He married Rebecca Lytton and had one daughter:
- Harriott Cary (d. 21 October 1683)
As a Scottish peer he was entitled to be a Member of the Parliament of England. He thus served as Tory MP for Oxfordshire for 1685–1689, Great Marlow from 1689 to 1690, and Great Bedwyn from 1690 until his death.
He was sworn of the Privy Council of England in 1692 and served as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1693 to 1694. He had previously held office with the latter department as Treasurer of the Navy from 1681 to 1689, under Charles II and James II, and as Commissioner of the Admiralty from 1690 to 1693. Samuel Pepys had a rather low opinion of his abilities, while admitting that he suffered from chronic ill-health.
- The Complete Peerage, Volume V. St Catherine's Press. 1926. p. 241.
- The Complete Peerage, Volume V. pp. 241–242.
- The Complete Peerage, Volume V. p. 242.
| Treasurer of the Navy
The Lord Cornwallis
| First Lord of the Admiralty|
|Parliament of England|
Sir Philip Harcourt
| Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire
With: Thomas Tipping
Sir Robert Jenkinson, Bt
Sir John Cope, Bt
Sir John Borlase Bt
Sir Humphrey Winch, Bt
| Member of Parliament for Great Marlow
With: Sir John Borlase Bt 1689
John Hoby 1689
Sir William Whitelock 1689–1690
Sir William Whitelock
Sir Edmund Warneford
| Member of Parliament for Great Bedwyn
With: Sir Jonathan Raymond
Sir Jonathan Raymond
|Peerage of Scotland|
| Viscount Falkland
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