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Cary, Lucius, Lord Falkland


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


Lucius Cary, second Viscount Falkland (1609/10–1643), is now chiefly known for the circle of religious and political thinkers who met on his estate of Great Tew, northwest of Oxford, during the 1630s. He was also a minor poet and religious writer and, from late 1641 till his death in battle, a leading constitutional royalist. Cary was born in 1608, the eldest son of Sir Henry Cary (ennobled as Viscount Falkland in 1620) and his wife Elizabeth, author of The tragedie of Mariam (1613). In 1622, after a year at Cambridge, Cary went to Ireland when his father became lord deputy. In 1629 he inherited the Oxfordshire estates of Great Tew and Burford from his maternal grandparents and returned to England. His best friend Sir Henry Morison died the same year, prompting Cary to write a long elegy and two later anniversary poems addressed to Ben Jonson, who celebrated Cary's friendship with Morison in a famous ode ( Murdock 1938 ; Weber 1940 ). Cary married Morison's sister, Lettice, in 1630, and inherited his father's title in 1633. He spent the 1630s mainly in rural retirement. He contributed elegies to the first edition of John Donne's poems (1633) and to Jonson's memorial collection, Jonsonus virbius (1638), whose title he may have suggested, and also wrote dedicatory poems for George Sandys's religious translations. Nonetheless, his interests were increasingly theological: Sir John ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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