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Pierre Careye A27


Born about 1550 - Buried 24 Nov 1629
Town Church, St Peter Port

son of Nicholas Careye
and Anne Naont

Married: July 1574

Jacquine le Febvre

daughter of Jean le Febvre
Seigneur of l'Aubiniére


Pierre Careye
Thomas Careye



Signature of Peter Careye
Signed on July 1574

Memorial Stone of Jacquine le Febvre 1610
The Memorial Stone of Jacquine le Febvre dated 1610 situated at the Town Church, St Peter Port.

Merchant Mark of Peter Careye
The Merchant Mark
of Peter Careye 1618


Nicholas was sworn in as Prevot on 25 February 1582/3 and was one of the few guernseymen who was friendly with Sir Thomas Leighton, whose autocratic disposition estranged him from the independent Islanders. On 5 February 1586/7, Sir Thomas, writing to the Earl of Leicester on various matters connected with the Island, says:

' Hit may therfore please yor Lp to retorne me yor pleasure by this berrar whos name is Peter Cary a marchante off this issle honneste and trusty, who is to declare farther to yor Lp off the Spanish preparacione accordinge to the generalle reports of all that comith frome thense '

The mention of the 'Spanish preparacione' referred to the Spanish Armada which set sail the next year, 12 May 1588.

The letter continues urging the advisability of executing Mary, Queen of Scots, counselling the Earl to prevail upon Queen Elizabeth I to:

' suffer dewe punishmente to be done uppon that wikid won, throgh whos meanes her Maties death is dayly still soghte, and will be so longe as the other hathe lyffe. Wherefore my good lorde deale vehemently with her Matie, take no refusalle tille that enemye to you and he highness be executed '

Queen Mary's execution took place three days later on February 1586/7.

On 22 May 1588, Peter was sworn in as a Jurat and three years later he stood out against a proposal that on the death of a Jurat all legal business should be suspended until the election of his successor, on the grounds that an action once commenced should be continued without interuption. He was in the minority and the courts were closed for four days, but the practice seems to have been discontinued.

In 1594 Peter, as 'Procureur of the Poor and Necessitous of the Island' was engaged in a lawsuit with the guardian of Marye de la Court, on a seizure which he had made on the property of the de la Court Benevolent Fund and had to pay £80 trs.

On 18 August 1597 he was present at a very sad occurence. Sir Thomas Leighton. the Governor, had invited a party of guests to cross to Herm to a picnic and to hunt deer. Herm was then the game preserve of the Governor and was well stocked with deer, pheasants, and partridges. Peter was invited together with Sir Thomas's son, also Thomas, together with Peter's son, also called Peter, Samuel Cartwright and two other guests, Walter St John and his tutor, Isaac Daubeny who were both staying at Castle Cornet. Whilst the elders were engaged in hunting, the younger members did their lessons with the tutor. After dinner, the four youths set out to bathe, but unfortunately Walter St John got into difficulties. Isaac Daubeny, the tutor went to his rescue but in the process, both were drowned. Peter and the others managed to recover the bodies and took them back to Castle Cornet. An inquest was held at which twenty nine witnesses were examined.

In 1607, Peter represented Sir Thomas Leighton as his Lieutenant during the visit of the Royal Commissioners sent over by James I to regulate the course of Justice and to redress various grievances. The Commissioners were Sir Robert Gardner and James Hussey, Doctor of Law and one of the Masters of the Court of Chancery. It was the most important Commission of its day, in the extent of its investigation of the history of Guernsey. It starts with twenty eight complaints against Sir Thomas Leighton, in most of which his tyrannical and overbearing disposition shows itself, and the Commissioners found against him in almost every instance. It is perhaps just to him to state that he was not the only offender, the Bailiff and Jurats were accused of many irregularities - in the holding of the courts, excessive sentences, unlawful exactions for dispensing justice, illegal taxation - and the Receiver for irregularities in the receipt of, and even embezzlement of Crown Revenues. Overall, the affairs of the Island required a complete purge. Peter put before the Royal Court on 31 January 1607/8 several protests against the findings of the Commissioners but was over-ruled.

After Sir Thomas's death in 1610, Peter appears to have withdrawn from public service. he was appointed 'Superviseur de la Chaussée' on 18 January 1618/9 and in that capacity he was engaged in extensive repairs and alterations to the pier. at that time, the pier consisted of an arm to the South. On 31 May 1622 he was sworn in as Lieutenant and Deputy of Sir Peter Osborne, the Lieutenant-Governor under Lord Henry Danvers, who has suceeded Lord Zouche in the Governorship.

In 1629, he was stated to be bedridden when his son, Pierre was put up for the Juratcy - it seemed that he was unlikely to serve again. Peter was buried on 24 November 1629 at the Town Church having survived his son by ten days.

He owned several properties which can be found as noted in Reports made by the Queen Elizabeth in 1597 of the Fiefs of Guernsey:

Of Peter Careye, son and heire of Nicolas Carey for a Water Mill in ye said Parish called the King's Mill of the Bridgs Bordage) which he holdeth in fee farm and payeth for yt same of yearly rent at Michaelmas only.

Of peter Carey, for the fee farme of a certain Bordage called the Bordage Durant with the ground of the Park (except the Bordage Cornet) p'annum.

The Heirs of Nicollas Carey senior for ye rent of a Cloase of Lands happening by ye Escheate of John du Gaillard.

The Merchants Mark of Peter Carey was originally carved into a large stone built into the south arm of the old pier. In his capacity as 'Superviseur de la Chaussée', he was authorized to build a parapet and to demand labour and materials from the Douzaine of St Peter Port, under a penalty for non compliance. There was a small building at the end of the South Arm, in which criminals were temporarily-confined in the event of bad weather / darkness prior to their transfer by the Sheriff to Castle Cornet.
The building was demolished in 1832 and replaced by a lighthouse into which construction, the stone was transferred. During later alterations in 1859, the stone again was moved and built into the slaughter-house in St Peter Port. General De Vic Carey later had it removed and built into the stone-work of the great arch in the gateway at Le Vallon.

The great archway entrance at Le Vallon
The Merchants Mark of Peter Carey now in the great archway of
Le Vallon