WARRE, Sir Francis, 1st Bt. (c.1659-1718), of Hestercombe, Som.
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Family and Education
b. c.1659, o. s. of Sir John Warre† of Hestercombe by Unton, da. of Francis Hawley†, 1st Baron Hawley [I]. educ. Oriel, Oxf. matric. 16 Oct. 1674, aged 15. m. (1) 1689, Anne (d. 1690), da. and h. of Robert Cuffe of St. Michael Church, Som., 1s. d.v.p.; (2) 1692, Margaret (d. 1719), da. of John Harbin, merchant, of London, 1s. d.v.p. 1da. suc. fa. 1669; cr. Bt. 2 June 1673.1
Capt. Duke of Monmouth’s Ft. 1678–9.2
Recorder, Bridgwater 1683–Oct. 1688, Taunton 1701–?15; commr. fortified estates, Som. and Bristol 1686; v.-adm. Som. and Bristol 1702–9.3
Warre, ‘a violent Churchman’ who had sat in the Parliament of 1685 and 1689, was re-elected for Bridgwater in 1690. He was classed at this time by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) as a Tory and in several other lists as a Court supporter. A further list among Robert Harley’s* papers also noted his pro-Court inclinations. For much of this Parliament, however, Warre was in fact absent, obtaining grants of leave for unspecified periods in January 1693 and in February and March 1695. On another occasion, 4 Dec. 1693, he was ordered into custody for being absent without leave at a call of the House, his discharge being allowed on the 15th. He narrowly escaped similar treatment following another call in March 1694, having returned home ‘very ill’. Arrangements were made to send for him post haste if necessary, but he obtained a second grant of leave on 3 Apr. He declined standing in 1695 and 1698, but regained his former seat without opposition at a by-election following the death of one of Bridgwater’s MPs in 1699. He stood down in the first 1701 general election, but was returned at a by-election soon afterwards for Taunton, a short distance from his estate, and continued to sit for the borough until 1715. He was blacklisted as an opponent of preparations for war in 1701, and on 26 Feb. 1702 voted for the motion vindicating the Commons’ actions in impeaching William III’s Whig ministers.4
In the first Parliament of Anne’s reign, Warre voted on 13 Feb. 1703 against agreeing with the Whig Lords’ amendments to the bill for extending the period in which the Abjuration could be taken. In mid-March 1704 he was noted as a probable supporter of Lord Nottingham (Daniel Finch†) in connexion with the planned attack on him over the Scotch Plot. Though listed as a likely supporter of the Tack in October 1704, he did not vote for it in the division on 28 Nov., and as a result was classed in a list of early 1705 as ‘Low Church’. He voted against the Court candidate for Speaker on 25 Oct. 1705, was listed as a Tory early in 1708, and voted against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell in 1710. Following the 1710 election, he was included as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’ of the new Parliament, and during the course of the first session was noted both as a ‘Tory patriot’ who opposed the continuance of the war, and as a ‘worthy patriot’ who helped to detect the mismanagements of the former ministry. He also became a member of the October Club. His backing of a bill concerning Minehead harbour is indicated by his inclusion on the five-man committee appointed to draft it on 9 Feb. 1712. His name appeared on lists in 1713 and 1715, again as a Tory. He sat for a few months in the first Parliament of George I, until unseated on petition in August 1715. An intimation that he had been involved in preparations for the 1715 rebellion led to his arrest, but was released after a short period in prison. He died at Ghent on 1 Dec. 1718 and was buried at Kingston, near Hestercombe, bequeathing his estate, which included the manor of Middlezoy, to his daughter.5
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Paula Watson
- 1. Collinson, Som. iii. 262–3; F. Brown, Som. Wills, iv. 131; IGI, London, Som.
- 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. vi. 352.
- 3. S. G. Jarmon, Bridgwater, 266.
- 4. Som. RO, Sanford mss DD/SF 3877, Warre to Edward Clarke*, 28 Mar. 1693–4; 3109, Clarke to John Spreat, 15 Mar. 1693–4.
- 5. HMC Stuart, ii. 204; Brown, 131.