Sir Gilbert Talbot (c.1606-1695), FRS
attributed to John Hayls (fl.before 1641 – London 1679)
Sir Gilbert Talbot kept the royalist cause alive during the Commonwealth by helping to set up what became the Sealed Knot, a secret society plotting the return of Charles II. When his involvement in the conspiracy was revealed, he was thrown into Gloucester jail. On his release, he fled to France to join Charles II’s exiled court. The King was restored to power in 1660, but like many royalists who had suffered for their loyalty, he found it impossible to get any compensation for his financial losses. As a result, at the end of his long life he was obliged to settle at Lacock with his nephew Sir John Talbot, who had inherited in 1677. He was in Venice, at first as Secretary (1634-38), and then as Chargé d’Affaires (1638-44), for the Ambassador Extraordinary, Basil, Vt. Fielding, and after the latter’s departure, as Resident Ambassador (Jan-June 1645). John Hayls was a lesser competitor of Sir Peter Lely. The attribution has been both doubted and accepted by scholars. The sitter is conceivably the same as that in the inscribed oval head-and-shoulders in the collection of the Earl of Shrewsbury at Ingestre Hall.
Oil painting on canvas, Sir Gilbert Talbot (c.1606-1695), FRS, attributed to John Hayls (fl.1651- d.London 1679), c.1665/75. Sir Gilbert Talbot, second son of Sharington Talbot and uncle of Sir John Talbot. Founder member of the Royal Society and Master of the Jewel Office under Charles II.
Given by Matilda Theresa Talbot (formerly Gilchrist-Clark) (1871 – 1958), who gave the Abbey, the village of Lacock and the rest of the estate to the National Trust in 1944, along with 96 of the family portraits and other pictures, in 1948
Lacock Abbey, The Talbot Collection (National Trust)
Makers and roles
attributed to John Hayls (fl.before 1641 – London 1679), artist
Waterhouse 1994 Ellis K. Waterhouse, Painting in Britain 1530-1790, Pelican History of Art, Harmondsworth, [1st Pub.1953], 1994 ed., p. 83, n. 11 Ingestre Hall, A Catalogue of the Pictures at Ingestre Hall, 1953, p. 66