William Davenport Talbot

Owner 1790-1801

Born : 1763

Died : 1801


William Davenport was the third son of Martha Talbot and the Revd. William Davenport. His Uncle, John Talbot had no legitimate children to inherit the Lacock Estate and so had willed a lifetime interest to his sister Martha, on condition that William inherited Lacock on her death. There are reasons to think that the Davenports first two son's had some sort of incapacitating illness, possibly epilepsy, hence John Talbot discounted them in the line of succession.

One of the conditions of the inheritance was that William should assume the surname Talbot and so in 1790, when his mother died, William Davenport became William Davenport Talbot.

One complicating factor was the state of the family finances and William never actually lived at the Abbey, it being leased to the Countess of Shrewsbury until several years after his death.

William was educated at Oxford and then went into the army, becoming a Captain in the Dragoon guards, where he became close friends with Prince Edward, son of George III and future father of Queen Victoria. His time in the Army was interrupted by an unspecified illness, which may have been similar to that suffered by his two elder brothers.

In 1796 William married Lady Elisabeth Theresa Fox-Strangways, very much against the wishes of her father. Four years later their son, William Henry Fox Talbot was born. Only a few months after his birth, William died.

William's passing left the family in a parlous financial state, Lacock and other estates were by now in a large amount of debt. Fortunately Lady Elisabeth remarried in 1804, to Captain Charles Feilding. Captain Feilding's injection of funds into the family finances meant that they were able to resolve some of the many financial difficulties.