WARREN, Sir George (1735-1801), of Poynton Lodge, Cheshire.
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Family and Education
b.7 Feb. 1735, o.s. of Edward Warren of Poynton by Lady Elizabeth Cholmondeley, da. of George Cholmondeley†, Earl of Cholmondeley. m (1) 26 May 1758,1 Jane (d. 9 Dec. 1761), da. and h. of Thomas Revel† of Fetcham, Surr., 1da.; (2) 4 Feb. 1764, Frances, da. of Sir Cecil Bisshopp†, 6th Bt., of Parham, Suss., s.p. suc. fa. 1737. KB 26 Mar. 1761.
Ensign, 3 Ft. Gds. 1755, lt. and capt. 1756, ret. 1758.
Warren generally supported Pitt after regaining his seat for Lancaster in 1786, but deserted him on the Regency, when he was recruited for opposition by Lord Rawdon (later Earl of Moira). The key to his ‘conversion’, which came as no surprise to his son-in-law Lord Bulkeley, who wrote of his ‘rattish dispositions’, was his long-standing desire for a peerage, based on fanciful claims to the ancient earldom of Warren and Surrey.2 He mustered with the Whigs at Burlington House before the general election of 1790, when he was returned again for Lancaster after an expensive contest, and voted with them on Oczakov, 12 Apr. 1791 and 1 Mar. 1792, but he never joined Brooks’s or the Whig Club, and he was listed ‘doubtful’ on the question of Test Act repeal in April 1791. His inclusion in a list of Portland Whigs in December 1792 was queried and he was considered as a possible recruit for the ‘third party’ early in 1793. Although he is not known to have voted against government after the outbreak of war, he was only marked ‘hopeful’ in the ministerial election survey for 1796. On 20 Sept. 1794, soon after the junction of the Portland Whigs with government, Moira submitted, to the Prince of Wales, Warren’s wish for a peerage with remainder to the naval hero Sir John Borlase Warren*, with whom Sir George, fallaciously as it turned out, claimed kinship. Moira recalled that the Duke of Portland and Lord Loughborough had been aware of Warren’s ambition at the time of the Regency crisis, and went on:
Sir George thinks he is now overlooked by the Duke of Portland, because ... I happened to be his God-father at his conversion. The possibility of the shyness of that party towards me at this juncture operating against Sir George ... engages me in equity to repair if I can any mischief which connection with me may have done to him... . Sir George’s fortune is so great that he is a fair candidate.3
Nothing was done for Warren, who is not known to have spoken in the House and gave up his seat at the dissolution in 1796. Two years later he told his wife’s brother-in-law, Lord Liverpool, that he was ‘under a strictly circumscribed system in regard to his health’. In 1799, he wrote to Pitt admitting that his claim to the earldom of Warren would be expensive and difficult to prove and soliciting in the first instance an Irish viscountcy, with a British peerage to follow, both with remainder to his supposed kinsman, whose most recent successes at sea he cited in support of his request.4
Warren’s runaway first marriage was a lucrative one and his estates in Cheshire and the Preston area of Lancashire were said to be worth £11,000 a year,5 but he was never able fully to exploit the financial potential of a coalfield on the Poynton property and the industrial development of Stockport, where he was hereditary lord of the manor. In the former enterprise, he was frustrated by his first wife’s cousin, the 3rd Duke of Bridgwater, whose rival canal scheme won the day over his own proposal in the 1760s. His stormy relations with his second wife were the source of public entertainment. They were separated by decree on the grounds of ‘incompatibility of temper, and personal habits mutually repulsive’ in 1772, but were subsequently reconciled. Warren died, ‘after an hour’s indisposition’, 30 Aug. 1801, and was buried with almost royal pomp.6
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: David R. Fisher
- 1. J. P. Earwaker, East Cheshire, ii. 281.
- 2. Buckingham, Court and Cabinets, ii. 82-83; Prince of Wales Corresp. ii. 489.
- 3. Prince of Wales Corresp. ii. 866.
- 4. Add. 38472, f. 294; PRO 30/8/187, f. 57.
- 5. Gent. Mag. (1804), i. 190.
- 6. Ibid. (1801), ii. 861-2; M. Elwin, Noels and Milbankes, 30; The Times, 1 Sept. 1801.