Sir Edmund Carey

ECareySir Edmund Carey
(1558 - 1637)
Portrayed by Ray Lau

Sir Edmund Carey -- English Soldier

Born in Berwick England and into wealth 1558 Edmund Carey grew up living amongst a border people with strong loyalties and violent bloody feuds. This may well have found sympathy within the young Carey, who developed the characteristics of the Borderer. His father, Baron Sir Henry Carey who was ennobled by Queen Elizabeth I when she ascended to the throne lived 'in a ruffling time, so he loved sword and buckler men' but would fight for 'his prince and country'. It seems that his father's character and temperament may well have influenced him. Like many young gentries of the time, he was tutored at home and spent much of his time out in the country in the border regions as his father Lord Sir Henry Carey was the warden of East March.

Being the sixth child in a family of ten, there was little chance he would ever gain his father's title, land or wealth since the English Law of primogeniture would have the eldest son inherit the parent's title and wealth. However a yearly stipend of £105 still made living easy. Edmund was not a man that lives beyond his means, but he was a gambling man, ruthless and often taking risks no sane man would take which more often then not, paid off handsomely for the young Carey.

In 1570 at the tender age of twelve he served as his brother's squire and accompanied Sir George Carey who was appointed Lieutenant General to crush the Revolt of the Northern Earls. It would be one of the many hardships he would learn to endure and later thrive upon. It is said he had a knack for military science and could exploit his enemies on the field of battle often risking his own life and the lives of his entire company.

Edmund's military career began in 1585 after the Treaty of Nonesuch. He volunteered and was appointed as one of Sir John Norreys' Captains. He was one of the avant-garde armies meant for garrison duty in Zeeland in the Dutch lowlands. Instead Norreys directed an attack on a Spanish fort and captured it. Rich from plunder, Edmund returns home to England and marries his second wife Elizabeth Neville the widow of Sir John Danvers, his first wife Mary Crocker having died two years earlier had no children.

In 1586 Edmund now 28 years old, accompanies the Earl of Leicester who was appointed Commander-in-Chief of an expeditionary force to the Netherlands with a large number of young and valiant gentlemen-at-arms. The corruption and over extravagance of Leicester lead to extreme pitiful conditions for the Captains and troops, but they were still able to repel Parma's attack on Grave, a fortress on the Maas. By late Spring of 1587 Edmund was garrisoned at Sluys. The few gentlemen-at arms including Edmund held out against Parma's relentless assault. The city finally fell in July and Edmund escaped to Flushing with shrapnel wounds. Upon Leicester's return to the Netherlands he was knighted and given commission as Colonel.

The height of his military career came in 1588 against the Spanish Armada. Stationed onboard the Hope(?). When talking of the Spanish Armada, Carey's enjoyment and lust for adventure can be clearly shown, "...we made ready to follow them (the Spanish ships), where began a cruel fight, and we had such advantage, both of wind and tide, as we had a glorious day of them."

Colonel Sir Edmund Carey had 4 elder, one younger brothers and three younger sisters (in order) George, John, the two Thomases, William and Robert who was created Earl of Monmouth by James I. The sisters were Catherine (Lady Nottingham), Philadelphia (married Lord Scrope) and Margaret who married Sir Francis Hoby.