Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell

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The Earl of Tyrconnell

Richard Talbot, Earl of Tyrconnel, attributed to François de Troy [1]
Lord Deputy of Ireland
In office
Preceded by The Earl of Clarendon
Succeeded byLords Justices
Personal details
Died14 August 1691 (aged 60-61)
Frances Jennings Frances Jennings.jpg
Frances Jennings

Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell PC (1630 14 August 1691) was an Irish royalist and Jacobite soldier. He served as James II's Lord Deputy of Ireland during the Williamite War in Ireland. His administration saw a major purge of Protestant officers from the Irish Army, which had previously largely barred Catholics.

Privy Council of England Body of advisers to the sovereign of the Kingdom of England

The Privy Council of England, also known as HisMajesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, was a body of advisers to the sovereign of the Kingdom of England. Its members were often senior members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, together with leading churchmen, judges, diplomats and military leaders.

The Lord Deputy was the representative of the monarch and head of the Irish executive under English rule, during the Lordship of Ireland and then the Kingdom of Ireland. He deputised prior to 1523 for the Viceroy of Ireland. The plural form is "Lords Deputy".

Williamite War in Ireland Irish Theatre of the Nine Years War

The Williamite War in Ireland (1688–1691), was a conflict between Jacobite supporters of King James II and Williamite supporters of Prince William of Orange. It is also called the Jacobite War in Ireland or the Williamite–Jacobite War in Ireland.


Early life

The youngest of sixteen children of Sir William Talbot, 1st Baronet, of Carton, and his wife, Alison Netterville, he was descended from an old Norman family that had settled in Leinster in the 12th century. Like most Old English families in Ireland, the Talbots had adopted some customs of the Irish and had, like the Gaelic Irish, remained adherents to the Catholic faith even after the official change of religion took place under Henry VIII. His eldest brother was Sir Robert Talbot, 2nd Baronet.

Sir William Talbot, 1st Baronet, was an Irish lawyer and politician.

Carton House

Carton House is a country house and surrounding demesne that was the ancestral seat of the Earls of Kildare and Dukes of Leinster. Located 23 km west of Dublin, in Maynooth, County Kildare, the Carton Demesne is 1,100 acres (4.5 km²). For two hundred years, the Carton Demesne was the finest example in Ireland of a Georgian-created parkland landscape. In the 2000s, much of the demesne was redeveloped into two golf courses and the house into a hotel complex.

Leinster province in Ireland

Leinster is one of the provinces of Ireland, situated in the east of Ireland. The Leinster province comprises the ancient Kingdoms of Meath, Leinster and Osraige. Following the 12th-century Norman invasion of Ireland, the historic fifths of Leinster and Meath gradually merged, mainly due to the impact of the Pale, which straddled both, thereby forming the present-day province of Leinster. The ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial purposes. In later centuries, local government legislation has seen further sub-division of the historic counties.

He married Katherine Baynton, daughter of Colonel Matthew Baynton and Isabel Stapleton in 1669. She was a Royal Maid of Honour and a noted beauty. They had two daughters, Katherine and Charlotte. Baynton died in 1679. Talbot later married Frances Jennings, sister of Sarah Jennings (the future Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough).

Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough British duchess

Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, Princess of Mindelheim, Countess of Nellenburg, rose to be one of the most influential women of her time through her close friendship with Anne, Queen of Great Britain. Sarah's friendship and influence with Princess Anne were widely known, and leading public figures often turned their attentions to her in the hope that she would influence Anne to comply with requests. As a result, by the time Anne became Queen, Sarah’s knowledge of government, and intimacy with the queen, had made her a powerful friend and a dangerous enemy.

During the Irish Confederate Wars that followed the Irish Rebellion of 1641, Talbot served in Confederate Ireland's Leinster army as cavalry cornet or junior officer. He was taken prisoner by the Parliamentarians after the battle of Dungans Hill in 1647, but was ransomed back to his own side. In 1649, he also survived the Cromwellian Siege of Drogheda, escaping from the garrison before it was massacred. Other sources say he was taken prisoner at Drogheda and was exchanged a second time. Shortly afterward, he fled Ireland, to join his fellow defeated Royalists in France.

Irish Confederate Wars war which took place in Ireland between 1641 and 1653

The Irish Confederate Wars, also called the Eleven Years' War, took place in Ireland between 1641 and 1653. It was the Irish theatre of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms – a series of civil wars in the kingdoms of Ireland, England and Scotland. The war in Ireland began with a rebellion in 1641 by Irish Catholics, who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland to force concessions for Catholics. This developed into an ethnic conflict between Gaelic Irish and old English Catholics on one side, and English and Scottish Protestant colonists on the other. Catholic leaders formed the Irish Catholic Confederation in 1642, which controlled most of Ireland and was loosely aligned with the Royalists. The Confederates and Royalists fought against the English Parliamentarians and Scottish Covenanters. In 1649, a Parliamentarian army led by Oliver Cromwell invaded Ireland and by 1653 had conquered the island.

The Irish Rebellion of 1641 began as an attempted coup d'état by Irish Catholic gentry, who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland to force concessions for Catholics. The coup failed and the rebellion developed into an ethnic conflict between the Gaelic Irish and old English Catholics on one side, and both ethnically English Protestants and Scottish/Presbyterian planters on the other. This began a conflict known as the Irish Confederate Wars.

Confederate Ireland Irish historical period

Confederate Ireland or the Union of the Irish was the period of Irish self-government between 1642 and 1649, during the Eleven Years' War. During this time, two-thirds of Ireland was governed by the Irish Catholic Confederation, also known as the Confederation of Kilkenny because it was based in Kilkenny. It was formed by Irish Catholic nobles, clergy and military leaders after the Irish Rebellion of 1641. The Confederation had what were effectively a parliament, an executive, and a military. It pledged allegiance to Charles I.


Talbot had been introduced to Charles II and James, Duke of York (later James II), when they were exiles in Flanders, as a result of the English Civil War. Talbot then lived like many other royalist refugees, partly by casual military service but also by acting as a subordinate agent in plots to upset the Commonwealth and murder Oliver Cromwell. He was arrested in London in November 1655 and was examined by Cromwell. Once more, he escaped, but it was said by his enemies that he was bribed by Cromwell with whom one of his brothers was certainly in correspondence. He was actively engaged in an infamous intrigue to ruin the character of Anne Hyde, the Duke's wife-to-be, but continued in James' employment and saw some service at sea in the naval wars with the Dutch.

Charles II of England 17th-century King of England, Ireland and Scotland

Charles II was king of England, Scotland, and Ireland. He was king of Scotland from 1649 until his deposition in 1651, and king of England, Scotland and Ireland from the 1660 Restoration of the monarchy until his death.

James II of England 17th-century King of England and Ireland, and of Scotland (as James VII)

James II and VII was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The last Roman Catholic monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland, his reign is now remembered primarily for struggles over religious tolerance. However, it also involved the principles of absolutism and divine right of kings and his deposition ended a century of political and civil strife by confirming the primacy of Parliament over the Crown.

Flanders Community and region of Belgium

Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities, regions and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language, politics and history, and sometimes involving neighbouring countries. The demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming, while the corresponding adjective is Flemish. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, although the Brussels Capital Region has an independent regional government, and the government of Flanders only oversees the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels such as (Flemish) culture and education.

After the Restoration, he continued to have a place in the household of the Duke of York. Talbot accumulated money by acting as agent for Irish Roman Catholics who sought to recover their confiscated property by the Act of Settlement 1662, often helped by the Duke, who later inherited as James II of England in 1685. He was arrested for supposed complicity in the Popish Plot agitation in 1678 but was allowed to go into exile. [2]

Restoration (Ireland)

The Restoration of the monarchy began in 1660. The Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland (1649–60) resulted from the Wars of the Three Kingdoms but collapsed in 1659. Politicians such as General Monck tried to ensure a peaceful transition of government from the "Commonwealth" republic back to monarchy. From 1 May 1660 the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under King Charles II. The term Restoration may apply both to the actual event by which the monarchy was restored, and to the period immediately before and after the event.

Duke of York British Royal and Aristocratic Titles

Duke of York is a title of nobility in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Since the 15th century, it has, when granted, usually been given to the second son of English monarchs. The equivalent title in the Scottish peerage was Duke of Albany. However, King George I and Queen Victoria granted the second sons of their eldest sons the titles Duke of York and Albany and Duke of York respectively.

Act of Settlement 1662 United Kingdom legislation

The Act of Settlement 1662 was passed by the Irish Parliament in Dublin. It was a partial reversal of the Cromwellian Act for the Settlement of Ireland 1652, which punished Irish Catholics and Royalists for fighting against the English Parliament in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms by the wholesale confiscation of their lands and property. The Act describes itself An act for the better execution of His Majesty's gracious declaration for the Settlement of his Kingdom of Ireland, and the satisfaction of the several interests of adventurers, soldiers, and other his subjects there.

Jacobite Ireland

After the accession of James II in 1685, he was created Baron of Talbotstown, Viscount Baltinglass and Earl of Tyrconnell (2nd creation), and he was sent as commander in chief of the forces in Ireland. In this capacity and as Lord Deputy of Ireland (1687–88) he placed Catholics in positions of control in the state and the militia, which the Duke of Ormonde had previously organised. Consequently, the entire Roman Catholic population sided with James II in the Glorious Revolution. Thus, in 1689, when James landed at Kinsale with his French officers, Tyrconnell had an Irish army ready to assist him. His role in the Revolution was satirised in the contemporary folk song, Lillibullero . Having landed at Kinsale on 12 March, he went to Cork the next day where he met Tyrconnell and created him Duke of Tyrconnell and Marquess of Tyrconnell, titles recognised only by the Jacobites. [2]

By early 1689, there was growing dissent amongst Protestants across Ireland. In County Cork, the town of Bandon rose but were swiftly defeated by Justin MacCarthy, ending plans for a general uprising across Munster. When the Protestant inhabitants of the north began to rebel, Tyrconnell sent a force of Irish Army troops under Richard Hamilton who routed the rebels at the Break of Dromore and occupied much of Ulster. A second comfortable victory at the Battle of Cladyford followed. This initial success was checked when the Catholic forces besieged Derry and attacked Enniskillen. After Percy Kirke's forces relieved Derry, the Jacobites were forced to withdraw. The situation worsened after Marshal Schomberg's large Williamite expedition landed in Belfast Lough and captured Carrickfergus. Schomberg then marched south to Dundalk and threatened to advance on Dublin. After a lengthy stalemate, the two armies withdrew into winter quarters. Both Tyrconnell and James had rejected advice from their French allies to burn Dublin and retreat behind the River Shannon.

After defeat in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, Tyrconnell went to France for aid. He returned to Ireland in 1691 but died of apoplexy just before the fall of Limerick. Some contemporary accounts say that he was poisoned, but that is unsubstantiated. His widow, Frances, and his daughter, Charlotte, remained in France, where Charlotte married her kinsman, William Talbot of Haggardstown, called 3rd Earl of Tyrconnell in the Jacobite peerage. His other daughter Katherine became a nun.

Tyrconnell's brother, Peter, was the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin from 1669 to 1680.

Tyrconnell Tower, Carton Estate. Tyrconnell Tower Carton Maynooth Ireland.jpg
Tyrconnell Tower, Carton Estate.

He is believed to be buried in the "Old Carton" graveyard. His estate in nearby Carton was uncompleted before he died. Tyrconnell Tower on this site was originally meant to be his mausoleum but was also unfinished.


  1. Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell portrait at (accessed 15 February 2008)
  2. 1 2 Chisholm 1911.

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Further reading
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Clarendon
Lord Deputy of Ireland
Succeeded by
Lords Justices
Peerage of Ireland
New title Earl of Tyrconnell