Talbot, ThomasThomas Talbot, soldier, settlement promoter, colonial official (b at Malahide, Ire 19 July 1771; d at London, Canada W 5 Feb 1853). A member of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy, Talbot spent 50 years developing the Talbot Settlement in Upper Canada. He was educated in Malahide and Manchester, Eng, and at age 11 received his first commission in the British army. During the turbulent period of Anglo-French conflict in the late 18th century, Talbot saw duty in Europe and N America. He was private secretary to Gov SIMCOE of Upper Canada 1791-94. Not only did he visit many parts of the Great Lks area but he cultivated the friendship of Simcoe, which later proved invaluable. In 1801 Talbot sold his commission and immigrated to UPPER CANADA. There he became an official promoter of settlement in the London Dist and within 10 years had developed 3 principal routes - the Talbot streets - as well as a dozen separate townships. His ability to acquire personal property as well as successfully settle extensive tracts of land made Talbot unique. By 1836 he had settled portions of 29 townships extending over a huge area of present-day southwestern Ontario along the N shore of Lk Erie, with a population of over 30,000. Success resulted, in large part, from Talbot's insistence on actual settlement on the land, including clearance and house construction. Full, legal possession was withheld until these conditions were met.
After 1825, Talbot's power began to decline for reasons that included a popular spirit of reform, increasing bureaucracy and Talbot's eccentricity. Socially intolerant and exclusive, he lived alone and isolated in his Pt Talbot "castle." On his death he bequeathed his considerable estate largely to his personal servants.