WARNER, Henry Lee (1688-1760), of Nackington, nr. Canterbury, Kent
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Family and Education
b. 23 July 1688, 4th but 1st surv. s. of Henry Lee*. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1705; I. Temple 26 Mar. 1706; travelled abroad (France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austrian Netherlands, United Provinces) 1713–16. m. 1720–1, Mary (d. 1770), da. of Samuel Milles† of Herne and Nackington, 4s. (1 d.v.p.), 1 da. d.v.p. suc. bro. Warner Lee Warner at Little Walsingham, Norf. by 1713; fa. 1734; uncle Sir James Howe, 2nd Bt.*, 1736.1
Freeman, Canterbury 1700.2
Bishop John Warner of Rochester (d. 1666) settled his estates in Norfolk on Lee Warner, the eldest son of his nephew Dr John Warner, archdeacon of Rochester (d. 1679), provided that he used the surname Warner. Lee Warner, a barrister, and ‘a gentleman of so considerable an estate that few (who are not noble) had better’, died without heirs in 1699, leaving his estates to Warner Lee Warner (b. c.1682), the eldest son of his half-brother, Henry Lee*. Warner Lee Warner’s accession to the estates necessitated an Act of Parliament because he was under age and unable to make a jointure should he wish to marry. The petition for the bill took care to safeguard the rights of Henry Lee’s second son, this Member, Henry Lee Warner, who inherited the estates on Warner Lee Warner’s death. An estate bill promoted by the family in 1713, on the grounds that Henry Lee Warner required one to ‘obtain a fortune’, suggests that he had succeeded his brother by that date.3
With his father still alive and sitting for Canterbury, close to the Lee family estates, Warner’s opportunities for political advancement were limited. He was brought in at a by-election for Hindon in 1711 on the interest of his maternal uncle, Sir James Howe. Howe, who subsequently made Warner his heir, seems to have looked on his nephew almost as a surrogate son. Once in the Commons Warner adopted the same Tory stance as his patron (and indeed as his father), voting on 18 June 1713 for the French commerce bill. He was able to watch the passage of his own estate bill through the House in 1713, in the hands of Sir William Hardres, 4th Bt.*, and Horatio Walpole I*. He himself made little impact on the parliamentary scene, and did not stand for re-election, embarking instead on a grand tour in November 1713. He eventually removed to Walsingham Abbey in Norfolk, along with his father. However, it would seem likely that the election of his father-in-law, Samuel Milles, for Canterbury in 1722 represented, partly at least, the continuation of his own influence in that borough. Warner died on 13 Dec. 1760, leaving to his son land in six counties.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Stuart Handley
- 1. E. L. Warner, Life of John Warner, 66–67; Burke, LG (1937), 1567; Norf. RO, Lee Warner mss, box 10 (441 x 3), passim; box 17, nos. 2, 21, 43, Stephen Hales to [Henry Lee Warner], 9 May, 4 Apr. 1721, Mrs M. Hales to Mrs M. Warner, 24 Apr. 1721; HMC Lords, n.s. x. 87; Burke, Commoners, iv. 551.
- 2. Freemen of Canterbury ed. Cowper, 325.
- 3. Warner, 63; PCC 202 Pott; D. Manley, Secret Mems. 198; HMC Lords, n.s. iv. 424–5; x. 87.
- 4. CJ, xvii. 402, 422; Gent. Mag. 1760, p. 594; PCC 78 Choslyn.