2nd B. Talboys of Kyme
Died: Sep 1540
Father: Gilbert TALBOYS (1º B. Talboys of Kyme)
Mother: Elizabeth BLOUNT (B. Talboys of Kyme/B. Clinton of Marstoke)
Married: Margaret SKIPWITH (B. Talboys of Kyme) (dau. of William Skipwith of South Ormsby and Alice Dymoke) (m.2 Sir Peter Carew - m.3 Sir John Clifton) (See her Biography) BET 26 Apr / 15 May 1539
Eldest surviving son of Elizabeth Blount and Gilbert Talboys. First Baron Talboys of Kyme, his birth date is unknown, as is the date or year of his parent's marriage. On 25 Mar 1539, George was stated to have been sixteen years old. This would mean that he was born between Apr 1522 and Mar 1523. Through his mother he was the half brother of Henry Fitzroy, who was the only illegitimate offspring acknowledged by Henry VIII. The evidence of Gilbert and Elizabeth’s children are obscure; they seem to have had five or six.
On 15 Apr 1530, George’s father Gilbert Talboys died when George was about seven years of age. His mother did not hold his wardship though it seems he sometimes remained in her care. George’s wardship was a valuable commodity, and it was granted to William Fitzwilliam, Earl of Southampton.
Elizabeth Blount remarried a few years after the death of her Gilbert. Her new husband was Edward Fiennes, Lord Clinton, and through him George gained three half-sisters, Margaret, Catherine and Bridget.
George seems to have built a friendship with his royal brother Henry Fitzroy, suggesting that the two brothers were brought up together; perhaps when their mother would visit Richmond at Sheriff Hutton Castle, George would go too. George received royal hand-me-down's of Richmond's fine clothing. In the 1531 inventory of Richmond's possessions, his clothing was given to George. On 3 Aug 1533, on the orders of Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk, Richmond's guardian, clothes including a gown of purple taffeta, edged with purple velvet and with buttons of gold decorated with roses were passed along to George. On the same day he also received a gown of blue tinsel, lined with black satin and edged with black velvet. Other garments included a doublet of gold. Richmond also thought of his maternal family in the last weeks of his life. In an inventory taken following his death, it was recorded that he had given his half-brother George more clothing and it had been delivered by Richmond's personal attendant and friend, George Cotton. Richmond died in Jul 1536 when George was around thirteen.
In Jul 1536 George took his seat in parliament for the first time as Lord Tailboys of Kyme. In Feb 1537 when George was about fourteen, he and his mother Elizabeth received a joint grant of the office of bailiff of the manor of Tattershall Castle, near South Kyme. They were also appointed as keepers of the great park and chaser there and other areas within the manorial estate. By the late 1530s George was granted more autonomy in his own affairs, with a report made to the King of the strategically important, but dilapidated, Harbottle Castle, recommending that George should either be compelled to repair the castle or that the King should take it into his own hands and pay the young lord compensation.
Southampton took his ward with him to Calais, George being there on the 13 Dec 1539 at the reception of Anne of Cleves.
Since his wardship was in the hands of his guardian Southampton, it is doubtful that Elizabeth Blount played a role in arranging the match between her son and Margaret Skipwith. Furthermore, Elizabeth Blount died at some point between Feb 1539 and Jan 1540 and probably never saw her second son marry. The bride was chosen to be Margaret Skipwith, a cousin of Southampton's, and the daughter of Sir William Skipwith, a Lincolnshire gentleman. Writing to Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle,in Jan 1538, John Husee reports court gossip regarding George's future bride.
“My lord of Wiltshire is again now in the court and very well entertained. The election lieth betwixt Mrs Mary Shelton and Mrs Mary Skipwith. I pray Jesu send such one as may be for his highness comfort and the wealth of the realm. Herein I doubt not but your lordship will keep his silence till the matter be surely known…”
Probably Henry was casting an appreciative eye on both ladies, evidently to make one of them either his mistress or perhaps, his wife. However, by 17 Apr 1539, Sir Thomas Heneage, an uncle of Margaret, wrote to Cromwell informing him that the King had given his consent to the match between young George and Margaret. John Husee wrote again to his master on 26 Apr 1539, that:
“It hath been shrewd me that Mrs Skipwith shall marry the Lord Tailbois. This is shall please your lordship to keep secret till you hear more…”
The reasons for secrecy, or even Lord Lisle’s interest in the match, is unclear, particularly as on 15 May 1539, Husee deemed it important enough to inform Lady Lisle that the lord Tailbois is married with no further comment.
Only being 16 and not yet into his majority, an Act of Parliament was passed to put him in possession of his estates and enable him to settle a jointure on his wife. As a minor George had no control of his property, something that was recited by a private Act of a dower on his wife:
“at the humble suit, petition, and special instance of the said Earl [of Southampton], and also for the good and faithful service that the said Gilbert the late Lord Tailbois and his ancestors hath done unto his highness and his progenitors…”
It was an unusual act, closely resembling the one his father once had following his marriage to George's mother, Henry's discarded mistress. The King and Southampton had no need to relinquish control of George's property for another five years. It is therefore probable that Margaret Skipwith had been Henry’s mistress, and George was in a similar position to his father Gilbert.
George did not long survive his marriage, dying, like his royal half-brother Henry, in his late teens, in Sep 1540. Their mother was most likely not alive at the time of his death. It has been speculated that George may have died as a result of consumption. Given that he had been well enough to travel to Calais at the end of 1539, his was not a long term illness.
Southampton was a childless man and seems to have been fond of his ward; when George died in Sep 1540 he wrote to Henry in a letter dated 6 Sep:
“Thus having no other news to signify, but that your majesty hath lost a great treasure in my lord Tailbois, whom, if worldly goodness would have preserved, would to God, I had bestowed and spent all I have wonder your grace in this world to have him a life, for in my opinion a more toward and likely gentleman to have done your majesty service had ye not within your realm but the will of God must be fulfilled…”
The siblings who survived their father were George's elder sister was Elizabeth, and one known younger brother Robert, who succeeded him following his short life. On Robert's death the barony passed to their elder sister Elizabeth, who lived until the reign of Elizabeth and became the wife of Ambrose Dudley, earl of Warwick.
In 1805 when the church of South Kyme, Lincolnshire, was being rebuilt, the vaults containing Gilbert's tomb were opened. Four lead coffins were found inside, below the monument erected by Elizabeth Blount: these contained a fully grown adult and three children. One of the coffins was opened by the workmen and they found it to contain a child aged around five or six. The body was well preserved and looked as if the child had only recently died. In one of the coffins, a body could be that of Robert Tailboys, 3rd Baron Tailboys of Kyme, who died in March 1542 aged about 14. George, who died at 16 or 17, was unlikely to have been buried with his father.
Murphy, Beverly A.: Bastard Prince
DNB entry under "Blount [married names Tailboys, Fiennes de Clinton], Elizabeth"
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