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Henry Carey 1687-1743

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, speculative.