George Warren (MP)

George Warren (MP)

Sir George Warren, KB (7 February 1735-31 August 1801), of Poynton Lodge in Cheshire, was a British Member of Parliament.

Warren set out initially on an army career, being promoted to Captain in 1756. In May 1758 he eloped to Edinburgh with a rich heiress, Jane Revel (died 1761), and married her; he then retired from the army, and in December of the same year was elected to Parliament as member for Lancaster in return for a promise that at the next election he would contribute up to £2,000 towards finding a seat for the son of Lancaster's other MP, Francis Reynolds. He immediately began a campaign to have himself made a Knight of the Bath, an honour to which he believed his new wealth now entitled him, but the King angrily rejected the proposal when it was put to him by Prime Minister Newcastle. However, once George III succeeded in 1760, Warren attached himself to Bute's party and secured his KB the following year.

Warren's rapacious attempts to enlarge his fortune made him unpopular throughout Lancashire and Cheshire. His estates included the manor of Stockport, and he tried to enforce his feudal rights as the town grew with industrialisation, seeking to establish manorial monopolies on some goods and levy tolls on the importation of others. He also promoted a scheme to run a canal from the River Weaver near Northwich to the Mersey at Stockport, which would have opened a market for the coalfield on his Poynton estate, but Parliament preferred the rival scheme of the Duke of Bridgewater, which linked Stockport to the Grand Trunk Canal, much less profitable for Warren.

Despite his unpopularity, Warren could not be dislodged from his parliamentary seat at Lancaster, where the influence of Reynolds over the voters was sufficient to ensure his candidate would be returned. In 1768 the local merchants determined to oppose him, putting up Lord John Cavendish as a candidate, but even the backing of his own influential family and of the Lowthers proved insufficient to make victory probable. Early in the campaign, Cavendish wrote that"my opponents...have engaged all the lower sort of people, and they spare no expense to keep them firm to them.", and eventually he concluded that "my opponents were bidding any sums for votes, so that my success was very uncertain and an enormous expense inevitable." He withdrew a week before the election was due, leaving Warren to be returned unopposed.

Waren remained an MP for all but two years until 1796, sitting also for Beaumaris in one Parliament, but there is no record of his ever having spoken in the House of Commons. He had one daughter by his first marriage, Elizabeth, Viscountess Bulkeley (c. 1760-1826): her husband, Thomas Bulkeley, 7th Viscount Bulkeley, changed his surname to Warren-Bulkeley by Royal Licence to inherit the Warren fortune. Warren's second marriage in 1764, to Frances Bishopp, daughter of Sir Cecil Bishopp, 6th Baronet, was childless.

Warren commissioned several portraits of his family from the then-up-and-coming artist, George Romney, whose group portrait of the family (1769) was one of the pictures that helped make his reputation. A later portrait was of Warren's daughter, Elizabeth, to celebrate her marriage in 1777, Romney depicting her as Hebe: this picture is now in the National Museum of Wales.

References

* Lewis Namier & John Brooke, "The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1754-1790" (London: HMSO, 1964)
*Robert Beatson, "A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament" (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807) [http://books.google.com/books?vid=024wW9LmFc5kXY0FI2&id=Gh2wKY2rkDUC&printsec=toc&dq=Return+of+Members+of+Parliament&as_brr=1&sig=SK5GVtGLfWQ9ovZDbyZObAyIO5I#PPP9,M1]
* [http://thepeerage.com/p18913.htm http://thepeerage.com]
* [http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/rhagor/article/?article_id=159 National Museum of Wales]
*

External links

* [http://www.brocross.com/poynton/book/poyco1.htm History of the Poynton Collieries]


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