CAREW, Sir John, 3rd Bt. (1635-92), of Antony, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



16 May 1661
Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679
1690 - 1 Aug. 1692

Family and Education

bap. 6 Nov. 1635, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Alexander Carew, 2nd Bt., of Antony by Jane, da. of Robert Rolle of Heanton Satchville, Devon; bro. of Richard Carew. m. (1) bef. 1664, Sarah (bur. 28 Mar. 1671), da. of Anthony Hungerford of Farleigh Castle, Som., 2s. d.v.p. 2da.; (2) Elizabeth (d. 9 Aug. 1679), da. of Richard Norton of Southwick, Hants, 2da.; (3) lic. July 1681, Mary, da. of Sir William Morice, 1st Bt., of Werrington, Devon, 2s. 1da. suc. fa. 23 Dec. 1644.1

Offices Held

Commr. for militia, Cornw. 1659, Mar. 1660, assessment Jan. 1660, 1661-80, 1689-90, j.p. Mar. 1660-80, 1687-?d., col. of militia ft. Apr. 1660, lt.-col. by 1679-?80; commr. for oyer and terminer, Western circuit July 1660; dep. lt. Cornw. 1662-80; stannator, Foymore 1673, Penwith and Kerrier 1686; freeman, Portsmouth 1674; commr. for recusants, Cornw. 1675.2

Commr. for drowned lands 1690.3


Carew came from a junior branch of the Devonshire family. His ancestors acquired Antony in the 15th century and represented the neighbouring borough of Saltash under Elizabeth. His father, who sat for Cornwall in the Long Parliament, initially opposed the King, but while in command of one of the Plymouth forts in 1643 he attempted to defect to the Cavaliers, and was executed. Carew himself was too young to take any part in the Civil War, but in religion he seems to have been a Presbyterian. He held no offices under the Protectorate, but was appointed to both the militia commissions of 1659 and 1660. He was one of the group of Cornish gentry who met in Truro from 27 to 31 Dec. 1659 and issued a proclamation in favour of a free Parliament.4

At the general election of 1660 Carew was involved in a double return at Bodmin, which was eventually decided against him; but he was successful for the county at the top of the poll. Marked as a friend by Lord Wharton, he was not active in the Convention. He was named to four committees, including those on the bills to prevent marital separation and profanity. After another contest at Bodmin in 1661 he was seated on the merits of the return. Wharton again listed him as a friend, and he took no part in the Clarendon Code. He was not active in the Cavalier Parliament, being appointed to only 27 committees, including that to inquire into the shortfall in the revenue in the first session. He defaulted on a call of the House on 13 Feb. 1668, but was excused on production of a medical certificate, and appointed for the first and only time to the committee of elections and privileges in the next session. In 1674 he was elected to represent the Cornish tin miners in negotiations with the Government about the duty and other grievances. Sir Richard Wiseman included him among the Cornish Presbyterians from whom the Court could expect no support. Shaftesbury marked him ‘doubly worthy’ in 1677, when he was among those ordered to bring in a bill to repeal the ban on cattle imports. In 1678 he was appointed to the committees for settling the stannary laws, improving the navigability of the Fal river, and enabling the King to make leases of Duchy of Cornwall property. But on 18 Dec. he was again in default on a roll call.5

Carew was returned to the Exclusion Parliaments for Lostwithiel together with his brother-in-law Walter Kendall, the dominant figure on the corporation. Shaftesbury marked him ‘worthy’ in 1679, but he was again inactive. He was appointed to the elections committee, and to those to report on matters undetermined in the previous Parliament, and to consider a bill establishing fixed times for the coinage of tin. He voted for the first exclusion bill, and was removed from local office. A moderately active Member of the second Exclusion Parliament, he was appointed to five committees, of which the most important was on the bill for religious comprehension. He must have attended the Oxford Parliament, since he was one of the Members ordered to recommend a more suitable place for the House to meet, and he joined the Cornish syndicate for victualling Tangier. He is not known to have stood in 1685; but in the following year, together with the sheriff, Bishop Trelawny of Bristol, and the Roman Catholic Sir John Arundell, he urged the King to summon a convocation of tinners, which they undertook would be favourable to reform of the stannaries. He was himself chosen as one of the stannators, and restored to the commission of the peace. To the questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws in 1688 he was reported as answering doubtfully

till it be debated in Parliament how the religion established by law may be otherwise secured. ... He will assist and contribute his utmost endeavours to the election of such members of Parliament, and no others, but such as he either knows or believes to be loyal subjects, and who will most faithfully serve his Majesty in all things with security to our said religion.

Despite these answers, the Earl of Bath, as the lord lieutenant, recommended him as court candidate for Saltash.6

Carew was returned for the county at the general election of 1689, presumably as a Whig. A moderately active Member of the Convention, he was appointed to 18 committees, and acted as teller for the Whig candidate in the Mitchell by-election case. He was named to the committee on the bill to restore corporations, but not listed as a supporter of the disabling clause. At the general election of 1690 he had to step down to a borough seat. He died on 1 Aug. 1692 and was buried at Antony. His younger son, the fifth baronet, was a Jacobite who represented the county from 1713 till his death over 30 years later.7

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Paula Watson


  • 1. The Gen. n.s. xxiv. 23; Soc. of Genealogists, Exeter mar. lic.
  • 2. Parl. Intell. 9 Apr. 1660; CSP Dom. 1679-80, p. 61; Add. 6713, ff. 121, 377.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 687.
  • 4. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 143; Keeler, Long Parl. 126-7; M. Coate, Cornw. in Gt. Civil War, 308, 311.
  • 5. Paroch. Hist. Cornw. i. 101; CJ, viii. 87, 250; Cal. Treas. Bks. iv. 227.
  • 6. Cal. Treas. Bks. vii. 148-9; viii. 832.
  • 7. Trans. Plymouth Inst. ix. 293.