Carey is thought to have been born in Yorkshire possibly as the grandchild of the Marquis
of Halifax and son of a schoolmistress. He married Sarah Dobson in 1708 and moved to London
where, after a brief career in the City, he became a celebrated writer of verse comedy
and a composer who set his own works to music.
He studied music with Geminiani and the English musician, Roseingrave, who further influenced
Carey towards an Italianate style; which, however, remained rudimentary being confined
mainly to simple melody.
Carey achieved a measure of success with the Dragon of Wantley and Margery but his main
income was derived from writing theatre works for other authors and composers as well as
from satirical political works.
In the last three years of his life, his talents did not suffice for him to achieve an income
capable of boosting the modest pension he may have received from his paternal relations
to a level that would support his family. He died suddenly the cause of which is, however,