WARNER, Robert (1510-75), of London and Cranleigh, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. ?Apr. 1510, 1st s. of Henry Warner of Besthorpe, and bro. of Sir Edward. m. (1) by 1550, Cecily, da. of Walter Marshe of London, wid. of William Harding of Cranleigh, 1s. Henry 1da.; (2) Anne, da. of Sir Humphrey Wingfield of Brantham, Suff., wid. of Alexander Newton (d.1566 or later). suc. fa. 26 Apr. 1519, bro. Sir Edward 7 Nov. 1565.3

Offices Held

?Servant of 1st Earl of Sussex by 1538; servant of Queen Catherine Parr by 1544, particular receiver of her lands in Hunts. and Northants. by 1545-8, first sewer in her household by 1546-7 or later; particular receiver of Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley’s lands in Hunts. and Northants. by 1548; sewer by 1556-8 or later; commr. subsidy, Surr. 1559, Norf. 1569; j.p. Surr. 1561-4.4


Although there were others of the name, including a wealthy London draper, Robert Warner may be identified with the gentleman from Norfolk. It was probably he who in 1538 as a servant of the Earl of Sussex wrote to the earl’s son, Lord Fitzwalter, reporting the news from London, and he may even have been brought up in the household of Sussex, who owned the manor of Attleborough, adjacent to Besthorpe; in the same year Fitzwalter married Warner’s cousin Anne Calthrope. By 1544 Warner had apparently exchanged Sussex’s service for that of the Queen and in September of that year was employed to carry a letter to the King in France. Although there was a Northamptonshire family of Warner it was probably the Member who became particular receiver of the Queen’s lands in that county. As a member of her household, he was assessed for the subsidy in 1545 on £20 a year in lands and in 1546 on £40. The office of first sewer carried a wage of about £3 a quarter; the second of the two sewers at this time was Nicholas Throckmorton, who became a close friend of Warner’s brother Sir Edward. John Bonham, Warner’s fellow-Member for Chippenham (where Warner’s name was inserted in the return, possibly in a different hand from that of the document), may also have been a servant of Queen Catherine and both could have owed their return to her predominant influence in the borough. The Queen’s brother-in-law (Sir) William Herbert I, later 1st Earl of Pembroke, for whose borough of Wilton Warner was to sit in 1547, also perhaps lent a hand. Robert Watson, Warner’s fellow-Member in 1547, may have been a Norfolk man and accordingly indebted to Warner for his introduction to the earl. Warner’s re-election to the following Parliament early in 1553 was presumably the work of the earl, perhaps acting through Bishop Ponet, the patron of Downton.5

On 28 Jan. 1551 Warner’s son Henry was born in Milk Street, London. His godparents were the 2nd Earl of Rutland, (Sir) Walter Mildmay and the Duchess of Richmond. In May 1556 a Robert Warner was trustee for Warwickshire lands of Sir Robert Tyrwhitt I, another erstwhile member of Catherine Parr’s household. A year later Warner received confirmation of his purchase from his brother-in-law John Marshe of the wardship of his stepdaughters Catherine and Helen Harding. Warner’s own daughter Elizabeth was born in August 1557 at Cranleigh, where he had apparently taken up residence after his marriage to Cecily Marshe. Elizabeth’s godparents were William More II of Loseley, Lady Clinton and Elizabeth Polsted. Warner’s stepdaughter Catherine married Richard Onslow in 1559 and her sister Helen married first Richard Knyvet and then Thomas Browne of Betchworth Castle, Surrey.6

Either through the Earl of Pembroke or another of his circle of high-ranking acquaintances Warner had obtained preferment in the Household by the middle of Mary’s reign, and it was as a member of the Household that he attended the Queen’s funeral in 1558. Warner’s choice of godparents for his children and his return to Parliament on Elizabeth’s accession suggest that he shared the Protestant views of his brother and his brother-in-law Marshe, although he was to play surprisingly little part in affairs under Elizabeth. He settled in Norfolk after his brother’s death and died on 7 Oct. 1575, having made his will in the previous August.7

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: D. F. Coros


  • 1. Hatfield 207.
  • 2. C219/330/35 ex inf. Margaret Condon.
  • 3. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s and bro’s i.p.ms, C142/34/30, 143/67. Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. xxxii), 308-9; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), iv. 90-91; PCC 6 Arundell.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xiii, xx; E115/413/33, 430/94, 433/118; 163/12/17, nos. 30, 38, 51, 54; 315/340, ff. 5v, 52, 68v; SC6 Edw. VI/726, ff. 7, A1; CPR, 1560-3, p. 441; 1563-6, p. 26.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xiii, xix, xx; E179/69/47, 48; C219/18C/142.
  • 6. Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), iv. 90-91; CPR, 1555-7, pp. 88, 397.
  • 7. LC2/4/2; PCC 44 Pyckering.