James Laurence Carew

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James Laurence Carew
Photograph of James Laurence Carew.jpg
Carew in 1898.
Member of Parliament for South Meath
In office
Preceded by John Howard Parnell
Succeeded by David Sheehy
Member of Parliament for Dublin College Green
In office
Preceded by J. E. Kenny
Succeeded by Joseph Patrick Nannetti
Member of Parliament for North Kildare
In office
Preceded by New constituency
Succeeded by Patrick James Kennedy
Personal details
Born 1853
Died 31 August 1903 (aged 50)
St. Moritz, Switzerland
Political party Independent Nationalist
Other political
Irish National League
Irish Parliamentary Party
Education St Stanislaus College
Clongowes Wood College
Alma mater Trinity College, Dublin

James Laurence Carew (1853 – 31 August 1903) was an Irish nationalist politician and Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. A member of the Irish Parliamentary Party and later a Parnellite, he was MP for North Kildare from 1885 to 1892, for Dublin College Green 1896–1900 and for South Meath from 1900 until his death in 1903.

Youngest son of Laurence Carew of Kildangan, Kinnegad, (then Co. Meath), Co Westmeath[1] and Anne, older daughter of Garrett Robinson of Kilrainy, Co. Kildare, he was educated at the Jesuit St Stanislaus' and Clongowes Wood Colleges and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated in 1873. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn, London, in July 1874,[2] and then practised as an equity draftsman and conveyancer.

He was elected to Parliament for North Kildare in the Irish Parliamentary Party landslide in the 1885 general election by a large majority over the Conservative candidate, and returned unopposed in the election of the following year. He assisted J. J. Clancy in running the Irish Press Agency in London. During the Land War, in February 1889, he was prosecuted for a speech calling for the boycott of the Earl of Drogheda. Following his arrest, in Perthshire, Scotland, while campaigning in support of a Liberal by-election candidate, he was sentenced to four months' imprisonment and confined in Kilkenny, and later Kilmainham Gaols.

When the Irish Parliamentary Party split in December 1890 over the leadership of Charles Stewart Parnell, Carew supported the latter. He then acted as one of the whips of the Parnellite parliamentary party. In the subsequent bitter general election of 1892, he was defeated by an Anti-Parnellite by 56 to 44 per cent. He contested North Kildare again in 1895 and was defeated by the slightly smaller margin of 53 to 47 percent. The following year the opportunity to return to the House of Commons arose when his fellow Parnellite Dr J. E. Kenny resigned the strongly Parnellite seat of Dublin College Green. Carew was selected and returned unopposed.

In 1896, he married Helen,[3] widow of Hugh Coleridge Kennard of the Grenadier Guards. Later in this parliamentary term, Carew came under attack in the Irish Nationalist movement for attending royal functions. He also became associated with the Healyite faction in the House of Commons. Consequently, in 1900, he was opposed in Dublin College Green by a new Nationalist candidate, Joseph Patrick Nannetti. Although the exact circumstances appear to be disputed, he was additionally nominated for his native seat of South Meath, and elected unopposed because the sitting member John Howard Parnell, expecting no opposition, omitted to submit the fees necessary for nomination in a contested election. Carew subsequently stated in a letter to the press that his return at South Meath was secured without his knowledge or consent, and offered to resign in favour of Parnell or any other candidate nominated by the constituency. However he was defeated at College Green and did not resign South Meath.

At the subsequent National Convention of the United Irish League, Carew was excluded from the Irish Parliamentary Party, along with Timothy Healy. Whereas Healy was later reconciled, temporarily, with the IPP, Carew did not live long enough for this to occur. He died suddenly three years later, relatively young, while on holiday at St Moritz. He had recently been appointed High Sheriff of Kildare.[4]


  1. ^ Kinnegad is now in Co. Westmeath. But there have been boundary changes since 1853.
  2. ^ The Times, 27 November 1885, states July 1874 while the later Times 5 July 1892 mentions 1878. The former seems more likely.
  3. ^ 1901 Census return for 54 Hans Place, Chelsea
  4. ^ "Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA : 1896 – 1916) Tuesday 27 October 1903". Trove. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 


  • Freeman's Journal, 2 October 1886, 12 December 1900, 1 September 1903
  • The Times (London), 27 November 1885, 22 February and 5 March 1889, 5 July 1892, 14 July and 4 October 1900
  • Brian M. Walker (ed.), Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801–1922, Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 1978
  • Who Was Who, 1897–1916

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for North Kildare
1885 to 1892
Succeeded by
Patrick James Kennedy
Preceded by
J. E. Kenny
Member of Parliament for Dublin College Green
1896 to 1900
Succeeded by
Joseph Patrick Nannetti
Preceded by
John Howard Parnell
Member of Parliament for South Meath
1900 to 1903
Succeeded by
David Sheehy