CARTERET, Edward (1671-1739).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1698 - 1700
1702 - 1705
9 Dec. 1717 - 4 Apr. 1721

Family and Education

bap. 28 Nov. 1671, 3rd s. of Sir Philip Carteret of Hawnes, Beds. by Lady Jemima, da. of Edward Montagu, M.P., 1st Earl of Sandwich. educ. Brentwood; Trinity, Camb. 1688; M. Temple 1688, called 1702. m. 1699, Bridget, da. of Sir Thomas Exton, M.P., dean of the arches court of Canterbury and judge of the Admiralty, 3s. 3da.

Offices Held

Jt. postmaster gen. 1721-32, sole 1732-3, jt. 1733-9.


Returned as a Whig for Bere Alston on the Drake interest in 1717, Edward Carteret seconded the repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts but voted against the peerage bill in 1719. In 1720 he was chairman of a committee, on whose recommendation an Act was passed prohibiting the wearing of calico (see under Page, Sir Gregory). In 1721, when his nephew, Lord Carteret, became secretary of state, he was appointed joint postmaster-general, an office disqualifying its holder from sitting in the House of Commons. In 1727 he attempted to use the Post Office interest at Harwich to bring in his son-in-law, Philip Cavendish, for that borough; but at the general election of 1734 he declined to intervene, not wishing to ‘burn his fingers in a matter manifestly contrary to his duty and an Act of Parliament’, the Post Office Act of 1711. Described as ‘plausible at first acquantaince, but surly, proud, and revengeful on the least occasion that offered’, he suffered towards the end of his life from the stone, of which he died suddenly 15 Apr. 1739, after being supposed to have been cured by a quack. As he left no will his estate passed to his only two surviving children, Mrs. Cavendish and another daughter.1

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Shirley Matthews


  • 1. CJ, xix. 200, 263; Eliott-Drake, Fam. and Heirs of Sir Francis Drake, ii. 206-7; HMC Egmont Diary, i. 15, 19-23, 32, 47, 79, 181; ii. 81-82, 333-4; HMC 14th Rep. IX, 245; Gent. Mag. 1739, p. 217; PCC Admon. Act Bk. 1739.