CARY, Sir George (c.1653-85), of Clovelly, Devon.

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



Family and Education

b. c.1653, 1st s. of George Cary, DD, dean of Exeter, by Anne, da. of William Hancock of Combe Martin; bro. of William Cary. m. (1) lic. 30 June 1676, Elizabeth (d.1677), da. and coh. of James Jenkyn of Trekenning, St. Columb Major, Cornw., 1s. d.v.p.; (2) 30 Oct. 1679, Martha, da. and h. of William Davie of Canonteign, Devon, s.p. Kntd. c.1679; suc. fa. 1680.1

Offices Held

J.p. Devon 1678-d.; recorder, Okehampton 1681-d.2


Cary came from a cadet branch of the great Devonshire family that had held land in the county in the 12th century, and represented it in two of Edward III’s Parliaments. Although his father remained rector of Clovelly throughout the Interregnum, his uncle Robert, the lord of the manor, took up arms for the King during the Civil War, serving as governor of Bideford, and was knighted at the Restoration. Cary himself was knighted shortly before succeeding to the estate in 1680. He was returned to the third Exclusion Parliament for Okehampton, but was totally inactive. Shortly afterwards he replaced the exclusionist (Sir) Arthur Harris as recorder of the borough.3

As recorder of Okehampton, Cary presented a loyal address in June 1681, signed by 230 residents of the borough, thanking the King for his declaration upon the dissolution of Parliament. When the surrender of the charter was demanded Cary carried it up without complaint. In the new charter he was appointed recorder for life, in accordance with a request from the corporation. But he died on 6 Jan. 1685, aged 31. He was buried at Clovelly, leaving an encumbered estate to his brother William.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: J. S. Crossette


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 159, 441; Eg. 2753, p. 78.
  • 2. W. K. H. Wright, Okehampton, 104.
  • 3. W. G. Hoskins, Devon, 469; F. Harrison, Devon Carys, i. 185-6.
  • 4. CSP Dom. July-Sept. 1683, pp. 423, 424; 1683-4, p. 217; Wright, 105; HMC Lords, n.s. v. 356.