CAREY, Henry, 4th Visct. Falkland [S] (1634-63), of Great Tew, Oxon.

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



7 Feb. 1659
1661 - 2 Apr. 1663

Family and Education

bap. 21 Nov. 1634, 2nd s. of Lucius Carey, 2nd Visct. Falkland [S], sec. of state 1642-3, by Lettice, da. of Sir Richard Morison of Tooley Park, Leics. educ. Hayes, Mdx. (Dr Thomas Triplett); travelled abroad (France) 1650. m. 14 Apr. 1653, Rachel (d. 24 Feb. 1718), da. of Anthony Hungerford of Blackbourton, Oxon., 1s. suc. bro. 17 Sept. 1649.1

Offices Held

J.p. Oxon. Mar. 1660-d., Oxford Aug. 1660-d.; freeman, Oxford Mar. 1660; commr. for militia, Oxon. Mar. 1660, oyer and terminer, Mdx. and Oxf. circuit July 1660-d.; ld. lt. Oxon. July 1660-d.; commr. for assessment, Oxon. and Oxford Aug. 1660-d.; custos rot. Oxon. Dec. 1660-d., commr. for loyal and indigent officers 1662.2

Col. of horse, June-Dec. 1660; col. of ft., Dunkirk garrison 1661-2; capt. of horse [I] 1662-d.3

Gent. of privy chamber June 1660-d.; PC [I] 1662-d.4

MP [I] 1662-d.


Lord Falkland came from a widespread west country family established in Somerset by the 12th century, which first sent Members to Parliament in 1362. His father, the second Viscount, was the first of the family to settle in Oxfordshire, making Great Tew the centre of the brilliant intellectual circle described by Clarendon. Although he at first concurred in the Long Parliament’s attempts to curb royal power, he supported the Court over the root and branch bill. He was appointed secretary of state, but his hatred of the war soon led him to a death ‘scarcely distinguishable from suicide’. Although himself an ardent Royalist, who had been secretly commissioned as colonel of horse with John Talbot in 1654, Falkland sat for the county in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament, when he was described as ‘the most active young man in the House’. After the dissolution he was engaged in plans for a royalist rising, but on 12 Aug. 1659 he was arrested and sent to the Tower, where he remained till November. In the following February he led those who presented the Oxfordshire address for a free Parliament.5

Falkland’s parliamentary service excluded him from the scope of the Long Parliament ordinance, and at the general election of 1660 he was returned for Arundel probably on the Howard interest, as well as for Oxford, for which he chose to sit. Lord Wharton listed him as a friend to be managed by Thomas Wenman, Lord Wenman. A moderately active Member, he served on 28 committees, acted as teller five times and made 17 recorded speeches from a high Anglican and Cavalier viewpoint. On 1 May he helped manage a conference on the great affairs of the kingdom, and sat on the committee to consider legal forms of the Restoration. Shortly after, he was appointed to committees to prepare the bill for abolishing the court of wards and to consider land purchases. On 7 May, he was listed second of the 12 Members chosen to attend the King in Holland. On his return he delivered to the House a letter sent by the King from Canterbury, and was given a regiment of horse. On 2 June he acted as teller for hearing accounts under the indemnity bill for the Civil War period as well as the Interregnum. With regard to individual offenders, he opposed the limited penalty proposed for Francis Lascelles, and wished to render William Sydenham and John Pyne liable to any punishment short of death. He spoke in favour of excluding from the House any Members who had sat in the High Court of Justice, and against the proviso to impose the oaths of allegiance and supremacy on the Roman Catholics. He favoured the motion of (Sir) Allen Brodrick to refer doctrinal matters to a national synod. Falkland served on the committee to inquire into the state of the queen mother’s jointure lands on the second reading of the bill to confirm land purchases, and on 9 July proposed that her position should be considered by an ad hoc committee. On 1 Aug. he acted as teller for the first reading of the bill brought in by William Prynne appointing commissioners to take accounts. Next day he proposed reducing the interest rate to six per cent. He brought in a bill to this effect on 4 Aug. and was appointed to the committee. He defended Sir Arthur Hesilrige and was sent to the Lords on 24 Aug. to desire a free conference on the regicides who had surrendered themselves on the proclamation. Early in the next month he served on the committee for the disbandment bill.6

In the second session Falkland was appointed to the committees for the attainder bill and for a supplementary poll bill. He remarked that ‘the settling of the militia heretofore occasioned all their last mischief’, and advised a second reading of the bill introduced by Richard Knightley. He agreed with the Worcester House declaration for modified episcopacy, but opposed the bill to give ‘liberty to tender consciences’. He spoke for restoring the dukedom of Norfolk, on the grounds that the head of the Howard family was ‘as powerful to do mischief as an earl or a duke’. In the debate on William Drake’s seditious pamphlet The Long Parliament Revived, Falkland favoured condemning Drake first, and then leaving him to the King’s mercy. He was deputed to carry up the articles of impeachment on 4 Dec. As further evidence of his unyielding royalist attitude, on 7 Dec. he moved that estates acquired during the Civil War as well as those during the Interregnum should be forfeit.7

Falkland moved up to the county seat in 1661, with his satellite Sir Anthony Cope. He was a very active Member in the opening sessions of the Cavalier Parliament, serving on 36 committees. He sat on the committee for the security bill, and on 17 May 1661 was teller for the resolution to burn the Covenant, which he carried to the Lords. Other committees included those for settling the claims of the Marquess of Winchester out of the estate of Robert Wallop, for improving the revenue and for the corporations bill. On 25 June he was given leave to go to his regiment at Dunkirk, but he had returned temporarily by 26 July, when the two Houses were at issue over the corporations bill. He proposed the printing of a remonstrance to show their reasons for differing with the Lords, but the motion was badly received. He helped manage a conference on the regicides bill on 27 July and delivered a petition to the King recommending favourable consideration of Lord Winchester’s case. He also helped to inspect the accounts of disbandment commissioners and to bring in the militia bill. In 1662 he twice carried messages to the King, once to thank him for arresting Wither for libelling the House, and again with Henry Coventry to ask that the money collected for releasing English slaves in North Africa should be used solely for that purpose. If a report of Morrice’s is to be believed, Falkland made a great stir during the debate on the uniformity bill by declaring that ‘Popery comes in with such an evil torrent upon us that, upon my conscience, we that have all in land shall not have time left us to consult for our state’. A proposal was made to call him to the bar, but it was thought wise not to draw more attention to a Member ‘that can speak excellently well and cares for no man’. But he was not appointed to the committee and was said to be ‘all the time after under a cloud’. Falkland was less active in the second session, due to his military commitments. Before his regiment at Dunkirk was disbanded, he was appointed captain of a troop of horse in Ireland, probably as compensation. ‘I would think myself happier to oblige his father’s son’, wrote Clarendon, ‘than in compassing anything for my own’. He was also elected to the Irish Parliament, in which he proved a ‘hornet’ to the Opposition. But his friends in England were assured that he had grown grave as well as severe. Described as ‘a most violent, indefatigable promoter of the Act of Uniformity’, he was appointed on his return to the committees to consider its defects and to bring in a bill against the growth of Popery. He died on 2 Apr. 1663 and was buried at Great Tew. ‘His heart was broke,’ according to Clarendon, ‘with the pure despair of his fortune. ... When a little age had worn away some heats and passions, he would have proved an extraordinary man’.8

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar


  • 1. Her. and Gen. iii. 40; Evelyn Diary, iii. 168; Verney Mems. i. 467.
  • 2. Oxford Council Acts (Oxf. Hist. Soc. xcv), 254.
  • 3. HMC Ormonde, i. 241.
  • 4. Carlisle, Privy Chamber, 170.
  • 5. Add. 10115, f. 97; Cal. Cl. SP, iv. 177; CSP Dom. 1659-60, pp. 103, 157, 241, 242, 361.
  • 6. CJ, viii. 47, 86; Bowman diary, ff. 5, 6, 53v, 65v, 68v, 111, 115v; Old Parl. Hist. xxii. 444.
  • 7. Old Parl. Hist. xxiii. 15, 20, 28, 36, 43; CJ, viii. 201.
  • 8. Conway Letters, 188; CJ, viii. 315, 396, 398; R. Morrice, Entering Bk. 1, p. 112; Bodl. Carte 47, ff. 10, 44; HMC 15th Rep. VII, 165.