John Cary was probably born in March 1649 in Bristol, the son of Shershaw and Mary Cary. He died sometime between 1717 and 1722. After apprenticing as linen draper, he became a free merchant in 1672 and began trading goods that ranged from Caribbean sugar to Madeira wines. In 1677 he followed his father into the Bristol Society of Merchant Venturers, and became its warden in 1683. In 1690, his support for Whig MPs Sir Robert Yate and Major Thomas Day prompted rival Tories to have him charged with treasonably encouraging trade with France. Cary, however, defended himself successfully. By 1691 he was the Society's proxy in London, and presented petitions ranging from requests for naval protection of shipping convoys to calls for an expansion of the slave trade through a revocation of the Royal Africa Company's monopoly charter.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.