Talbot, John (1384–1453), earl of Shrewsbury and of Waterford , second son of Richard Talbot, Lord Talbot, and Ankaret, daughter of John, Lord le Strange, was one of the foremost soldiers of his generation. He served with Henry, prince of Wales (later Henry V), in Wales; was recognised as Lord Furnival in right of his wife, Maud Neville, whom he married before March 1407; served as JP for Derby, Shrewsbury, and Stafford; and was knighted before 15 July 1413.
Furnival was appointed lieutenant of Ireland on 24 February 1414, after the sudden death of Sir John Stanley (qv). He seemed a good choice for the position, as he had a claim to the lordship of Westmeath and his brother was titular lord of Wexford. After his arrival in Ireland (9 November 1414), he proved to be an active and capable lieutenant in his first year in office, campaigning in the midlands and Ulster and securing the submissions of several Gaelic lords. However, these impressive gains could not be held without financial support from England, and the rest of Furnival's lieutenancy was marked by his precarious financial position, despite sojourns in England (1416, 1418) to solicit more money. Lack of money caused friction and resentment between him and the Anglo-Irish, led by James Butler (qv), 4th earl of Ormond. Furnival secured the archbishopric of Dublin for his brother Richard (qv), who became a central figure in the growing factional disputes between Ormond and supporters of the Talbots.
He was superseded as lieutenant of Ireland by Ormond (February 1420) and left the country before Ormond returned (April). He then served in France with the king and was present at the signing of the treaty of Troyes. After the death of his niece (December 1421) he inherited his family's lands and became Lord Talbot. While in England he levelled charges of treason against Ormond, but the dispute was temporarily smoothed over. He returned to Ireland in the retinue of Edmund Mortimer (qv), earl of March, and served briefly as justiciar after March's death (January 1425). During this period he forced the submissions of several Gaelic lords. After his departure from Ireland in 1425, Talbot spent most of his career in France and became one of the foremost defenders of the English lands there. He was present at the siege of Orléans (1428), but was captured by the French at Patay (June 1429) and held hostage till June 1433. He was created count of Clermont in 1434, appointed marshal of France in 1437, and created earl of Shrewsbury on 20 May 1442.
The long-standing dispute with the earl of Ormond was ended in the summer of 1444 by the marriage of Shrewsbury's eldest son, John, to Ormond's daughter Elizabeth. During a truce with France, Shrewsbury was reappointed lieutenant of Ireland (12 March 1445) for a seven-year term, and was created earl of Waterford and hereditary steward of Ireland (17 July 1446); but he was slow in taking up his post in Ireland, not arriving before October 1446. While in Ireland, he proved he had lost none of his ability to deal with the Gaelic lords, and again campaigned vigorously and extracted several submissions; a notable feature was that he styled himself earl of Wexford. He was recalled in October 1447 after the truce with France broke down.
Back in France, he was one of the official hostages for the duke of Somerset after the surrender of Rouen (October 1449) and was forced to surrender Falaise (July 1450). He was made lieutenant of Aquitaine in September 1452 and sent to protect the remaining English possessions in France; he successfully recovered Bordeaux and much of the surrounding countryside, but died on 17 July 1453 trying to capture the castle of Castillon. His body was returned to England and buried at St Albemarle's, Whitchurch, Shropshire.