Talbot

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The surname, less often forename, and occasional element of place names Talbot is traditionally pronounced in RP with the first syllable like 'tall': 'TALL-bot',IPA: /ˈtɔːl bɒt/. GA prefers to make the first vowel that of 'at' or 'art', IPA: /ˈtæl bɒt or ˈtɑːl bɒt respectively/.

  • The most famous Talbot family is that which gave rise to the Earls of Shrewsbury. The title (its second creation) was bestowed on John Talbot (c. 1387–1453) in 1442 in recognition of the success of his military service in France, where he was known as "the English Achilles" and "the terror of the French". In 1446 he was also created Earl of Waterford, in Ireland; the two titles have descended together.
      • His prowess is celebrated in the first part of Shakespeare's Henry VI trilogy.
    • For an account of the Earls of Shrewsbury that followed him, go to Talbot - Earls of Shrewsbury. Other aristocratic titles borne byTalbots include Baron Talbot (from 1331), Earl Talbot (from 1761), Viscount of Ingestre (title borne by heir apparent to the Earl Talbot, from 1784) Talbot, Baron of Hensol (from 1733), Baron Dynevor (from 1780), Baron Talbot of Malahide (from 1831),
  • Amongst those who have carried the name Talbot among their forenames are members of the English aristocracy, whose frequent marriages within their own circle led to surnames being passed down the generations. For example, the nineteenth century Prime Minister Lord Salisbury was more fully named Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil (3rd Marquess of Salisbury). Others, like the writer of stories for boys Talbot Baines Reed (1852–1893), may have had no strong connection with the family.
    • Talbot, Catherine (1721–1770), author and scholar
    • William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877), a very early photographer and inventor of several photograpnic processes, was a fairly distant connection whose father William Davenport Talbot (1764–1800) died when he was 5 months old. His stepfather Captain (later Rear-Admiral) Charles Feilding (1780–1837) married his mother when the boy was four. "Although referred to as Fox Talbot by some of his contemporaries and many later writers, Talbot strongly disliked this use of the family name, almost always signing Henry F. Talbot or H. F. Talbot" (ODNB, 2021).
  • Other uses of the name Talbot include:
    • Château Talbot, a claret produced in a vineyard in the St Julien district of Bordeaux, which is said to have been owned in the fifteenth century by John Talbot, first Earl of Shrewsbury.
    • The (now extinct) breed of hunting dog called 'a talbot' is described by OED (2021) as "a large white or light-coloured hound, having long hanging ears, heavy jaws, and great powers of scent". It gave its name to the depiction in heraldry of a white dog, prominent in the arms of the Earls of Shrewsbury, whose family name is Talbot.
    • For a number of motor-cars with Talbot in their name, see the 20th Earl of Shrewsbury.
    • Port Talbot in Wales (near Swansea) is called after Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot, a descendant of the Earls of Shrewsbury. C.R.M.Talbot, of Margam and Penrice, which, with Margam and Aberafan at the mouth of the river Afan, developed various industries in the nineteenth century, was a rich and public-spirited landowner. When the demands of the communities around the Afan outgrew the mediaeval harbour so Talbot, with others, founded modern docks around 1834-1837. To this new development was added the South Wales Railway Company (now the Port Talbot Parkway railway station, on the South Wales Main Line) in 1850. This facility supported the development of the Port Talbot Steelworks, by permitting iron ore and coal imports on a large scale.