Elizabeth Talbot 1581-1651

From Book Owners Online

Elizabeth TALBOT GREY, Countess of Kent 1581-1651

Armorial stamp of Elizabeth Grey (British Armorial Bindings)

Biographical Note

Daughter and coheir of Gilbert Talbot, 7th Earl of Shrewsbury. Possibly educated by the translator John Florio. She was active at court, becoming lady of the bedchamber to Anne of Denmark in 1617. She lived mostly at Wrest Park, Bedfordshire with her husband Henry Grey, Earl of Kent (d.1639). Their circle included Sir Robert Cotton, Thomas Carew and John Selden.


Much of her property passed to John Selden, including books; most of them are 16th or 17th century Italian books. Some, but not all of these went to the Bodleian Library. An inventory of books made after her death survives in the Bodleian (MS Selden Supra 111), and 190 of her books are listed in PLRE (299). Examples: National Art Library CLE CC 15; All Souls, Oxford KK.11.6; Bodleian 4to M.14.Art.Seld.

Characteristic Markings

Numerous volumes survive stamped with the heralidc badge of a talbot, and the initials E G, which are generally agreed to have been hers. Apart from the binding stamps, these books are not generally marked or annotated by Grey.