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Charles Talbot, 1st Duke of Shrewsbury (1660-1718), Politician, Lord High Treasurer and Lord Chamberlain

Sitter in 7 portraits
Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury served five successive monarchs as a politician and diplomat. Brought up a Catholic, he converted to Anglicanism in 1679 and played an important part in establishing William of Orange as King in 1688. His contacts and friendships with politicians of all opinions made him an essential negotiator for successive governments. Talbot found political life draining, and frequently resigned claiming ill health - although the Duchess of Marlborough believed that when serious events occurred he was simply 'frightened … and pretended to be sick'.