WARREN OF POYNTON AND STOCKPORT

 

The following notes on the Warren family of Poynton and Stockport are taken from Earwaker's East Cheshire.  The family first acquired the manors of Poynton and Stockport when Sir Edward de Warren, a knight, the illegitimate son of the last Earl of Warren and Surrey married Cicely the daughter adn finally the heiress of Sir Nicholas de Eton of Poynton and Stockport.  Sir Edward de Warren died before 1369.  A simplified version of the family tree, concentrating on the heirs, is shown below.

Viscountess Warren Bulkeley left all her Lancashire estates except Heaton Norris, including the former Talbot lands in Lancashire, to her cousin George Leicester, 2nd Lord de Tabley, on condition he changed his name to Warren. Later the family used the name Leicester as a second Christian name and became known as the Leicester Warrens. 

Earwaker relates that as a consequence of the publication of a book 'History of the Ancient Earls of Warren and Surrey' by the Rev. Watson, Sir George Warren, last male heir of the line, believed that Sir John Borlase Warren KB of Stapleford in Nottinghamshire was a descendant of the Warrens of Poynton. Later research showed this to be untrue as Sir John was great grandson of Arthur Warren who was son and heir of another Arthur Warren who was son and heir of Sir Arnold Waring, knighted 4 March 1632/3 and descended from a Warwickshire family of that name. They had, however, used the name Warren for several generations and tried to prove themselves descended from a younger branch of the Warrens of Poynton. Viscountess Bulkeley shared this belief and in her will dated 10 March 1823 arranged to leave large estates in Cheshire and other counties, including the manors of Stockport and Poynton to the use of Frances Maria, only daughter and heir of Admiral the Right Hon. Sir John Borlase Warren of Stapleford, Nottinghamshire, Baronet and G.C.B.  She was married to George Charles Venables-Vernon, afterwards 4th Lord Vernon.  By Royal Licence of 6 June 1826, she took the name and arms of Warren only.  On her death on 17 September 1837, her only child, George John Venables-Vernon, 5th Lord Vernon, on succeeded.  By Royal Licence dated 14 October 1837, he took for himself but not for his then born issue, the name and arms of Warren only, in pursuance of the directions in Viscountess Bulkeley's will.  Lord Vernon died on 31 May 1866 and was succeeded by his son Augustus Henry Venables-Vernon, 6th Lord Vernon of Sudbury Park in Derbyshire, who then inherited the Poynton and Stockport estates.

The original Poynton Hall was built about 1552 by Sir Edward Warren, but there may have been an earlier building on the site. It was pulled down about 1750 by Sir George Warren and replaced with a large house on the same site with a park. This stood on the right hand side of the road from Macclesfield to Stockport and was engraved for the Rev. Watson's 'History of the Ancient Earls of Warren and Surrey' with the title 'A View of Poynton Lodge in Cheshire'. This house was demolished with the exception of the central towers in 1830. It was not replaced directly but a modern house was built near the site of the old hall and named Poynton Towers. In March, 1823, the library of books and the collection of pictures, plate and furniture at Poynton Hall were sold by the executors of Viscount Bulkeley.

Poynton Chapel dates back to 1312 when it is mentioned in the papers of the Bishop of Lichfield concerning the advowson of the Chapel of Poynton. It stood near Poynton Hall and served the townships of Poynton, Worth and Woodford. There had been a dispute over the chapel but in a case tried at Chester is was shown that Poynton was a chapel dependent on the Parish Church of Prestbury, which was owned by the Abbey of St. Werburgh in Chester. The chapel was mentioned again in 1463/4 in deeds as being dedicated to the Virgin Mary but was omitted from the Sheriff of Chester's returns of 1548, the Cheshire Chantry Roll and the ministers' account relating to the suppression of the chantries. However, in 1599, Randle Holmes, the Chester antiquarian visited the chapel and described some coats of arms depicted in the windows. Little is known of the later history as there are only scattered references before the 18 th century. Bishop Gastrell in his Notitia Cestriensis of about 1720 mentions that the chapel had an income of £11, of which £4 was given by Mr. Warren and £1 by Mr. Downes. There was a chapel yard but it was not used for burials.

Earwaker gives a list of incumbents from 1713 and notes that the chapel repaired and a new chancel was built in 1741. A dispute then arose as to the liability of the various townships for the repairs. In 1787 the old chapel was pulled down and rebuilt on the same site at the expense of Sir George Warren. This was during the time of Thomas Jennings (1773-1795) who was also curate of Norbury (Hazel Grove) and Bosley, south of Macclesfield.  This chapel stood until 1858 when it was pulled down to be replaced by a new church half a mile away in the village of Poynton. The foundation stone was laid by the Hon. Augustus Henry Vernon, later Lord Vernon on 7 April 1858 and consecrated on 1 February 1859.

Litler MA (1832-1864) was nominated by the Right Honourable Francis-Maria Warren, Lady Vernon. He had previously been incumbent of Marple and Chadkirk. He was instrumental in building the present church at Poynton and died aged 63 in 1864.

Sources:

East Cheshire Past and Present by J.P. Earwaker, London, 1877 (CRO, Knutsford). This is widely regarded as the best work on East Cheshire of the 19th century. It is useful for family trees of landed families. Now available from the Family History Society of Cheshire on CD ROM

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