George Carew (diplomat)

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George Carew
Died13 November 1612
Other namesEarl of Totnes

Sir George Carew (died 13 November 1612) was an English diplomat, historian and Member of Parliament. [1]



He was the second son of Thomas Carew of Antony and brother of Richard Carew. He was educated at Oxford and entered the Middle Temple before travelling abroad. At the recommendation of Queen Elizabeth I, who conferred on him the honour of a knighthood, he was appointed secretary to Sir Christopher Hatton. Later, having been promoted to a Mastership in Chancery, he was sent as ambassador to the King of Poland. [2]

He sat in Parliament for St. Germans in 1584, for Saltash in 1586, 1588, 1593, and for St. Germans in 1597 and 1601.

The honour of knighthood was conferred upon him at the Palace of Whitehall on 23 July 1603. [3] According to Dudley Carleton, Carew rode north to meet Anne of Denmark in June 1603, in an unsuccessful attempt to gain an office in her household. [4]


He married Thomazine Carew, the daughter of Sir Francis Godolphin and his first wife Margaret Killigrew. [3] They had two sons and three daughters, including: [1]

Thomazine, or Thomasine, Lady Carew, was a lady-in-waiting to Anne of Denmark. [6] The queen gave her gifts of clothes she had worn, including in February 1610 at Whitehall Palace, a black satin gown in a plain bias cut, and another black gown with blue "galloons" or lace strips. [7] Lady Carew walked in the procession at Anne of Denmark's funeral in 1619 as a lady of the Privy Chamber. [8]


During the reign of James I he was employed in negotiations with Scotland and for several years was ambassador to the court of France. On his return he wrote a Relation of the State of France, written in the classical style of the Elizabethan age and featuring sketches of the leading persons at the court of Henry IV. It appears as an appendix to Thomas Birch's Historical View of the Negotiations between the Courts of England, France and Brussels, from 1592 to 1617, 1749. [note 1] The work A Relation of the State of Polonia , produced between 1598 and 1603, used to be attributed to Carew, but in 2014 Sobecki definitively identified John Peyton as the author and the coronation of James VI and I in 1603 as the date of completion. [9] Sobecki's identification is based on Peyton's letters about this work and the finding of a second copy of A Relation of the State of Polonia written in Peyton's hand and dated and signed by Peyton himself.

See also

Explanatory footnotes

  1. Full title: An historical view of the negotiations between the courts of England, France, and Brussels, from the year 1592 to 1617: Extracted chiefly from the MS. State-Papers of Sir Thomas Edmondes, Knt. Embassador in France, and at Brussels, and Treasurer of the Household to the Kings James I. and Charles I. and of Anthony Bacon, Esq; brother to the Lord Chancellor Bacon. To which is added, a relation of the state of France, with the characters of Henry IV. and the principal persons of the court, drawn up by Sir George Carew, upon his return from his Embassy there in 1609, and addressed to King James I. Never before printed. London: for A. Millar.

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  1. 1 2 "CAREW, George (d.1612), of Antony, Cornw. and Tothill Street, Westminster". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  2. Chisholm 1911.
  3. 1 2 Courtney 1887.
  4. Henry Ellis, Original Letters, 1st Series vol. 3 (London, 1824), p. 82.
  5. "Carew, Francis I (c. 1598–1628), of Westminster", History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010.
  6. James Morrin, Calendar of the Patent and Close Rolls of Chancery in Ireland (London, 1863), pp. 654–655.
  7. Jemma Field, "The Wardrobe Goods of Anna of Denmark", Costume, 51:1 (March 2017), on-line supplement, p. 42 no. 347, 53 no. 452.
  8. John Nichols, Progresses of Anne of Denmark, vol. 3 (London, 1828), p. 541.
  9. Sobecki, Sebastian (23 August 2014). "John Peyton's A Relation of the State of Polonia and the Accession of King James I, 1598–1603". The English Historical Review. Oxford University Press. CXXIX (540): 1079–1097. doi:10.1093/ehr/ceu214.