Henry Carey (writer), (c. 26 August 1687 – 5 October 1743) was an English poet, dramatist and song-writer. He is remembered as an anti-Walpolean satirist and also as a patriot. Several of his melodies continue to be sung today, and he was widely praised in the generation after his death. Because he worked in anonymity, selling his own compositions to others to pass off as their own, contemporary scholarship can only be certain of some of his poetry, and a great deal of the music he composed was written for theatrical incidental music. However, under his own name and hand, he was an extremely prolific song writer and balladeer, and he wrote the lyrics for almost all of these songs. Further, he wrote numerous operas and plays. His life is illustrative of the professional author in the early 18th century. Without inheritance or title or governmental position, he wrote for all of the remunerative venues, and yet he also kept his own political point of view and was able to score significant points against the ministry of the day. Further, he was one of the leading lights of the new "Patriotic" movement in drama. [...]
Nothing is known definitely of Henry Carey's origins. He was born before the end of 1689, perhaps as early as 1687, probably in Yorkshire. The date is deduced from his probable age at later stages in his life; his birthplace from locales, turns of phrase, and similar evidence of Yorkshire in his writings. During his lifetime he was said to be an illegitimate son of George Savile, the first marquis of Halifax (1633-1695), the Whig politician who was largely responsible for putting William III and Mary on the throne. Frederick T. Wood, who edited Carey's poems in 1930, suggested that Carey was more likely the son of the marquis's fourth child, George (born 1667), who died in either 1688 or 1689. During his lifetime Carey neither confirmed nor denied any of these rumors, although he did include Savile in the names of two sons, and his widow named their fifth or sixth child, born after Carey's death, George Savile Carey, pointing in no uncertain manner to a family connection with the first marquis.[...]Poetry Foundation
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