WARRENDER, George (c.1658-1721), of Lochend, Haddington, Bruntsfield and Edinburgh.
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Family and Education
b. c.1658, o.s. of George Warrender by Margaret Cunynghame, a relation of Sir James Cunynghame. m. (1) 13 Apr. 1680, Margaret (bur. 2 June 1699), da. of Thomas Lawrie, Edinburgh merchant, 1 surv. s. 1da.; (2) proclamation 10 Dec. 1699, Grissel, da. of Hugh Blair, Edinburgh merchant, 3s. 5da. suc. fa. ?1661; cr. Bt. 2 June 1715.
Ld. provost, Edinburgh 1713-15.
Warrender, a successful merchant dealing in foreign trade, purchased Bruntsfield in 1675, later buying adjacent properties, and acquiring Lochend. In 1705 he was one of a syndicate to whom a three years’ farm of the customs and foreign excise of Scotland was assigned.1 A staunch Whig, who had been fined for nonconformity under James II,2 he was created a baronet at George I’s accession, which he had proclaimed at Edinburgh in his capacity of lord provost. Returned for Edinburgh in 1715 after a contest with an Argyll candidate, he was in London during the early stages of the Fifteen, but came north in August, feeling that ‘his presence would be of greater importance at Edinburgh at such a juncture than it would be in Parliament’.3 In 1716 he applied for compensation for his losses during the rebellion, claiming that he had been ‘put to great charge and was obliged to lay aside a large and gainful share of his trade’.4
In Parliament Warrender voted with the Government in every recorded division, including that on the opposition motion of 4 June 1717, censuring Argyll’s rival, Lord Cadogan. After this vote he was reported by one of the followers of the Duke of Argyll to have been
in a terrible fright because of the temper he fears the town are in on account of his behaviour in the House ... The poor man had impudence enough to deny facts, as the only method he fancies is left to save his bacon.5
Always anxious lest some incident in Edinburgh—a clash with the excise officers or an address to repeal the Act of Union—should create an unfavourable impression on the Government, he advised the magistrates ‘to shun extremes and to consider the need we have of favour’.6
He died a year before the next general election, 4 Mar. 1721.