Carey, William (1769-1846) (DNB00)

CAREY, WILLIAM (1769–1846), bishop of Exeter and St. Asaph, was born on 18 Nov. 1769. His success in life was due to the kindness of Dr. Vincent, through whose aid he was admitted into Westminster School, where he ultimately passed through every grade until he became its head. In 1784 he was elected a king's scholar, in 1788 he became the captain of the school, and in the following year he was elected to Christ Church, Oxford, which was at that time presided over by Cyril Jackson. He took the degree of M.A. in 1796, and became a tutor of his house, where he also filled the office of censor from 1798 to 1802. While connected with Oxford life he held the incumbency of the neighhouring church of Cowley, and near the close of his academical career, in 1801, he was nominated one of the preachers at Whitehall Chapel. The prebendal stall of Knaresborough-cum-Bickhill in York Cathedral was conferred upon him in 1804, and his connection with the northern province was strengthened by his being instituted to the vicarage of Sutton-in-the-Forest. Through the influential and zealous support of his old Oxford friend, Cyril Jackson—a support which outweighed the opposition of many who desired an older man—Carey was appointed to the head-mastership of Westminster School in January 1803, and discharged its duties with great efficiency until his retirement in December 1814. He proceeded to the degree of B.D. in 1804, and to that of D.D. in 1807. The honourable post of sub-almoner to the king was given to him in 1808, and in March 1809 he received a piece of preferment equally honourable and more lucrative, a prebend at Westminster. On resigning his position at his old school he withdrew to his country living, residing there until 1820, when he was called to preside over the diocese of Exeter. His consecration took place on 12 Nov. 1820, and on the previous day he was installed a prebendary of his cathedral. The administration of the diocese by the former occupant of the see had not been marked by an excess of zeal, and the energy with which Carey threw himself into his new labours was much praised. At Exeter he remained for ten years, when he was translated to the wealthier bishopric of St. Asaph, being elected to his new see on 12 March 1830 and confirmed on 7 April. He died at his house in Portland Place, London, on 13 Sept. 1846, but his body was carried into Wales and buried in the churchyard of St. Asaph Cathedral on 2 Oct. 1846. A monument to his memory was erected in his cathedral.

Carey was the author of three sermons long since forgotten, but his name is preserved in his munificent benefaction of 20,000l. Consols for the better maintenance of such bachelor students of Christ Church, duly elected from Westminster School, as, 'having their own way to make in the world,' shall attend the divinity lectures and prepare themselves for holy orders. A second gift to his old school was of a different character. This was a new set of scenery for the Westminster play modelled on the lines of its predecessor, which had been designed by Athenian Stuart. Carey's scenery was in use for fifty years, from 1808 to 1858.

[Welch's Westminster School (Phillimore's ed.), pp. 418, 428, 456, 636; Forshall's Westminster School, pp. 125, 301-3. 470; Oliver's Bishops of Exeter, pp. 166-7; Career of Admiral John Markham, p. 14; Gent. Mag. 1846, pt. ii. pp. 533-4, 661; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. vii. 205 (1865).]

W. P. C.