Henry Cary, 1st Viscount Falkland

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Henry Carey, 1st Viscount Falkland, c. 1625

Henry Cary, 1st Viscount Falkland PC (c. 1575 – September 1633) was an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1601 to 1622. He was created Viscount Falkland in the Scottish peerage in 1620. He was lord-deputy of Ireland from 1622 until 1629.[1]

Early life[edit]

Cary was the son of Sir Edward Cary, of Berkhamstead and Aldenham, Hertfordshire, and his wife Catherine Knevet, daughter of Sir Henry Knevet, master of the jewel office to Queen Elizabeth and King James, and widow of Henry Paget, 2nd Baron Paget. He entered Gray's Inn in 1590 and entered Exeter College, Oxford in 1593 at the age of sixteen.[2] According to Wood, by the aid of a good tutor Cary became highly accomplished. Subsequently he served in France and the Low Countries, and was taken prisoner by Don Louis de Velasco, probably at the siege of Ostend (a fact referred to in the epigram on Sir Henry Cary by Ben Jonson).[3]

Court of James I[edit]

On his return to England Cary was introduced to court, and became Gentleman of the Bedchamber. He was knighted at Dublin in 1599.[4] In 1601 he was elected Member of Parliament for Hertfordshire. He was a J.P. for Hertfordshire in 1601. He became joint master of the jewels with his father on 21 June 1603. In 1604 and 1614 he was re-elected MP for Hertfordshire. At the investiture of Charles Prince of Wales in 1616 he was created a K.B.. In 1617 he became Comptroller of the Household and a Privy Councillor. He succeeded to the family estates on the death of his father in 1618. He was created Viscount Falkland in the county of Fife, in the Scottish peerage on 10 November 1620 (the title, with his naturalisation, was confirmed by Charles I by diploma in 1627).[5] In 1621 he was re-elected MP for Hertfordshire;[2] his Scots peerage gave him the right, which he was the first to exercise, of sitting in the English Commons.[6]

Service under Charles I[edit]

Chiefly through the favour of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham Cary was appointed to succeed Sir Oliver St John, 1st Viscount Grandison, as lord deputy of Ireland. His patent was sealed in March 1622[7] and he was sworn on 18 September 1622.[5] In office he showed himself both bigoted in his opinions and timid in carrying out a policy which continually dallied with extremes. Although he was conscientious, he was easily offended, and he failed to conduct himself with credit when confronted with any unusual difficulties.[5]

Falkland was greatly distressed at the number of priests in Ireland and their influence over the people. He was influenced by a sermon of James Ussher on the text "He beareth not the sword in vain", and issued a proclamation on 21 January 1623, ordering their banishment from the country. This proclamation was highly inappropriate at the time because of the (ultimately unsuccessful) negotiations for the Spanish marriage of the Prince of Wales. In February 1624 he received an order from the English privy council to refrain from more extreme measures than preventing the erection of religious houses and the congregation of unlawful assemblies.[5]

Falkland convened an assembly of the nobility of Ireland on 22 September 1626, on account of the difficulties of maintaining the English army in Ireland. He laid before the assembly a draft of concessions promised by Charles, which were subsequently known as the "Graces". They promised the removal of certain religious disabilities and the recognition of sixty years' possession as a bar to all claims of the crown based on irregularities of title. Falkland did not conduct the negotiations with skill, and for a long time there seemed no hope of a satisfactory settlement. Finally in May 1628, a deputation from the nobility agreed, before the king and privy council at Whitehall, on certain additional concessions in the "Graces" and then confirmed, that Ireland should provide a sum of £4,000 for the army for three years.[5]

Falkland believed that his difficulties with the nobility had been largely due to the intrigues of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Adam, Lord Loftus, After the dissolution of the assembly of the nobility in 1627, he brought a charge against Loftus of malversation, and of giving encouragement to the nobility to refuse supplies. After the case had been heard in London, Lord Loftus was allowed to return to his duties pending further inquiry.[5]

Falkland had for some years been engaged in tracking out what he supposed was a dangerous conspiracy of the Byrnes of Wicklow, and in August 1628 was able to announce to Charles I that the result of his protracted investigations had been successful, a true bill having been found against them at the Wicklow assizes. The aim of Falkland was to set up a plantation in Wicklow on the confiscated estates of the Byrnes, but as his designs were disapproved of by the commissioners of Irish causes, the king appointed a committee of the Irish privy council to investigate the matter more fully. Falkland took deep offence because one of the members of committee was the lord chancellor, Loftus and he refused to afford any assistance in the investigation on account of the "high indignity" offered to himself.[8] When, as the result of the inquiry, it was discovered that the Byrnes had been the victims of false witnesses, Falkland was, on 10 August 1629, directed to hand over his authority to the lords justices on the pretext that his services were required in England.[5] Charles I, recognising his good intentions, continued him in favour.

Cary broke his leg, which then had to be amputated, in Theobalds Park and as a result, he died in September 1633. He was buried on 25 September 1633 at Aldenham.[2]

Patron of the arts[edit]

Falkland continued throughout his life to cultivate his literary tastes. An epitaph by him on Elizabeth, countess of Huntingdon, is given in Wilford's ‘Memorials.’ Among his papers was found ‘The History of the most unfortunate Prince, King Edward II, with choice political observations on him and his unhappy favourites, Gaveston and Spencer,’ which was published with a preface attributed to Sir James Harrington in 1680. Falkland was in the habit of ingeniously concealing the year of his age in a knot flourished beneath his name, a device by which he is said to have detected a forger who had failed to recognise its significance.[5]

Family[edit]

Cary married in 1602 Elizabeth Tanfield (1585–1639), daughter and heiress of Sir Lawrence Tanfield, lord chief baron of the exchequer, and his wife Elizabeth Symonds, daughter of Giles Symondes of Claye, Norfolk. She was aged fifteen at the time of the marriage Elizabeth and had a high reputation for her learning. In very early years she showed a strong inclination for the study of languages, mastering French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Hebrew, and Transylvanian.[5] As the result of her study of the fathers, she was converted to the catholic faith, when about nineteen years of age. However she did not acknowledge the change in her opinions till twenty years afterwards.[5]

Elizabeth accompanied her husband to Dublin, where she took a great interest in the establishment of industrial schools. When Cary learned of he change of faith they quarrelled, and she left Dublin in 1625. The Privy Council allowed he a separate maintenance of £500 a year. After her husband's return to England they became reconciled, but continued to live separately. On account of her change of faith her father probably passed her over in his will (for the circumstances see under Lucius Cary). When her husband died she had only the annuity of £200 a year given her by her parents. She died in October 1639.[5]

One of the most intimate friends of Lady Falkland was Chillingworth, but after his conversion to Protestantism she blamed him for endeavouring to pervert her children. She published a translation of Cardinal Perron's reply to the attack on his works by King James, but the book was ordered to be burned. Afterwards she translated the whole of Perron's works for the benefit of scholars at Oxford and Cambridge; the translation, however, not being printed. She also wrote in verse the lives of St. Mary Magdalene, St. Agnes the Martyr, and St. Elizabeth of Portugal, as well as numerous hymns in honour of the Virgin. The collected edition of the works of John Marston (1633) is dedicated to her.[5]

Of the eleven children of Lord and Lady Falkland there are records of nine, four sons and five daughters:[5]

  • Lucius, became 2nd Viscount Falkland but during his father's life was confined in the Fleet prison, his father's petition to the king praying for the release of his son, is preserved in the Harleian MS. 1581, where there are also four letters to Falkland from the Duke of Buckingham, has been printed in the ‘Cabala.’
  • Lawrence, was knighted and was killed fighting under Sir Charles Coote (the elder) at Battle of Swords in 1642.
  • Patrick, was the author of some poems
  • Placid, took orders in the Catholic Church.
  • Four daughters, Anne, who had been maid of honour to the queen, Lucy, Elizabeth, and Mary, ultimately became nuns in the Convent of Cambray.
  • A fifth. Victoria, married Sir William Uvedale MP (1581-1652).[9] One of their daughters, Elizabeth, married Edward Howard, 2nd Earl of Carlisle

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lee, Sidney (1903), Dictionary of National Biography Index and Epitome, p. 212 (also main DNB ix 240)
  2. ^ a b c "History of Parliament". Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  3. ^ Henderson & 1887 240 states that Ben Johson wrote:

    In the following lines Ben Jonson draws a flattering portrait of Henry Carey:

  4. ^ The Complete Peerage, Volume V. St Catherine's Press. 1926. p. 239. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Henderson & 1887 241.
  6. ^ The Complete Peerage, Volume V. p. 239. Footnote refers. The work dates the start of this, his last session in the Commons, as 1620.
  7. ^ Kelsey, Sean (2004). "Cary, Henry, first Viscount Falkland (c.1575–1633)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/4837. Retrieved 2012-10-15.  (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  8. ^ Henderson & 1887 241 see: "A Copie of the Apollogie of the Lord Viscount Faulkland, Lord Deputie of Ireland, to the Lords of his Majestie's Privie Counsell, the 8th December, 1628", printed from the Harleian MS. 2305, in Gilbert's History of the Irish Confederation, i. 210–17.
  9. ^ http://www.histparl.ac.uk/volume/1604-1629/member/uvedale-sir-william-1581-1652

References[edit]

Attribution
  •  Henderson, Thomas Finlayson (1887). "Carey, Sir Henry". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography 9. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 240,241.  The DNB article uses the following sources:
    • Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), ii. 565–6;
    • Fuller's Worthies (ed. 1811), pp. 431–2;
    • Lloyd's State Worthies;
    • Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland (John Philip Wood), i. 567–8;
    • Biog. Brit. (Kippis), iii. 290;
    • Chalmers's Biographical Dictionary viii. 335–6;
    • Walpole's Royal and Noble Authors, v. 65–6;
    • The Lady Falkland, her Life, from a Manuscript in the Imperial Archives at Lille;
    • Life, by Lady Georgiana Fullerton, 1873;
    • Cal. State Papers, Dom. Series, containing many letters both of Lord and Lady Falkland;
    • Cal. Irish State Papers, 1615–25;
    • Cal. Carew MSS.;
    • Harleian MSS. 1581, 2305;
    • Add. MS. 3827;
    • Gilbert's History of the Irish Confederation, I. xi, 24, 170–6, 210–17;
    • Gardiner's History of England, viii. 9–28.
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir Robert Cecil
Rowland Lytton
Member of Parliament for Hertfordshire
1601-1622
With: Sir Robert Cecil 1601
Rowland Lytton 1604-1611
Ralph Coningsby 1614
Sir Charles Morrison, 1st Baronet 1621-1622
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Morrison, 1st Baronet
Sir William Lytton
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Oliver St John
Lord Deputy of Ireland
1622–1629
Succeeded by
Lords Justices
Peerage of Scotland
New creation Viscount Falkland
1620–1633
Succeeded by
Lucius Cary