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Lord Justice of Ireland, and two years later Lord-Lieutenant. This post he held for seven years. But it was not on the narrow theatre of Ireland that he manifested his great military capacity. It was in France, where he took the field under Henry V., that he displayed those great qualities which made him the terror of the French nation. His earlier feats of arins were shown at the siege and capture of Meaux. He was with Henry v. when he died, and he seems to have inherited the spirit of his royal master. Equally valiant and faithful was he to that master's successor, Henry vi., for whom he gained so many battles on French soil, that the peasant mothers of Normandy hushed their children to rest by the bare mention of the dogge Talbot' being near. Checked for a moment at Patay by the Maid of Orleans, he was once taken prisoner; but being speedily exchanged, he soon retrieved the honour of the English arms. In reward, he was created Earl of Shrewsbury in England, and Waterford in Ireland ; reappointed to his old viceregal post; and made High Steward of Ireland,—the highest honours which at that time were open to a subject.
After this, he went once more to fight in France. We find him in command of the fleet, landing and taking Falaise, and as Lieutenant of the Duchy of Aquitaine, marching to the south, and forcing Bordeaux and other towns in that part to surrender to English arms. Thence he advanced to the relief of Chatillon, and giving the besieging French army battle, 17th July 1453, in the eightieth
year of his age, he received a wound in the thigh which proved immediately mortal.
Talbot had been victorious in no less than forty battles and dangerous skirmishes; and his death proved fatal to the English rule in France, which never flourished afterwards. He was buried at Whitchurch, in Shropshire, where a fine recumbent monument records his honours in terms very nearly coincident with the well-known lines of Shakspeare:
• Valiant Lord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury,
In rebuilding the church at Whitchurch about a century and a half ago, the urn was found which contained the heart of the Earl of Shrewsbury, carefully embalmed, and wrapped in a covering of what was once handsome crimson velvet.
John second Earl of Shrewsbury, true to his family's devotion to the Lancastrian cause, fell, with his brother Sir Christopher, at the battle of Northampton, roth July 1460, fighting under the Red Rose. His third son, Sir Gilbert Talbot, who was High Sheriff of Shropshire in the reign of Richard 111., but proved a staunch adherent to the Earl of Richmond at Bosworth, commanded the right wing of his army on that memorable field, and received knighthood, with a grant of lands, for his valiant conduct, from the victor. In two years afterwards, Sir Gilbert had a command at the battle of Stoke, and was made a knightbanneret; and George, the fourth Earl of Shrewsbury, was installed as Knight of the Garter for his valiant conduct at the same battle.
George, the sixth Earl of Shrewsbury, had the custody of Mary Queen of Scots, and assisted at her execution. His lordship married secondly Elizabeth of Hardwick, who had already been thrice married. “She was a woman of masculine understanding and conduct; proud, furious, selfish, and unfeeling. She was a builder, a buyer and seller of estates, a money-lender, a farmer, a merchant of lead, coals, and timber. She died immensely rich.'
The fortunes of the Duke of Shrewsbury present a remarkable instance of the attainment of the highest honours of rank and state, but limited to his own individual enjoyment of them. He was the elder son of the eleventh Earl of Shrewsbury, who died of a wound received in his duel with George Villiers, second Duke of Buckingham, at Barnes. He was born in the year of the Restoration, and had Charles II. for his godfather. In 1694 he was created Marquis of Alton and Duke of Shrewsbury, and installed a Knight of the Garter. His Grace was a prominent statesman in the reigns of William and Mary, Queen Anne, and George 1. He had quitted the Church of Rome and become a Protestant in 1679, and by his steady adherence to the Protestant cause had incurred the displeasure of James II. He was one of the seven who in June 1688 joined the celebrated Association, inviting over the Prince of Orange. At the demise of Queen Anne (who delivered to him the Treasurer's staff on her death-bed), the Duke of Shrewsbury was at the same time Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord High Treasurer of Great Britain, and Lord Chamberlain,-a circumstance, says Sir Bernard Burke (Peerage, edit. 1862), previously unparalleled in our history. His Grace on this occasion secured the Hanoverian accession by at once signing the order for proclaiming George I. The Duke married the daughter of the Marquis of Palliotti, but died without issue; when the dukedom and marquisate expired, and the earldom, etc., reverted to his cousin.
In August 1857, died Bertram seventeenth Earl of Shrewsbury, without leaving any cousin or male kinsman to succeed him in his honours and estates; and it was not until the month of June in the following year that the
When Addison was on his travels in Italy, at Florence he spent some days with the Duke of Shrewsbury, who, cloyed with the pleasures of ambition, and impatient of its pains, fearing both parties and loving neither, had determined to hide in an Italian retreat talents and accomplishments which, if they had been united with fixed principles and civil courage, might have made him the foremost man of his age. These days, we are told, passed pleasantly, and we can easily believe it; for Addison was a delightful companion when he was at his ease, and the Duke, though he seldom forgot that he was a Talbot, had the invaluable art of putting at ease all who came near him’ (Macaulay).
House of Lords was satisfied that Earl Talbot had made out his claim to the Earldom of Shrewsbury and the Irish honours which had always belonged to that ancient and noble title. On the oth of June 1858 he took his seat in the House of Peers as Premier Earl of England, being the only nobleman in that grade of the peerage who takes precedence of Edward Earl of Derby. “The Great Shrewsbury Case, as it was called, not without good reason, involved the inheritance not only of a title celebrated in the pages of Shakspeare, and closely interwoven with the thread of English and French history, but also the possession of the costly seat, Alton Tower, and other large landed estates, to the extent of £50,000 or £60,000 a-year, all of which had been bequeathed by Earl Bertram to an infant of the Howard family, with the hope and intention that they should never pass into Protestant hands. The case created great interest in the higher circles of society, and no small amount of religious bigotry was evoked on both sides. Eventually, after a long and expensive suit, it was ruled that the estates ought to pass with the titles. Earl Talbot had the Earldom of Shrewsbury adjudged to him, as being descended through William Talbot, Bishop of Durham, and John Talbot of Salwarp, from Sir John Talbot of Allbrighton, county of Salop, and of Grafton, county of Worcester; he lived in the reigns of Henry vii. and Henry viii., and his father, Sir Gilbert Talbot of Grafton, was the youngest son of John second Earl of Shrewsbury, who fell fighting in the cause of the Red Rose of the House of Lancaster, on the bloody