Thomas Carte

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Carte, Thomas, Rev., a learned English historian, was born at Clifton, in Warwickshire, 1686. Suspected of complicity in the Insurrection of 1715, £1,000 was put upon his head, and he was obliged to fly to France, where he resided until, by the intervention of Queen Caroline, consort of George II., he was permitted to return to England about 1729. The work which has made him famous, The History of the Life of James, Duke of Ormond, was published in folio — vol. iii., comprising letters, in 1735 (in order that paginal references might be made in the other volumes), and vols i. and ii. in 1736. It is considered one of the most important historical works in the language, certainly the most important relating to Irish history of the period.

The fine edition in 6 vols. 8vo., published at Oxford in 1851, is now the most available; its usefulness, however, is somewhat marred by the want of an index. In 1738 Carte issued proposals for the publication of a great History of England, and received promises of large annual subscriptions for the furtherance of the work. These were mostly withdrawn upon the appearance of the first volume, in consequence of his mentioning in a short footnote that a person had been cured of the king's evil by the Pretender. Carte struggled on, but did not live to complete the work. The fourth volume, bringing the History down to 1654, appeared after his death, which took place in 1754. The MS. collections he left were so important, that the Earl of Hardwicke paid £200, and Mr. Macpherson £300, for their perusal. In 20 folios, 15 quartos, and some loose papers, they were ultimately secured for the Bodleian Library. Carte was the author of other works besides the above mentioned.

Sources

16. Authors, Dictionary of British and American: S. Austin Allibone. 3 vols. Philadelphia, 1859-'71.

42. Biographical Dictionary: Rev. Hugh J. Rose. 12 vols. London, 1850.

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