Thomas Carte, an English scholar, born near Clifton, Warwickshire, in April, 1686, died near Abingdon, Berkshire, April 2,1754. He studied at Oxford and Cambridge, received holy orders, and was appointed reader of the Abbey church at Bath. A sermon which he preached in January, 1714, in which he endeavored to vindicate Charles I. with regard to the Irish rebellion, engaged him in a controversy with Dr. Chandler and led to his first publication, entitled "The Irish Massacre set in a Clear Light." On the accession of George I. he declined taking the oath of allegiance, and therefore relinquished his ecclesiastical office. In 1715 he was suspected of being implicated in the rebellion, and was obliged to conceal himself at Coleshill. Having officiated as curate in that town for a short time, he became secretary to Bishop Atterbury. In 1722 he was strongly suspected of being concerned in the bishop's conspiracy, and a reward of £1,000 was offered for his apprehension; but he escaped into France and remained there 12 years under the assumed name of Phillips, until Queen Caroline obtained permission for him to return to England. In 1744 he again gave umbrage to the government, and was arrested, but soon discharged.
His principal works consist of the chief materials for an English edition of De Thou and Rigault (7 vols., London, 1733); a "Life of James, Duke of Ormond" (London, 1735-'6); and a "History of England" (4 vols., 1747-'55), which brings the history down to 1054; the manuscript for the remainder, to 1088, is preserved in the Bodleian library.