WARBURTON, Sir George, 3rd Bt. (1675-1743), of Warburton and Arley, Cheshire
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Family and Education
bap. 1 June 1675, 1st s. of Sir Peter Warburton, 2nd Bt., by Martha, da. of Thomas Docwra of Putteridge, Herts. m. 18 June 1700, Diana (d. 1705), da. of William Alington†, 1st Baron Alington of Wymondley, sis. and coh. Giles Alington, 2nd Baron Alington, 1s. d.v.p. 2da. (1 d.v.p.). suc. fa. as 3rd Bt. c.1698.
Freeman, Chester 1724.1
Warburton’s family had been established in Cheshire since at least the early 14th century, and owned substantial lands in the north of the county. Warburton first entered public life in 1699, shortly after succeeding to the estate and title, when he joined the opposition to the proposed Weaver navigation bill. At the second election of 1701 he stood for the county on the Tory interest, despite uncertainty as to whether he had yet taken the oaths to William III. It is uncertain whether this was due to an unwillingness to take such oaths while James II was alive, as one historian has suggested, or whether Warburton’s failure to gain any office requiring him to swear allegiance had meant he had not yet needed to swear allegiance to William III. Though defeated at this election, Warburton, having been added to the county bench at the accession of Queen Anne, was successful at the 1702 election, again standing on the Tory interest. Somewhat incongruously, he appears as a teller on the Whig side on the Tavistock election case on 19 Jan. 1703. His Toryism was, however, evident on 13 Feb. when he voted against agreeing to the Lords’ amendments to the bill enlarging the time for taking the Abjuration. His partisan beliefs and a concern for Cheshire interests characterize what little is known of Warburton’s activity in the remainder of the Parliament. On 2 Feb. 1704 he was appointed to draft a bill to encourage the manufacture of needlework and metal buttons, which had been prompted by a petition from Cheshire complaining of a decline in this industry, and he presented the bill the next day. In March Warburton was included on a list by Lord Nottingham (Daniel Finch†), probably a forecast of supporters regarding the proceedings on the Scotch Plot. Warburton’s Toryism was highlighted at the beginning of the next session when, having been forecast as a likely supporter of the Tack, he voted for it on 28 Nov., despite having been included upon Robert Harley’s* lobbying list against it. In December a bill was introduced allowing him to sell land at Pulford, Cheshire, in order to satisfy debts occasioned by the provision of portions for his siblings which had been charged on his estate. The measure passed in March 1705; his only other recorded interest this session was his support early in the year for a bill to enforce legislation encouraging the manufacture of needlework buttons. In August 1704 it had been forecast that Warburton could expect ‘vigilant’ opposition in Cheshire in the event of a dissolution, and once electioneering began in December that year the warning proved justified. On 3 Mar. 1705 Warburton and his fellow Tory knight of the shire initiated a complaint that they had been misrepresented to Cheshire’s freeholders concerning their ‘voting and acting in this House’, and six days later the man against whom the complaint was made was sent for into custody. The election continued in this fractious vein, stories, later proved false, circulating that Warburton had engaged in a ‘recounter’ with a rival candidate in which both were wounded. The contest was taken to a poll and Warburton was defeated for the second seat by the Whig Hon. Langham Booth. Booth’s minority at the time of the election led Warburton to petition against the return, but without success.2
Though Warburton did not stand for Cheshire in 1708 his Tory sympathies were demonstrated by his vote for the Tory candidates in the Hertfordshire election of that year, Warburton being the heir apparent to estates in this county belonging to his maternal grandfather. Warburton was successful at the contested Cheshire election of 1710 and was classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’. His determination to see the Tories exert their full influence in the new Parliament became clear in December 1710 when he wrote of his concern that the place bill had been promoted by the Whigs in order ‘to divide those that mean honestly’, and he was listed with the ‘worthy patriots’ who in the 1710–11 session had assisted in exposing the mismanagements of the previous administration. This list also marked him as a member of the October Club. More parochial concerns also occupied him during this session: on 7 Mar. 1711 he helped Peter Shakerley* to defeat a new Weaver navigation bill, while on 19 May he told against the bill to prevent combinations in the coal trade. In the following session he was teller on 17 Jan. 1712 in favour of declaring Robert Walpole II* guilty of ‘notorious corruption’. On 21 Feb. he was added to the committee for drafting a bill to prevent fraud in parliamentary elections, a nomination which may be explained by the belief that his defeat at the Cheshire election of 1705 had been due to the alleged creation of voters through fraudulent conveyances by Whig landowners. In the autumn of that year Warburton lobbied Lord Oxford (as Harley had become) and the Duke of Hamilton for appointments for his brother and an in-law, but it is unclear whether these requests were successful. On 12 May 1713 he was named to the committee to bring in a bill to make more effective the Act passed the previous session to prevent the splitting of freeholds before county elections, and on 18 June he voted against the French commerce bill, presumably in deference to Chester’s trading interests. The Worsley list and a further comparison of the 1713 and 1715 Parliaments nevertheless classed Warburton unambiguously as a Tory, and he continued to sit for the county as such until 1722. He died on 23 June 1743, and was succeeded in the baronetcy and estate by his nephew.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Richard Harrison
- 1. Freemen of Chester ed. J. H. E. Bennet (Lancs. and Cheshire Record Soc. lv), 271.
- 2. Challinor thesis, 197; Ormerod, Cheshire, i. 569–70; Add. 36914, ff. 20–24; Cheshire RO, Cholmondeley of Cholmondeley mss DCH/L/42, George Cholmondeley* to William Adams, 22, 25 Nov. ; VCH Cheshire, ii. 119; Cheshire RO, Arderne mss DAR/F/33, list of justices, [c.July 1702]; HMC Lords, n.s. vi. 288–9; John Rylands Univ. Lib. Manchester, Legh of Lyme mss corresp., Warburton to Peter Legh†, 23 Jan. 1704–5, Sir Henry Bunbury, 3rd Bt.*, to same, 15 Aug. 1704; Bodl. Rawl. D.863, f. 89; Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 133.
- 3. Herts. RO, D/EX/294/Z1, Herts. poll bk.; VCH Herts. iii. 38; Legh mss corresp., Warburton to Legh, 21 Dec. 1710; Chester RO, Chester bor. recs. M/L/4/640, Shakerley to Sir Thomas Aston, 3rd Bt., 8 Mar. 1710[–11]; Add. 70155, list of those recommended to be lottery commrs., Aug. 1712; 70262, Warburton to Oxford, 7 May 1712; SRO, Hamilton mss GD406/1/10168, Warburton to Hamilton, 6 Oct. 1712; Gent. Mag. 1743, p. 389.