CARTER, John (c.1619-76), of Kinmel, Denb.

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

Family and Education

b. c.1619, 2nd s. of Thomas Carter, vicar of Dinton, Bucks. 1610-46, by Anne, da. of William Curtis of Chesterton, Cambs. m. c.1647, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of David Holland of Kinmel, 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 4da. Kntd. 7 June 1660.1

Offices Held

Lt.-col. of horse (parliamentary) 1644-5, col. 1645-7; gov. Conway Castle 1646-61, Holyhead Nov. 1660-1.2

Commr. for N. Wales association, Caern. and Denb. 1648, militia 1648, N. Wales Mar. 1660, j.p. Denb. 1648-d., Caern. 1650-July 1660, Anglesey 1656-d., Flints. Mar.-July 1660; commr. for assessment, Merion. 1649-52, Caern., Denb., Flints. and Anglesey 1649-52, 1657, Jan. 1660-1, Denb. 1665-74, sequestration, N. Wales 1649, propagation, Wales 1650; sheriff, Caern. Feb.-Nov. 1650, Denb. 1664-5; custos rot. Caern. 1651-6, 1656-Mar. 1660, Merion. Mar.-July 1660; commr. for scandalous ministers, N. Wales 1654, security 1655-6; freeman, Denbigh 1655-61; col. of militia, N. Wales Mar. 1660; steward, lordship of Denbigh July 1660-d.3

Member, high court of justice 1651.4


Carter’s father sat in the Westminster Assembly and was presumably a Presbyterian. Carter is said to have been a linen-draper, but nothing certain is known of his career before his arrival in Wales in 1644 as second-in-command of a London cavalry regiment. He served under Sir Thomas Myddelton, and acquired Kinmel by marriage, dividing the Holland estate with the Cavalier William Price, who had married the other coheir. Nevertheless Carter became the mainstay of the republican cause in North Wales. He defeated Sir John Owen at Llandegai in the second Civil War, sat for Denbighshire under the Protectorate, and received a Cromwellian ‘knighthood’ in 1658. Although retained in office both by the Rump and the succeeding military regime, he may have begun to trim his sails. He took no known part against Myddelton’s royalist rising in 1659, and George Monck must have considered him favourable to the Restoration, entrusting to him in March 1660 the slighting of Denbigh Castle, which had ‘long heavily burdened the neighbouring gentry’.5

In the following month Carter was returned for the Boroughs, doubtless with the support of the Myddelton interest. He was listed as a friend by Lord Wharton, who reserved him for his own management. An inactive Member of the Convention, he was named to the committee of elections and privileges and to eight others, including that responsible for the assessment ordinance. Despite a very unfavourable account of his career since 1648, probably prepared by Owen, he was knighted soon after Charles II’s arrival, and signed the North Wales petition for justice on the regicides. He was appointed to the committee for recovering the queen mother’s jointure. A proviso to the indemnity bill was offered in the Lords to make Carter liable for £1,200 extorted by duress in 1648, but it was rejected. He served on the committee to consider a similar clause directed against John Hutchinson, and also on those to appoint commissioners for disbanding the army, to settle the revenue, and to state the debts of the army and navy. He was granted the stewardship of the crown manor of Denbigh, but his unsuccessful application for the constableship of Beaumaris provoked a bitter comment from Thomas Bulkeley, who compared him to the serpent which fell upon the friends who had saved it from death. As some compensation he was made governor of Holyhead, which aroused some alarm among the Bulkeley interest in Anglesey; but both garrisons were soon withdrawn. During the recess Carter was ordered to extend his demolition work to Caernarvon Castle, with the assistance of William Griffith, but the task was apparently beyond them. Wharton sent him a copy of the case for modified episcopacy, but he took no part in the debate. On 17 Nov. he presented a petition to the House, alleging royal support for the renewal of his lease of Gresford rectory, which he claimed as an ‘ancient tenant to the dean and chapter of Winchester’, and a resolution was passed in his favour.6

Carter did not stand again, although he was said to be working for the Glynne interest in Caernarvonshire in 1661. Together with Mutton Davies he appeared at the bar of the House in 1668 to ask for protection against two alleged importers of Irish cattle, who were suing for recovery of their property. He died on 28 Nov. 1676, aged 57, and was buried at St. George’s, Kinmel. The next member of the family to sit was William Carter, who was elected for Hull in 1741.7

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / A. M. Mimardière


  • 1. Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 65; Lipscomb, Bucks. ii. 145; HMC 6th Rep. 86; Cambs. Par. Regs. vii. 110.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1644-5; p. 181; 645-7, pp. 563-4; 1660-1, p. 367; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 206; W. R. Williams, Parl. Hist. Wales, 74.
  • 3. J. Williams, Recs. of Denbigh, 134; Thurloe, iii. 216; CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 138; Cal. Treas. Bks. v. 392.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1651, p. 523.
  • 5. J. Williams, Ancient and Modern Denbigh, 250; A. H. Dodd, Studies in Stuart Wales, 120, 139, 163; CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 488.
  • 6. HMC 2nd Rep. 86; Merc. Pub. 14 June 1660; HMC 7th Rep. 98; Cal. Wynn Pprs. 360, 361; Arch. Camb. i. 150.
  • 7. Cal. Wynn Pprs. 364; Milward, 189; CJ, ix. 52; Caern. Hist. Soc. Trans. xiii. 6.