Footprints in the Sand:

The Story of the Carews of Devon 1086-1945

DuBois Publishing
Footprints in the Sand  
Rivers Carew

Rivers Carew tells his family story with an authentic voice. He is the last of the Carew baronets to have lived at Haccombe, the family seat, in Devon. The writing of Footprints in the Sand emerged from "delving into my family's history, and deciding to turn these explorations, together with my own recollections, into a book." He wanted to make the history available for his own family, the wider family of Carews now spread around the world, and also for those simply interested in British history, particularly of Devon and its people.

His previous writing activities focussed mainly on literature, particularly poetry. After studying at Trinity College, Dublin, he became joint editor of The Dubliner/Dublin Magazine (1964-69), and published a volume of poetry, Figures out of Mist with Timothy Brownlow in 1966. His career as a journalist included time with the Irish Tourist Board, Dublin, and the Irish national broadcasting service, Radio Telefís Éireann (RTE). In 1987 he moved to England and joined the BBC World Service, retiring in 2003. He now lives in the Cambridge area.

Descent of the Carews of Haccombe

The Carews can trace their origins back thirty generations, to the Normans who accompanied William the Conqueror in his invasion of England. The timeline showing that descent is available on this link: Footprints in the Sand: Descent of the Carew of Haccombe.

The index for this work is quite lengthy, covering a large number of people, places, historical events, and other matters of interest. It is available on this link: Footprints in the Sand: Index.
Footprints in the Sand is a family history spanning almost a thousand years. Its author, Rivers Carew, the 11th Baronet of Haccombe, Devon, is the last to have lived at the family seat. He wanted to preserve his knowledge of the family, its history, and connection to Devon.

The story begins thirty generations back from the present, around 1070, when Gerald de Windsor was born. He was the son of Walter FitzOther, recorded as governor of Windsor Castle in Domesday Book. Gerald married Nest, who was a Princess of Wales, and the family later took the name of Carew, after their castle.

Much research has gone into this project, uncovering facts about these generations of Carews, how they lived, loved and died. Sir George Carew was drowned when the Mary Rose sank during a battle with the French in the Solent in 1545. His wife witnessed the tragedy, with Henry VIII by her side. Thomas Carew, who supported the Royalists during the Civil War, was granted the baronetcy as his reward in 1661. A surprising fact to emerge was the discovery of a family connection with Christopher Columbus.

The book will intrigue many, not only members of the greatly extended Carew family who have spread to the four corners of the world, but also social historians and those interested in Devon and its people.

Where to purchase

The book has been published in three formats: hardback, e-book and Amazon paperback.

The hardback version, costing £25, is available to order either through Neilsen, quoting ISBN 978-1-9998074-4-3, or it can be purchased directly from the publishers, DuBois Publishing, by emailing:

The hardback version is also available through the Amazon website.

The e-book is available on Amazon Kindle in the UK, and the US, and in all Kindle stores throughout the world.

A paperback version is currently available through Amazon only, in the UK, and the US, and in most Kindle stores throughout the world.


The launch of Footprints in the Sand has been featured in the following publications:

The Tiverton Gazette: Family's thousand-year-old Devon history brought to life in new book.

Tiverton Community radio: Rivers Carew is interviewed by Caro Bushnell, about his book, Footprints in the Sand: The Story of the Carews of Devon 1086-1945. The interview covers the author's reasons for writing the book, how long it took both to research and to write. The interviewer draws RC out on various aspects of the book, including notable events throughout throughout history in which Carew ancestors played a part, such as Sir George Carew going down with the Mary Rose which sank in the Solent during a battle with the French, and asks him about the family connection to Christopher Columbus.

Excerpt from Devonshire Magazine November/December 2018: Nelson's Column by John Fisher.

If you want to enquire about this book, please email:

Ilfracombe group

DuBois Publishing has begun a search to find out the identities of a group of (mostly) men in a photo found behind one of Sir Henry Carew, 9th Bt. Details at this link: Who are they?

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