Carew, George

, brother to Richard, hereafter mentioned, and second son of Thomas Carew, esq. and Elizabeth his wife, was probably born at his father’s seat at East Anthony, but in what particular year we are not able to ascertain. He was educated in the university of Oxford, after which he studied law in the inns of court, and then set out on his travels. On his return to his native country he was called to the bar, and after some time was appointed secretary to sir Christopher Hatton, lord chancellor of England, by the especial recommendation of queen Elizabeth, who gave him a pro thonotary ship in the chancery, and conferred upon him the honour of knighthood. In 1597, being then a master in chancery, he was sent ambassador to the king of Poland. In the next, he was one of the commissioners for treating with the Scotch concerning an union between the two kingdoms; after which he was appointed ambassador to the court of France, where he continued from the latter end of the year 1605 till 1609. During his residence in that country, he was regarded by the French ministers as being too partial to the Spanish interest, but probably ttoeir disgust to him might arise from his not being very tractable in some points of his negotiation, and particularly in the demand of the debts due to the king his master. Whatever might be, his political principles, it is certain, that he sought the conversation of men of letters; and formed an intimacy with Thuanus, to whom he communicated an account of the transactions in Poland, whilst he was employed there, which was of great service to that admirable author in drawing up the 12lst book of his History. After sir George Caret’s return from France, he was advanced to the post of master of the court of wards, which honourable situation he did not long live to enjoy; for it appears from a letter written by Thuanus to Camden, in the spring of the year 1613, that he was then lately deceased. In this letter, Thuanus laments his death as a great misfortune to himself; for he considered sir George’s friendship not only as a personal honour, but as very useful in his work, and especially in removing the calumnies and misrepresentations which might be raised of him in the court of England. Sir George Carew married Thomasine, daughter of sir Francis Godolphin, great grandfather of the lord treasurer Godolphin, and had by her two sons and three daughters. Francis, the elder son, was created knight of the bath at the coronation of king Charles the First, and Attended the earl of | Denbigh in the expedition for the relief of ilochelle, where he acquired great reputation by his courage and conduct; but, being seized with a fit of sickness in his voyage homeward, he died in the Isle of Wight, on the 4th of June, 1628, at the age of twenty-seven.

When sir George Carew returned in 1G09 from his French embassy, he drew up, and addressed to king James the First, “A Relation of the state of France, with the characters of Henry the Fourth, and the principal persons of that court;” which reflects great credit upon his sagacity and attention as an ambassador, and his abilities as a writer. In this piece are considered, 1. The name of France. 2. Its ancient and modern limits. 3. Its quality, strength, and situation. 4. Its riches. 5. Its political ordeis. 6. Its disorders and dangers. 7. The persons governing, with those who are likely to succeed. 8. In what terms the French live with their bordering neighbours. And lastly, the state of matters between the king of England’s dominions and theirs. These heads are divided, as occasion requires, into other subordinate ones. The characters are drawn from personal knowledge and close observation, and might be of service to a general historian of that period. The composition is perspicuous and manly, and entirely free from the pedantry which prevailed in the reign of king James I. his taste having been formed in a better aera, that of Queen Elizabeth. The valuable tract we are speaking of lay for a long time in manuscript, till happily falling into the hands of the late earl of Hardwicke, it was communicated by him to Dr. Birch, who published it in 1749, at the end of his “Historical view of the Negotiations between the Courts of England, France and Brussels, from the year 1592 to 1617.” That intelligent and industrious writer justly observes, that it is a model, upon which ambassadors may form and digest their notions and representations and the late celebrated poet, Gray, spoke of it as an excellent performance. 1


Biog. Brit. Birch’s Prince Henry. Mason’i Lift of Gray.