George Carey (c. 1541 – 1616)

Sir George Cary (c. 1541 – 15 February 1616), of Cockington in the parish of Tor Mohun in Devon, was an English administrator and Member of Parliament who held various offices in Ireland. He was treasurer-at-war to Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex during his campaign in Ireland in 1599, and was appointed a Lord Justice in September 1599 (when Essex left the country) and again in 1603 (on the departure of Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy). He was Lord Deputy of Ireland from May 1603 to February 1604. He had earlier served as a Member of Parliament for Dartmouth (1586) and for Devon (1588).[1]

Cary should not be confused with his near namesake Sir George Carew, later Earl of Totnes, who also held posts in Ireland at the same period.

Marriages & progeny

Cary married twice:

  • Firstly (as her second husband) to Wilmota Giffard (1540/1–1581),[2] daughter and sole heiress of John Giffard of Yeo Vale, Alwington, North Devon, and step-daughter of Robert Cary (d. 1586) of Clovelly, Devon, half-uncle to Sir George Cary. She was formerly the wife of John V Bury (1540–1574) of Colleton in the parish of Chulmleigh, Devon, whom she had married when both parties were aged only 13, and contrary to ecclesiastical law. Bury was said by Pole to have been "simple",[3] and the couple were divorced in 1560 by Archbishop of Canterbury Matthew Parker.[4] Her monumental brass with inscription and several heraldic shields survives in St Saviour's Church, Tor Mohun. By Wilmota Giffard he had the following progeny:[5]
    • Thomas Cary, died without issue
    • Sir George Cary, killed in the Irish Wars, predeceased his father, without issue
    • Jana Cary, died without issue
    • Anna Cary, wife of Sir Richard Edgcumbe of Mount Edgcumbe, without issue.
  • Secondly to Lettice Rich, a daughter of Robert Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick (1559–1619),[6] without issue.[7]


As his own children all died without issue, his heir to Cockington was his nephew George Cary,[8] 5th son of his younger brother John Cary of Dudley, Staffordshire, and husband of Elizabeth Seymour, a daughter of Sir Edward Seymour, 1st Baronet (d. 1613), of Berry Pomeroy in Devon, grandson of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector.[9]


  2. Date of birth per Vivian, p. 404, date of death per inscription on her brass in Tor Mohun Church
  3. Vivian, p. 404, pedigree of Giffard; Pole, Sir William (d. 1635), Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, Sir John-William de la Pole (ed.), London, 1791, p. 304, Risdon p. 244, Pevsner, p. 127
  4. Vivian, p. 123, note 5
  5. Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p. 151, pedigree of Cary
  6. "Warwick, Earl of (E, 1618 - 1759)". Cracroft's Peerage. Heraldic Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  7. Vivian, p. 151
  8. Pole, Sir William (d.1635), Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, Sir John-William de la Pole (ed.), London, 1791, p. 279
  9. Vivian, p. 703, pedigree of Seymour


Political offices
Preceded by
Lord Mountjoy
Lord Deputy of Ireland
Succeeded by
Sir Arthur Chichester

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