CAREY, Walter (1685-1757), of West Sheen, Surr.

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



1722 - 1727
1727 - 27 Apr. 1757

Family and Education

b. 17 Oct. 1685, 1st. s. of Walter Carey of Everton, Beds. by Annabella, da. of Sir William Halford. educ. New Coll. Oxf. 1704. m. (1) c.1716, Elizabeth, da. of Anthony Sturt, M.P., of London, wid. of John Jeffreys, M.P., and mother of John Jeffreys, s.p.; (2) 18 May 1738, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Anthony Collins of Baddow Hall, Essex, s.p. suc. fa. 1714.

Offices Held

M.P. [I] 1731-d.

Clerk of the Council extraordinary 1717-29, ordinary 1729-d.; surveyor gen. to Prince of Wales 1723-5; warden of the mint 1725; ld. of Trade 1727-30; sec. to ld. lt. [I] 1730-7; P.C. [I] 1731; clerk comptroller of the Household 1738-d.


Carey is described as ‘a creature of Lord Wilmington’ (Spencer Compton), whose friend, the Duke of Dorset, on being appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland in 1730 made him his secretary. In this capacity he next year moved and carried a proviso excluding Ireland from the scope of a bill naturalizing children born abroad, which would otherwise have threatened the Protestant land settlement by naturalizing Irish Jacobite exiles. During the same session he was one of a number of ‘lords and gentlemen of Ireland’ who met ‘to consider of the matters before the Parliament relating to Ireland’; presided over a committee of the House appointed to draft the heads of a bill for relieving the wool industry by, inter alia, taking off the import duty on Irish yarn; and introduced a bill to allow unenumerated goods from the plantations to come direct to Ireland without touching at England, which passed into law. In 1733 he unsuccessfully opposed a clause in the molasses bill prohibiting the import of sugar into Ireland except through Great Britain. In Ireland he made himself unpopular by putting on ‘airs’; talking of ‘his administration’, canvassing for the exemption of Bubb Dodington’s Irish sinecure from local taxes, and reprimanding the Speaker for allowing his friends to vote against a proposal to repeal the Test Act. His behaviour was said to have been one of the causes of the loss of the lord lieutenant’s influence over the Irish House of Commons.1

On the conclusion of Dorset’s lord lieutenancy in 1737, Carey was appointed to a Household post under him as lord steward, which he retained for the rest of his life. He figures in the second Lord Egmont’s list of ‘the most obnoxious men of an inferior degree’, where he is classed among ‘the worst cast for us in the House’. In Egmont’s electoral survey drawn up for Frederick, Prince of Wales, Dartmouth is described as

in the management of Walter Carey who if he will manage to bring in two as directed may have an office out of Parliament, as Customs, Excise, commission in Ireland — but is too inveterate and has given too much offence to the Opposition to [be] kept in if to be avoided.

On which Frederick commented:

Dodington will tease about that — he [Carey] is a sad dog but may be depended upon.

He died 27 Apr. 1757.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. HMC Egmont Diary, i. 32, 161, 164, 169, 174, 177, 333, 427, 462-3; ii. 2; Lady Sundon, Mems. ii. 23-24; HMC Var. vi. 63-64, 66; HMC 9th Rep. pt. 3, pp. 35-36; HMC Stopford-Sackville, i. 153.