WARTON, Michael (1623-88), of Beverley, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



14 June 1660
Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679

Family and Education

bap. 27 Apr. 1623, 1st s. of Michael Warton (d.1645) of Beverley by Catherine, da. and coh. of Christopher Maltby of Maltby, Yorks.; bro. of Sir Ralph Warton. educ. Beverley g.s.; St. John’s, Camb. 1640; G. Inn 1640. m. c.1646, Susan, da. of John Poulett, 1st Baron Poulett of Hinton St. George, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. suc. gdfa. 1655.1

Offices Held

J.p. Yorks. (E. Riding) July 1660-87; commr. for assessment (E. Riding) Aug. 1660-80, Lincs. (Lindsey) 1663-9; dep. lt. (E. Riding) c. Aug. 1660-80, commr. for sewers Sept. 1660; col. of militia ft. 1661-?86; commr. for corporations, Yorks. 1662-3, oyer and terminer, Northern circuit 1665, recusants (E. Riding) 1675.2


Warton’s ancestors had resided in Beverley since Tudor times and from 1586 regularly represented the borough, strengthening their hold under the Stuarts by leasing the manor from the crown. Three generations of the family appeared for the King in the Civil War. Warton’s grandfather, who was at the general muster of the county in July 1642, compounded for estates valued at over £3,200 p.a. His father, who sat for Beverley in the Long Parliament until disabled for royalism, was killed at the siege of Scarborough Castle in 1645. Warton had also been in arms until Marston Moor and paid £1,600 on his father’s estate for his delinquency. He married well, and was persuaded by his cousin, Sir Marmaduke Langdale, to apply for a pass overseas in 1656; but he is not definitely reported as visiting the exiled Court, and he took no part in royalist conspiracy.3

As a Cavalier Warton was ineligible at the general election of 1660; but he was returned for Beverley at a by-election after the Restoration when Hugh Bethell chose to sit for Hedon, and divided the borough with Sir John Hotham, 2nd Bt. until 1681. He took no ascertainable part in the Convention, apart from obtaining leave to attend the Lords as a witness on 19 July; but doubtless he voted with the Court. He undertook to serve at his own charge in 1661, and became an inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, in which he was appointed to no more than 22 committees, including those for preventing mischief from Quakers in the first session and repairing Bridlington pier in 1664. He obstructed the new charter for his constituency and may have been reckoned a ‘country Cavalier’ under Clarendon, for Sir Thomas Osborne included him among the Members who might be engaged for the Court by the Duke of Buckingham in 1669. From 1673 Warton cannot be distinguished in the Journals from the Hon. Thomas Wharton. He was probably added to the committee for the habeas corpus amendment bill in 1675, and, although he received the government whip, he seems to have acted as teller against going into committee on supply in the autumn. In 1677 he was appointed to the committee on the bill to prevent illegal exactions, and Shaftesbury marked him ‘thrice worthy’; but in September Warton wrote to (Sir) Joseph Williamson:

I have had second thoughts how the merit has been digested, for the favour of being in your memory, and ascribe it as being one of your retinue when we meet at Westminster, and this I receive as a bribing monitor of my duty when you hold up your finger, (for as I take it that was the signal we agreed upon) and assuredly I shall not fail you if you please to remember the proviso in our articles that