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Family and Education
of Blackfriars, London, later of Hillingdon, Mdx. b. c.1569, 1st s. of Robert Carr of St. Clement Danes, Westminster, innholder.1 educ. Broadgates Hall, Oxf. 1584; M. Temple 1586.2 m. by 1610, Philadelphia (bur. 3 May 1639), da. of John Connock of Treworgey, Cornw., 1s. d.v.p.3 suc. fa. 1596;4 kntd. 3 Oct. 1624.5 d. 11 Mar. 1640.6
?Member, E.I. Co. 1611.7
of London and Hillingdon. b. c.1597,10 1st s. of Gabriel Carr of Blackfriars and Mary, da. of John Connock of Treworgey.11 m. settlement 12 May 1623, Jane, da. of Sir Edward Onslow of Knowle, Cranleigh, Surr., 1s. d.v.p. 3da. (1 d.v.p.).12 suc. fa. 1622;13 kntd. 3 Oct. 1624.14 d. 17 Feb. 1637.15
Gent. pens. by 1623-d.16
The Edward Carr who represented Camelford in 1621 and 1624 was one of two London residents, an uncle and nephew. However, it is unclear whether both men entered the Commons in turn, or one of them sat twice. There is no record of parliamentary activity which might offer clues as to the Member’s identity, nor can this problem be resolved by reference to electoral patronage. The burgess-ships were almost certainly procured by a Cornish gentleman, Richard Billing, who was the older Carr’s brother-in-law, and the younger man’s uncle. The election indenture of December 1620 described the Member as being ‘of London’, while that of 1624 referred to him as ‘of Blackfriars’, but these addresses may have been applicable to either candidate.17
The Carr family may have originated in Warwickshire, as the elder Carr’s father, Robert, bequeathed money to the parish of Coleshill. A wealthy innholder, Robert owned houses and land in five parishes on the outskirts of London when he died in 1596. His heir, the elder Edward Carr, apparently inherited about half of this property, and within a decade established himself as a gentleman at Twickenham, Middlesex.18 Considering his background, he was surprisingly well-connected. One of his brothers-in-law, Roger Wood, was the serjeant-at-arms attendant on the House of Commons during last three Elizabethan parliaments and also that of 1604-10. Another, Edward Forsett*, was a client of Robert Cecil†, earl of Salisbury. Moreover, his uncle by marriage, Richard Connock*, was a key servant to Prince Henry.19 Sometime before 1614 Connock assigned to Carr and his wife a £100 annuity granted to him by James I, though this was subsequently made over to Sir Edward Wardour*.20 By 1618 Carr was living in Blackfriars, and in the following year he acquired a second house in the same parish. Connock described him as ‘of London’ when he appointed him an overseer of his will a few months later.21
By contrast, little is known about the younger Carr’s early life. His father, Gabriel, was Robert Carr’s younger son, and the other principal beneficiary of his will. Gabriel was probably living with his elder brother at Twickenham as late as 1607, in which year he acquired his own home at Merton, Surrey. His whereabouts after 1611 are uncertain. Carr junior seemingly missed out on a higher education, but he presumably possessed some musical ability, for in 1619 Connock bequeathed him an unspecified wind instrument.22
At the time of the 1620 election the younger Carr appears to have been a rather insubstantial figure compared with his uncle, and was quite possibly not living in London. It was therefore most likely the elder Carr who was returned on that occasion for Camelford. However, it is far less clear which man was the Blackfriars resident who sat in 1624. In May 1621 Carr senior leased an estate at Hillingdon, Middlesex, which became his principal seat, and he joined the county’s bench 18 months later. Gabriel, on the other hand, was living at Blackfriars when he died in February 1622, leaving the younger Carr as his principal heir.23 By this time the latter was also heir to his uncle, the elder Carr, whose only son had died young. When Carr junior married in 1623, his uncle made over to him several properties for inclusion in the pre-nuptial settlement. Among these was the Blackfriars house purchased in 1619. This evidence would clinch the case for the younger Carr being the 1624 Member were it not for the fact that Carr senior allowed his nephew only the reversion to this building, retaining the use and profits during his own lifetime. To complicate matters further, neither the younger Carr not his uncle can be shown to have lived in this house, which was subsequently rented out.24
It is actually quite feasible that the younger and elder Carr shared a home elsewhere in Blackfriars; certainly both men were using the Hillingdon property by 1625. However, if the younger Carr viewed Blackfriars as his principal base he left no trace on the surviving parish records, and for taxation purposes he was included within the king’s Household because of his newly achieved status as a gentleman pensioner.25 This post significantly enhanced the younger Carr’s social standing, but is unlikely to have any bearing on the question of which man stood for Parliament in 1624. In that year Camelford accepted one duchy of Cornwall nominee, Sir Francis Cottington. Richard Billing, the Carrs’ intermediary, was also one of the Duchy’s local electoral agents, but his brief was to promote men linked to Prince Charles’s circle, and the younger Carr, despite his position in the king’s Household, fell outside this category.26
Both Carrs were knighted on 3 Oct. 1624, and their close partnership apparently continued during the remainder of their lives. The younger man died first, in February 1637, leaving two daughters who also inherited their great-uncle’s property in March 1640. Carr junior described himself in his will as ‘of London’, while the older man gave his Middlesex estate as his testamentary address. Both were buried at Hillingdon, where a striking monument to the nephew still stands in the parish church.27
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Paul Hunneyball
- 1. C142/246/103; PROB 11/87, f. 145.
- 2. Al. Ox.; M. Temple Admiss.
- 3. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 648; 1637-8, p. 200; Mdx. Pedigrees (Harl. Soc. lxv), 150; D. Lysons, Mdx. Parishes, 171.
- 4. C142/246/103.
- 5. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 187.
- 6. C142/602/55.
- 7. T.K. Rabb, Enterprise and Empire, 261.
- 8. C231/4, f. 147; C66/2761.
- 9. T. Rymer, Foedera, vii. pt. 4, p. 97; C181/3, ff. 157, 184; 181/4, ff. 172, 189; 181/5, f. 57v.
- 10. C142/395/97.
- 11. PROB 11/139, f. 250; Mdx. Pedigrees, 150.
- 12. C142/543/17; Mdx. Pedigrees, 150; Lysons, 171.
- 13. C142/395/97.
- 14. Shaw, ii. 187.
- 15. C142/543/17.
- 16. C3/342/32; Beaufort Archives, Badminton, FM H2/4/1, f. 17v.
- 17. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 32, 93; C219/37/32; 219/38/40.
- 18. PROB 11/87, ff. 145-8; C142/246/103; C54/1864.
- 19. Mdx. Pedigrees, 150; Vivian, 93.
- 20. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 648; 1637-8, p. 200; SP14/78.
- 21. C54/2356/3; 54/2416/40; PROB 11/135, f. 109v.
- 22. PROB 11/87, ff. 145-8; 11/135, f. 109v; C54/1901; 54/2062.
- 23. C2/Chas.I/A39/60; E115/84/93; PROB 11/139, ff. 49v-50.
- 24. C142/543/17; 142/602/55.
- 25. E115/85/137; Lysons, 171; E179/70/131.
- 26. DCO, ‘Prince Charles in Spain’, ff. 33v, 36.
- 27. C2/Chas.I/A39/60; Lysons, 159, 171; PROB 11/173, ff. 440v-1v; 11/182, ff. 370-2.