Sir Peter Carew

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Carew, Sir Peter, was born at Ottery-Mohun, in Devonshire, in 1514. After a varied and eventful military career, he appeared in Ireland in August 1568, as claimant for the old Leinster and Minister estates of his ancestors, which had gradually been re-occupied by the Irish chieftains during the wars of the Roses. He first landed at Waterford, and then repaired to Dublin, where he resided during the prosecution of his claims. He was a prominent figure in Irish politics for the next seven years; and his presence materially contributed to the wars of the Butlers and other chieftains who naturally resented the Government putting him in the possession of estates which had been in their occupation for centuries. In 1568 Sir Peter was appointed governor of Leighlin. We are seriously told that "he so courteously dealed, and so friendly entreated his tenants, the Kavanaghs, and so liberally bestowed them, that, albeit it were some grief unto them to be dispossessed of the possessions which so long time they had held and enjoyed, yet they most gladly served him and became his tenants." Several attempts were made to assassinate him. Sir Edmund Butler, brother to the Earl of Ormond, especially resented his claiming some of his lands, and in 1569 raised an insurrection, and gave the Government no small trouble. Sir Peter distinguished himself in the ensuing war, chiefly in the capture of Clogrenan Castle. In 1572, after a short visit to England, he repaired to Cork and prosecuted his claims to certain Munster estates. He died at Ross, 27th November 1575, and his body was interred at Waterford in great pomp, in presence of Lord-Deputy Sidney and other notables. He is described as "of a mean stature, but very well compact, and somewhat broad, big boned and strongly sinewed, his face of a very good countenance, his complexion swarte or cholyryke, his hair black, and his beard thick and great."

Sources

39. Biographical Dictionary, Imperial: Edited by John F. Waller. 3 vols. London, N.D.

70. Carew, Sir Peter, Life and Times of: John Maclean. London, 1857. Carte, Thomas A., see No. 271.

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