Tyrconnel, Richard Talbot, 1st Earl

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Tyrconnel, Richard Talbot, 1st Earl (I) (1630–91). Talbot, a younger son from Co. Kildare, fought for the king in the 1640s and escaped from the destruction of Drogheda in 1649. In the 1650s he was appointed a groom of the bedchamber to the duke of York in exile and for the rest of his life his fortunes followed his patron's. He fought alongside the duke at the naval battles off Lowestoft in 1665 and at Sole Bay (Southwold) in 1672 and, though a catholic, was made colonel of a regiment of horse. As soon as the duke became James II, Talbot was created earl and in 1686 appointed lieutenant-general of the army in Ireland. In 1687 he succeeded Clarendon as lord-lieutenant and began consolidating the catholic position. Tyrconnel was the ‘new deputy’ whom ‘brother Teague’ welcomed in ‘Lillibullero’. After the Glorious Revolution he was made a jacobite duke, fought at the Boyne, carried on the rearguard action, and died in Limerick just before it was forced to capitulate. A brave and well-built soldier, running to corpulence in age, Tyrconnel was regarded by most as hot-headed and lacking in judgement. Macaulay dismissed him as a drunken swaggerer.

J. A. Cannon