Martha Davenport

Owner 1778-1790

Born : 1720

Died : 1790


Martha was the third of the four children of John Ivory Talbot. She married her cousin, the Revd. William Davenport and subsequently inherited a life interest in Lacock on the death of her childless brother, John Talbot in 1778. On the wishes of her brother, the estate was held in trust until her death, when it passed to her third son, William Davenport.

They had five children :

  • Prideaux Sutton
  • John
  • William
  • Barbara
  • Mary

The first two sons possibly suffered from epilepsy, as the Lacock Archives mention that they were mad and often the symptoms were misinterpreted. This is probably why John Talbot had specified that William should inherit the estate.

William, on the other hand posed a different problem for his mother, as he simply spent whatever money they had.

Martha's husband passed away in 1781, leaving Martha with severe financial difficulties arising from the Davenport estates in Worcestershire. To help she arranged to lease Lacock Abbey itself to the Countess of Shrewsbury, until her death in 1809

The only known image of her to date, is this section of a larger picture shown on the right, which was probably painted when she was about ten years old. The larger picture showed what is thought to be the four children of Martha's father, John Ivory Talbot

She died in 1790, aged 70.

Alt image

Martha Davenport
English, Unknown, c1730