Henry Cary, 1st Viscount Falkland, KB, 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.
Cary was the son of Sir Edward Cary, of Berkhamstead and Aldenham, Hertfordshire, Master and Treasurer of His Majesty's Jewels, and his wife Catherine Knevet or Katherine Knyvett, daughter of Sir Henry Knevet or Knyvett, Master of the Jewel Office to Queen Elizabeth and King James, and wife Anne Pickering, and widow of Henry Paget, 2nd Baron Paget. His father was the son of Sir John Cary (d. 9 September 1552) and wife Joice Denny (d. from 10 November 1560 to 30 January 1561) and nephew of Sir William Carey.
He entered Gray's Inn in 1590 and entered Exeter College, Oxford in 1593 at the age of sixteen.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 Luis de Velasco, probably at the Siege of Ostend (a fact referred to in the epigram on Sir Henry Cary by Ben Jonson).
On his return to England Cary was introduced to court, and became Gentleman of the Bedchamber. He was knighted at Dublin in 1599.In 1601 he was elected Member of Parliament for Hertfordshire. He was a JP for Hertfordshire in 1601. He became joint master of the jewels with his father on 21 June 1603. In 1604 he was re-elected MP for Hertfordshire.
Henry Cary danced in Hymenaei , the masque at the wedding of Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex and Frances Howard on 5 January 1606.During the progress of Anne of Denmark in April 1613, Cary performed in the masque at Caversham Park.
At the investiture of Charles Prince of Wales in 1616 he was created a Knight of the Bath 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).In 1621 he was re-elected MP for Hertfordshire; his Scots peerage gave him the right, which he was the first to exercise, of sitting in the English Commons.
Chiefly through the favour of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham Cary was appointed to succeed Sir Oliver St John, as Lord Deputy of Ireland. His patent was sealed in March 1622and he was sworn on 18 September 1622. 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.
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.
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.
Falkland believed that his difficulties with the nobility had been largely due to the intrigues of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Adam, Viscount 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.
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.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. 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.
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.
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 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.As a 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.
Elizabeth accompanied her husband to Dublin, where she took a great interest in the establishment of industrial schools. When Cary learned of her change of faith they quarrelled, and she left Dublin in 1625. The Privy Council allowed her 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.
One of the most intimate friends of Lady Falkland was William Chillingworth, but after his conversion to Protestantism she blamed him for endeavouring to pervert her children. She published a translation of French Cardinal Jacques Davy Duperron's reply to the attack on his works by King James, but the book was ordered burned. Afterwards she translated the whole of Perron's works for the benefit of scholars at Oxford and Cambridge, which was never 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 Mary. The collected edition of the works of John Marston (1633) is dedicated to her.
Of the 11 children of Lord and Lady Falkland there are records of nine, four sons and five daughters:
In the following lines Ben Jonson draws a flattering portrait of Henry Carey:
- When no foe, that day,
- Could conquer thee but chance who did betray.
- That neither fame nor love might wanting be
- To greatness, Carey, I sing that and thee,
- Whose house, if it no other had,
- In only thee, might be both great and glad;
- Who, to upbraid the sloth of this our time,
- Dost valour make almost if not a crime.
Adam Loftus, 1st Viscount Loftus was Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1619 and from 1622 raised to the peerage of Ireland as Viscount Loftus of Ely, King's County. His uncle, another Adam Loftus, was both Lord Chancellor of Ireland and Church of Ireland primate.
Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland PC was an English author and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1642. He fought on the Royalist side in the English Civil War and was killed in action at the First Battle of Newbury.
Viscount Falkland is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. Referring to the royal burgh of Falkland in Fife, it was created in 1620, by Scottish King James VI, for Sir Henry Cary, although he was actually English and had no connection to Scotland. He was made Lord Cary at the same time, also in the Peerage of Scotland. His son, the second Viscount, was a prominent statesman. The latter's younger son, the fourth Viscount, notably served as Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire. His son, the fifth Viscount, represented several constituencies in the House of Commons and held office as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1693 to 1694. The Falkland Islands in the south Atlantic are named after him.
Baron Hunsdon is a title that has been created three times.
Anthony Cary, 5th Viscount Falkland PC was an English born, Scottish nobleman and English politician.
Sir Walter Butler, 11th Earl of Ormond and 4th Earl of Ossory (1559–1633), succeeded his uncle the 10th earl, in 1614. He was called "Walter of the Beads" because he was a devout Catholic, whereas his uncle had been a Protestant. King James I intervened and awarded half of the inheritance to his uncle's Protestant daughter Elizabeth. Lord Ormond contested the King's decision and was for that imprisoned in the Fleet Prison from 1619 until 1625 when he submitted to the King's ruling. He then found a means to reunite the Ormond estate, by marrying his grandson James, who had been raised a Protestant, to Elizabeth's only daughter.
Elizabeth Cary, Viscountess Falkland, was an English poet, dramatist, translator and historian. She is the first woman known to have written and published an original play in English: The Tragedy of Mariam. From an early age, she was recognized as an accomplished scholar by writers of her time.
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Events from the year 1622 in Ireland.
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Sir John Cary (c.1491-1552), of Pleshey in Essex, was a courtier to King Henry VIII, whom he served as a Groom of the Privy Chamber, and of whom he was a third cousin, both being 4th in descent from John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset (1371-1410).
Francis Annesley, 1st Viscount Valentia, was an English statesman during the colonisation of Ireland in the seventeenth century. He was a Member of Parliament for both the English and Irish houses, and was elevated to the Irish peerage as Baron Mountnorris, and later gain the additional title Viscount Valentia. He is best remembered for his clash with the Lord Lieutenant, Thomas Wentworth, who in order to render Annesley powerless had him sentenced to death on a spurious charge of mutiny, although it was clearly understood that the sentence would not be carried out.
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Lucius Henry Cary, 6th Viscount Falkland was a Scottish peer and Jacobite.
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