The Papers of Michael Warton of Beverley

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The three miscellaneous items catalogued as DP/58, DP/64 and DP/81 were acquired for the Brynmor Jones as part of two batch purchases. DP/58 and DP/64 were purchased from Mrs Sleight of Hull, on 12 May 1948 and DP/81 was one of several purchases made from E Bocking of Norwich between 17 November 1949 and 2 October 1951. They comprise a late 17th century account book and a later survey and some estate papers of Sir Michael Warton of Beverley.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Wartons were rich Hull merchants who became the wealthiest family in Beverley in the seventeenth century. They were lords of the manor of Beverley Parks and Beverley. Christopher Warton of Warton in the reign of Edward IV married Mary, daughter of William Lancaster, and was succeeded by a son, John Warton, in the reign of Henry VII. He married Mary, daughter of Sir John Pickering, and their son, Lawrence Warton, was described as being `of Beverley' during the reign of Henry VIII. By 1657 they had a house built into North Bar. His son, Michael Warton, was succeeded by another Michael Warton (1577-1655) who outlived his son, also Michael Warton (b.1593). The latter is said to have died from cannon shot during the second civil war (circa 1646). Therefore, his grandson, another Michael Warton (b.1623), inherited the estates in 1655, though they had been depleted through fines paid to parliament for royalism. He married Susannah Powlett and they had seven children, one of whom, Mary Warton, married Sir James Pennyman of Ormesby (see separate entry). The eldest son, also called Michael Warton (1649-1725), died unmarried, as did his brothers, and the Warton estates were split up between the children of his two sisters in the eighteenth century and the valuation dated 1774 at DP/58 is related to this (Sketches of Beverley, p.50).

The Brynmor Jones Library holds an account book for the third Sir Michael Warton's household kept by Robert Cook (DP/81; a companion inventory is held by the Beverley branch of the Humberside County Libraries). At the time it was being kept, Sir Michael Warton and his two brothers lived in the North Bar house, the largest house in Beverley, having twenty hearths. In addition, Sir Michael Warton owned 12,500 acres worth about a quarter of a million pounds; much of it had been ecclesiastical land such as that belonging to the dissolved Dominican Friary. The valuation of his estates done in 1774 indicated that in the house alone there was over 2000 pounds worth of silver plate (Hall, Michael Warton of North Bar House, pp. 1-5, 9, 58; DP/58).

The account book at DP/81 therefore indicates the household outgoings of a rich family and everything from apothecary's and doctor's fees to quires of writing paper and greasing the coach is represented. Servants' wages, estate accounts and rents are also in the account book for 1660 to 1695; estates covered include local estates at Beverley Park, Cottingham, Hornsea, Woodmansey, Cowden, Swanland and Woodhall. A case to do with the tithes on some of these estates is at DP/64.

The third Sir Michael Warton died in 1688 and a separate set of accounts for his funeral begin from the back of the account book. He died in London on 9 August and was buried in Beverley Minster on 23 August. The book is filled with accounts for pall bearers and mourning clothes; every detail is listed - black silk, black hose, black buttons. When he died he left money for Beverley Minster's almshouses and his son went on to maintain these and himself left money for the upkeep of this very beautiful church. Nearly all of the male members of the Warton family are buried in Beverley Minster and a photograph of the monument of the second Sir Michael Warton (d. 1655) is pasted onto the boards of this leather bound volume.

Further material in the Brynmor Jones Library indicates the wealth and power of Sir Michael Warton. In 1669 he took over a 1500 mortgage held by Edward and James Nelthorpe (London merchants who had close connections with Andrew Marvell) for Sir Marmaduke Constable of Everingham. The latter had severe financial problems caused by the recusancy of his family and the sequestration of their estates for royalism during the civil wars (see separate entry). He used agents such as the Nelthorpes and Michael Warton to escape the total loss of his lands. In exchange for the mortgage, he transferred a bond of 3000 to Michael Warton. A year later Michael Warton also helped him with the financial settlement of his son's marriage (DDEV/31/118-120; DDEV/51/20, 48; DDEV/53/18).

Conditions Governing Access



Originally published by Access to Archives - A2A©. The data in this finding aid is in the copyright of the place of deposit.

Other Finding Aids

listed at item level

Related Material

DSJ/15; DDCB/4/94-95; DDCV/15/81-82, 399; DDCV/114/1; DDCV(2)/83/1; DDEV/31/118-120; DDEV/51/20, 48; DDEV/53/18, 28; DDEV/55/57; DDEV/60/3; DDHA/4/15; DDHA/16/4; DDMC/107/1


Elisabeth Hall (ed.), Michael Warton of North Bar House, Beverley; an inventory of his possessions, with some other inventories from the area of Beverley and Hull (1986)

Sketches of Beverley and the neighbourhood (1882)