Sir George Carteret
From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
SIR GEORGE CARTERET (c. 1610-1680), English politician, was born between 1609 and 1617 on the island of Jersey, where his family had long been prominent landholders. He was the son of Helier de Carteret of St Ouen, and in his youth was trained to follow the sea. In 1639 he became comptroller of the English navy. During the Civil War he was active in behalf of the king. In 1643 he succeeded by reversion from his uncle, Sir Philip Carteret, to the post of bailiff of Jersey, and in the same year was appointed by the king lieutenant-governor of the island. After subduing the Parliamentary party in the island, he was commissioned (1644) a vice-admiral of Jersey and "the maritime parts adjacent," and by virtue of that office he carried on from there an active privateering campaign in the Royalist cause. Parliament branded him as a pirate and excluded him specifically from future amnesty. His rule in Jersey was severe, but profitable to the island; he developed its resources and made it a refuge for Royalists, among whom in 1646 and again in1649-1650was Prince Charles, who created Carteret a knight and baronet. In 1650, in consideration of Carteret's services, Charles granted to him "a certain island and adjacent islets near Virginia, in America," which were to be called New Jersey; but no settlement upon this grant was made. In 1651 Carteret, after a seven weeks' siege, was compelled to surrender Jersey to a Parliamentary force; he then joined the Royalist exiles in France, where for a time he held a command in the French navy. He returned toEngland at theRestoration,became a privy councillor, sat in parliament for Portsmouth, and also served as vice-chamberlain of the royal household, a position to which he had been appointed in 1647. From 1661 to 1667 he was treasurer of the navy. He rendered valuable service during the Dutch War, but his lax methods of keeping accounts led to his being censured by parliament. In 1667 he became a deputy treasurer of Ireland. He continued nevertheless in the royal favour, and subsequently was appointed one of the commissioners of the admiralty and a member of the board of trade and plantations. He belonged to that group of courtiers interested in the colonization of America, and was one of the eight to whom Charles II. granted the country of the Carolinas by the charters of 1663 and 1665. In 1664 James, duke of York, granted that part of his American territory between the Hudson and Delaware rivers to Sir George Carteret and John, Lord Berkeley, and in Carteret's honour this tract received the name of New Jersey. Sir George's relative, Philip Carteret (d. 1682), was sent over as governor in 1665, but was temporarily deposed in 1672 by the discontented colonists, who chose James Carteret (perhaps a natural son of Sir George) as "president." Philip Carteret was restored to his office in 1674. In this year Lord Berkeley disposed of his share of the grant, which finally fell under the control of William Penn and his associates. With them Carteret agreed (1676) upon a boundary line which divided the colony into East and West Jersey. He died in January 1680, and two years later his heirs disposed of his New Jersey holdings to Penn and other quakers.