George Talbot

c1730-1782. He came from a long-established Irish family, and was the youngest of five sons.

Talbot was commissioned lieutenant on 19 February 1756 and promoted commander on 19 May 1761, joining the fireship Proserpine 8 and serving in home waters up to the peace of February 1763. He had the aged Wasp 8 from August 1763 employed on the Irish station, and after coming into Plymouth in April 1765 she went out to Sierra Leone to return in July with despatches from the governor of Gambia, having seen five Spanish men-of-war and two register ships in passage. Talbot was succeeded in command of the Wasp at Whitehaven, Cumbria, in August 1766.

In January 1768 he was appointed to another venerable sloop, the Jamaica 10, going out to Jamaica and being wrecked on Colorades reef, Cuba on 27 January 1770. In the meantime he had been posted captain on 26 May 1768 of the Aldborough 20, presumably for purposes of rank only as she was docked at Woolwich until the spring of 1770

In December 1770 he was appointed to the Lively 20, briefly serving as the flagship of Rear-Admiral Richard Spry at Plymouth before sailing for North America in June. In October 1773 the sickly Captain William Peere Williams of the Active 28 exchanged into the Lively in order to return home, and Talbot followed with the Active in April 1774 to be paid off in June

Talbot recommissioned the Niger 32 at Chatham in the summer of 1775, in which he sailed for Boston at the end of September. He arrived in escort of the 47th Regiment at Quebec two days after its relief by Commodore Charles Douglas on 6 May 1776, and then put into Halifax at the end of the month. Shortly afterwards it was reported that he had sunk an American privateer off Nova Scotia with the loss of all hands. In June 1777 the Niger was at New York, and in the following month she set sail in escort of a convoy for Portsmouth, giving passage to the Hessian General Baron Von Heister, and carrying despatches. She arrived home in the middle of August, and he continued to command her in home waters for the next couple of months until leaving her in early October.

640px-Wreck_of_the_Grosvenor02 (2)

The Wreck of the East Indiaman Grosvenor

After a period out of employment Talbot joined the Worcester 64 at the beginning of 1779, going out to India from St. Helens in March under the orders of Rear-Admiral Sir Edward Hughes, and seeing action with pirates in the Indian Ocean. He commanded the Worcester at the Battle of Sadras on 17 February 1782, where due to the method of the French attack his ship was little engaged and suffered no casualties, and at the Battle of Providien on 12 April where he lost eight men killed and twenty-six wounded. Following the latter battle he was relieved of his command by Hughes who clearly thought him not up to the mark.

On 4 August 1782 he survived the wrecking of the East Indiaman Grosvenor, which having sailed from Ceylon for England went ashore on the coast of Caffraria, the modern day Eastern Cape of South Africa. Sadly he and a faithful boy-servant who remained by his side lost their lives on the journey by foot over hostile land to Cape Town when Captain Talbot was unable to keep up with the rest of the party. Of the one hundred and twenty-three survivors of the wreck only eighteen eventually reached civilisation.

Talbot married Mary Geach from Devon and left two sons and a daughter. His younger son, Montague, was intended for the bar but instead carved out a career as an actor and theatre manager in Belfast, Derry and Newry.