Carew, Nicholas

, of the Carews of Beddington, in Surrey, was the son of sir Richard Carew, knight banneret, and Magdalen, daughter of sir Robert Oxenbridge. At an early age he was introduced to the court of king Henry VIII. where he soon became a favourite, and was made one of the gentlemen of the privy chamber. Having been | employed upon some public business in France, he became, as many other young men have been, so enamoured of French fashions and amusements, that, when he returned to his own country, he was continually makino- invidious comparisons to the- disadvantage of the English court. His majesty, who was too much of a Briton not to be disgusted at this behaviour, removed him from his person, and sentenced him to an honourable banishment, appointing him governor of Ruysbank in Picardy; to which government he was forthwith commanded to repair, much against his inclination. This little offence^ however, was soon passed over, and we find him again employed by the king, and for several years his constant companion, and a partaker with him in all the justs, tournaments, masques, and other diversions of the same kind, with wh’rch that reign abounded, and which are described very much at large in Hall’s Chronicle: and as a more substantial mark of his favour, the king appointed him master of the horse, an office of great honour, being reckoned the third in rank about the king’s household, and afterwards created him knight of the garter* His promotion may probably be attributed in some measure to the interest of Anne Bullen, to whom he was related through their common ancestor, lord Hoo. His good fortune was not of long continuance; for in 1539 he engaged in a conspiracy, as we are told by our historians, with the marquis of Exeter, the lord Montacute, and sir Edward Neville; the object of which was to set cardinal Pole upon the throne. The accuser was sir Geffrey Poole, lord Montacute’s brother; the trial was summary, and the conspirators were all executed. Sir Nicholas Carew was beheaded on Tower-hill, March 3, 1539, when he made, says Holinshed, “a godly confession, both of his fault and superstitious faith.” Fuller mentions a tradition of a quarrel which happened at bowls between the kipg and sir Nicholas Carew, to which he ascribes his majesty’s displeasure, and sir Nicholas’s death. The monarch’s known caprice, his hatred of the papists, to whom sir Nicholas was zealously attached, the absurdity of the plot, and the improbability of its success, might incline us to hearken to Fuller’s story, if sir Nicholas alone had suffered; but as he had so many partners in his punishment, with whom it is not pretended that the king had any quarrel, it will be more safe, perhaps, to rely upon the account given by our annalists. Sir Nicholas Carew was buried in | the church of St. Botolph, Aldersgate, in the same tomb with Thomas lord Darcy, and others of his family. 1


Lysons’s Environs, vol. I.; to which we are indebted for the whole of this artirle, and where thre is a fine portrait of sir Nicholas, and many particulars of the family.