William Carey
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William Carey (abt. 1491 - 1528)

William Carey aka Cary
Born about in Chilton Foliat, Wiltshire, Englandmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 4 Feb 1521 in Greenwich, Kent, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 37 in Englandmap
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Profile last modified | Created 12 Nov 2008
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William Cary was probably born at Chilton Foliat, Wiltshire in about 1491, to Thomas Cary and Margaret (Spencer) Cary. [1]

William was introduced to the court of Henry VIII in about 1519, by his kinsman the Earl of Devon, Henry Courtenay. He was first noted in the court records on 16 Feb 1619 playing tennis on the king's tennis court at Richmond. [2] By the following June he had become a part of the royal household and was granted an annuity of 50 marks with a "livery" for daily breakfast at the king's table.

In June 1520, he was recorded as a squire of the body in attendance upon the king at Calais for the Field of the Cloth of Gold. [3]

In 1525 he was promoted to a "Gentleman of the Privy Chamber" to King Henry VIII. This position brought him powerful patronages, wardships and the custody of royal manors and parks in Essex and Buckinghamshire. [4] He was chief steward and keeper of Newhall, Writtell, Wansted, Ditton, and Beaulieu, and constable of Pleshy.


William married Mary Boleyn on 04 Feb 1520/21 at the Chapel Royal, Greenwich. The King attended their wedding and made an offering of 6s 8d upon the altar. [5]


There is a widespread, though unconfirmed, belief that these two children were illegitimate offspring of Henry VIII. Certainly Mary Boleyn was for a time the mistress of King Henry, but the dates and duration of their liaison have never been reliably established. Although the two children were given honoured places at court, they were never acknowledged as illegitimate children, as was Henry Fitzroy, for instance.


William died of sweating sickness on 22 Jun 1528 at the age of about 30. An Inquisition Post Mortem on his estates was held on November 3, 1528, which named his son Henry as heir.[6] The IPM described him as being 'armiger de corpore Regis'

Research Notes

There is no evidence that William Carey was ever lord of the manor of Aldenham, nor is there any record of him owning or residing in a house in the village, or ever living there. There is in fact no mention of any Carey living there before 1589. The likelihood is that William and Mary resided at court during their marriage.

It doesn't appear that William was ever knighted, and was generally referred to in court documents as Mr William Carey.


  1. Vivian, J. L. (John Lambrick)., College of Arms (Great Britain). (1895). The visitations of the county of Devon: Comprising the herald's visitations of 1531, 1564, & 1620. Exeter: For the author, by H. S. Eland.
  2. Harrison, Fairfax, 1869-1938 The Devon Carys New York : Priv. print., The De Vinne Press 1920 pg. 313 Internet Archive
  3. Harrison, Fairfax, 1869-1938 The Devon Carys New York : Priv. print., The De Vinne Press 1920 pg. 314 Internet Archive
  4. Harrison, Fairfax, 1869-1938 The Devon Carys New York : Priv. print., The De Vinne Press 1920 pg. 322 Internet Archive
  5. Marriage: Harrison, Fairfax, 1869-1938 The Devon Carys New York : Priv. print., The De Vinne Press 1920 pg. 318 Internet Archive The evidence for the date of the wedding is the following entry in Henry VIII's Household Book for January 31, 1520 [O. S.] : "Item for the King's offering upon Saturday at the marriage of M. Care and Mare Bullayn, vi s. viii d." See Madden, Register of the Privy Purse Expenses of Mary Tudor as Princess, 1831, Appendix, 282; and L. and P., iii, p. 1539.
  6. The Genealogist Vol 12 1884, Abstracts of Inquisitions Post Mortem Henry VIII Internet Archive
See Also:
  • Michael Riordan. Carey, William (c. 1496–1528)". Printed by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Published 23 September 2004. oxforddnb.com. Accessed 16 Jan 2021.
  • "Royal Ancestry" 2013 by Douglas Richardson Vol. II. p. 57'
  • Hoskins, Anthony Mary Boleyn's Carey children - offspring of King Henry VIII? in Genealogists' Magazine (London), volume 25, number 9, pages 345-352 (March 1997)
  • William Carey

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Comments: 13

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Also my grandad and a couple uncles are still running with the Valentine name and I have Francis for a middle name. Looks like that's from back in the day
posted by Liam Carey
I demand 10% 🤣 I am also open to giving my DNA. $50 says we came from Henry Tudor and Mary Boelyn, not Henry Carey.
posted by Liam Carey
I see that someone has created a new profile for one of the Boleyn Sisters. One was married to one of my Cary ancestors. Rather interesting, but I feel that someone or some entity, perhaps even the current Royal Genealogical Society or Royal family needs to follow up with some descendants and their DNA to try and determine IF this individual is a Cary/Carey or Tudor. I'm open to offering my DNA for future determination. This individual as well as William Cary/Carey is one of my Ancestors.
posted by Mark Cary
Hi Mark; you are correct in stating that, in the absence of a birth certificate showing Carey, this profile surname should be Cary. Unfortunately this is a PPP (project protected profile), so although I am a manager, I cannot change the LNAB. This needs to be done via the "Project", but the "project" has not left any contact details on the profile and has not assumed management of the profile, other than to make the surname unchangeable. So it's a conundrum.
posted by Anton Eugene Bergh
Just an observation from a descendant. I ned more time and resources to assist in FINALY clearing up the "Immigrant" Cary that I descend from here in the Colonies/US. As well, just to note, I am approved for profiles up to pre-1500, but haven't had the time to create and meet the requirements. But, I do know that we supposedly are going by LNAB, here on WIkitree. I want someone to "riddle me this"! Why is his name tagged as Carey, but only AKA as Cary. His parents and siblings are all Cary's!!! ALSO, the bottom source lists his birth ABT 1491, yet the profile is about 1500? Not that I desire to do any major changes, but I would like to some day combine and clear up al the many duplicates and small discrepancies among my ancestors. Maybe we need PBS and some more DNA tests!! Just a thought.
posted by Mark Cary
Carey-1108 and Carey-3 appear to represent the same person because: Same name, same exact death date. Carey-1108 is totally unconnected. Please merge. Thanks.
posted by Vic Watt
Carey-2951 and Carey-3 appear to represent the same person because: Same birth, same wife, same daughter, same death. Please merge.
posted by Vic Watt
Carey-1676 and Carey-3 do not represent the same person because: not the same person birth and death dates do not even come close
posted by Norman Dodge
Carey-1676 and Carey-3 appear to represent the same person because: Hello, I believe this merger should proceed for the reasons originally given below. Carey-1676 is intended to be the father of Carey-2 (previously Carey-1675). The dates for Carey-1675 were about fifty years out of date, as they are here for Carey-1676. Therefore I have restored the merge originally proposed by Andrea Powell.
Carey-1676 and Carey-3 do not represent the same person because: Sure doesn't seem like the same person.
posted by Scott Quimby
Carey-1676 and Carey-3 appear to represent the same person because: duplicate father of Catherine Kollys

(updated) There are several generations of duplicates, beginning with William. In the (higher numbered) series all of the dates are estimated. If you look at Margaret Cave ... Her dates are "about 1470 - about 1500" in the date fields; then in the body of the biography her father's dates are "about 1503-April 2, 1568". I suspect the estimated dates are just way off. In fact the biography for both Cave-547 and Cave-300 were both cut and pasted from the same source.

posted by Andrea Powell

This week's featured connections are Fathers: William is 11 degrees from James Madison, 24 degrees from Konrad Adenauer, 13 degrees from Charles Babbage, 19 degrees from Chris Cornell, 10 degrees from Charles Darwin, 17 degrees from James Naismith, 25 degrees from Paul Otlet, 19 degrees from Henry Parkes, 22 degrees from Eiichi Shibusawa, 25 degrees from William Still, 18 degrees from Étienne-Paschal Taché and 18 degrees from Cratis Williams on our single family tree. Login to see how you relate to 33 million family members.

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Categories: Chilton Foliat, Wiltshire | Field of the Cloth of Gold