- William Carey was the second son of Thomas Carey (1479-1536), of Chilton Foliat in Wiltshire, and his wife, Margaret Spencer.
On February 4, 1520, he was married to Mary Boleyn, daughter of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard. Shortly after their marriage, Mary became the mistress of King Henry VIII . The Boleyns received grants of land, and Carey himself profited from his wife's unfaithfulness, being granted manors and estates by the King while it was in progress. Carey was also a noted art collector and he introduced the famed Dutch artist, Lucas van Horenbolte, to the Kingdom of England in the mid-1520s .
Anne Boleyn, Mary's younger sister, caught Henry's eye a year after his affair with Mary ended. Henry proposed marriage to her in 1527. William Carey did not live to enjoy his sister-in-law's prosperity, since he died of the sweating sickness in that same year. He died greatly in debt, and his wife was reduced to pawning her jewelery before Anne Boleyn arranged a small pension for her.