Thomas Talbot (died 1487)

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Thomas Talbot (c. 1439 – 1487) was a wealthy landowner and judge in fifteenth-century Ireland. He was the head of the prominent Talbot family of Malahide Castle. His descendants acquired the title Baron Talbot de Malahide, and he himself was recognised by the Crown as Lord of Malahide, although this was not a hereditary title. He was also Admiral of the Port of Malahide. [1] By the time of his death he held lands in four counties and was one of the principal landowners in the Pale.

Malahide Castle Castle and demesne by the village of Malahide, County Dublin

Malahide Castle, parts of which date to the 12th century, lies, with over 260 acres (1.1 km2) of remaining estate parkland, close to the village of Malahide, nine miles (14 km) north of central Dublin in Ireland.

Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are titles of nobility, positions or styles that are hereditary and thus tend or are bound to remain in particular families.

Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM". The rank is generally thought to have originated in Sicily from a conflation of Arabic: أمير البحر‎, amīr al-baḥr, "commander of the sea", with Latin admirabilis ("admirable") or admiratus ("admired"), although alternative etymologies derive the word directly from Latin, or from the Turkish military and naval rank miralay. The French version – amiral without the additional d – tends to add evidence for the Arab origin.


Malahide Castle, present day Malahide Castle, March 2011 (2).jpg
Malahide Castle, present day

Early life

He was the only son of Richard Talbot of Malahide Castle and Matilda (or Maud) Plunkett, daughter of Christopher Plunkett, first Baron Killeen. [2] She was the widow of Thomas Hussey, 5th Baron Galtrim, who was murdered on their wedding day, an event which inspired the nineteenth century ballad "The Bride of Malahide". [3] Richard Talbot had inherited Malahide in 1432 when he was still a minor, and died in 1442. Thomas was given possession of his lands in 1460, which suggests that he had just come of age, and thus was probably born in 1439. His mother obtained letters patent from the English Crown granting her possession of her late husband's estates. [4]

Baron Galtrim was an Irish feudal barony: in other words the holder of the barony was entitled to style himself Lord Galtrim, but was not entitled as of right to sit in the Irish House of Lords, although at least two holders of the title did receive a summons to Parliament. The family's use of the title seems to have lapsed in the early nineteenth century: from then on Lord Galtrim was usually referred to simply as "Mr. Hussey of Rathkenny".

Wedding ceremony where people are united in marriage

A wedding is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of marriage vows by the couple, presentation of a gift, and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure or celebrant. Special wedding garments are often worn, and the ceremony is sometimes followed by a wedding reception. Music, poetry, prayers or readings from religious texts or literature are also commonly incorporated into the ceremony, as well as superstitious customs originating in Ancient Rome.

Ballad form of verse, often a narrative set to music

A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads derive from the medieval French chanson balladée or ballade, which were originally "danced songs". Ballads were particularly characteristic of the popular poetry and song of Britain and Ireland from the later medieval period until the 19th century. They were widely used across Europe, and later in Australia, North Africa, North America and South America. Ballads are often 13 lines with an ABABBCBC form, consisting of couplets of rhymed verse, each of 14 syllables. Another common form is ABAB or ABCB repeated, in alternating 8 and 6 syllable lines.

In 1444 his mother made a third marriage to Sir John Cornwalsh, Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer. Cornwalsh died in 1472, and Matilda died in 1482. Since Cornwalsh had no children, Thomas inherited the Cornwalsh estates, which were principally situated in County Meath; he also acquired lands in County Louth from the heirs of Baron Darcy de Knayth. [5]

Sir John Cornwalsh was an Irish judge who held the office of Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer. His tenure was notable for the fact that he succeeded his father as Chief Baron, and for his long struggle to retain the office against a rival claimant, Michael Gryffin.

County Meath County in the Republic of Ireland

County Meath is a county in Ireland. It is in the province of Leinster and is part of the Mid-East Region. It is named after the historic Kingdom of Meath. Meath County Council is the local authority for the county. At the 2016 census, the population of the county was 195,044. The county town of Meath is Navan. Other towns in the county include Trim, Kells, Laytown, Ashbourne, Dunboyne, and Slane.


In 1460 King Henry VI, by letters patent, recognised Thomas as Dominus (Lord) of Malahide. [6] In 1472 he became a judge of the Court of Common Pleas (Ireland). [7] In 1475 King Edward IV created him Admiral of the Port of Malahide, with power to hold an Admiralty court, and the right to levy customs duties on all merchandise coming through the port, as well as a number of other privileges, including an exemption from doing homage for his lands. [8] These privileges suggest that Thomas was a man whose support the House of York was willing to pay a high price for. This was part of a wider Yorkist policy, which had considerable success, of trying to win the support of Anglo-Irish leaders such as the Earl of Kildare. Many of these men remained Yorkist in sympathy even after the downfall of the Yorkist dynasty in 1485, and made the mistake of supporting the Yorkist pretender Lambert Simnel, who unsuccessfully claimed the Crown of England in 1487. It is unclear whether or not Talbot belonged to the Simnel faction since he died in July of that year, at the height of the crisis.

Henry VI of England 15th-century King of England and Duke of Aquitaine

Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. The only child of Henry V, he succeeded to the English throne at the age of nine months upon his father's death, and succeeded to the French throne on the death of his maternal grandfather Charles VI shortly afterwards.

Patent Intellectual property conferring a monopoly on a new invention

A patent is a form of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, selling, and importing an invention for a limited period of years, in exchange for publishing an enabling public disclosure of the invention. In most countries patent rights fall under civil law and the patent holder needs to sue someone infringing the patent in order to enforce his or her rights. In some industries patents are an essential form of competitive advantage; in others they are irrelevant.

Court of Common Pleas (Ireland)

The Court of Common Pleas was one of the principal courts of common law in Ireland. It was a mirror image of the equivalent court in England. It was one of the four courts of justice that gave the Four Courts in Dublin its name.

Death and descendants

Thomas died on 23 July 1487. His first wife was a Miss Somerton, but little else is known of her. By his second wife Elizabeth Bulkeley he had five sons:

Templeogue Suburb in County Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

Templeogue is a southwestern, largely residential, suburb of Dublin in Ireland. It lies between the River Poddle and River Dodder, and is about halfway from Dublin's centre to the mountains to the south.

Richard Talbot (c.1520–1577) was a sixteenth-century Irish judge and landowner. He is notable as the ancestor of the prominent Talbot family of Mount Talbot, and for his clash with Nicholas Nugent, the future Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas.

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  1. Burke's Peerage 4th Edition London 1833 Vol. 2 p. 522
  2. Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 London 1926 Vol. 1 p. 183
  3. Burke's Peerage pp. 521–522; or, according to legend, at the wedding itself.
  4. Burke's Peerage pp. 551–2
  5. Burke's Peerage p. 522
  6. Burke's Peerage p. 522
  7. Ball p.183
  8. Burke's Peerage p. 522
  9. Burke's Peerage p. 522
  10. Ball p. 183