CARY, William (c.1661-1710), 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



Feb. 1701
Dec. 1701

Family and Education

b. c.1661, 2nd s. of George Cary, DD, dean of Exeter, and bro. of Sir George Cary. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. matric. 23 Mar. 1678, aged 16; M. Temple 1679. m. (1) aft. 1683, Joan (d. 4 Feb. 1687), da. of (Sir) William Wyndham, 1st Bt., of Orchard Wyndham, Som., s.p.; (2) lic. 28 Mar. 1694 (with £5,000), Mary (d.1701), da. of Thomas Mansel I of Briton Ferry, Glam., 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da. suc. bro. 1685.1

Offices Held

Recorder, Okehampton 1685-?Jan. 1688, j.p. Devon 1687-July 1688, Oct. 1688-96, 1700-d., commr. for assessment 1689-90, dep. lt. 1703-d.2

Commr. for drowned lands 1690.3


In January 1685 Cary succeeded his brother in the Clovelly estate, in the recordership of Okehampton (after considerable opposition), and in the representation of the borough at the general election two months later. But he was totally inactive in James II’s Parliament. A Tory and a High Churchman, he returned the same negative answers as Sir Edward Seymour on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws. He was removed from local office, went over to William of Orange after his landing in the west, and was re-elected to the Convention. An inactive Member, he probably served on six committees, including the committee of elections and privileges, and voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. On 24 Jan. 1690 he was added to the committee to investigate the complaints of two ‘discoverers of seditious persons’ who had been committed to prison while in attendance on the House. He was returned again for Okehampton in 1690 and for Launceston to the seven succeeding Parliaments. He voted consistently Tory, and was again removed from the commission of the peace for refusing the Association. Cary made out his will in September 1710, and it was proved in January 1711. His two sons, who both died without issue in 1724, did not sit in Parliament.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: J. S. Crossette


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 159; Collinson, Som. iii. 495; Cat. Penrice and Margam Mss, ser. 4, iii. 144.
  • 2. W. K. H. Wright, Okehampton, 105; PC2/76, f. 263.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 794.
  • 4. Luttrell, i. 477; H. Horwitz, Parl. Policy and Pols. 338.