1. The Talbot Family History
The Talbot name comes from bandits--Talebott-who blackened their faces. Not an
auspicious beginning. Alternatively, you could believe we are descended from the Talbot
who fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. He was one of William the Conquerer's
Principal Knights, a much better lineage.
The search for roots has so far reached back to the late 1700s in Pangbourne, Berkshire, a
small village on the River Thames about 6 miles upstream (west) from Reading. That
data comes from genealogical searches, but there is no history before the 1851 census to
give information on occupations. The 1841 census for Berkshire is missing.
The earliest known ancestor is Jonathan Talbot who married Sarah Clarke in
Pangbourne on April 30, 1789. (Unless otherwise stated, the information is from the
parish records of the village, or parish of a town.) They had four children, all christened
in Pangbourne: Anne in 1784, Henry, 1786, William, 1787, and Hester, 1789. Jonathan
died in 1808 and was buried on July 4 in Pangbourne. The parish records list him as a
William Talbot married Sarah Warner on July 16, 1812, in Pangbourne, and they had
seven children—all christened in Pangbourne: Emma 1812; Henry, 1815; Jane, 1817;
William, 1821; Charles, 1824; Thomas, 1826; and George, 1831.
William was listed as a Barge Builder on his children’s parish christening records,
except on Charles' where he is listed as a Labourer. (Sarah Warner was born in
1789, the 4th and last child of Benjamin and Anne Warner.)
Emma Talbot, an unmarried mother, gave birth to Henry Talbot, who was
christened on July 5, 1835 in Pangbourne.
2. The story can now be picked up in the decennial censuses:
Henry Talbot and his wife Emma Shepherd
Henry Talbot appears in the 1851 census, aged 15, living as a lodger to Lucy Cottrell in
Orts Rd, Reading. (Orts Rd. runs parallel to King's Road, near Reading College and west
of the Jack of Both Sides.) Henry is listed as a bricklayer, as was Lucy’s brother, George
Taylor, age 20.
(Henry’s uncle Henry, son of William and Sarah Talbot and Emma’s younger
brother, was 36 in the 1851 census, and married to a Mary Ann who was 30. He
is listed as a Barge Builder and they lived at 5 St Johns Rd, Reading. (St John's
Rd is just off Queen's Rd where the latter meets King's Rd opposite the Biscuit
Factory.) They had 3 children: William, age 4, born in Newbury; Mary A, age 7
months, born in Reading. Later they had Charles, born 12 Feb, 1860, in
Henry Talbot married Emma Shepherd on 11 Nov. 1857, in St. Giles Parish, Reading.
(In 1851, Emma Shepherd was living with her mother in Tilleards Court opposite
Reading Town Hall, which I think is where Marks and Spencers store is in 2002.
Tilleards Court was located between Friar and Broad Sts.—see Appedix 3.)
Henry is listed on the marriage certificate as 22, a Barge Builder living in Thames
St., Reading, with no father listed. Emma is listed as 21, living at 6 Mill Lane,
Reading, and her father is Thomas Shepherd, a Whitesmith [i.e. a smith working
with tin or other soft metals and enamels.] (Mill Lane is on the other side of the R
Kennet from the Oracle Shopping Center)
In 1861, Henry lived at 2 Albert Rd, Reading, as a lodger with William and Sarah
Johnson. William was a barge builder and, presumably, Henry learned the trade from
him. Emma and her son George Talbot, aged 3, are living with her mother, Maria
Shepherd. Emma lists her occupation as a Laundry Person. They still lived in Tilleards
Court. The Shepherds were long residents of Tilleards Court, living at #9 in the 1851
census, and at #4 in 1861.
A big change occurred between 1861 and 1871. In the 1871 census, Henry, aged 32,
resides at 8 Cornwall Terrace, Selton Rd., Greenwich, and is a barge builder. He was now
married to Elizabeth, aged 29, and they had three children: Henry, 7; Emily, 3; and Ellen,
5. Given that divorce would have been difficult, if unthinkable in those days, we can
assume that Henry’s first wife, Emma, died between 1861 and 1863.
In 1881, Henry and Elizabeth lived at 6 Newcastle St., Greenwich, with five children:
Henry, 17; Kitty, 15; Emily, 11; Ada, 5; and Florence, 2months. We must assume Henry
was illiterate and probably innumerate because he cannot seem to get ages correct.
Neither Henry nor Elizabeth show in the 1891 census; presumably they had died.
3. George Talbot and Mary Ann Jarvis
George Talbot was the only child of Henry and Emma, and was born on Feb 9 1858, 3
months after Henry and Emma’s marriage. I have found no record of his christening,
though I haven’t looked very hard.
George’s parents are listed in the Birth certificate from the Reading Registrar’s
office as Henry Talbot, Barge builder (Journeyman), and Emma Talbot, formerly
Shepherd. They list their address as 4 Tilleards Court, Emma’s mother’s address.)
In the 1871 Census, George, aged 14, is still at 4 Tilleards Court. Maria Shepherd, as
head of household, lists George’s occupation as labourer. Emma was presumably dead,
and Henry had remarried and lived in Greenwich—see above.
George Talbot, aged 17, married Mary Ann Jarvis, aged 21, at St. Mary’s, Reading, on
14 Nov. 1875, with the Rev. MacKarness officiating.
The Marriage Certificate is on p 188 of Parish Church of St. Mary's, Reading.
Marriage was Sunday, 14 Nov 1875. They were both listed as 21! He is listed as
‘Clerk in Factory’ (presumed by me to be Huntley and Palmers.) His address is
listed as Broad St; her address as West St., Reading.
Their signatures are copperplate style and easily read. George's father is listed as
Henry Talbot, Barge builder; Mary Anne's father was George Jarvis, Hay Dealer.
Mary Ann Jarvis was the third child of George and Eliza Jarvis.
Eliza Jarvis was formerly Eliza White who married William Streams in
Aug. 1831, and had four children, the last born in April 1847. William
Streams died in 1847 (see Public Records Office records for Oct to Dec,
1847, Vol. 6, Page 162).
Eliza Streams married George Jarvis in 1850 (See PRO records for Jan
and Mar, 1850, V. 6, P. 286).
George and Eliza Jarvis’s children were Sarah, christened on 11 Aug.
1850, George, christened on 9 May 1852, and Mary Ann Jarvis, born 11
Oct. 1854. George Jarvis is listed on her birth certificate as a labourer
living in Spring Gardens (Spring Gardens is long gone. It was near
Christchurch Rd, Whitley, in the southern part of present day Reading).
Eliza registered the birth with "Her Mark", thereby dashing the dreams of
some that we are related to royalty.
In the 1881 Census, George Talbot, 23, and Mary, 26, had two children, Mary, 5, and
George, 2, and lived at 5 Cross St., Reading. (The 1871 Census has Joseph Watts living
there—see paragraph below.) George was listed as an assistant foreman at the Biscuit
Factory, presumably Huntley and Palmers.
George's mother-in-law Maria Shepherd was a widow by this time, living with her
unmarried son Thomas Shepherd, age 52, at 123 Broad St.
4. On 7 Nov. 1888, George Talbot, now 30, became the licensee of the Jack of Both Sides at
123 London Rd., taking over from Joseph Watts (see the paragraph above, and who was
also listed in the Reading Street Directory of 1883 as the licensee), who presumably had
taught him the business.
George did not identify the address as the Jack in the 1891 census, merely listing it as 123
London Rd, though someone has scribbled "Pub" in afterwards. By then George is 33,
Mary is 35, and their children are George, 12, Thomas S, 9, Herbert L, 5, and Harold
B, 3. There is also an unmarried uncle, Thomas Shepherd, 63, living with them—he
shows up in the 1861 and 1871 censuses in Tilleards Court, and in 1881 in Broad St, as a
bachelor living with his mother, Maria Shepherd.
Son George died at age 18 in Binfield, near Wokingham, and Thomas and Harold
migrated to Australia. (George’s death is the last entry in the family bible, which is now
in care of Ramon Franco, the oldest great great grandson of George and Mary.)
The 1901 census has only George, 43, and his daughter Mary, 25, residing at the Jack.
George’s wife Mary, 44, was a visitor to the Gibsons in Easthampstead, east of
Both Herbert and Harold were at Ardingly College (a private school) in Sussex. Also in
attendance was George Lee. Herbert later married Lilian Lee. (The Archivist of the
College reports they are all listed in the student register in 1901.)
Thomas is not in the 1901 census so presumably was already at sea, if not already in
George must have been an honest bloke, because there is no "record of conviction" in the
Register of Licenses from 1888 to 1897, the only register I consulted. One of the family
myths is that he made his money watering penny beer. If so, the Licensing people did not
of Talbots. Todger
on left, Leslie, and
This is the only
known picture of
5. After this, the family history is clearer. George turned over the pub to his son, Herbert
Lawrence (Todger) Talbot, on 5 October 1910. It was briefly transferred to Lilian
Talbot on 3 February 1918 (possibly while Todger was in the army) and then back to
Herbert on the 24th July 1919. "An alteration of the counter in all bars, converting the
kitchen into a bar parlour, and making a doorway into Montague Villa which tenant will
use as a dwelling house" was approved on March 2nd 1922.
George retired to Jack House in Benson that I believe was built in 1910, though that
needs to be checked. His wife Mary died on Jan 20 1911. He then married Edith Ellen
Browning, a widow with two children, Frank and Edith, in the Dec quarter (the civil
register index is organized by quarters; Dec quarter lists Oct to Dec) of 1912 in
Wallingford. She died a year later at age 43, listed in the Sept quarter of 1913 in
Wallingford. He then married Elizabeth Emma Thetford, a widow with two children,
Thomas Frank and Emily Lillian, in the Sept quarter of 1914. I checked the burial index
for Elizabeth Emma to 1938, without success (an Elizabeth E died in Dec Q, 1938, age
63 in Nuneaton; a second Elizabeth E died in Jun Q, 1938, in Darwen.) It is quite likely
she remarried so died with a different name. Another mystery is that Todger and Lilian
did not move to Jack House until 1945. The RAF had requisitioned it from 1939-1945,
but was it ever vacant?
George died on 15 Dec 1921. Both George and Mary are buried in the Reading cemetery,
along with their son George and Jim's mother, Doris (see map of cemetery in Appendix
George Talbot's Will
George Talbot's [b. Feb.9, 1858; d. Dec.15, 1921] will was registered for probate in
Oxford in May 1922.
George's probate was filed in Oxford on May 29, 1922. His net worth was PS4808 17s
1d. A casual glance at the pages of the index in which this occurs suggests this was a
The will is three pages long and essentially states:
George lists himself as "Gentleman" of Jack House, Benson.
His executors, 2 lawyers referred to as Gentlemen, are to be given 5 pounds each for their
"To my daughter Mary Ann (wife of Walter Weston) the gold watch and long gold chain
formerly belonging to her late mother."
"To my son Thomas Shepperd Talbot my gold watch and chain and medal attached, my
Silver cup, my Royal Humane Society Medal, my Long Service and Good Conduct
medals. The Reading Biscuit Factory Cricket Club presentation Writing Cabinet and my
old gold Skeleton tie pin."
"To my son Herbert Laurence Talbot the Reading Athletic Club's Illuminated Address
and presentation Silver Tea set comprising two Teapots, Cream jug, pair of tongs, six
spoons and tray and also my largest Silver Cup."
6. "To my son Harold Benjamin Talbot my plain gold Ring, my Wrist Watch and silver
"To my stepson Thomas Frank Thetford my Gold Scarf Ring inlaid with Pearls."
"To my stepdaughter Emily Lillian Thetford a gold Brooch."
"To my stepson Frank Browning my Gold Horse Shoe Pin."
"To my stepdaughter Edith Browning a gold Brooch and my gold enamelled Mourning
To Herbert: 1000 pounds (formerly in Simonds stock; now in War Bonds.)
To my wife, Elizabeth Emma [Thetford], in trust while she lives, Jack House and
contents, the grounds including the river front property, boathouse and boat, and
including rents. On her death it will all go to Herbert.
To my wife, in trust: two freehold houses in Hamilton Rd.; 64 Amity Rd.; 154, 119, 108,
110, and 112 Cumberland Rd.; 71, 73, 75, 77, 79 and 81 Mount St.
On her decease they will go to:
Mary Ann Weston--the 2 houses in Hamilton Rd., then to Herbert if she has no
Thomas Sheppard Talbot--108, 110, & 112 Cumberland Rd. and 64 Amity Rd.
Harold Benjamin Talbot--154 and 119 Cumberland Rd. and 32 Rupert St., then to
Herbert if he has no children.
The houses at 71, 73, 75, 77, 79 and 81 Mount St. to be sold after the death of my wife,
and the proceeds divided among the 4 stepchildren.
Any residue of the estate is to be divided among my children.
Probate was granted on May 29, 1922. According to the index of probates the entire
amount was PS4808 17s 1d.
We don’t know much about George and Mary. George was a great fisherman. A pike he
caught in the River Kennet in 1905 is in the Reading Museum, and according to a curator
is the favorite of school kids who relish that it is a predator of "water fowl''! It is about a
The family was very involved in athletics. George was an umpire at the 1906 Olympic
Games in London.
The children of George and Mary Talbot
Mary Ann Talbot
Mary Anne Spain (née Talbot) June 21, 1917. Photo
probably given to Harold, her brother.
7. Pat Morris, Harold’s daughter, reports (March, 2000): Mary was the only daughter of
George and Mary Talbot and was born on March 8, 1876. She married Walter Weston;
they had no children and divorced later. She then married Herbert Spain. She visited
Australia in 1928, and stayed for a year. Pat visited her in Yorkshire in 1952. She
remembers her as a tall, slim, handsome woman, perhaps a little over-dramatic. She doted
on her little brother Harold, Pat's father.
She worked during World War I as a V.A.D. [Voluntary Aid Detachment] on the hospital
ships that ran between Dover and Dunkirk. Pat also believes she was on the last train out
of Russia at the time of the Revolution, though she has no idea what she was doing there.
The oldest son of George and Mary Talbot was born on July 15, 1878 and died on
October 4, 1897 of appendicitis. There used to be a plaque to his memory near the High
Alter at St. Batholemew's Church on the London Rd., Reading. He is buried, along with
his parents, in Reading cemetery opposite the Jack of Both Sides.
Thomas Sheppard Talbot
The second son of George and Mary Talbot was born on May
21, 1881. He attended Portsmouth or Dartmouth Naval College
where he acquired his Master's and Pilot's Tickets. He may
have served in the Royal Navy during World War I. He
married Minton, but separated before he went to China. He
served in the Merchant Navy in the China trade for many years
(probably in the 1920's to 1930's.) While in Singapore he was
referred to as TST at the Raffles Hotel and was christened Tea,
Scandal and Toast- though no scandal is reported.
He retired to Nowra on the south coast of New South Wales,
but offered his services in World War II. He then worked for
the Americans during the Japanese invasion of the Pacific. At
the time he was the only seaman qualified to pilot a Liberty
Boat up the treacherous Barrier Reef from Gladstone to
Thursday Island. (The Americans preferred that route to the
open sea because it was safer from attack.) He finally retired to Nowra and died in the
1950's and was buried at sea.
His niece, Pat Morris (who provided this account), remembers him as tall and straight,
even in old age, and was a perfect English gentleman. "He was a friend and I was very
fond of him."
Herbert Laurence (Todger) Talbot
The picture on the next page shows Todger as Master of the Morland Lodge, 1930's
This account summarizes the Berkshire Chronicle obituary of Aug. 25, 1961, with
additions by JT in square brackets.
8. Todger died suddenly at his home, Jack House, Benson
on Aug. 18 , aged 76. His wife, Lilian, died almost
three years earlier.
Besides his first sporting love, bowls, he had many other
sporting and social interests. Cricket and football ranked
high in his activities. He played cricket for Reading
Wednesday and Reading Wanderers. He first played
football for Wesley and later captained Reading
Wednesday Amateurs and Reading Reserves, when the
latter were in the Great Western Suburban League. After
retiring from football he took up refereeing. He started
his bowls career with the Palmer Park Club, and in 1915
was elected captain, a position which he held until his
resignation in 1928. He played for the county for 10 years
and was elected captain in 1926. He then moved to the
Reading Bowling Club, and was elected to the committee
of the club in 1939, and became vice captain in 1941, and
captain soon after.
He was landlord of "The Jack of Both Sides" Wokingham Rd. [listed as London Rd.
elsewhere], Reading, for 28 years. Among his other activities were the Reading
Tradesmen's Rowing Club, of which he was vice-president, and the Reading Athletic
Club, of which he was a life-long member and for a time official starter.
In 1921 he was elected to the Reading Board of Guardians, at a time when unemployment
was at its height. [One of the stories about him was that he was holed up in Reading Goal,
of Oscar Wilde fame, by a band of strikers. JT] He fought a municipal council election in
He was a Freemason, being a member of the St. Hilda Lodge, Wallingford, and of
Morland Lodge, Reading.
More details about Todger are in chapter two, and of Todger, Lilian, and their children
are in the chapter three.
Harold Benjamin Talbot
Thomas and Harold Talbot, sometime between
1914-1918, during the First World War.
Born in Reading on January 5, 1888, the last
child of George and Mary Talbot. He went to
Ardingley College, Hayward's Heath, Sussex,
with his older brother Herbert. He sailed for
Australia, possibly in 1909, aboard the
"Perthshire". [His daughter Pat Morris, who
provided this account, believes it was his
brother Thomas' ship.] He sailed to Brisbane, but then went to Wyndham, Western
9. Australia, where he was an accountant at Meatworks. He returned to Queensland where
he went jackarooing [i.e. worked on a sheep station] in Longreach and Charleville.
When World War I was declared, he was the first person to enlist from Longreach (mad
man, says Pat.) He joined the Australian Light Horse, 5th Division, and was at the
landing at Gallipolli [where 500,000 died--JT]. He was then sent with the Victorian 88th
Battery to France, where he was a Vickers machine gunner and was wounded in combat.
He eventually had to have his left arm amputated in Perth in about 1922. (He and Pat's
mother were encouraged to marry as it his doctors thought he would not survive the
operation -- his wound was gangrenous.)
His official record from the AIF Database states:
Regimental number 974
Religion Church of England
Occupation Pastoral student
Address 'Jack House', Benson, Oxford
Marital status Single
Age at embarkation 27
Next of kin G Talbot, 'Jack House', Benson, Oxford
Enlistment date 21 December 1914
Rank on enlistment Private
Unit name 5th Light Horse Regiment, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll # 10/10/2
Embarkation details Unit embarked from Newcastle, New South
Wales, on board HMAT A57 Malakuta on 17 May 1915
Regimental number form Nominal Roll 57926
Rank from Nominal Roll Bombardier
Unit from Nominal Roll Fate Australian Army Postal Corps
Fate Returned to Australia 27 May 1919
Harold married Eileen Ryan from the Barossa Valley, South Australia. They moved to
Queensland, which he loved, before Pat was born in 1924. Eileen missed her family so
they moved to Perth, but returned to Queensland in time for June Elizabeth's birth on
May 11, 1936. (One of the reasons for moving from Perth was its isolation, and what he
thought were rumblings about an inevitable war with Japan [JT says, that early? Pat says
that the rumblings now are about Indonesia.]. Ironically, the Japanese bombed Darwin
and the east coast, not Perth.)
He didn't have much of a life after World War II, his amputation was always painful. “He
was a wonderful father--never complained and I still miss him.” He died at Greenslopes
Military Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland.
Eileen Ryan had a cousin, Bertil Teusner, who lived in the Barossa Valley, near
Adelaide. He was the member of the South Australian Parliament for Tanunda when Jim
Talbot was in Adelaide, 1959-1967, but JT has no recollection of that!
10. Harold and Eileen’s children
and Pat in
1952 Pat married Pat Leach at Benson Church--the only grand-daughter of George and
Mary Talbot married in that church. From the left: Mr and Mrs P J Leach, Best Man?, Pat
Leach and Pat Talbot, Miss B M Beavan, Lilian and Todger Talbot.
Pat and June in Brisbane, Feb. 2000.
Pat with grandchildren Kirsten,
15, Timothy, 12, Simon, 18, at
the New Year's 2000 celebration.
11. Geoffrey Brabazon Rudd, June's
husband. His 60th birthday in
The Ship's clock was a present
from Pat, purchased in
Bellingham on her visit in Oct.
Nicholas Talbot Rudd married Shaye Louise Griffith on Lord
Howe Island on Feb 5 2002.
No picture of Anna but this is her
son, Christopher Brabazon Back,
about 8 weeks old. 2000