Carne, Edward (DNB00)
|←Carnac, John||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 09
|Carne, Elizabeth Catherine Thomas→|
CARNE, Sir EDWARD (d. 1561), diplomatist, was son of Howell Carne of Cowbridge in Glamorganshire, by his wife Cicely, daughter of William Kemys of Newport, and was lineally descended from Thomas Le Carne, second son of Ithyn, king of Gwent. He was educated at Oxford, where he became principal of Greek Hall, in St. Edward's parish and was created D.C.L. in 1524. He acted as one of the commissioners for the suppression of the monasteries, and purchased Ewenny Abbey, in his native county, at its dissolution. His residence was at Landough Castle. Henry VIII employed him in several difficult diplomatic missions. In March 1530-1 he was at Rome in the capacity of 'excusator' of his majesty, who had been cited to appear personally or by proxy at the papal court in the matter of his divorce from Queen Catherine. Such a citation, it was contended, was contrary to the customs of the church and the privileges of christian princes (Letters and Papers, Foreign and Dom., Henry VIII, v. 33). Carne re- mained in Rome for several years. In 1538 he was one of the ambassadors sent to treat with the regent of the Low Countrie ; and again in 1541 he and Stephen Vaughan were sent as ambassadors to the queen regent of Flanders to procure the repeal of the imperial edict restrictive of English commerce. Subsequently he was resident ambassador in the Low Countries, and he received the honour of knighthood from the Emperor Charles V. He was returned for the county of Glamorgan to the parliament which met at Westminster on 12 Nov. 1554, in the first year of the reign of Philip and Mary, and, according to Browne Willis, he was again elected to the parliament which assembled at Westminster on 21 Oct. 1555, though the official list states that the return is defaced.
In 1555, when Philip and Mary had restored the ancient worship in England, they sent an embassy to Rome to give the customary obedience to the pope. The embassy was composed of the Bishop of Ely, Lord Montagu, and Carne. When Montagu and the bishop returned to England, Carne remained as resident ambassador to Pope Paul IV, and continued in this capacity for nearly four years. On Elizabeth's accession to the throne he asked permission of the English government to leave Rome, as well on account of his old age as in order to see his wife and children again. On 9 Feb. 1558-9 this permission was granted by the council. Carne thereupon asked the pope for leave to depart, but this leave was refused to him on account of the hostile attitude Elizabeth was assuming towards Rome (Carne's original Letter from Rome, 1 April 1559, in Cotton, MS. Nero B vi. f. 9). It was then a common practice among sovereigns to retain an ambassador in the character of hostage. Little surprise therefore was caused by the detention of Carne, who was commanded by the pope to relinquish his office of ambassador and to assume the government of the English hospital at Rome. Elizabeth, indeed, tried to effect his release, but her efforts proved unavailing, and Carne remained at Rome, an exile from his native country, up to his death. This conduct towards an old, a poor, and an innocent man has naturally been considered harsh, though some persons, as Wood observes, suspected that 'the crafty old knight did voluntary chuse his banishment out of a burning zeal to the Roman catholic religion, and eagerly desired to continue' at Rome, 'rather than return to his own country, which was then ready to be overspread with heresy.' That this surmise was correct is shown by state papers which have been since brought to light. Philip, king of Spain, on being requested by Queen Elizabeth in 1560 to obtain her ambassador's release, ordered Francisco de Vaigas, his representative at Rome, to inquire judiciously into the matter. Carne's account of his detention was that on Elizabeth's accession he, being a good catholic, had decided to live and die in the faith. He had asked Paul IV to detain him in order that the queen might not confiscate his property and persecute nis wife and children. The pope granted his request, and, after the death of Paul, Pius IV followed the same course. Carne begged of Vargas that his story might be kept profoundly secret. The Eng- lish ambassadors in Spain accordingly received an evasive reply, and Carne remained unmolested at Rome till his death on 19 Jan. 1560-1. He lies buried in the church of San Gregorio in Monte Celio, where his epitaph may still be read.[Archaeologia Cambrensis (1849), iv. 316; Aubrey’s Wiltshire (Jackson) 286; Burke's Landed Gentry (1838). iv. 480: Burnet's Hist. of the Reformation; Calendar of State Papers; Camden's Annals of Elizabeth (1625-9). i. 18, 79; Chronicle. 6 April 1887, 38; Chytræus, Variorum Itinerum Deliciæ, 9; Coote's Civilians, 20; Dodd's Church Hist. i. 520, also Tierney's edit. ii. 168 ff.; Foley's Records, vi. pp. xxviii, xxix; Fuller's Worthies (Nichols), ii. 306; Gent. Mag. xciii. (i) 412, new series, xxxii. 516; Haynes's State Papers, 103, 345; Lingard's Hist. of England, vii. 253 n.; Addit. MSS. 25114. ff. 318-9, 344, 346. 28383, f. 183; Cotton MS. xiii. 130 ; Cotton. MSS. Calig. E iv. fl, E v. 80, Units B X. 89, 127. Nero B vi. 9; Lansd. MS. f. 115. art. 2; Murdin's State Papers, 752; Nichols's Glamorganshire, 196; List of Members of Parliament (official return), i. 393; Thomas's Hist. Notes, 16, 360, 369; Williams's Eminent Welshmen; Wallis's Not. Parl. iii. (2) 48, 53; Wood's Fasti Oxon. (Bliss), i. 66, 67.]