Sir Francis Carew, MP

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Sir Francis Carew, MP

Birthdate: (81)
Death: 1611 (76-84)
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Nicholas Carew, KG, Master of the Horse and Elizabeth Carew, Lady Carew
Brother of Mary Darcy; Anne Stokes; Elizabeth Carew and Isabel Carew

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Sir Francis Carew, MP

' Family and Education b. ?1530, 1st s. of Sir Nicholas Carew†, master of the horse to Henry VIII, by Elizabeth, da. of Sir Thomas Bryan. unm. suc. fa. 1539. Kntd. 1576.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Surr. 1567-8, j.p. from c.1573, dep. lt. from 1587; commr. to inquire into activities of seminarists and jesuits 1591.

Biography The attainder and execution of his father left Carew dependent upon an allowance made by the Crown to his mother, but as she was the sister of King Henry’s favourite, Sir Francis Bryan†, her situation remained fairly comfortable. Nothing is known of Carew’s early life, though it is possible that, like his brother-in-law Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, he was attached to the household of Queen Catherine Parr: under Mary he was granted lands on behalf of her brother, the attainted Marquess of Northampton. He entered the service of Queen Mary in 1553, and early in the following year received a grant of many of his father’s lands which had been in the hands of Thomas, Lord Darcy of Chiche. By the end of the reign he was in possession of most of the Carew estates in Surrey and Sussex. He remained a courtier under Queen Elizabeth, in favour with the Queen and Cecil. In 1561 he went with his sister to join her husband, Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, ambassador at Paris. Cecil took this opportunity to sound Throckmorton on his opinion of Carew’s suitability to succeed him at Paris. Throckmorton, though recognising the honour suggested for his brother-in-law, and admitting that he had ‘some meet parts’, replied that ‘there lacks in him a second and greater degree than to be a good courtier, that is skill in negotiation of matters, not having been traded nor given thereunto but chiefly to pleasure’, and. concluded that he was not suitable for the post. The Queen did not relinquish the idea of Carew’s becoming a diplomat, and in December 1572 suggested him as ambassador in Scotland. Carew, however, made ‘great labour to the contrary by ladies of the Privy Chamber and others’ and evaded the post. Thenceforward though still much at court he was occupied mainly with the affairs of his county and his estates.2

His return for Castle Rising in 1563 can possibly best be explained by his kinship with Throckmorton, who was friendly with the 4th Duke of Norfolk, lord of the borough. There is no record of his taking part in Commons activities and he did not sit again.

Though by Elizabethan standards elderly, Carew was in arms at Dover against the Armada, and performed military duties throughout the 1590s, though there is no record that he ever saw any fighting. It was not until 1594 that he first asked the Queen for a grant—a lease of some estates of the diocese of Winchester. Sir Robert Cecil wrote to the bishop that ‘her Majesty is extraordinarily disposed in regard that it is the first suit that ever he made unto her’, and that he was an old servant of the Queen and ‘well esteemed’ by her.3

Carew rebuilt Beddington, where he was host many times to Elizabeth and James I. He had a garden and orangery there where he grew Mediterranean plants. In 1562 William Cecil wrote to Windebank in Paris, asking him to send over ‘with Mr. Carew’s trees’, lemon, pomegranate and myrtle trees, with instructions for their culture.4

Carew’s long life ended on 16 May 1611. His heir was his nephew Nicholas Throckmorton, who took the name Carew and eventually inherited most of the estates. By his will, dated 2 Aug. 1610, Carew left the manor of Walton to another nephew Sir Francis Darcy, ‘in whose company and conversation’, he wrote, ‘I have taken comfort and great pleasure’. After numerous substantial bequests to kinsmen and servants, he left the residue of his property to Throckmorton, who proved the will on 21 May 1611 and erected a monument to his uncle in Beddington church celebrating his generosity and hospitality.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603 Author: Roger Virgoe Notes 1. Vis. Surr. (Hart. Soc. xliii), 17, 214; Manning and Bray, Surr. ii. 530. 2. HMC 7th Rep. passim; CPR, 1550-3, p. 458; 1553-4, p. 214; 1554-5, p. 28; 1555-7, p. 90; 1557-8, p. 382; CSP For. 1561-2, pp. 46, 49, 152, 160; Ellis, Original Letters (ser. 3), iv. 5-9. 3. HMC 7th Rep. passim; CSP Dom. 1581-90, pp. 512, 556; 1595-7, pp. 190, 416, 419; HMC Hatfield, v. 31, 41, 46; vi. 139; vii. 187, 220, 292. 4. C142/328/168; VCH Surr. iv. 219; Surr. Arch. Colls. xxi. 175, 190; xxxi. 1-22; Manning and Bray, ii. 527; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 197; E. K. Chambers, Eliz. Stage. 5. PCC 41 Wood; Manning and Bray, ii. 530.

===Sir Francis Carew===

(1530 - 1611)of Beddington Park

Occupation - Gardener/designer of Carew garden at Beddington.

The garden was created by Francis Carew (1530-1611) about the late 1550s, although there had been a garden there since the middle of the 14th century. The Carews were ‘courtier class’, just below the real aristocracy, and held property in several counties.

Francis’s father Nicholas had been beheaded by Henry VIII, and the king then took over Beddington, but it was given back to Francis by Queen Mary. He then kept out of politics and lived a ‘life of pleasure’, which included the making of the garden. It was a water garden, with grottoes and fountains. One of its frequent visitors was Queen Elizabeth.


Buried - in the church of St. Botolph, Aldersgate

Father: Nicholas Care (Sir Knight)

Mother: Elizabeth Bryan

Marriage: Unmarried


Adopted his nephew Nicholas Throckmorton, 5th child of his sister Anne Carew. who adopted his name. see

Also his biography


The Project Gutenberg EBook of On the Portraits of English Authors on Gardening by Samuel Felton the following extract -

"Heere I will conclude with a pretty conceit of that delicate knight, Sir Francis Carew; who, for the better accomplishment of his royall entertainemét of our late Queene of happy memory, at his house at Beddington, led her Maiestie to a Cherrie tree, whose fruite hee had of purpose kept backe from ripening, at the least one month after all Cherries had taken their farewell of England. This secret he performed, by straining a Tent or cover of canvas ouer the whole tree, and wetting the same now and then with a scoope or horne, as the heate of the weather required; and so, by with-holding the sunne-beames from reflecting vppon the berries, they grew both great, and were very long before they had gotten their perfect cherrie-colour: and when hee was assured of her Maiesties comming, he remoued the Tent, and a few sunny daies brought them to their full maturitie."

"Sir Nicholas Carew, at an early age, was introduced to the court of Henry the Eighth, 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 making invidious comparisons to the disadvantage of the English court (fn. 26) . 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 past over, and we find him again employed by the king, and for several years (fn. 27) his constant companion, and a partaker with him in all the justs (fn. 28) , tournaments, masques, and other diversions of the same kind, with which that reign abounded, and which are described very much at large in Hall's Chronicle (fn. 29) ; 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 (fn. 30) , and afterwards created him knight of the garter (fn. 31) . His promotion may probably be attributed in some measure to the interest of Anne Bulleyn, to whom he was related through their common ancestor, lord Hoo. His good fortune was not of long continuance; for in the year 1539, he engaged in a conspiracy, as we are told by our historians (fn. 32) , with the marquis of Exeter, the lord Montacute, and Sir Edward Neville; the object of whicl: 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, the 3d of March 1539; when he made, says Holinshed, "a godly confession, both of his fault and superstitious faith." The old countess of Salisbury was beheaded some time afterwards, upon a charge of being privy to this conspiracy. Fuller (fn. 33) mentions a tradition of a quarrel which happened at bowls between the king 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. A small monument to their memory, supported by Corinthian columns, was preserved when the church was rebuilt, and is placed against the west wall of the porch. The inscription merely enumerates the persons interred there, amongst whom are Sir Nicholas Carew, K. G. his wife Elizabeth, his daughter Mary, and her husband Sir Arthur Darcy. The arms and quarterings of the Darcys and Carews are almost obliterated with white paint, which has disfigured the whole monument." [1]

Note from Ann V Farley -

Nicholas Carew married Sir Francis Bryan's sister Elizabeth Ironically, it was Carew's brother-in-law who was part of the committee that sat in the trial against him and pronounced him guilty, resulting in leaving his sister impoverished..

During the reign of Mary I, their son Sir Francis Carew was restored to Nicholas' estates, though he preferred to stay out of politics.

Francis' sister Anne married the diplomat Nicholas Throckmorton; their daughter Elizabeth married Sir Walter Raleigh.

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Sir Francis Carew, MP's Timeline

Age 81