William Talbot, Chancellor of Salisbury Cathedral from 1771 to 1811, has been unknown to history, other than by his entry in Alumni Cantabrigienses which records that he was a native of Odel, Bedfordshire, educated at Oakham School, served as a sizarat Clare College, Cambridge from 1738, and having graduated B.A. in 1743 and M.A. in 1746 was a Fellow of Clare for twenty-two years. Talbot appears to have walked the well-trodden path to a college living and retired to the country to enjoy the fruits of long service to his college. However the survival of his letters among the Newcastle Papers in the British Library coupled with the recent discovery of hitherto unknown letters by him allows new light to be thrown onto the life of this eighteenth century clergyman.
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