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Title of page of Volume 1 of Carte's Life of James Duke of Ormond, 1851 edition

UCC holdings

UCC Library holds many of the Carte papers on microfilm.  These can be found as part of the UCC Main Series in the microform room in Special Collections and Archives (reels 2505-2578). See the Microform libguide for further information.

Further reading

Carte, Thomas. A General History of England. London : Printed for the author, at his house in Dean's Yard, Westminster. And sold by J. Hodges, at the looking-glass facing St. Magnus' Church, London Bridge, 1747-1755.

Ó Ciardha, Éamonn. "Thomas Carte", Dictionary of Irish Biography.

Russell, C.W. and J.P. PrendergastThe Carte Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford: a report. London : Printed by G.E. Eyre and W. Spottiswoode, for H.M. Stationery Office, 1871.

Thomas Carte (1686-1754)

Thomas (also known as John) Carte was an English historian, born near Rugby, the son of antiquarian Samuel Carte.  Having graduated from Oxford, he took the degree of MA from King's College, Cambridge in 1706.  He was ordained around 1714, but did not take the Oath of Allegiance.  At this time he also preached a sermon in Bath Abbey, in which he defended Charles I. The subsequent controversy was published as The Irish Massacre set in a Clear Light in 1714.  As secretary of Francis Atterbury (1663-1732), he implicated in the plot to place James III on the throne.  Accused of high treason in 1722, he fled to France under the name Philips, and used his time there to collect material for a London edition of Jacques Auguste de Thou's (1553-1617) Historia sui tempis, ultimately issued in 1733.  Pardoned in 1728, Carte became rector of Yattendon, Berkshire for the rest of his life.  In 1735-46 he published his three-volume Life of James, Duke of Ormond, the material for which constitutes some of the Carte papers.  A General History of England followed, with the final violume published posthumously in 1755.  An expanded version of his life of Ormond was issued by Oxford University Press in 1851.

Carte Papers

The papers of Thomas Carte (1686-1754) were gathered by him as part of his researches for The Life of James, Duke of Ormond.  His wife's second husband later sold them to the Bodleian Library at Oxford.


  1. Ormond papers (Irish history). In about 1728 or 1729 the Earl of Arran delivered to Carte 153 bundles of papers of his grandfather the 1st Duke of Ormond (now MSS. Carte 1-29) and Carte derived many more from Kilkenny Castle. Some were also received from Sir Robert Southwell's descendants. The original Ormond papers may be said to occupy, wholly or in part, Mss. Carte 1-54, 59-60, 63-66, 68-72, 118, 130, 142-147, 154-171, 173, 176, 179, 194, 203, 213-222, 232, 243, 273, 275.
  2. Fitzwilliam papers (Irish history) through Ormond. These papers of Sir William Fitzwilliam were lent by Lord Fitzwilliam in about 1684 to the Duke of Ormond: and now occupy Mss. Carte 55-58, 131.
  3. Chichester papers (Irish history, etc.) probably through Huntingdon (see below). They relate to Sir Arthur Chichester's government of Ireland, and occupy Mss. Carte 61-62.
  4. Sandwich papers (English history, especially of the navy). These are the papers of Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich, and occupy, wholly or in part, Mss. Carte 73-75, 103, 123, 274.
  5. Wharton papers (English history). Chiefly the collections of Philip 4th Lord Wharton, occupying, wholly or in part, Mss. Carte 77, 79-81, 103, 109, 113, 117, 125, 206-207, 228, 233, 239.
  6. Huntingdon papers (Irish history), derived from the Earl of Huntingdon, whose great grandfather married the daughter of Sir John Davys, attorney general of Ireland, 1603-1616. They occupy, wholly or in part, Mss. Carte 76-78, 103, 128, 234.
  7. Nairne papers, chiefly relating to the exiled Stuarts, and comprising the correspondence of Sir David Nairne and the Earl of Middleton. These are to be found in Mss. Carte 180-181, 208-212, 256-258.