James Hugh Talbot

RolesNaval Sailor 
First Known Service4.4.1796CSORN
Last Known Service11.7.1812CSORN

Event History

Date fromDate toEventSource
4.4.1796 LieutenantCSORN
5.18029.1802Escort (12), Lieutenant and Commanding OfficerBWAS-1793
5.180511.7.1812Encounter (12), Lieutenant and Commanding OfficerBWAS-1793

Previous comments on this page

Posted by Roger Hutchins on Friday 16th of November 2018 11:12

James Hugh Talbot (1775-1817). The court martial was probably in Cadiz, since the vessels were in the squadron commanded by Admiral Arthut K Legge there. Although exonerated, he would not have expected another command. He was captured, possibly wounded, at Chipiona, and this may well have contributed to his early death in 1817 at the age of 42 aboard HMS Royal Sovereign, formerly Collingwood's flagship at Trafalgar, now receiving ship at Plymouth, i.e. the ship a harbour facility accommodating new recruits or men being demobilised. At the time of his death Talbot was employed in the “service of the Ordinary”, i.e. administrating the paying-off of ships decommissioning from service and returning their stores and equipment to dockyard stores (Naval Chronicle, 38, July-Dec. 1817, p. 88). Left with several young children, his widow was obliged to apply to the Charity for the Relief of Naval Widows (ADM 6/355/35 ff 162-165, 1817). His fate, and the sad situation of his widow, stands in contrast to that of Pascoe Dunn (1786-1826) First Lieut of Tuscan, who was invalided out (Oct. 1812) but promoted Commander (June 1814), with a gratuity and pension compensating for his wounds. This left his widow with 5 young children in an entirely adequate situation.

Posted by Roger Hutchins on Tuesday 21st of August 2018 14:59

In May 1802 Talbot married Mary Kellaway (b.1783 Weymouth); they had at least 5 children: Mary 1803, Henry buried 1805 infant, Catherine 1808, Charles 1810 and William 1817; the last three were baptised together 18 Oct 1820.
Lieut Talbot was commanding the brig Encounter (12) during her last action, recorded in Naval Biographies (of John Steddy, who was Midshipman on HMS Tuscan accompanying her. On 11 July 1812 the boats of the two brigs attacked and attempted to cut out three privateers, lying under the protection of a battery and of troops posted in the houses at St. Lucar [a few miles north of Cadiz]. Although one of the vessels was brought out, the Encounter, having grounded, fell into the hands of the enemy, and the boats, one of which was destroyed, sustained a loss of 28, out of 43, killed and wounded. (O'Byrne, vol 3 (1823), p 1111)
Talbot's court martial was held only ten days later, on 21 July, so probably in Gibraltar. The court found that “the loss of the Brig was occasioned by striking on a shoal off Chipiona with a falling tide in the execution of the zealous endeavours of the officers and crew to cover the boats employed in attacking the enemy. No blame could possibly be attached to them, and therefore the Court most honourably acquitted them” (ADM 194/42 A Chronological List of Trials by Courts Martial 1812-1855, No. 178).
However, I have not found details of any further naval service by Talbot. He died 13 April 1817, and the National Archive has a copy of Mary Talbot's application the same year to a charity for the relief of officers' widows.

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