Carey (Cary), Walter (1685–1757), politician, was born 17 October 1685, eldest son of Walter Carey of Everton, Bedfordshire, and his wife Annabella, daughter of Sir William Halford. Educated at New College, Oxford (matriculating 1704), his varied political career began as clerk of the council extraordinary (1717–29), and then as clerk of the council ordinary (1729–57). He also acted as surveyor general to the prince of Wales (1723–5), before becoming warden of the mint (1725–7). A lord of trade (1727–30), he served as MP for Helston (1722–7) and Dartmouth (1727–57).
His patron was Lord Wilmington, whose friend Lionel Sackville (qv), first duke of Dorset, was appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland in 1730. Through Wilmington's influence, Carey was appointed chief secretary on 23 June 1730, an office he held until 9 April 1737. He served as an Irish MP for Clogher, Co. Tyrone (1731–57), and was made a privy councillor for Ireland in 1731.
An arrogant figure, he expressed astonishment at some of the practices he discovered in the Irish parliamentary system: he reported that no one was acquainted with parliamentary procedure or the journals. In 1731 he successfully introduced a proviso in a bill for naturalising children born abroad, as otherwise it would have naturalised Irish Jacobite exiles. He also presided over a British commons committee that investigated how best to support the wool industry; this involved taking the import duty off Irish yarn. In 1733 he unsuccessfully opposed a bill that stated that all sugar imported into Ireland must pass through Britain. On one occasion he reprimanded the speaker for not maintaining a disciplined vote during a vote to repeal the test act. He also campaigned to exempt Bubb Dodington's sinecure from taxation. An unpopular secretary, he was disliked for his haughty ways, and his tendency to make references to ‘his administration’. As a result, he was viewed as one of the factors in the weakening of the viceroy's influence over the house of commons. When Dorset's tenure came to an end; he was succeeded on 8 April 1737 by Sir Edward Walpole (qv).
On his return to England he was appointed clerk comptroller of the household, an office he held until his death. As a politician, he does not appear to have been highly regarded. His critics found him ‘obnoxious’, while even those sympathetic to him believed he was ‘sad’, though dependable. He died on 27 April 1757.
He married twice: first (1716) Elizabeth, daughter of Anthony Sturt, MP for London, who was the widow of John Jeffreys, MP; secondly (18 May 1738) Elizabeth, daughter of Anthony Collins of Baddow Hall, Essex. He had no children, and in his will made a provision of £160 for the poor of Everton.