CAREY, Nicholas (c.1651-97), of Up Cerne, Dorset and Hackney, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1695 - c. Apr. 1697

Family and Education

b. c.1651, s. of Nicholas Carey, ‘practitioner of physic’, of St. Giles Cripplegate, London, by one Aimée.  m. Susan, 1s. 2da.1

Offices Held

Apprentice, Goldsmiths’ Co. 1663, freeman 1671, rentor 1689, prime warden 1695.2


Little is known of Carey’s genealogy, other than that his father was an unlicensed London physician, and his mother was probably a French Huguenot. His father had achieved notoriety in 1676 when he undertook to publish The Long Parliament Dissolved, a tract written by Denzil Holles†. He was arrested and spent several months in the Tower after refusing to state whether he was acting on behalf of Holles, only confirming that the author had been his patient. It may have been from this episode that Carey developed a long friendship with Roger Morrice, the divine who was successively chaplain to Sir John Maynard† and Holles. Carey himself became a London goldsmith and banker, setting up in partnership with (Sir) Thomas Cooke* at the Griffin in Exchange Alley. In addition to their banking operations, both men jointly owned Hackney manor.3

Carey was pricked as one of the sheriffs of London in 1694, but instead chose to fine off. In the following year he was returned as Member for Bridport. Since his parliamentary colleague was another banker, Stephen Evance, a business connexion between the two men might explain Carey’s choice of constituency. Nevertheless, at his election he may have depended upon his local association with Bridport, for he had already begun to set himself up as a country gentleman in 1685 with his purchase, for £11,000, of the manor of Up Cerne, 15 miles north-east of the borough. He had also solicited the help of his friend Morrice, who in September 1695 wrote to an anonymous party to acknowledge Carey’s thanks ‘for your readiness to devolve your interest upon him at such places as you think fit, and in one he has some little acquaintance’. Forecast as likely to support the government in the divisions of 31 Jan. 1696 over the proposed council of trade, he signed the Association in February and voted in March in favour of fixing the price of guineas at 22s. and on 25 Nov. for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†.4

Carey wrote his will on 6 May 1696, giving Hackney as his address. He gave his wife a life interest in his houses in Southwark and St. Clement Danes, Westminster, and his property in Dorset to his son, also named Nicholas. His two daughters were secured with £5,000 marriage portions, friends and relations were bequeathed £1,650 and several sums of £30 were granted to the poor of Up Cerne, Stepney and Hackney. He also set aside £100 towards poor French Protestants and ‘poor ministers not of the Church of England’. Carey probably died between 16 Apr. 1697, when Parliament was prorogued, and 17 May, when his will was proved. In the 1697–8 session a bill was passed for vesting a moiety of his messuages and lands in Hackney in trustees for the benefit of his son and widow.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Paula Watson / Henry Lancaster


  • 1. HMC Lords, n.s. iii. 172; Goldsmiths’ Hall, apprenticeship bk. 2, f. 139; CSP Dom. 1676–7, p. 565.
  • 2. Goldsmiths’ Hall, apprenticeship and freedom index, ct. bk. 10, f. 30; Wardens and Members Ct. of Goldsmiths’ Co. 1.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1675–6, pp. 547, 563; 1677–8, p. 47; LJ, xiii. 54–56.
  • 4. Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 325; Portledge Pprs. 180; Hutchins, Dorset, iv. 151; Lysons, Environs (1792–6), ii. 452; Dr Williams’ Lib. Morrice mss 10, x. f. 5.
  • 5. PCC 90 Pyne.