Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Carew, Edmund

CAREW, Sir EDMUND (1464–1513), soldier, was the son of Sir Nicholas Carew, baron Carew, of Mohuns Ottery, Devonshire, who died on 18 Nov. 1470, and grandson of Sir John Carew [q.v.] The inquisition on his father's death states that Edmund was six years old at the time. According to old pedigrees the family was descended from one Adam de Montgomerie, whose son Edmund married the daughter of Ress ap Tudor, prince of South Wales. Her sister Nuts, after having a natural son by Henry I, married a Norman named Stephen, whose son, Robert. Fitz-Stephen, was one of the first English invaders of Ireland, and obtained a grant of half the kingdom of Cork from Henry II. Adam's great-great-grandson, William, baron of Carew, married Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Robert Fits-Stephen. It was, however, been shown by Sir John Maclean that Robert Fits-Stephen died without issue, and that William, baron of Carew or de Carrio, was descended from Gerald Fitz-Walter de Windsor, first husband of Nesta. This Gerald was grandson of one Otho de Windsor in the time of the Conqueror.

The barony and castle of Carew or Caer Yw in Narberth, Pembrokeshire, came to the family by this marriage with the Welsh princess, and remained in their possession until Sir Edmund mortgaged it to Sir Rhys ap Thomas. His son, Griffith ap Rhys, being attainted of treason in the reign of Henry VIII, the baron came into the possession of the crown, and was leased to Sir John Parrot and others. In the reign of Charles I the remainder of the lease was purchased by Sir John Carew and the fee-simple was upon granted to him by the king. The family of Carew was also allied by marriage to the Courtenays, and Sir John Maclean narrates (but gives no authority) that Carew officiated at the burial of William Courtenay, earl of Devon, in 1511, riding up the nave of Exeter Cathedral in armour, and offering the dead earl’s battle-axe to the bishop in the choir.

Carew was an adherent of Henry VII, and was knighted at the battle of Bosworth Field for his valour. In 1497 he marched to the relief of Exeter when that city was besieged by the pretender Perkin Warbeck, and he lost his life in the service of King Henry’s son and successor, being killed by a shot in Lord Herbert’s tent at the siege of Thérouanne on 22 June 1518. The only other public service in which he is known to have engaged was going to meet the commissioners from France who came to treat for peace in 1492. He married Katherine, daughter of Sir William Huddlesfield of Shillingford, solicitor-general and attorney-general to Edward IV. Their issue was four sons and four daughters. The former were: William, father of Sir Peter Carew [q. v.]; Thomas, of Bickleigh; George, dean of Exeter and Windsor, father of George, earl of Totnes [q.v.]; and Gawen, ob. 1583, s. p. The daughters were: Dorothy, married to John Stowell; Katherine, married to Sir Philip Champernoun; Isabel and Ann.

[Maclean's Life of Sir Peter Carew; Prince's Worthies of Devon, p. 204; Polwhele’s Devonshire, i. 254; Carlisle's Top. Dict. of Wales; Lewis’s Top. Dict. of Wales; ‘Tuckett's Devonshire's Pedigrees, p. 123; Gairdner's Henry VII, ii. 291; Herbert's Hist. of England, p.l5; Inquis. post Mortem, l1 Edw. IV, No. 38, 2 Ric. III, No. 44.]

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