Carve, Thomas (DNB00)
|←Carus, Thomas||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 09
CARVE, THOMAS (1590–1672?), traveller and historian, was born at Mobernan, co. Tipperary, in 1590. His correct name is Carue or Carew, and the Irish call him O'Corrain (Responsio veridica, 145). He himself states that Sir Ross Carew, his brother, was married to the great Clarendon's sister, Lady Hyde, and he also boasts of his ancestor Sir Thomas Carew, who in the fifteenth century had held high authority in Munster. In many respects his sympathies were anti-Irish, and though he was skilled in the Irish language he expresses his preference for English. His early years appear to have been passed among the Butlers, to whom he says he owes everything, and it is not impossible that his boyhood may have been spent in the Ormonde family. Walter Harris, in his edition of Ware's ‘Writers of Ireland,’ asserts that Carve was educated at Oxford, but there does not seem to be any confirmation of this statement. He took priest's orders and appears to have been stationed in the diocese of Leighlin. He left Ireland for Germany, and having stayed as chaplain for four years with Walter Butler (d. 1634) [q. v.], a kinsman of the Marquis of Ormonde, then serving as colonel of an Irish regiment in the army of Ferdinand II of Austria, he returned to his native country. In 1630 he again set out on his travels, and at this date his curious and valuable ‘Itinerary’ was begun. He remained with Walter Butler for two years, and returned at the period of the battle of Lützen; but after a short visit to his friends in Ireland he started again for Germany in 1633. On arriving at Stuttgard about September 1634 he heard of the death of his patron Walter Butler, and he transferred his services as chaplain to Walter Devereux, formerly the chief officer and now the successor of Butler. He accompanied the army of Charles III, duke of Lorraine, in its incessant movements, and afterwards joined the main forces under Gallas. In April 1639 he finished the first part of his ‘Itinerary,’ and had it printed at Mainz, with a dedication to the Marquis of Ormonde, in which he says: ‘Not in the quiet chamber of study has it been composed, but beneath the tents of war, where my busy pen found no peace from the ominous clangour of the hoarse trumpet and the loud roll of the battle-drum; where my ear was stunned by the dreadful thunder of the cannon, and the fatal leaden hail hissed round the paper on which I was writing.’
In 1640 he was appointed chaplain-general of all the English, Scotch, and Irish forces, and in that capacity continued to serve with the army after the death of Devereux. It is probable that about 1643 he went to reside at Vienna in his character of notary apostolic and vicar-choral of St. Stephen's Cathedral in that city. He brought out the third part of his ‘Itinerary’ at Spires in 1646. The scarcity of this work is not its only value. It gives important details concerning Wallenstein, the civil war in England, and the general history of Christendom at the period; and all writers upon the thirty years' war who could procure a sight of it have used it, though seldom with acknowledgment. The work contains an interesting description of Ireland and a curious account of London and its buildings. Carve's latest publication appeared at Sulzbach in 1672, when he was eighty-two years old. The date of his death is not known.
All his works are extremely rare. Their titles are: 1. ‘Itinerarium R. D. Thomæ Carve Tipperariensis, Sacellani majoris in fortissima juxta et nobilissima legione strenuissimi Domini Colonelli D. Walteri Deveroux sub Sac. Cæsar. Majestate stipendia merentis cum historiâ facti Butleri, Gordon, Lesly, et aliorum. Opera, studio, et impensis authoris,’ parts i. and ii., Mainz, 1639–41, 18mo; part iii., Spires, 1646, 18mo; third edition, in one vol., Mainz, 1640–1, 18mo. The third edition of the first part is the same as the first, page for page, excepting that the third edition has an additional dedication, and at pp. 113, 114, two additional epitaphs to Wallenstein, and also an additional 35th chapter at the end. The rarity of the book, particularly the third volume, is well known to bibliographers; it is quoted with great praise by Harte in his ‘Gustavus Adolphus,’ ii. 39 n. The three parts were reprinted at London in 1859 in one quarto volume, under the editorial supervision of Michael Kerney, the impression being limited to one hundred copies on paper and two upon vellum. A German translation appeared under the title of ‘Reysbüchlein dess ehrwürdigen Herrn Thomæ Carve. Auss dem Latein: ins Teutsch vbersetzt durch P. R., continuirt und fortgesetzt studio W. S. a Vorburg,’ Mayence, 1640, 8vo. This translation contains a preface with some account of the work, and nine additional chapters not to be found in any of the three original Latin parts. 2. ‘Rerum Germanicarum ab anno 1617 ad annum 1641 gestarum Epitome’ [sine loco], 1641,12mo. 3. ‘Lyra, seu Anacephalæosis Hibernica, in qua de exordio, seu origine, nomine, moribus, ritibusque Gentis Hibernicæ succincte tractatur; cui quoque accessere Annales ejusdem Hiberniæ nec non Rerum gestarum per Europam ab anno 1148, usque ad annum 1650,’ Vienna (1651), 4to; ‘editio secunda multis additamentis locupletata et à mendis repurgata, cum brevi rerum calamitosè contingentium præcipuèque Turcicarum Relatione à 50 usque ad 66 annum, æneis etiam tessellis insignita,’ Sulzbach, 1666, 4to. The first edition is rarer than the second, and differs much from it. 4. ‘Galateus, seu de Morum elegantiâ,’ Nordhausen, 1669. 5. ‘Enchiridion Apologeticum,’ Noribergæ, 1670,12mo. 6. ‘Responsio veridica ad illotum libellum, cui nomen Anatomicum examen P. Antonii Bruodini Hiberni Ord. Min. Strict. Observantiæ, sub ementito nomine P. Cornelii ô Mollonii editum,’ Sulzbach, 1672, 8vo. This is a violent reply to Bruodine [q. v.], who had attacked him in a work entitled ‘Propugnaculum Catholicæ Fidei.’ A fine portrait of Carve, engraved by M. Vliemayr, is prefixed to the ‘Lyra.’
[Memoir by Michael Kerney prefixed to the Itinerarium (1859); Clément, Bibl. Curieuse; Dibdin's Library Companion, i. 244; Granger's Biog. Hist. of England (1824), v. 97; Bibl. Grenvilliana, i. 118, 119, ii. 92; Cat. of the Huth Library, i. 268, 269; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), 382, 383; Shirley's Cat. of the Library at Lough Fea, 35, 36; Ware's Writers (Harris), 144, 161.]