While the history of the Warren family in Europe is not complete in every detail, there are certain facts of interest which seem to be fairly authentic. There is no doubt that the name dates back into the early history of France and England and has been borne by some of their most illustrious sons. Good authority also exists for believing that members of this family have formed alliances through marriage with the ruling houses of both of these countries.
This family name comes doubtless from the Latin word Guarenna or Varenna, of which the primary sense is to stop, hold, or repel, to guard, or keep off. This word in Norman French became Guarenne or Varenne and is sometimes written Guaren or Guarin in old documents. It is likewise found in English as Warren, Warrene, Waren, Warm, Warm, or Waring. The name Varenne was given both to a river in the County of Calais, Normandy and to the country bordering on this stream. This region, while not large in area, apparently was of sufficient political importance in the 11th century to bring to its possessor the title of Earl or Count.
The first to bear this title was William de St. Martins, so-called from his birthplace, who received the fief of Varenne from Duke William II of Normandy. He lived in the 11th century and was without doubt a descendant from the stock of the Danish invaders. There is considerable data extant, though unfortunately much of it is legendary, which would connect him directly with the warrior chieftain of the Northmen, Rolf or Rollo, who forced from King Charles III of France the grant of the northern section of that country, then called Neustria. The new owners changed the name to Normandy and their leader became the first Duke of Normandy. It is from this ducal lineage that the first Earl Warren, or Comte de Guaren or Varrenne, is said to have sprung. History bears eloquent testimony that he was a worthy recipient of this new title, as he served his sovereign nobly both at home and abroad.
The first mention of this name in English history is in connection with the Battle of hastings, fought in 1066. In this conflict one of Duke William s most trusted lieutenants was Comte de Guaren, or the 2d Earl Warren. He must have been in high favor at court, for he later became the husband of Gundred, the daughter of the Comqueror in whose train he had come to England. At Domesday he received 298 manors as his share of the kingdom for the part played in the victories of Hastings and Ely and was rated as the richest subject in England. In 1073, he was appointed one of the Grand Justiciaries of England and was created Earl of Surrey by William Rufus in 1088. Both he and his wife seem to have been of a generous disposition as they gave the money for the establishment, at Lewes in Sussex County, of one of the most magnificent Priories in England, and assisted liberally the other churches and monasteries in the counties subject to them. Their last years were passed in their principal castle at Lewes and they were buried in the Chapter House of the Priory which they had endowed.
The line of nobility thus established existed with distinction until the reign of Edward III when the estates and title were surrendered to the crown by John, 8th Earl Warren, who died without male issue in 1347. The King made grants of the lands thus surrendered but took no notice of the title. In fact it was not until more than a century later that the title was again used, being conferred upon the son of the Duke of Norfolk who was created Earl of Warren and Surrey by Henry VI. As lie left no male issue the title reverted to the crown. It was not conferred again until 1476, when Richard, Duke of York son-in-law of the previous holder, was created by Edward (VI) Duke of Norfolk and Earl of Warren. He also died male issue and the earldom became once more unenjoyed. It has not been granted to anyone since and, therefore, is extinct, though the title Earl of Surrey is a possession of the noble family of Howard.
Through marriage the Warren family was later allied with the houses of Wirmgay and Poynton. From this latter branch came the William Warren who settled in Caunton, Notts Co., England, in the 15th century and was (probably) an ancestor of the Arthur Warren who emigrated to America about 1635. Though this last statement is not established beyond question, yet John C. Warren, Esq., of Nottingham, Eng., who has made a study of this family, writes as follows: "One notable thing is that Arthur was not a common Warren name. Indeed I cannot find it used in old days among any branch of the family except the Leicester and Notts Warrens."
The physiognomy of various descendants of Arthur Warren clearly showed traces of a French ancestry.
IRVING L. FOSTER, A. M.,
Slate College, Pa.
ARTHUR WARREN undoubtedly emigrated from England to New England about 1635, though diligent and repeated efforts have failed to discover the date and place of his birth or the exact time when he came to this country. However, it is known that he settled in Weymouth, Massachusetts Bay Colony, before 1638. In that year he married May. At the Quarter Court held in Boston December 7, 1641, he was a witness in the case against Walthian Richards. In the list of the real estate owned by the various proprietors of the plantation of Weymouth, made between Oct. 26, 1642, and May 21, 1644, "the land of Arthure Warren" is described as follows: "Tenn acres of upland and swampe, first given to himselfe, bounded on the East with Mr. Gloveres marsh, on the west and south with Mr. Barnardes land, on the north by the sea." "Tenn acres in the Mill-field, given to himselfe, bounded on the East and south with Hingham line, on the north with the land of of Walter Harms, the comon on the west." In 1645, Arthur "Waring" joined with about 20 members of the church in Braintree in a petition to the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony "for a grant of the Narragansett lands supposed to have been rendered forfeit by the heresy of Gorton, Holden and the others, just proprietors." "At a meeting of the Townsmen the 2d of the 12th mo. 1651-2," it was ordered by them that certain lands be divided, "The names of those that are to have lots in order as followeth: * * *
(No. 5.) Arthure Warren 4 (lots)."
He died after July 6, 1658. Among the probate records of Suffolk County, Mass., kept in Boston, is a document numbered 2,625 and undated, though it must have been made before 1660, as one of the persons who signed it died in that year. It shows by its wording that he left a will but none can be found. This paper reads as follows: "An inventory of the goods and lands of Arthur Warren of Weymouth, late deceased, which he bequeathed to his wife for the maintenance of his children.
Imprimis, one dwelling house with twelve £ s. d.
acres of land thereto adjoining 12 00 00
Item ten acres in the field commonly called
the mill-field with his other rights 04 00 00
Item two cows 07 00 00
Item three swine 02 00 00
Item pewter and brass 04 00 00
Item wearing clothes and bedding 07 00 00
Item one musket given to his eldest son 01 00 00
Item one sword 01 00 00
Item one pistol 00 10 00
Item several iron things 01 00 00
Item books 01 00 00
Item one bedstead with other chamber vessels 02 00 00
Item in coin 05 00 00
Item for other things not minded 02 00 00
51 01 00
Wil. Vessie, John Rogers, Thomas Dyer."
A list was made in 1663, of the number of acres in each person's lots. In the first division beginning on Braintree line the widow Warren owned lot number 69, containing 5 acres, and in the second division beginning on this line lot number 32 measuring 15 acres.
In 1664, the selectmen "ordered that Sergent Whitmarsh shall be and is hereby empowered to lay out unto Samuel Pratt a swamp lot which he bath in the right of the heirs of Arthur Warren, deceased." The date of the death of Arthur Warren's widow is unknown.