George Carew, Sir Vice Admiral (c.1504 - 1545)

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Birthplace: Godalming, UK
Death: Died in Sinking of the Mary Rose, Solent, England
Cause of death: Went down with the Mary Rose
Managed by: Brian Gell
Last Updated:

About George Carew, Sir Vice Admiral

  • George CAREW (Sir)
  • Born: ABT 1504
  • Buried: 20 Jun 1545, England
  • Notes: See his Biography.
  • Father: William CAREW (Sir)
  • Mother: Joan COURTENAY
  • Married 1: Thomasine POLLARD (dau. of Sir Lewis Pollard) ABT 1529, Mohun Ottery, Devonshire, England
  • Married 2: Mary NORREYS
  • http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/CAREW1.htm#George CAREW (Sir)2
  • English soldier, admiral and adventurer during the reign of King Henry VIII who died in the sinking of the English Navy flagship Mary Rose at the Battle of the Solent during an attempted French invasion during the Italian War of 1542-1546. Scion of a controversial and dramatic family, George had a wild youth and explored widely, being arrested several times of associating with rebellious vassals of the King. Carew successfully tamed this nature in his later years during which he became a trusted advisor and military officer in the King's service.
  • The exact date of George Carew's birth is unknown, but it is though to have occurred between 1497 and 1504, the son of landowner Sir William Carew. Carew was initially raised at Mohun's Ottery near Luppitt in Devon, before George and his brother Peter Carew were sent to be educated in the household of Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter. There they learned from adventurous relatives like their uncle Gawen Carew and kinsman Nicholas Carew, the latter of whom was later arrested and executed for treason.
  • Carew initially applied to train in the law, but swiftly became bored and in 1526 was in Blois, seeking service with Louise of Savoy, the French Regent. This attempt came to nothing, and was pardoned by King Henry in Nov of the same year, the King also overlooking youthful indescretions with the followers of Elizabeth Barton and encouraging responsible beahaviour in the young man. Carew became interested in politics in the early 1530s and briefly sat as a Member of Parliament as a knight from the shire of Devon and then later became the High Sheriff of Devon, during which period he was officially knighted. Carew was also married for the first time during the 1530s, to Thomasine, daughter of Sir Lewis Pollard.
  • In 1537, Carew was given his first sea commission, serving in the English Channel under Sir John Dudley during operations against pirates. The following year he inherited his father's estates and returned to Devon to take up a position as a Justice of the Peace. In 1539 however, Carew's wife died and he again entered the King's service, taking over the strategically vital fort of Rysbank in the Calais Pale. The fort's previous commander, Carew's kinsman Nicholas Carew had paid with his life for machinations against the King. George Carew was disgusted with poor state of readiness and repair he found the fort to be in and set about repairing it whilst becoming involved in the politics of Calais under the Deputy of Calais Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle.
  • Carew took pains during this period to distance himself from the Roman Catholic upbringing he had with the Maquess of Exeter and openly supported Protestant groups who had fled to Calais after persecution elsewhere in Europe. His stance on this issue brough admiration from several contemporaries, including John Foxe. Carew was with the deputation which met Anne of Cleves in December 1539 and the following year he was briefly arrested and questioned in relation to a plan to hand Rysbank over to the French, a plot in which Lisle was implicated but Carew apparently was not. In the late autumn of 1540, Carew remarried, to Mary Norris of Berkshire, daughter of Sir Henry Norreys, and the couple settled at Polslo Priory near Exeter. Carew had taken his position seriously, and was rewarded with a second term as sheriff in 1542 and the job of Steward of Exeter's possessions, a role carrying an annual salary of £30. Two years later he was made lieutenant of Gentleman Pensioners and was awarded the huge salary of £365 a year.
  • Apparently bored with Rysbank and political life, in the summer of 1543, Carew applied to join the army of Sir John Wallop in Flanders as a lieutenant general of horse. Although Carew was an accomplished jouster, he was tactically inexperienced and learned the military arts through his position on Wallop's army council. Along with his brother Peter, Carew saw action in skirmishes outside the French held towns of Thérouanne and Landrecis during Wallop's campaigns against the towns. At Landrecis, Carew twice came close to disaster, almost being killed by a sniper's bullet during the summer and in Nov actually being captured after pursuing a fleeing band of French cavalry too far and finding himself isolated. He was soon freed however by the express request of Henry VIII and returned to the English army. In 1544, Carew brought 20 soldiers to join Wallop's campaign against Boulogne and he was also given a subordinate naval command under Dudley in the English Channel.
  • In Jul 1545, with a French invasion expected, Carew was called to King Henry VIII's council of war aboard his flagship Great Harry in Portsmouth. There Carew was appointed Vice-Admiral in charge of the fleet in Portsmouth and presented with a golden whistle as a symbol of his office. The French fleet landed on the Isle of Wight the same day and shortly afterwards sailed for Portsmouth. The French force greatly outnumbered the English, mustering 175 ships including 25 great galleys. Carew, commanding the flagship of the British carrack fleet, the huge Mary Rose sailed to meet them and as he did so, disaster struck.
  • It will never be known exactly why the Mary Rose sank in the entrance to Portsmouth harbour on 19 Jul 1545, but it is thought that Carew's despairing last words, called to his uncle Gawen aboard the Matthew Gonson that he "he had a sort of knaves he could not rule", indicate command and discipline problems. Carew too had only taken command of the ship that day and his authority was far from assured. He would also have been completely unaware of the dangerous combination of winds and tides which makes the Solent a particulaly dangerous body of water. Modern studies have also indicated that the 700-ton warship was dangerously overloaded with nealy 500 men aboard, including many fully armed and armoured soldiers.
  • Regardless of the cause, the Mary Rose heeled over and sank within sight of the French, shortly after battle had been joined. Of the 500 aboard less than 25 survived and Carew was not amongst them. His body was never recovered. Despite the disaster, the French fleet failed to effectively engage the English and turned to perform minor raids elsewhere on the coast, returning to France in Aug. Carew's widow was given a job in the King's household as a lady in waiting to Henry's daughters Mary and Elizabeth and later married Sir Arthur Champernowne, dying in 1570. When the Mary Rose was raised nearly 450 years later, pewter plates stamped with "G.C.", Carew's inititals, were amongst the artefacts recovered.
  • From: http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/Bios/GeorgeCarew.htm
  • ____________
  • Sir George Carew (c. 1504 – 19 July 1545) was an English soldier, admiral and adventurer during the reign of King Henry VIII who died in the sinking of the Royal Navy flagship Mary Rose at the Battle of the Solent during an attempted French invasion during the Italian War of 1542–1546. Scion of a controversial and dramatic family, Carew had a wild youth and explored widely, being arrested several times of associating with rebellious vassals of the king. Carew successfully tamed this nature in his later years, during which he became a trusted advisor and military officer in the King's service.
  • The exact date of George Carew's birth is unknown, but it is thought[by whom?] to have occurred between 1497 and 1504, the son of landowner Sir William Carew. Carew was initially raised at Mohun's Ottery near Luppitt in Devon, before George and his brother Peter Carew were sent to be educated in the household of Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter. There they learned from adventurous relatives like their uncle Gawen Carew and kinsman Nicholas Carew, the latter of whom was later arrested and executed for treason.
  • Disreputable youth
  • Carew initially applied to train in the law, but swiftly became bored and in 1526 was in Blois, seeking service with Louise of Savoy, the French Regent. This attempt came to nothing, and was pardoned by King Henry in November of the same year, the King also overlooking youthful indiscretions with the followers of Elizabeth Barton and encouraging responsible behaviour in the young man. Carew became interested in politics in the early 1530s and briefly sat as a Member of Parliament as a knight from the shire of Devon and then later became the High Sheriff of Devon, during which period he was officially knighted. Carew was also married for the first time during the 1530s, to Thomasine, daughter of Sir Lewis Pollard.[1]
  • In 1537, Carew was given his first sea commission, serving in the English Channel under Sir John Dudley during operations against pirates. The following year he inherited his father's estates and returned to Devon to take up a position as a Justice of the Peace. In 1539 however, Carew's wife died and he again entered the King's service, taking over the strategically vital fort of Rysbank in the Calais Pale. The fort's previous commander, Carew's kinsman Nicholas Carew had paid with his life for machinations against the King. George Carew was disgusted with poor state of readiness and repair he found the fort to be in and set about repairing it whilst becoming involved in the politics of Calais under the Deputy of Calais Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle.[1]
  • Government service
  • Carew took pains during this period to distance himself from the Roman Catholic upbringing he had with the Maquess of Exeter and openly supported Protestant groups who had fled to Calais after persecution elsewhere in Europe. His stance on this issue brought admiration from several contemporaries, including John Foxe.[1] Carew was with the deputation which met Anne of Cleves in December 1539 and the following year he was briefly arrested and questioned in relation to a plan to hand Rysbank over to the French, a plot in which Lisle was implicated but Carew apparently was not. In the late autumn of 1540, Carew remarried, to Mary Norris of Berkshire, daughter of Sir Henry Norreys, and the couple settled at Polslo Priory near Exeter. Carew had taken his position seriously, and was rewarded with a second term as sheriff in 1542 and the job of Steward of Exeter's possessions, a role carrying an annual salary of £30. Two years later he was made lieutenant of Gentlemen Pensioners and was awarded the huge salary of £365 a year.[1]
  • Apparently bored with Rysbank and political life, in the summer of 1543, Carew applied to join the army of Sir John Wallop in Flanders as a lieutenant general of horse. Although Carew was an accomplished jouster, he was tactically inexperienced and learned the military arts through his position on Wallop's army council. Along with his brother Peter, Carew saw action in skirmishes outside the French held towns of Thérouanne and Landrecis during Wallop's campaigns against the towns. At Landrecis, Carew twice came close to disaster, almost being killed by a sniper's bullet during the summer and in November actually being captured after pursuing a fleeing band of French cavalry too far and finding himself isolated. He was soon freed however by the express request of King Henry VIII and returned to the English army.[1] In 1544, Carew brought 20 soldiers to join Wallop's campaign against Boulogne and he was also given a subordinate naval command under Dudley in the English Channel.
  • Loss of the Mary Rose
  • In July 1545, with a French invasion expected, Carew was called to King Henry VIII's council of war aboard his flagship Great Harry in Portsmouth. There Carew was appointed Vice-Admiral in charge of the fleet in Portsmouth and presented with a golden whistle as a symbol of his office.[1] The French fleet landed on the Isle of Wight the same day and shortly afterwards sailed for Portsmouth. The French force greatly outnumbered the English, mustering 175 ships including 25 great galleys. Carew, commanding the flagship of the British carrack fleet, the huge Mary Rose sailed to meet them and as he did so, disaster struck.
  • It will never be known exactly why the Mary Rose sank in the entrance to Portsmouth harbour on 19 July 1545, but it is thought that Carew's despairing last words, called to his uncle Gawen aboard the Matthew Gonson that he "he had a sort of knaves he could not rule", indicate command and discipline problems. Carew too had only taken command of the ship that day and his authority was far from assured. He would also have been completely unaware of the dangerous combination of winds and tides which makes the Solent a particularly dangerous body of water. Modern studies have also indicated that the 700-ton warship was dangerously overloaded, with nearly 500 men aboard, including many fully armed and armoured soldiers.[1]
  • Regardless of the cause, the Mary Rose heeled over and sank within sight of the French, shortly after battle had been joined. Of the 500 aboard less than 25 survived and Carew was not among them. His body was never recovered. Despite the disaster, the French fleet failed to effectively engage the English and turned to perform minor raids elsewhere on the coast, returning to France in August. Carew's widow was given a job in the King's household as a lady in waiting to Henry's daughters Mary and Elizabeth and later married Sir Arthur Champernowne, dying in 1570. When the Mary Rose was raised nearly 450 years later, pewter plates stamped with "G.C.", Carew's initials, were among the artefacts recovered.[1]
  • References
  • "Carew, Sir George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/38895?docPos=2. Retrieved 2007-11-10.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Carew_(admiral)
  • ______________
  • CAREW, George (by 1505-45), of Mohun's Ottery, Devon.
  • b. by 1505, 1st s. of Sir William Carew of Mohun’s Ottery by Jane, da. of Sir William Courtenay of Powderham; bro. of Sir Peter. educ. M. Temple, adm. 2 Nov. 1519. m.(1) Thomasin (d. 18 Dec. 1539). da. of Sir Lewis Pollard of Kings Nympton, Devon; (2) by 1 Feb. 1541, Mary, da. of Henry Norris of Bray, Berks., s.p. Kntd. June/July 1536; suc. fa. 11 Aug. 1537.2
  • Offices Held
  • Sheriff, Devon 1536-7, 1542-3; j.p. 1538; commr. oyer and terminer, Cornw., Devon, Dorset, Hants, Som. and Wilts. 1538, Devon 1540, Calais 1541; capt. Rysbank Tower, Calais Jan. 1539-June 1543; steward, possessions of Henry Courtenay, late Marquess of Exeter Nov. 1542, Havering atte Bower, Essex Nov. 1544; 1t. pens July 1544; gent. privy chamber in 1544; v.-adm. 1545.3
  • Biography
  • It was perhaps envy of his younger brother’s presence at the battle of Pavia which led George Carew to join a friend of his, Edward Rogers, in persuading Andrew Flamank, whom they met in Exeter in 1526, to take them to Calais. The three embarked at Dartmouth but were driven by the wind to Le Conquet, whence they travelled first to Paris and then to Blois. There the Regent of France refused their offer of service unless they had a letter of commendation from Henry VIII or Wolsey, so that they were obliged to return to Paris. Flamank left his companions and continued to Calais, where he was examined by the deputy on behalf of the Privy Council. After an interval Carew and Rogers followed his example and eventually they received pardons, Carew’s being issued on 21 Nov. 1526.4
  • This escapade was an uncharacteristic beginning to a brief but meritorious career at home and abroad. On his first return to the Commons, at a by-election held on 4 Jan. 1536, Carew replaced his uncle Sir William Courtenay I as second knight of the shire for Devon. His choice may be thought to have owed something to Sir Thomas Denys, the senior knight, a friend of Courtenay’s and one of the overseers of his will, as well as perhaps to the sheriff Hugh Pollard, but the suggestion that it may have been a sign of opposition in the west is wide of the mark, for Carew was both favoured and trusted at court. It was probably in 1536—not, as has been supposed, in 1527—that he was knighted: he lacks that title on the election return in January but is given it when appointed to attend the Queen during the northern rebellion of the autumn. If, as is likely, he had been re-elected to the intervening Parliament, in accordance with the King’s general request for the return of the previous Members, he was probably knighted, as were several other Members, at the time of Cromwell’s elevation to the peerage on 9 July. He was later held in readiness to serve against the rebels, and in November he was pricked sheriff of Devon.5
  • During the summer of 1537 Carew had leave to go abroad and later he co-operated with Sir John Dudley in patrolling the Channel against pirates. When the captaincy of the Rysbank Tower at Calais fell vacant Carew was appointed: it was a post involving residence, and he arrived there on 4 Mar. 1539 even though the appointment was not formally made until 29 July and not enrolled until 23 Oct. While holding this office Carew was, according to John Foxe, one of the few on the deputy’s council sympathetic towards the Protestants of Calais. In April 1540 he obtained leave to return temporarily to England, and on 1 May he was one of the challengers at the tournament held at Durham Place before the King. He was still on leave when Lord Lisle, the deputy of Calais, was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower. Carew was taken there to confront Lisle and in the mistaken belief that he too was under arrest he fell into such a panic that several days passed before he was able to leave: his appointment shortly afterwards to a commissioner of oyer and terminer in Devon confirmed his safety. This unheroic display notwithstanding, on his return to Calais Carew won the confidence of Lisle’s successor as deputy, who reported that he would prove a very good man of war. It was perhaps in an effort to justify this prediction that during an engagement with the French at Landrecy early in November 1543 Carew showed himself ‘more forward than circumspect’ and was taken prisoner. Peter Carew tried but failed to get his brother exchanged, and it needed the King’s intervention to release him.6
  • Carew took part in the campaign crowned by the fall of Boulogne, and his services there, especially his handling of the transport, led to his appointment as vice-admiral. In the spring of 1545 he prepared the fleet and began to patrol the Channel in the Mary Rose. In June he was ordered to Portsmouth, and it was there that on 19 July he was dining with the King aboard the Great Harry when the French fleet entered the harbour. Henry immediately dispersed the company and after speaking privately with the admiral and Carew, ‘at his departure from him, took his chain from his neck, with a great whistle pendant to the same, and did put it about the neck of the said Sir George Carew, giving him also therewith many good and comfortable words’. Carew then returned to the Mary Rose which on hoisting her sails capsized, with the loss of 500 men, all but some 30 of her whole complement. Mary Carew watched the catastrophe by the side of the King, who himself attended her when she fainted.7
  • Carew had been returned on 20 Jan. 1545 as the senior knight for Devon to the Parliament originally summoned for the end of that month, but as its meeting was postponed until 23 Nov. he never attended it: no by-election is known to have replaced him. He appears not to have made a will, and he left no children: the inquisition held on 3 Apr. 1546 found that the heir was his brother Peter. Although Carew had parted with family property in Devon worth at least £30 a year, or one tenth of the total yield of the Carew estate, he had diminished the family fortune very little, if at all, as he had been granted considerable monastic property by the crown. His widow married Sir Arthur Champernon. Carew’s portrait was painted by Holbein between 1540 and 1543.8
  • Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
  • Authors: L. M. Kirk / A. D.K. Hawkyard
  • Notes
  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/59/106. Vis. Devon. ed. Vivian. 136; Vis. Devon, ed. Colby 36; LP Hen. VIII, xiv. xvi.
  • 3.LP Hen. VIII, xiii, xv, xvii-xix; Archaeologia xxviii, 110.
  • 4.LP Hen. VIII, iv; J. E. Kew, ‘Land market in Devon 1536-58’ (Exeter Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1967), 262.
  • 5. S. E. Lehmberg, Ref. Parl. 219; G. Mattingly, Catherine of Aragon, 288; C219/18A/1, 2; LP Hen. VIII, xi.
  • 6.LP Hen. VIII, xii, xiv, xv, xviii; PPC, vii. 313; Foxe, Acts and Mons. v. 520; Archaeologia xxviii. 107.
  • 7.Archaeologia xxviii. 110; LP Hen. VIII, xix, xx.
  • 8. C142/73/20; Kew, 264; Holbein Paintings, ed. Ganz, 255.*
  • From: http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1509-1558/member/carew-george-1505-45
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Vice-Admiral Sir George Carew's Timeline

1504
1504
Godalming, UK
1545
July 19, 1545
Age 41
Sinking of the Mary Rose, Solent, England
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