CARTER, Lawrence I (c.1641-1710), of Clement’s Inn and The Newarke, Leicester

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



1689 - 1695
Dec. 1701 - 1702

Family and Education

b. June 1641, 1st s. of Lawrence Carter of Paulerspury, Northants. by Eleanor, da. and h. of John Pollard, yeoman, of Leckhampstead, Bucks.  educ. Clement’s Inn.  m. (1) by 1667, Elizabeth (d. 1671), da. and coh. of Thomas Wadland, attorney, of The Newarke, 2s.; (2) lic. 5 July 1675, Mary, da. of Thomas Potter of London, 2s. 4da.  suc. fa. 1669.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Leicester 1689; steward, honor of Leicester 1697–1702.2

Receiver-gen. duchy of Lancaster Mar.–July 1702.3


Carter, a prominent Leicester townsman, served his parliamentary apprenticeship as an active member of the Convention and was returned again for the borough in 1690 without opposition. In Lord Carmarthen’s (Sir Thomas Osborne†) list he was identified as a Whig and in Grascome’s as a Court supporter. His level of involvement during the new Parliament was very modest: there is no record of any contribution to debates and he was only occasionally required to serve on committees of any significance. During December 1691 and January 1692 he took charge of two private bills introduced in the Lords concerning the estates of two Leicestershire gentlemen, Richard Roberts and Sir Thomas Burton.4

Carter did not stand in the 1695 election. He probably owed his appointment in June 1697 to the stewardship of Leicester (within the duchy of Lancaster) to his patron, the Earl of Stamford, who had become the chancellor of the duchy the previous month. In March 1701, by which time his son Lawrence II was sitting for Leicester, Carter petitioned the House for an exemption from the bill then pending for the resumption of grants made since the accession of James II. As Leicester was part of the crown lands, he had been under the necessity of obtaining a licence from King James allowing him to implement a scheme to provide the town with a water supply which the projected resumption legislation would have nullified, but the bill did not in fact pass. During the same year he appears to have earned some local displeasure on account of an alleged underhand attempt to retain administration of the Huntingdon manorial courts under the new earl, while in the House of Commons he was aspersed for taking a bribe: John Wilkins, Member for Leicestershire, informed Thomas Coke*:

Lord Huntingdon . . . is fallen into ill hands, namely Carter of Leicester. He hath tricked him and got a paper under his hand to keep his courts and what not. ’Tis an ill step; pray let him be dissuaded, for he’s a rascal, and will ruin his reputation in the country. He is hinted at for taking 80 guineas in our House: you know a friend of yours that will hunt it out.5

Notwithstanding, Carter re-entered Parliament in place of his son in November 1701, although the reason for this arrangement is not clear. In his final brief spell in the Commons Carter was fairly active. Apart from various committee appointments, he was among those charged to prepare an ultimately unsuccessful bill against bribery and corruption at elections (17 Jan. 1702). Then, on 14 Feb., he was teller in favour of discharging from custody the authors of a petition which had condemned the election at Malmesbury, and again on the 23rd to allow a petition relating to Irish forfeitures to be earmarked for further consideration. During April and May he managed an estate bill on behalf of a Leicestershire gentleman, Abraham Barnwell. Consequent upon the Tory revival after Anne’s accession, Carter was dismissed from his duchy posts once Stamford had been removed from the duchy chancellorship, and did not seek re-election to Parliament. In June he petitioned Parliament once more in respect of the licence for his water supply in Leicester upon the appearance of another resumption bill, but the measure was later discontinued. He died on 1 June 1710.

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Andrew A. Hanham


  • 1. IGI, Northants.; Leckhampstead Par. Reg. 11; H. R. Moulton, Cat. (1930), p. 91; Baker, Northants. ii. 206; Nichols, Leics. i. 318; London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 248; Recs. Bor. Leicester ed. Stocks, iv. 379.
  • 2. Reg. Leicester Freemen, i. 172; Somerville, Duchy of Lancaster Official Lists, 180.
  • 3. Somerville, 19.
  • 4. Luttrell Diary, 130.
  • 5. Somerville, 4, 180; HMC Cowper, ii. 429.