Thomas Carte

Life
1686-1754; historian, political agent, biographer of the Duke of Ormond; ed. Oxford, Univ. Coll. and Brasenose; MA King’s Cambridge, 1706; ordained, reader Bath Abbey, 1707-14; refused oath to George I; sec. Bishop Atterbury; fled to France; used name of Phillips; Life of Ormonde (1736) and a Collection of ... Papers (1744); enrolled subscribers for History of England, vols. i-iii (1747-52), vol. iv posthumous (1755). MSS collections now in Bodleian. ODNB OCIL

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Works
History of the Life of James, Duke of Ormond, from 1610 to 1688, with an account of the affairs of his time and particularly related to Ireland; added a valuable collection of letters, 3 vols. (Bettenham, London 1735-6); see also Carte MSS at Bodleian.

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Quotations
‘The English seem never to have understood the art of governing their provinces, and have always treated them in a manner, as either to put them under a necessity, or subject them to the temptation of casting off their government. [...] It is not al little surprising that a thinking people [...] should not grow wiser by any experience, and after losing such considerable territories abroad by their oppressive treatment of them, should go on to hazard the loss of Ireland and endeavour the ruin of a colony of their own countrymen, planted in that Kingdom.’ (An History of the Life of James, Duke of Ormond, Vol. 2, p.317; quoted in Paul Murray, MA Essay, UUC 2002.)

Notes
Carte was a Jacobite whose researches in Ireland for the Life of Ormond provided a pretext for spying on behalf of the Stuart Pretender [S. Connolly]. Carte, whose first work was an exculpation of Charles I from any blame in instigating the 1641 Rebellion, carried off cart-loads of papers relating to the Duke of Ormond from Kilkenny Castle; these later being issued as the Ormonde Papers (See C. L. Falconer, Papers relation to Ireland, 1894).

Carte corresponded with Thomas Sheridan (see Esther Sheldon, Sheridan, 1967, p. 101 ftn.)

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