English politician and writer
Baron Carew (1605-1629) Earl of Totness (1626-1629)
Born 1555 Died 1629
George Carew, or Carey, son of Dr George Carew, dean of Windsor, a member of a well-known Devonshire family, and Anne, daughter of Sir Nicholas Harvey, was born on the 29th of May 1555, 1 and was educated at Broadgate's Hall, Oxford, where he took the degree of M.A. in 1588. He distinguished himself on the field on several occasions and filled important military commands in Ireland. In 1584 he was appointed gentleman-pensioner to Queen Elizabeth, whose favour he gained. In 1586 he was knighted in Ireland.
Refusing the embassy to France, Sir George Carew was made master of the ordnance in Ireland in 1588, in 1590 Irish privy councillor; and in 1592 lieutenant-general of the ordnance in England, in which capacity he accompanied Essex in the expedition to Cadiz in 1596 and to the Azores in 1597. In 1598 he attended Sir Robert Cecil, the ambassador, to France. He was appointed treasurer at war to Essex in Ireland in March 1599, and on the latter's sudden departure in September of the same year, leaving the island in disorder, Carew was appointed a lord justice, and in 1600 president of Munster, where his vigorous measures enabled the new Lord-Deputy, Lord Mountjoy, to suppress the rebellion.
He returned to England in 1603 and was well received by James I, who appointed him vice-chamberlain to the queen the same year, master of the ordnance in 1608, and privy councillor in 1616; and on the accession of Charles I he became treasurer to Queen Henrietta Maria in 1626. He sat for Hastings in the parliament of 1604, and on the 4th of June 1605 was created Baron Carew of Clopton, being advanced to the earldom of Totnes on the 5th of February 1626. In 1610 he revisited Ireland to report on the state of the country; and in 1618 pleaded in vain for his friend Sir Walter Raleigh. He died on the 27th of March 1629, leaving no issue. He married Joyce, daughter of William Clopton, of Clopton in Warwickshire.
Besides his fame as president of Munster, where his administration forms an important chapter in Irish history, Carew had a considerable reputation as an antiquary. He was the friend of Camden, of Cotton and of Bodley. He made large collections of materials relating to Irish history and pedigrees, which he left to his secretary, Sir Thomas Stafford, reputed on scanty evidence to be his natural son; while some portion has disappeared, 39 volumes after coming into Laud's possession are now at Lambeth, and 4 volumes in the Bodleian Library. A calendar of the former is included in the State Papers series edited by J. S. Brewer and W. Bullen. His correspondence from Munster with Sir Robert Cecil was edited in 1864 by Sir John Maclean, for the Camden Society, and his letters to Sir Thomas Roe (1615-1617) in 1860. Other letters or papers are in the Record Office; among the manuscripts at the British Museum and calendared in the Historical Manuscripts Commission Series, Marquess of Salisbury's manuscripts.
Stafford published after Carew's death Pacata Hibernia, or the History of the Late Wars in Ireland (1633), the authorship of which he ascribes in his preface to Carew, but which has been attributed to Stafford himself. This was reprinted in 1810 and re-edited in 1896. A Fragment of the History of Ireland, a translation from a French version of an Irish original, and King Richard II in Ireland from the French, both by Carew, are printed in Walter Harris's Hibernica (1757). According to Wood, Carew contributed to the history of the reign of Henry V in Speed's Chronicle. His opinion on the alarm of the Spanish invasion in 1596 has also been printed.
See also the Life of Sir P. Carew, ed. by Sir J. Maclean (1857).
1 According to his own statement, Archaeologia, xii. 401. In the introduction, however, to the Calendar of Carew Manuscripts the date of his birth is given as 1558, and his admission into Broadgates Hall in 1572 aged 15. In the preface to Carew's Letters to Roe it is given as 1557.
Being the entry for TOTNESS, GEORGE CAREW, or CAREY, EARL OF in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.