurs and captured Thérouanne in Aug 1513. He was later present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, commanded the army sent to control the border of Scotland, and was given many other high political positions at court.
When the divorce question came on King Henry's 'Great Matter', Shrewsbury supported it, gave evidence at Queen Catalina of Aragon's trial, and signed the letter to the Pope urging him to grant the divorce. He also signed the articles against Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in 1529.
Broke with the tradition of his family and decided to make Sheffield his home, living in the castle built by Lord Furnival. Having a large family and being a very wealthy man, he found the castle accommodation extremely cramped. In 1516, he decided to build himself a country mansion on a hill about two miles away, in the stretch of woodland called Sheffield Park. The Park at that time was quite large and deer roamed freely through the oak and walnut trees. Built of brick and stone, the Lodge, as George Talbot called it, was oblong in shape and had an inner and outer courtyard. The Earl spent considerable sums of money on decorating the building and from then on, lived either in the Manor Lodge or in Sheffield Castle. He was now a very powerful man, and he built a chapel in Sheffield Parish Church, in which he and his family could be buried. This is known as the Shrewsbury Chapel and now forms a historic part of Sheffield Cathedral.
A famous visitor to the Manor Lodge during George's time was Cardinal Wolsey, who was kept at the Manor for eighteen days when he passed through Sheffield on his way to London in 1530. On the 4 Nov 1530, he was arrested for treason and brought south from York for his trial, arriving four days later at the Manor Lodge. He was treated kindly by the Earl and his family, who tried to make his stay as comfortable as possible. However, Wolsey became very ill before leaving Sheffield under guard.
In 1532 Shrewsbury was again in command of an army on the Scottish borders. When the Pilgrimage of Grace began, George Talbot, 4° E. Shrewsbury was with John Neville of Chevet surveying monastic houses in Leicestershire. London did not pay much notice to the events in Yorkshire until Oct 15 when Henry wrote the Earl of Shrewsbury ordering him to turn his face to Yorkshire. If he considered his force sufficient to strike 'without danger to our honour,' he was to 'give them (the rebels) a buffet with all diligence and extremity'. If he could not venture on this alone, he must wait for the Duke of Norfolk, who was at Ampthill, and a joint commission of lieutenancy would be sent to Norfolk and Shrewsbury to go north together. Shrewsbury promptly raised forces on his own authority, and 'his courage and fidelity on this occasion perhaps saved Henry's crown'. The Earl, John Russell, Sir William Parr of Horton, William Gonson, Sir Francis Bryan and Admiral Sir William FitzWilliam, who were royalists, mustered the 1,000 troops from Gloucester who lived at Stony Stratford who were present against the rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace at Ampthill, Bedfordshire. It were Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and the 4th Earl of Shrewsbury, who opened negotiations with the insurgents at Doncaster, where Robert Aske had assembled between thirty and forty thousand men. An armistice was then agreed upon, and the insurgents laid their demands before the King.
Under an act of parliament, 28 Henry VIII, he was considered, as an absentee, to have forfeited the earldom of Waterford and his Irish estates. The dissolution of the monasteries brought Shrewsbury many grants; among them were Wilton, Shrewsbury, Byldwas, Welbeck, and Combermere Abbeys, and the priories of Tutbury and Wenlock.
In 1536, Shrewsbury claimed that his son in law, the Earl of Northumberland had not paid tohis daughter Mary the 200 marks a year he had promised her when they separated. Northumberland countered with the charge that Shrewsbury had never handed over Mary’s dowry. This particular debate ended with Northumberland’s death.
On 23 Jun 1537 (LP, xii(2), 191 (36); ibid. xiii(2), 5); Robert Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex, was granted the reversion of the office of Lord Steward of the Royal Household, although when the current holder, George Talbot, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury, died in the following year he was succeeded, not by Sussex, but by the King's brother-in-law, Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk.
On 26 Jul 1538, the Earl died, aged 70, while at Wingfield Manor and his body was laid to rest in the Shrewsbury Chapel, in the Sheffield Parish Church. Here he joined his first wife, Anne Hastings, the mother of eleven of his children. In his will, the fourth Earl directed 'that a tomb of marble should be set over his grave with three images thereon, namely one of himself in his mantle of the Garter, another of his deceased wife in her robes, and a third of his wife then living'. This beautiful tomb, still in near perfect condition, stands under a flat-topped arch on the left-hand side of the Shrewsbury Chapel. He was succeeded by his son Francis Talbot, fifth earl of Shrewsbury.
|to Bios Page||to Family Page|
|to Peerage Page||to Home Page|