Sir John, father of Lawrence and Ben Talbot, was the first Wolfman to prowl the Blackmoor woods. He was first inflicted with the curse when he and friends were exploring the mountains of India. But John was bitten by a 'Feral child', presumebly a pubescant werewolf. After this he discovered that on the night of a full moon he would transform into a Wolfman, and enter a state of pure rage. He had his man-servant Singh lock him up in Talbot manor's crypt every month.
But one night he escaped and brutally killed Solana Talbot, his wife. This prompted Sir John to be more strict with his regime. But after an argument with his son, Ben, he transformed, escaped and killed Ben. This incident made him realise that he never wanted to lock away the beast and so decided to change naturally. And so, breaking free from Singh, he went on a rampage and attacked the nearby Gypsy camp, and infecting his son, Lawrence.
This leads to a fight between Sir John and his son Lawrence, both in werewolf form. Lawrence eventually wins by burning and decapitating his father. It is presumed , Sir John's body is burned within Talbot manor.