Sir William Talboys (Tailboys), Earl of Kyme

Sir William Tailboys was a supporter of William de la Pole and Queen Margaret. He was cited by Parliament as having profited from the Duke of Suffolk’s patronage, and later accompanied Margaret of Anjou on her flight to Scotland. Sir William was engaged in a bitter dispute with Lord Cromwell which resulted in his imprisonment in the Tower of London. He was knighted after the Second Battle of St. Albans and fled to the North East following the Battle of Towton. There, he held Alnwick for the Lancastrians for a period. He was captured at the Battle of Hexham and executed by the Yorkists. 

Biography from the Dictionary of National Biography

TALBOYS or TAILBOYS, Sir WILLIAM, styled Earl of Kyme (d. 1464), born before 1417, was son and heir of Walter Tailboys of Kyme in Lincolnshire. Through the families of Barradon and Umfraville he represented the Kymes, lords of Kyme, and was in the male line a descendant of Ivo de Taillebois, a Norman invader, who received large grants in Lincolnshire from William I, and figures as a principal character in Kingsley’s ‘Hereward the Wake’ (Freeman, Norman Conquest; cf. arts. Randulf, Earl of Chester, d. 1129? and Roumare, William de, Earl of Lincoln).

William Tailboys was born before 1417, and succeeded to the Kyme estates on the death of his cousin, Gilbert Umfraville, titular ear of Kyme, on 20 March 1421. When he came to manhood, William was a supporter of the party of William de la Pole, duke of Suffolk [q. v.] In a letter which he addressed to Viscount Beaumont, probably before 1450, he complains of his treatment at the hands of the Lords Cromwell, Welles, and Willoughby (Paston Letters, i. 96–8). It may have been in pursuit of his private quarrel that on 28 Nov. 1449 Tailboys hustled Cromwell, who was Suffolk’s chief adversary in the council, as he was entering the Star-chamber at Westminster. Cromwell, however, accused both Tailboys and Suffolk of intending his death. Tailboys, supported by Suffolk, denied the charge, but was committed to the Tower. There were other charges of violence against Tailboys, and in these also it was alleged that he had profited by Suffolk’s patronage. The protection which he had afforded to Tailboys was one of the charges brought against Suffolk in March 1450. Eventually Tailboys was condemned to pay a fine of 3,000l. to Lord Cromwell (Rolls of Parliament, v. 181, 200). It is in Tailboys’s favour, as showing that he was an ardent partisan rather than a mere roysterer, that he proved himself a brave and faithful adherent of the Lancastrian cause. He was knighted by Henry VI on 19 Feb. 1460–1, after the second battle of St. Albans, and accompanied Queen Margaret in her flight to Scotland in August of that year (Hardyng, pp. 405, 406). His estates were seized by the Yorkist government on 14 May (Cal. Pat. Rolls, Edward IV, i. 43), and he was attainted in parliament on 4 Nov. 1461. In July 1462 he held Alnwick for the Lancastrians, but was forced to surrender to Sir Ralph Grey (Will. Worc. pp. 778–9). He fought at Hedgeley Moor on 25 March 1464, where he was reported to have been killed, and under Somerset at Hexham on 15 May. A few days after the latter battle he was taken prisoner ‘besyde Newcastell in a cole-pyt, he had moche money wyth hym … and in the day following Taylboise lost his head at Newcastell’ (Gregory, Chron. p. 226). His head was put up over the gate at York. For a short time before his death Tailboys was styled Earl of Kyme. His wife, whom he married before 31 Jan. 1438, was Elizabeth, daughter of Lord Bonvill; by her he had a son Robert, who was grandfather of Gilbert, lord Talboys. The attainder of William Tailboys was reversed in October 1472 (Rot. Parl. vi. 18).

Gilbert Talboys, Lord Talboys (d. 1530), was son of Sir George Talboys (1467–1517), by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Gascoigne. George Talboys was keeper of Harbottle Castle in 1509, and served in the French war in 1513. He became insane in March 1517, and was placed under the charge of Cardinal Wolsey (Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, i. 380, 3977, ii. 2979). He is said (G. E. C[okayne], Complete Peerage) to have died on 7 Aug. 1517, but in February 1530–1, being then described as a ‘lunatic,’ he was given into the custody of the Duke of Norfolk, and he did not die until 21 Sept. 1538. His will, dated in 1512, is summarised in ‘Notes and Queries’ (8th ser. iv. 482). Gilbert, his eldest son, came to court under Wolsey’s protection (Letters and Papers, iv. 4357, 5408, two letters by his mother). He married, before 18 June 1522, Elizabeth Blount, daughter of Sir John Blount of Kinlet, Shropshire, and mistress of Henry VIII, by whom she had been mother of Henry FitzRoy, duke of Richmond [q. v.] (ib. iii. 2356). Gilbert Talboys and his wife had a grant of Rokeby, Warwickshire, in 1522, and in 1523 they received lands in Yorkshire under an act of parliament (ib. iii. 2956). In March 1527 he was one of the gentlemen of the king’s chamber. He was returned as one of the members for Lincoln county to the parliament which met on 3 Nov. 1529 (Return of Members of Parliament, p. 369). He was soon after created Baron Talboys of Kyme and took his seat on 1 Dec., but died on 15 April 1530 (Nicolas and G. E. C[okayne] incorrectly give the date as 15 April 1539). He was buried in Kyme church, where his memorial tablet still exists. Elizabeth Blount, the widow of Gilbert Talboys, married, in 1534, as her second husband, Edward Fiennes Clinton (afterwards) Earl of Lincoln) [q. v.], by whom she had three daughters. Lord Leonard Grey [q. v.] had sought to obtain her hand in 1532 (Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, v. 1049). She died about 1540. Bridget, her eldest daughter by Clinton, married Robert Dymoke of Scrivelsby, who was a cousin of Gilbert Talboys.

By his wife, Elizabeth Blount, Talboys had three children: George, who succeeded as second Baron Talboys, and died on 6 Sept. 1539; Robert, who died before his brother; and Elizabeth, who at her brother’s death became Baroness Talboys. She married Thomas Wymbish, who claimed the title in his wife’s right. It was, however, ruled that a husband could not so bear his wife’s title unless he had issue by her; this ruling was the final decision on the point. Elizabeth Talboys married, secondly, before 13 Nov. 1553, as his second wife, Ambrose Dudley, earl of Warwick [q. v.] She died about 1560, and, as she had no issue, the barony became extinct.

[William of Worcester’s Chronicle ap. Letters and Papers illustrative of the Reign of Henry VI, ii. 778–9, 792 (Rolls Ser.); Three Fifteenth-Century Chronicles, pp. 156, 161, 178–9 (Camd. Soc.); Gregory’s Chronicle, p. 226 (ib.); Paston Letters; Rolls of Parliament; Cal. Pat. Rolls, Edward IV, vol. i., numerous references to the confiscation of his estates; Ramsay’s Lancaster and York; G. E. C[okayne]’s Complete Peerage, iv. 425. For Gilbert Talboys and his descendants, see Letters and Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII; Genealogist, 1st ser. ii. 19–24, 42–53; G. E. C[okayne]’s Complete Peerage, vii. 358.]

Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 55
Talboys, William by Charles Lethbridge Kingsford



Wikipedia – Sir William Tailboys

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