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Catherine Talbot

(b. May 21, 1721, Berkshire, England – d. Jan. 9, 1770, Grosvenor Street, Grosvenor Square, London )

Gender: F

Catherine Talbot (1721-1770) was the only child of Edward Talbot, a younger son of William Talbot, Bishop of Durham. Her father died before she was born, and in 1725 Catherine and her mother went to live with Thomas Secker and his wife, and remained members of their household until Secker’s death in 1768. Secker was successively Bishop of Oxford, Dean of St Paul’s and Archbishop of Canterbury, and Catherine and her mother consequently lived from 1758 to 1768 at Lambeth Palace. Carter made the acquaintance of Samuel Richardson, who discussed his novel Sir Charles Grandison with her and sent her parts of the novel for her comments before publication. In February 1741, Talbot began a lifelong friendship with Elizabeth Carter; Carter’s letters to Talbot were published in 1808 by Carter’s nephew, Montagu Pennington. Talbot encouraged Carter to publish her translation of the works of Epictetus, and solicited subscriptions for the edition. Carter in turn arranged for the posthumous publication of Talbot’s work Reflections on the Seven Days of the Week (1770) and her Essays on Various Subjects (1772). On his death, Archbishop Secker left Catherine Talbot and her mother the substantial sum of £13,000. They moved to a house in Lower Grosvenor Street, where Catherine died of cancer after a protracted illness on 9th January 1770, at the age of forty-nine.

Also known as:

  • Catherine Talbot

Please note that all dates and location information are provisional, initially taken from the library and archive catalogues. As our section editors continue to work through the material we will update our database and the changes will be reflected across the edition.