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The Scottish Nation

FALKLAND, Viscount, a title in the peerage of Scotland, first conferred in 1620, by James the Sixth, on Sir Henry Cary of Berkhamstead, county of Hertford, the son of Sir Edward Cary of Aldenham, in the same county, master of the jewel office to Queen Elizabeth and King James, and descended from a family long seated in the counties of Devon and Somerset. In Douglas’ Peerage, it is stated that Sir Henry was the first who brought intelligence of the death of Queen Elizabeth to Scotland in 1603. This, however, is a mistake, as the messenger on that occasion was Robert Cary, earl of Monmouth. Sir Henry Cary was one of the gentlemen of King James’ bedchamber, and in 1608 he was made a knight of the Bath at the creation of Henry prince of Wales. In 1607 he was appointed controller of the household, and on November 10, 1620, he was created, in the Scottish peerage, Viscount Falkland, (that is, Falcon-land, from the Suio-Gothic falk, the Anglo-Saxon vealth, or the Teutonic valck, a species of hawk,) which title, with his naturalization, was confirmed by Charles the First, by diploma, in 1627. On 6th November 1622, he was appointed lord deputy of Ireland, but in 1629 he was recalled, by the intrigues of the papists. Having broken his leg by accident in Theobald’s park, he died in September 1633. A letter by his lordship to James the First, being a petition to the king for the release of his son lucius, who for challenging Sir Francis Willoughby had been thrown into the Fleet prison, preserved in the Harleian MSS. (in which there are four original letters of his lordship to the duke of Buckingham,) has been printed in the Cabala; and an Epitaph by him on Elizabeth Countess of Huntingdon is given in Wilford’s Memorials. Walpole also copies it, in which there is a portrait of him. There was found among his papers, and published in 1680, ‘The History of the most unfortunate Prince, King Edward II., with choice political observations on him and his unhappy favourites, Gaveston and Spencer,’ folio and 8vo, with preface by Sir James Harrington. By a remarkable invention of his lordship, to prevent his name from being counterfeited, by artfully concealing it in the successive years of his age, he detected a forger who had not observed so nice a peculiarity. His second son, Sir Lawrence Cary, was killed, fighting under Sir Charles Coote, when he defeated the Irish rebels at Swords in 1642.

      His eldest son, Lucius, second viscount, born about 1610, celebrated for his virtues and rare qualities, previous to entering on public life, devoted himself to retirement and study, but after succeeding to the title he went to court, and was appointed one of the gentlemen of the king’s bedchamber. In 1639 he served as a volunteer in an expedition under the earl of Holland, to oppose an expected irruption on the Scottish borders, when Waller addressed some complimentary verses to him on his departure, and Cowley wrote a congratulatory poem on his return. In 1640 he was chosen member for Newport in Cornwall, and at first was on the parliament’s side, but afterwards, distrusting the designs of its leaders, he joined the king’s party, and in 1642 was prevailed on to accept of a seat in the privy council, and was appointed secretary of state. He attended the king at Edgefield fight, at Oxford, and at the siege of Gloucester, and was so much concerned at the civil war in which the country was involved that, frequently when sitting among his friends, after a long silence, he would exclaim, with deep sighs, “Peace,” declaring that he could not live in such a state of perpetual grief and anxiety. On the morning of the first battle of Newbury (20th September 1643) he called for a clean shirt, and being asked the reason, said that if he were slain, they should not find his body in foul linen. Venturing himself in the first rank of Lord Byron’s regiment, he received a musket ball which killed him. “Thus Falkland died, the generous and the just,” in the thirty-fourth year of his age. He was generally esteemed the most virtuous public character of his time, and his intimate friend, Lord Clarendon, has highly eulogized him in his History of the Rebellion. His praises indeed, have been so resounded by poets, historians, and moralists that they are, as it were, interwoven with English literature. He id said to have been in no degree attractive in his person, being small of stature, and ungraceful of motion, and his voice so harsh that it offended the ear. It was a saying of his that he pitied unlearned gentlemen on a rainy day. A portrait of his lordship is given in Park’s edition of Walpole’s Royal and Noble Authors, volume v., which contains a list of his political speeches, and pamphlets concerning episcopacy and against the papacy. His celebrated speech against the bishops is dated February 9, 1640. He is said to have assisted Chillingworth in his book called ‘The Religion of Protestants,’ and he wrote an Eclogue on the death of Ben Jonson, published in the collection called ‘Jonsonus Viribus,’ which is not remarkable for either elegance or pathos.

      His eldest son, Henry Lucius, third viscount, also distinguished for his abilities, and well versed in every kind of literature, was in 1645 elected a member of parliament for Newton in Hampshire, but it would appear that on account of his being disabled, a new writ was issued in his place. It is related that on one of the older members of the House of Commons objecting to his youth, and saying that he looked as if he had not sown his wild oats, he at once replied, “Then I am come to the properest place, where there are so many geese to pick them up.” In August 1659 he was sent to the Tower, on suspicion of being concerned in Sir George Booth’s rising in favour of Charles the Second. After the Restoration he was chosen for Arundel in Sussex, in the Convention parliament, but in the parliament of 1661 he took his seat for the county of Oxford, of which he had been appointed lord-lieutenant. He was the author of ‘The Marriage Night,’ a comedy, and died in 1644, in the prime of his age.

      His son, Anthony, fourth viscount, was also a member of the House of Commons, and paymaster of the navy. He early joined the Revolution, and in 1691 was sworn a member of the privy council. He was twice a commissioner of the admiralty. On 17th January 1693-4, on a charge of having unduly obtained two thousand pounds from the king, he was, by the House of Commons, committed to the Tower, where he died the same year.

      His only son, Lucius Henry, fifth viscount, served in Spain under General Stanhope, and died at Paris 31st December 1730. The Hon. George Cary, his second son, was a general in the army, and died in April 1792.

      The elder son, Lucius Ferdinand, sixth viscount, died 27th February 1785. His only son, the Hon. Lucius Ferdinand Cary, an officer in the army, was appointed in 1762, governor of Goree, and on 18th September 1779 he became lieutenant-colonel-commandant of the 89th foot, which regiment he had raised. He died commander of the British forces in Tobago, August 20th, 1780, before his father, leaving with five daughters, two sons, Henry Thomas, seventh viscount, and Charles John, eighth viscount.

      Henry Thomas, seventh viscount, a lieutenant of foot, succeeded his grandfather, on his death, February 27, 1785, and dying, May 22, 1796, unmarried, in the 31st year of his age, his brother, Charles-John, became eighth viscount. He was born in November 1768, and was a captain in the royal navy. He was mortally wounded in a duel with Alexander Powell, Esq., 28th February, 1809, and died two days afterwards. “He lost his life,” said Lord Byron, “for a joke, and one, too, which he did not make himself.” His third son was named after Lord Byron. Writing to his mother, Mrs. Byron, of date March 6, 1809, his lordship says, “My last letter was written under great depression of spirits from poor Falkland’s death, who has left without a shilling four children (three sons and a daughter) and his wife. I have been endeavouring to assist them, which, God knows, I cannot do as I could wish, from my own embarrassments, and the many claims upon me from other quarters.” At the baptism of his godson, Byron left a five hundred pound note for him in a coffee-cup. He also introduced an allusion to the untimely death of his friend into his ‘English Bards and Scotch Reviewers,’ with the following note: “I knew the late Lord Falkland well. On Sunday night I beheld h im presiding at his own table, in all the honest pride of hospitality; on Wednesday morning at three o’clock, I saw stretched before me all that remained of courage, feeling, and a host of passions. He was a gallant and successful officer; his faults were the faults of a sailor – as such, Britons will forgive them. He died like a brave man in a better cause; for had he fallen in like manner on the deck of the frigate to which he was just appointed, his last moments would have been held up by his countrymen as an example to succeeding heroes.” In 1790 Lord Falkland published a pamphlet entitled ‘considerations on the Competency of the Parliament of Ireland to accede to the union with Great Britain.

      His eldest son, Lucius Bentinck, 9th viscount, born 5th Nov. 1803, succeeded his father in 1809. He married 1st, in 1830, Lady Amelia Fitzclarence (died in 1858), a natural daughter of William IV.; issue, a son, born in 1831; 3dly, in 1859, Elizabeth, Dowager Duchess of St. Albans, widow of 9th Duke. His lordship was created Baron Hunsdon in the peerage of the United Kingdom 16th May 1832. In 1837, he was sworn a member of the privy council; governor of Nova Scotia from 1840 to 1846; and governor of Bombay, from Feb. 1848 to Dec. 1853.

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