Henry Cary was one of the leading building contractors in Virginia during the first half of the eighteenth century. The son of the builder, Cary was probably born on his father’s plantation in Warwick County and likely learned the trade from his father. His first major project, late in the 1710s, was a church for Saint Paul’s Parish in what became Hanover County. A few years later he worked on the governor’s residence, a project begun by his father; repaired the Capitol; and, in 1723, likely supervised construction of the Brafferton building at the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg. It is one of the earliest examples of the “neat and plain” style that dominated late colonial Virginia architecture. Cary also worked on a chapel wing and a president’s residence for the college. In the 1730s he constructed his own large residence, Ampthill, on the James River in Henrico (later Chesterfield) County. Active in the , Cary also sat on the Henrico and Warwick county courts and was a sheriff of Henrico County. He died in the winter of 1749–1750, perhaps not long before his will was proved on March 2, 1750.