Historical Work done by Sir George Carew relating to Ireland

Eleanor Hull
Volume I, Appendix VII

It is owing to Carew’s vigilance and care that we are so well informed as to the course of the Munster wars. He instructed Thomas Stafford, his nephew, a young officer in his army, to record what he saw during the campaign and himself supplied him with valuable correspondence. The result was his remarkable book Pacata Hibernia. It takes us behind the scenes and reveals the motives of the chief actors in an amazing way, containing besides masterly pieces of description. Carew also contributed to Speed’s Chronicle and to Harris’s Hibernica. But a greater service was the care and accuracy with which he preserved and annotated all papers of State and all letters which came in his way. To this care we owe the forty-two volumes of manuscripts which bear his name relating to Irish affairs, most of which he bequeathed to Stafford. They were sold by him to Archbishop Laud, and are now in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth. He seems to have had a special curiosity about Irish pedigrees, probably in connexion with the re-grants of land. The maps relating to the Ulster Plantation are also preserved among his papers. He was the friend of learned men, such as Sir Thomas Bodley, Camden, and Sir Robert Cotton. He lived into the reign of Charles I, and died in 1629.