1st Earl of Monmouth (1626-1639)
Born c.1560 Died 1639
Robert Carey, youngest son of Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, chamberlain and first cousin of Queen Elizabeth, by Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Morgan, of Arkestone in Herefordshire, was born about the year 1560.
As a young man he accompanied several diplomatic missions abroad and took part in military expeditions. In 1587 he joined in the attempt to relieve Sluys, in 1588 served as a volunteer against the Spanish expedition, and commanded a regiment in Essex's expedition to Normandy in 1591, taking part in the siege of Rouen. He was knighted by Essex the same year for having by his intercession with the queen procured his recall. In the parliaments of 1586 and 1588 he represented Morpeth; in that of 1593, Callington; and in those of 1596 and 1601, Northumberland. From 1593 till the end of Elizabeth's reign he occupied various posts in the government of the Scottish borders, succeeding to his father's appointment of Lord Warden of the Marches in 1596, which he held till February 1598.
In March 1603 he visited the court, and witnessed the queen's last illness, which he described in his Memoirs. Anxious to recommend himself to her successor, and disobeying the orders of the council, he started on horseback immediately after the queen's death on the morning of the 24th of March, in order to be the first to communicate the tidings to James, arrived at Holyrood late on the 26th, and was appointed by the king a Gentleman of the Bedchamber. But his conduct met with general and merited censure as "contrary to all decency, good manners and respect", and on James's arrival in England he was dismissed from his new post.
On the 23rd of February 1605, however, he was made governor of Prince Charles, in 1611 his Master of the Robes, in 1617 his chamberlain, and on the 6th of February 1622, he was created Baron Carey of Leppington. In 1623 he followed Charles to Spain, and after the latter's succession to the throne he was created Earl of Monmouth in 1626. He died on the 12th of April 1639. His eldest son Henry (1596-1661), succeeded him as 2nd Earl of Monmouth, and on his death without surviving male issue the peerage became extinct.
His Memoirs were published first by the Earl of Cork and Orrery in 1759, a new edition, annotated by Sir Walter Scott, being printed in 1808.
Being the entry for MONMOUTH, ROBERT CAREY, 1ST EARL OF in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.