CARR, Robert (c.1511-90), of Sleaford, Lincs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. c.1511, 2nd s. of George Carr of Sleaford, merchant of the staple, by his w. Anne Flower. m. (1) Elizabeth, da. of William Cawdron or Cawthorne, King’s bailiff at Heckington, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 2 or 3da.; (2) Anne, da. of Sir George Tailboys of Kyme, wid. of Sir Edward Dymoke of Scrivelsby, ?1da.; (3) Anne, da. of Charles Knyvet of Princethorpe, Warws., wid. of Nicholas Robinson of Boston and of Leonard Irby, ?1da. suc. bro. 1529.1

Offices Held

Servant of Thomas Cromwell by 1538; j.p. Lincs. (Holland) by 1547; j.p.q. Lincs. (Holland, Kesteven) 1554; escheator, Lincs. 1548-9, ?Feb.-Nov. 1559; commr. for church goods in Lincs. Mar. 1553; ?sheriff, Lincs. 1568-9; ?commr. musters, Lincs. 1569-70 and later; ?treasurer against northern rebels 1569.2


Carr was a successful speculator in monastic and chantry lands. Between 1537 and 1553 he acquired property in over 50 Lincolnshire manors, and in addition bought Yorkshire estates and houses in London. He continued to live in the old family home at Sleaford.3

Under Edward VI Carr began a long career as a county official, retaining his offices under Queen Mary. From about 1559 it becomes difficult to distinguish him from his son and namesake. The son was probably in his early twenties at Elizabeth’s accession, and may have been the escheator of Lincolnshire in 1559, the sheriff from 1568 to 1569, the commissioner for musters and/or the treasurer during the 1569 rebellion. There is no reason to doubt, however, that the father was the Member of Parliament. Boston often returned nominees of Lord Clinton, and there are several references to large-scale land transactions between Carr and Clinton in Lincolnshire.4

Between 1559 and 1590 Carr was one of the leading figures in his county: in January 1578 the Privy Council directed that if Lord Clinton was absent from the county when their messenger brought a letter about certain prisoners, the instructions were to be delivered to Carr. He supported the Elizabethan church settlement, being described by the bishop of Lincoln as ‘earnest in religion’. In 1586 he reported to the Council his proceedings against recusants and he contributed £100 the Armada fund of 1589.5

An inquisition post mortem gives the date of his death as 11 Sept. 1590: his tomb at Sleaford has 16 Sept., the date his will was proved. He left £5 towards the repair of Lincoln cathedral, and other charitable bequests to the poor of Sleaford and to the upkeep of the parish church. There were legacies of £200 or £300 apiece to three sons and three daughters. Carr’s eldest son George had died, leaving the second son Robert to succeed to the estates.6

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Lincs. Peds. (Harl Soc. l), 228-9; G. Holles, Lincs. Church Notes ed. Cole (Lincoln Rec. Soc. i), 212 seq.; LP Hen. VIII, xi. 391.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xii(1), pp. 268 n, 271, 297, 457, 500; xiii(2), p. 497; CPR, 1547-8, p. 85; CPR, 1553 and App. Edw. VI, 414; 1553-4, p. 21; Lansd. 13, ff. 48-9; 56, f. 168 seq.; CSP Dom. 1547-80, pp. 342-3, 355, 375, 387.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xiii(1), p. 589; xiv(2), p. 301; xix(l), p. 507; CPR, 1548-9, p. 345; 1553 and App. Edw. VI, p. 151.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xix(1), p. 387; xix(2), p. 420; CPR, 1555-7, p. 522.
  • 5. APC, x. 133; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 26; CSP Dom. 1581-90. p. 324; T. C. Noble, Names of Those who Subscribed, 37.
  • 6. C142/229/136, 235/93; Lincs. Church Notes, 213; PCC 59 Drury.