Select Warner Miscellany

Here are some Warner stories and accounts over the years:

Edward Warner of Mildenhall

Edward Warner was a descendant of the famous Sir Edward Warner, Lieutenant of the Tower.  His father Sir Henry held Mildenhall Manor and other estates in Suffolk which Edward was due to inherit.

However, such was Edward's inveterate love of gambling that his father made the following provision in his will:

"That should he in any one day lose more than one pound by play, he should:
 - for the first offence forfeit his manor of Mildenhall to the then Lord Justice of England,
 - for the second, his manor of Thornhill,
 - and, for the third, the whole remainder of his property to his heirs,        
    as one already dead and 'played out.'"

Sir Thomas Warner's Ring

The first British settlement in the Caribbean occurred in St. Kitts and was undertaken by a group of Suffolk merchants led by Thomas Warner, a captain in the royal guard.  When the King knighted him in 1629 in recognition of his successful planting of a new colony, Queen Henrietta presented him with the ring that Queen Elizabeth had once given to the Earl of Essex, her favorite courtier. 

The ring was handed down in the Warner family until a Trinidadian Attorney General lost it in the 1800's.  It has never been found or positively identified since.

Warner Silk Making in Essex

Warner & Sons was founded in 1870 by Benjamin Warner to take advantage of the negative effects of the Franco-Prussian War on the French silk industry.  The Warner family had been involved in the silk indsustry since the 17th century, manufacturing traditional patterns.  However, Benjamin Warner was very interested in contemporary design and bought designs from the renowned and influential designer Owen Jones.  The firm supplied Liberty & Co, Collinson & Lock, and Debenham & Freebody. 

The company moved to Braintree in 1895, having taken over buildings already used in the silk industry, and specialized in high-quality textiles, supplying fabics for royal ceremonies for King George VI and the Prince of Wales as well as the Queen's coronation.  The company ceased weaving in Braintree in 1971, but examples of fabrics produced there are held at the warner Textile Archive.

Shamus Warner the Bare-knuckle Boxer

James Warner (fight name Shamus Warner) was born in Swansea in 1854.  He was a bare-knuckle boxer and fought in both the UK and the USA, as part of Billy Samuel's Boxing Troop.  He had been known to fight up to 30 rounds a contest three times a week.  His last fight was at Clyne colliery, on top of the old pit at Blackpill.  After the fight he had to retire with badly damaged knuckles.

In his younger years James used to deliver fruit and vegetables around Swansea.  He appeared in 1867 in a newspaper report as having been apprehended by the police for being drunk while in charge of a donkey and cart.

He and his wife Mary had seven children.  James died in 1912 as a result of an unfortunate accident with the gas supply at the lodging house where he was staying. 

Warners in America by Place of Origin


The Warner Hall Graveyard

The walled family cemetery of the Warner and Lewis families is located on the Warner Hall property, southeast of Warner Hall.  The cemetery, owned and maintained by the Association for Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, is the final resting place for many of the Warner and Lewis family members. 

There are thirteen graves in the Warner Hall graveyard, including the following six Warners:
1.  Mary Warner (believed to be Mary Towneley Warner), 1614 - 1662
2.  Augustine Warner I, 1611 - 1674
3.  Augustine Warner II, 1642 - 1681
4 . Mildred Reade Warner (wife of Augustine Warner II), died in 1694
5.  Augustine Warner III, 1666 - 1686
6.  Elizabeth Warner Lewis  (daughter of Augustine Warner II and wife of Col. John Lewis), 1672 - 1719

Colonel Seth Warner

The following inscription is on the monument that was erected over his grave:

"In memory of Colonel Seth Warner Esq.
Who departed this life December 26 1784 at the 42nd year of his age.

Triumphant leader at our armies' head,
Whose martial glory struck a panic dread,
Thy warlike deeds engraven on this stone
Tell future ages what a hero's done.
Full sixteen battles he did fight,
For to procure his country's right.
Oh! This brave hero, he did fall
By death who ever conquers all.
When this you see, remember me."

Irish Warners Who Came to Texas

The Warners came out to Dallas county, Texas in 1852 direct from Ireland.  There were eight of them, the old gentleman and his wife and five sons and a daughter.

A contemporary wrote the following about them:

"They were a family of more than ordinary intelligence.  The old gentleman was a remarkable man, over six foot tall, well educated and as polite as a French dancing master.  He could make as graceful a bow as a Chesterfield.  He had a rich Irish brogue, was very interesting in conversation and a dignified Christian gentleman, and was held in high esteem by all his neighbors.  He was born in 1795 and departed this life in 1875.

The family came from county Cork in Ireland.  Two of his sons, Robert and Benjamin, departed this life several years ago, also his daughter Susan.  The whole family were Protestant."

The Brothers Warner

The Brothers Warner, which aired on American TV in 2008, was an intimate portrait and epic saga of the four film pioneers who founded and ran the Warner Bros. studio for over fifty years.

Narrated by family member Cass Warner Sperling (Harry Warner's granddaughter), the 60-minute film gave an insider look at these original Hollywood independent filmmakers and their varied personalities and business sense; the little-known major player, Harry Warner; Albert or "Honest Abe;" visionary Sam; and volatile Jack.  Rare archival footage, family photos, and documents traced their scrappy rise from nothing, along with the personal tragedies and professional battles they overcame along the way.

From opening their first storefront theater by hanging a sheet on the wall and borrowing chairs from a funeral parlor to creating one of the top studios in America, these four brothers built an empire on a dream and revolutionized Hollywood; and they were the first to use mass media to "educate, entertain, and enlighten."

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