From the late 17th century, the Talbot family of Lacock was closely related by a number of marriages to the Davenport family of Shropshire and Cheshire. Elizabeth, the daughter of Sharington Talbot, Lord of Lacock from 1646-1677, married a Henry Davenport, and their son, also Henry, married Barbara Ivory, the great grand-daughter of Sharington and the brother of John Ivory Talbot who inherited Lacock in 1714. The family connection was further strengthened when William Davenport, the son of Henry and Barbara, married Martha, the daughter of John Ivory Talbot.
Barbara's husband Henry Davenport (1678-1731) had become rich in the service of the East India Company and, on his return to England in 1714, continued a career in London. Henry's brother, Sharington Davenport was, from 1715, a Major-General in the Fourth Dragoon Guards, having previously served in the Life Guards. These, then, were two powerful and well-connected men within the Talbot-Davenport clan in the early 18th century. During this period, there appeared the figure of Peter Davenport, a man with an eye to the main chance who cultivated a connection with Henry and Sharington Davenport and exploited their common family name to his advantage in a most audacious and brash manner. The Lacock Archive includes a decade-long correspondence between Peter and the two influential Davenport brothers.
Henry Davenport III