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Earl of Shrewsbury

The Earl of Shrewsbury is the senior Earl in the Peerage of England. The title was created in 1442 for John Talbot, an English general in the Hundred Years War. An earlier creation occurred in 1074. These earls were sometimes styled Earl of Shropshire

Roger of Montgomery, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury

Roger of Montgomery, was one of the great Anglo-Norman magnates in the period after the Norman conquest of England. He was one of William the Conqueror's principal counselors. He did not fight in the initial invasion of England in 1066, instead staying behind to help govern Normandy. Afterwards he was entrusted with land in two places critical for the defense of England, receiving the Rape of Arundel at the end of 1067 (or in early 1068), and in November 1071 he was created Earl of Shrewsbury.

Roger first married Mabel of Bêlleme, who was heiress to a large territory on both sides of the border between Normandy and Maine. By her he had 10 children:

After his death, Roger's estates were divided. The eldest surviving son, Robert, received the bulk of the Norman estates (as well as his mother's estates); the next son, Hugh, received the bulk of the English estates and the earldom of Shrewsbury. After Hugh's death the elder son Robert inherited the earldom.

Earls of Shrewsbury, First Creation (1074)

Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury In the early 15th century John Talbot (d. 1453) became the first Talbot Lord of Sheffield in right of his wife Maud, the Lady Furnival, but took his later title, Earl of Shrewsbury, from his maternal estates in Shropshire, inherited from the Stranges of Blackmere; at the end of his long military career in France he directed that his body should be buried at Whitchurch in the same county. He inherited on the death of his elder brother, the Talbot estates of Goodrich Castle in Herefordshire, property on the Welsh borders and elsewhere.

Pedigree of  Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury
Pedigree of  Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury

Pedigree of  Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury
Pedigree of  Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury

Sir Christopher Talbot, a younger son of the second Earl of Shrewsbury, is described in various charters as being of Treeton. Hunter thinks that the monumental effigy in Treeton church, commonly called Earl Gilbert, is more likely to be Christopher Talbot who was killed at Caus in Westbury, prior to the main conflict in the Wars of the Roses

Pedigree of  Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury
Pedigree of  Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury

The fourth and fifth Earls of Shrewsbury were both prominent at Court under the early Tudors and the Talbot patrimony reached its greatest extent in the time of Francis, the fifth Earl, who had large grants of monastic and chantry lands, notably Rufford, Worksop Manor and Worksop Priory, Glossop and Rotherham.

The arrangements made by the sixth Earl (d.1590) to provide landed estates for his younger sons and dowers for his daughters, are illustrated by various settlements. The Rufford estates were permanently alienated by the marriage of his daughter Mary to Sir George Savile and Handsworth and other Sheffield properties were long in dower to his widow, Bess of Hardwick. This Earl's wealth from his estates in at least seven counties and from lead and iron smelting in Derbyshire and Herefordshire were well known, but his expenditure as warder of Mary, Queen of Scots, depleted his fortune. His successor, Earl Gilbert (1552-1616), had three daughters and co-heiresses. The marriage of Alathea, the youngest, to Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel whose mother was Anne, one of the sisters and co-heiresses of George, Lord Dacre of Gilsland. Alathea is the ancestress of all subsequent Dukes of Norfolk. From her, the Dukes inherited the old titles of Baron Talbot, Strange and Furnival, until these fell into abeyance on the death of the ninth Duke.

In 1856 the Earldoms of Shrewsbury and Waterford passed to a branch of the family who also hold the titles of Earl Talbot and Viscount Ingestre, both created 1784, and Baron Talbot of Hensol, created 1733, in the Peerage of Great Britain. The 1st Earl of Shrewsbury was created Earl of Waterford, in the Peerage of Ireland, and Hereditary Lord High Steward of Ireland, in 1446, and the two earldoms have been united since. The Earldom of Waterford is sometimes called the "Premier Earldom of Ireland on the Roll", as the oldest Irish Earldom, that of Kildare, has been a subsidiary title of the Duke of Leinster for centuries and the Earl held the oldest Irish earldom held by anyone ranked as an earl. If Viscount Mountgarret proves his presumed claim to the 1328 Earldom of Ormonde, the Earls of Shrewsbury would lose this distinction, but they derive higher precedence from their English earldom in any event.

Wingfield Manor House

Earls of Shrewsbury, Second Creation (1442)


Will of George, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury. 24 May 1590

To be buried with ancestors at Sheffield

If he outlives son Gilbert, Lord Talbot, then £1000 each to latter's 3 daughters when 15.

To daughter Grace, wife of Henry Cavendishe, esq., £1000 after husband's death.

To son Edward Talbot, manors of Nesfeld, Westhall and Langbarghe, Yorkshire, for life, then to Lord Clyfford, son. of Geo., Earl of Cumberland and heirs, on condition Cumberland pay sums due.

To Wm. Dickenson, bailiff of Sheffield, farm at Tankersley,Yorkshire, for rest of term of years, paying rent to s. Gilbert; if latter wishes to have possession he is to pay Wm. £10 p.a. for life.

To Wm. and testator's servant his s. Gilbert Dickenson, the Gibbe Landes for lives, paying 20s. p.a.

To servant Leonard Bamforth, farmhold in Sheffield for life; old rent.

To servant John Booth all lands in Wodhowse, Hansworth for life; old rent.

To servant Rich. Wolley farm and 2 closes in Kymbeworth, for life; old rent.

To servant Rich. Lathome of Shuffnall, farmhold in Staunton (Sa.) for life, paying £3 4s. 8d. p.a.

To servant Edward Mercer, a farmhold for life; old rent.

To servant Roger Sheldon, the mills at Alton (St.) for residue of term; £5 p.a. to s. Gilbert.

To servant Francis Steare, £50 he owes.

To mayor and brethren of Pontefract, £200 for them to lend out on bond for 3 yrs. (on Mon. in Whit. week), with consent of then Earl of Shrewsbury, £5 each to as many poor artificers as possible, for increase of trades.

To bailiff and 4 substantial men of Rotherham, £200 likewise.

Provisions for jointure (?) and for son Gilbert to be bound in £3000 not to disturb leaseholders.

Mention of late monastery of Rufford and premises, and manor of Langford (Nt.).

Sons Edward and Henry Talbot, executors.

William, Lord Burghley, Henry, Earl of Derby, Thos. Walmesley and Rob. Waterhowse to be supervisors and arbitrators, and have £100 each.

Thos. Walmesley and Leo. Bamforth to keep will safe, L.B. having £100.

Will of Gilbert, 7th Earl of Shrewsbury4 May 1616

Probate will of Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, aged 62 yrs.

To be buried in Sheffield church with grandfather, father, mother and elder brother.

All personal and real estate (except premises of late brother Hen. Talbot, esq., and of Hen. Cavendishe, Esq.) to executors to pay debts and legacies, etc.

To found a hospital for 20 poor persons of Sheffield, to be called hospital of Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, with endowment not less than £200 p.a.

To James I and his queen a gold cup worth £200 each; to Prince Charles, a gold cup worth £100.

To daughters and their husbands and to 4 grandsons, sons of Arundell, and to executors, a gold cup worth £100 each.

To servant Thos. Cooke, £60 p.a. for life. To servant Wm. Hamond, £100 p.a. for life.

Sir Raphe Winnwood, and nephew Sir William Cavendishe, executors.

Will of Edward, Earl of Shrewsbury 15 Jan. 1617/8

Wife Jane executrix; to hold his ½ manor of and premises in Langford (Nt.) for 5 yrs. for payment of debts and legacies; also personal estate; any residue of either for her.

To mother-in-law Katherine, Lady Ogle, and sis. Lady Grace Cavendish, a gilt cup with cover worth £30 each.

To sis.-in-law Lady Katherine Cavendish, a gilt cup with cover worth £20.

To nephews Sir Wm. and Mr. Chas. Cavendish, a ring worth £20 each.

To cousin Sir Thos. Wentworth and niece Lady Ann Savile, a gilt cup with cover worth £20 each.

To cousin Claudius Delanale and servant Edward Gray, £100 each; also £40 p.a. each for life charged on testator's ½ manor of Rochadine (Sa.) and coalmines there.

To servant and cousin Thos. Ogle of Trucklington (Nb.) and to servant Katherine Widrington, £100 p.a. each for life charged on ½ manor of Langford.

To servant Wm. Pennell, £20 p.a. for life charged on testator's ½ manor of Bolderstone (Y.).

To servant Wm. Nevill, messuage and farm in occ.

Rob. Hudlestone in Rufford (Nt.) for life, £10 p.a.

To servant John Bawdwin, £50.

To servant Bryan Babthorppe, £100.

To other servants as wife thinks fit.

Sir Thos. Wentworth, Sir Rich. Hutton and Sir John Jackson to be supervisors.

Codicil: to poor of Rotherham, Sheffield and Pontefract (Y.) and Bothall (Nb.), £100 each place.

To servant Jas. Whitehead £60, and £100 further if wife pleases.


Worksop Manor
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