Talbot, Bishop James Robert

Scope and Content

Manuscript volume of sermons of James Robert Talbot, Vicar Apostolic, London District, and instruction on the sacraments of confirmation and confession. The vellum cover is dated 1765, but parts of the text were being delivered at least until 1777. A loose slip of paper bears, in another hand, the names of several parishes north-east of Newbury, Berkshire.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Robert Talbot (1726-1790) was the brother of the fourteenth Earl of Shrewsbury, and is chiefly known for having been the last priest to be indicted in the public courts for saying Mass. In 1759, he was consecrated coadjutor bishop to Dr. Challoner, and during his episcopate was twice brought to trial, in 1769 and 1771 respectively. In each case he was acquitted for want of evidence. On the death of Bishop Challoner in 1781, Bishop James Talbot became Vicar Apostolic of the London District, which he ruled until his death 9 years later. He lived a retired life at Hammersmith, his chief work during these years being the completion of the purchase of a property at Old Hall, Hertfordshire, where he had a preparatory academy which afterwards developed into St Edmund's College. The penal law against Catholic schools still existed, and Bishop Talbot was again threatened with imprisonment; but he contrived to evade punishment. Talbot died at Hammersmith in 1790.


Single item.

Access Information

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Bought from Stanley Smith in 1965.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

8" x 6½". Bound in vellum.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Separated Material

Further material relating to Bishop James Robert Talbot may be found in the Westminster Diocesan Archives and the Birmingham Archdiocesan Archives.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.