John Talbot was the eldest son and heir of John Ivory Talbot and Mary Mansel. He inherited the Lacock estate on the death of his father in 1772, but only lived a further six years. Before living at Lacock he lived at Charlton, with his spinster sister Ann. Charlton was another estate owned by Sir William Sharington and passed through the family to John Talbot.
John Talbot was MP for Marlborough in 1747 and Sheriff of Wiltshire in 1763.
He married Elizabeth Stone, the daughter of James Stone of Badbury Manor, in 1742 but she died in 1744, presumably in childbirth but this is unclear. There were no children of the marriage. Surprisingly, he did not remarry following Elizabeth’s death and although he had at least four illegitimate children (at least two sons) they could not inherit his estates. Therefore in a will made three years before his death, in 1775, he directed that Lacock should go to the third son of his sister Martha, who had married William Davenport, son of John Ivory Talbot’s sister. This is probably because Martha’s two eldest children were incapacitated.
John Talbot’s children were called John and Ann Jones (son and daughter of Catharine Jones), Tommy Elms (son of Susannah Elms) and Louisa Talbot. Louisa died aged only three weeks, shortly before John himself died. John went on to have a successful career in the East India Company; it is not known what happened to Ann and Tommy beyond adolescence. John Talbot set his mistresses up with houses and even, for Catharine, arranged a marriage with a Lacock shopkeeper, William Selfe.