CAREW, Roger (d.1590), of Hadley, Mdx., Brightlingsea, Essex and Watton, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
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Family and Education

Offices Held


The Carew pedigrees are confused and incomplete, and the 1563 St. Albans MP has not been positively identified. Probably he was:

b. aft. 1528, 2nd or 3rd s. of Sir Wymond Carew of Antony, Cornw. by Martha, da. of Sir Edmund Denny of Cheshunt, Herts.; bro. of Thomas. educ. original member of Trinity Coll. Camb. 1546; G. Inn 1551. m.(1) Alice, da. of John Palmer of Mdx., wid. of Sir William Stanford of Hadley, judge of the common pleas (d.1558), s.p.; (2) aft. Nov. 1573, Margaret, 2s. 1da.1

Receiver, Beds. and Bucks. by 1559; j.p.q. Mdx. from c.1561; one of first govs. of Highgate sch. 1565; capt. at Berwick by 1566.2

Carew may have owed his return for St. Albans to Robert Wroth I, with whose father he had been in exile at Padua. However, his own family was well known at court and in legal circles. His maternal grandfather, Sir Edmund Denny, had been keeper of Hatfield and on friendly terms with Princess Elizabeth; his father had been receiver to Jane Seymour and Anne of Cleves; one of his aunts was the mother of Francis Walsingham; and his brother Matthew, a prominent civilian, must have known Sir Nicholas Bacon, keeper of the great seal and high steward of St. Albans.3

After studying at Cambridge and Gray’s Inn, Carew went abroad with his younger brother Matthew, and was at Padua when Sir Thomas Hoby arrived there in April 1554. There is no evidence to show whether the two Carews were travelling for religious or for educational reasons. They were back in England by the end of 1559, Roger’s name appearing on an Exchequer list of receivers in the pipe office dated Michaelmas 1559-60. He received a new patent as receiver of augmentations for Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire on 17 Mar. 1565: the salary was £30 a year, but he was entitled to an additional £1 for ‘porterage’ on every £100 paid into the Exchequer.4

His estate at Hadley, probably held in right of his first wife, and passing to her heirs at her death, was so much on the borders of Hertfordshire and Middlesex that he might have been a justice of the peace in either county. The bishops’ letters to the Privy Council in 1564 classified him as a favourer of sound religion, and regretted that he and two other j.p.s were seated ‘in one extreme part of the shire’, leaving other Middlesex districts badly served.5

Early in 1566 he was a captain in charge of 50 men at Berwick. On 8 Mar. he was chosen to take letters from Elizabeth to Mary Queen of Scots, and a week later returned with answers which the 2nd Earl of Bedford forwarded to London. Before March 1572 he gave up his captaincy to John Case, receiving instead a pension of 2s. a day. In addition to this the Queen granted him another 3s.4d. a day, and these sums were apparently paid until his death. In September 1587 Lord Hunsdon’s clerk noted that although Carew had been ‘long a captain’ in the north he had ‘not come at Berwick this ten years at the least’. The last mention of his name was in 1593, when the Berwick accounts included a list of pensioners dead and discharged. In May 1564 he received a crown grant of the manor of Rokeles or Rockels in Watton, Norfolk. In 1577 he was involved in an admiralty case in this county, claiming that some of his property had been wrongfully seized by an official of the court.6

He died on 14 Dec. 1590. His will, made in October of that year and proved in the following March, mentions lands in Norfolk and in Essex. At the time of his death he was living at Brightlingsea, where he had acquired the manor in 1567. He left 40s. to be distributed among the poor there. Since his heir Anthony was only five, and there were two other young children, the widow was to administer the estates, taking the residue of the profits after £500 had been set aside for the one daughter Joyce, and £200 for each of the two sons. The younger boy Matthew was presumably christened after his uncle. The elder Matthew, described as ‘my brother Doctor Carew’, was asked to act as overseer of the will: a cousin Henry Carew and Humphrey Donath were appointed executors. The prerogative court of Canterbury granted probate on 20 Mar. 1591, after a dispute over the executorship.7

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. C142/89/98, 93/23; Vis. Cornw. ed. Vivian, 68; Vis Herts. (Harl. Soc. xxii), 135; LP Hen. VIII, xxi(2), p. 344; PCC 21 Sainberbe; Rylands Eng. ms 311.
  • 2. Lansd. 4, f. 57 seq.; CPR, 1563-6, pp. 207, 280-1; 1566-9, p. 62; CSP Scot. 1563-9, pp. 265-8.
  • 3. Mayor's court bk. of St. Albans from 1586, f. 80.
  • 4. Cam. Misc. x(2), pp. 116-17; C. H. Garrett, Marian Exiles, 108; Lansd. 4, f. 57 seq.; CPR, 1563-6, p. 234.
  • 5. Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 60; CPR, 1560-3, p. 466.
  • 6. CSP Scot. 1563-9, pp. 265-8; 1571-4, p. 158; Border Pprs. 1560-94, p. 274; Blomefield, Norf. ii. 315; CPR, 1563-6, p. 80; APC, x. 155.
  • 7. C142/230/62; CPR, 1566-7, p. 62; PCC 21 Sainberbe.