Lacock Abbey Oct 27. 1856
Were it in my power I would most willingly transmit to you a correct pedigree of the descendants of Sherington Talbot. But unfortunately all family papers of that date have been destroyed.
I have only a cotemporary [sic] entry in a book of the birth of Sherington Talbot himself who was born at Lacock anno xix of Elizabeth 1577
My excellent friend for whose memory I have the greatest regard, the last (but one) Earl of Shrewsbury applied to me some 10 or 12 years ago to elucidate for him if I could, this part of the family pedigree. He did not state his motive, but there can be no doubt that he wished to ascertain for the satisfaction of his own mind, what was likely to become of the Earldom in case of the death without male issue of his cousin Bernard, the event which has happened accordingly. On that occasion I made researches and found that no materials were left.
If now we assume for a moment that the statements in Collins's peerage are correct they are to the following effect. Sherington Talbot had 2 wives and ten sons. Lord Talbot's claim rests upon his being descended from the ninth of these sons. I apprehend therefore it will be necessary for him to prove the second marriage of Sherington (which is probably not difficult) and the decease without male issue of the eight elder brothers, or at least that they have left no male descendants now living (and not inheriting through a female). I can prove this with respect to the Eldest son alone.
What became of the other seven does not appear from any document in my possession. I am sorry that my account is so little satisfactory. Blame be to them who in times past had no regard for the preservation of their ancestors' memory!
I am very glad that my paper on the Assyrian inscriptions has interested you, and I enclose another number of the same. viz No II
There is yet another, but as I cannot lay my hand on a copy today, I will send it at another time. I did what I could to get it read at the Cheltenham meeting, I sent notice long beforehand that I had a paper for that section, thinking that it would be inserted on the list as a matter of course, either according to priority of application or some other reasonable rule, but it was not done, and I found the ground preoccupied by papers of immense length and moreover the section resolved to give themselves a holiday the next day and go over to Cirencester, and as the Secretaries said they were resolved to go whether the section went or not, it was evidently useless to contend and therefore it was voted nearly unanimously to have a holiday.
What you say about the Bellino<1>cylinder surprises me but I suspend my judgment until I have further information.
Could you lend me for a few days Grotefend's<2> copy wch you received from Rawlinson?<3> I am afraid I shall be detained most part of next month by some affairs in London, should that not be the case I will apprise you about Christmas however I am more likely to be settled at home. I possess a splendid French work Lajard<4> on the worship of Mithra which contains five engravings of the Assyrian Cylinders, one of them is a picture of King Darius hunting lions, with an inscription in 3 languages Persian Scythian and Assyrian, all containing the same meaning.
Believe my Yours vy Truly
H. F. Talbot
1. Karl Bellino (1791-1820), German Assyriologist.
2. Georg Friedrich Grotefend (1775-1853), archeologist and philologist.
3. Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, 1st Baronet (1810-1895), orientalist.
4. Felix Lajard (1785-1858, French archeologist.