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THE WEB CHARMOUTH SITE
James Warden - His Life and Death!

This is the story of James Warden. If you wish to read more about the families and houses associated with him click on the following links:
Langmoor Manor
, Well Head House, Melbourne House, Charmouth Old Manor House, Backlands Farm, Liddons,William Warden, Hannah Parks Warden, Puddicombes, Parks, Spencers, Crowter,

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James Warden was born in 1736 to Hugh and Sarah Warden. Their Marriage Certificate for the previous year still exists and shows them being married at the Collegiate Church of St. Katherine by the Tower of London. They were living at the time in the Parish of St. Anne’s in Limehouse. although his mother comes from a wealthy family - the Parks, who are later to play an important part in the rise of James Warden.
Limehouse with its position in the Docks of London was an ideal place for the young James to be bought up, especially as his father was a Mariner and his mother’s family has the same background. His Uncle William Parks was mentioned as a Captain in his wife’s Will and both lived in Limehouse with a number of other members of the large family. It was described by Sir John Fielding in 1776 "as a place chiefly inhabited by sailors, where a man would be apt to suspect himself in another country. Their manner of living, sparking, acting, dressing and behaving, are so peculiar to themselves".
James is recorded as attending Greenwich Hospital School, whose buildings now house The National Maratime Museum. He would have been between the ages of 12 and 14 when he would have taken up the position of Midshipman in one of the many ships that docked in the Port of London. To achieve that position he would have to have come from a good background and no doubt his uncle assisted him in this.
There is a gap now in our knowledge of his career and it is the inscription on the side of his impressive Tomb that provides us with a clue as it details that” He was in 19 engagements during the memorable expedition against the French fleet under the gallant Hawke." This would take us to 1759, when James would have been just 23 years of age. Hawke went on to achieve a victory over a French fleet at the Battle of Quilberon Bay in November of that year during the Seven Years War, preventing a French invasion of Britain. He developed the concept of a Western Squadron, keeping an almost continuous blockade of the French Coast through the war. Again Wardens Tomb mentions that he was there with Hawke at the "surrender by the French of Bell Isle off their coast".
He rose to the rank of Lieutenant, no doubt as a result of his part in these sea battles, a position he was to hold all his Naval Career. After retrurning to these shores he met and married a young lady only known to us as Elizabeth. They were to have their first child, Hannah Parks Warden who was born in 1763 in the coastal village of Wyke Regis, near Weymouth in Dorset. The following year the couple have a daughter, Ann, who was shown as being baptised in the local church.
Records from The Admiralty Archives reveal that his next position in the Royal navy was as a coastal Customs Officer, apprehending smugglers on the east coast in command of HM Cutter "Adventure",including his presence in Edinburgh in 1764. He sailed from Leith on 15th. October for Portsmouth after receiving orders to enter as many men as possible. The Cutter proved to be leaky and he had to employ a Master Carpenter (Alexander PHILP) at Burntisland to caulk and nail her. He sailed again on the evening of the 25th. In the Downs on 7th. November he reported that with no Master on board he had had to employ a pilot for the North Coast. Once in Portsmouth in December he requested a Master and a Surgeon's Mate. In 1766 the ADVENTURE cutter was based in the Firth of Forth. She was damaged in Leith Harbour at the beginning of August and William EDMOND, Carpenter of the HAPPY, sloop, surveyed the extent of the damage. The damage was confined to the upper works so they could be carried out by John SYME, the Carpenter in Leith. On 29th. November George CLARK, the gunner's mate, was drowned. In March 1767 Thomas RICHMOND, the Master, asked to be replaced due to failing eyesight. In September 1767 Lieutenant WARDEN was superseded by Lieutenant George YOUNGHUSBAND.The Adventure was sold off the following year.
The Public Record Office has thirteen letters from him which cover the time he was Lieutenant on the “Adventure” Cutter. They show him travelling along the coast to ports that include Portsmouth, Leith, Burntisland and Sheerness. They run from December 1764 until July 1767 . It is interesting to see that a son, Wiiiam Weeks Wharton Warden is born at Burntisland, near Edinburgh. As so many of the letters are from there, it may well mean that James and his wife spent some time in that town. They must have returned later to Wyke Regis as there was an entry in their Parish Records detailing the burial of Betty, the wife of James Warden in the year 1773.
He was now just 37 years of age with three young children to bring up. He may well have left the children with his childless Aunt whom he had named his daughter,Hannah  Parks after and would eventually be beneficiaries of her Will. A number of letters by him in the Dorset Record Office in Dorchester reveal that from 1774 until 1775 he was sailing to various ports carrying commodities for Edward Weld of Lulworth Castle in Dorset in his Yacht which included Lead,Glass and wine. In February 1775 he was asking Edward to assist him in being appointed to H.M. Cutter Sherborne- a position he did not get, as Edward died in an accident before the year was out.
We now return back to James Wardens Tomb for the next chapter in his eventful life. It records that “on the commencement of hostilities with America he voluntarily came forward to offer his service, and was in the number of those who first landed the British Grenadiers".
A little research shows that must have been in 1776, after his time with Edward Weld, when he would have taken troops to New York before the battle there between the British and Americans.He would have been 39 by then. One wonders what was to become of his three motherless children aged 12, 11 and 10.
We move on now to 1779 when James is in command of H.M. Cutter “Wells”. An incident is recorded of him seizing a Spanish Ship. It was only a quarter of a mile off the coast of Kent when taken and was carrying a cargo destined for a London Merchant in payment of a debt. The merchant had to go to the High Court to get compensation.
On 15th March 1779 H.M. Wells and two armed cutters cruises between the South Sans and Calais to intercept a neutral ship loaded with cannon bound for Toulon. Intercepting neutral merchant ships was just one of the many tasks of the Downs squadron. Ships also had to be deployed to escort vessels carrying flaxseed from Dutch ports to Ireland and Scotland and merchant ships on their way to either London or Spithead.
It was to be in this year that James appears to leave the Navy and settle down, when at the age of 43 he marries the local heiress, Elizabeth Crowcher aged 28. Both were widowed. She just a year before on the death of her late husband James after just 8 years of marriage. She is shown as living at Chideock, although her maiden names are Newell Puddicombe, both important Lyme Regis families.
I have as yet not found any records of them in Chideock, but in 1781 they appear in the Land Tax records for that year as renting a house in Charmouth from John Adcock. This property is now known as "Well Head House" at the top of The Street.
One wonders how James met Elizabeth and moved to Charmouth. There are a number of clues. The first is that Elizabeth’s former husband, James Crowcher originated from Wapping, a short distance from where Warden has been bought up. Both may well have known each other before. Another is a letter to Edward Weld dated 6th February 1775 from Lyme Regis, where his future wife’s family lived. Her maiden name was Newell Puddicombe. They were an important family in the town and owned substantial properties including Wood Farm in Charmouth. The couple seem to have settled down in Charmouth and there is no further information regarding his time in the Navy. They are shown as renting Adcocks house and there is a note in the Parish Records of James objecting to Cook standing as Church Warden in 1786. No doubt a sign of things to come with his short temper.
The year 1788 was to be the turning point in James Warden’s fortunes as a result of the death of his Aunt, Hannah Parks in Limehouse. Her Will has survived and in it she leaves substantial properties and money to James, his wife and family. It coincided with the sale of the Manor of Charmouth which included many of its houses and fields by the Henvill’s, who were Plantation owners on the Island of St. Kitts in the West Indies. He was not able to afford all of it and sold all the fields to the north of the Street, to the village Rector, Brian Coombes, which was renamed “Backlands Farm”. This was the same gentleman he took to court the following year with other villagers for taking stones from his beach.
The Wardens were to live in the Old Manor opposite the church, with stables by the side of it. At the same time he started work on a finer mansion at Langmoor on a field that he had bought. His children who were grown up by then must have been living with them as two were to marry local suitors. In 1791 Hannah married William Liddon of Axminster, and her sister, Ann married his cousin, Matthew Liddon, a Captain in the Navy two years before. William Warden was to also seek a career on the seas and reached the position of Commander. James was to attend the wedding of his daughter and records show that he thought highly of his son in law and appointed him as his Gamekeeper in 1790.
It was just four years later that James’s time was to come to an end. He had fallen out with a neighbour, Norman Bond over his dogs barking and their arguing culminated in a duel at Hunters Lodge, near Charmouth. James missed on the first shot and Norman killed him on the return. As a result he fled the country to Jamaica, as it was a criminal offence then. Although he did in time return back.
Elizabeth moved into Langmoor Manor with her children and lived there for a further six years before moving at the end of her life to Branscombe to be with her brother, Thomas Puddicombe, Rector of the village. After her death there, her body was bought back and buried by the side of her husband in the stone tomb, still to be seen by the entrance of St. Andrews Church in Charmouth.
Her Will is of interest as it shows substantial properties in Wapping, part of which was left to a family friend, James Pierce and her brother, Thomas Puddicombe. She speaks kindly of her step children and leaves them some of her husbands possessions including a bracelet with his portrait. There is also a ring with his details on which is still treasured by his descendants.
Elizabeth’s daughter was to have five children before the untimely death of her husband in 1803. Her eldest, James was just thirteen in that year, and Ann, 11, Matthew John, 3, Lucy, 5 and Sophia, 7. Although she had inherited the Manor of Charmouth, it became financially difficult for her affording their education and she was forced to rent out Langmoor Manor most of the time and take out a large mortgage on the estate. The year 1812 was to prove an expensive year for her finding the £2000 settlement for the marriage of her daughter, Ann Warden Liddon to Captain Richard Spencer, which resulted in her selling some of her Charmouth properties and taking out a loan with the Rev. Charles Forward.
Tragedy was to hit the family when her eldest son James , a Surgeon in the Navy died at sea in 1830. Two years later she buys a property known as the Stone House (now called Melbourne House) at the top of the Street and lives there with her family until her death in 1849. Her four remaining children, Ann, Matthew, Lucy and Sophia finally sell the remainder of Charmouth Manor off in an Auction in London where it is bought by a Plymouth quarry man and Baker, George Frean in the year 1853. The Liddons keep their links with Charmouth at Melbourne House, which Lucy and Sophia enjoy to the end of their lives and it is not until 1886 that a descendant sells it. Matthew John Liddon lives his final days in Andover, although he is buried in Charmouth and the Church possesses a fine marble memorial to him.

Thank you for coming here tonight. The illustrated Talk we are about to give will be in Two parts – the first up to the famous Duel. Then we will have a break for refreshments and Neil will be pleased to answer any questions. The second part will cover the aftermath of the duel and how his descendants impacted on Charmouth right up to 1944 when his great great great granddaughter was baptised in this church and has just been traced.

When you came into the Church tonight you would have walked past the large imposing chest tomb near the door on the right. It has stood here since it was erected over 200 years ago. Both Hutchins in his “History of Dorset” in 1864 and Roberts in his “History of Lyme Regis and Charmouth” in 1827 have accounts of its history.
The watercolour on the left was painted shortly after the completion of the church you see today which replaced a building that was demolished and dated back to the 13th. century. The architect was Charles Fowler who ensured that it rested on the footprint of the earlier church and did not disturb the grave yard. The group of people are standing by the “Clapcott” Chest Tomb who lived in Grange House, on their left is Warden`s Tomb.

It must surely be our most important memorial in the village and it will no doubt fall to pieces in a few years unless it is repaired and restored before it is too late. The bottom photograph clearly shows how a vehicle has smashed into and dislodged the corner allowing the elements to get in and rust the supports. It is only a matter of time before the stone panels fall in and break.  One can also see how it has been patched up with cement rather than lime mortar especially on the top.  
After years of research we can at last reveal the full story of the famous gentleman whose body lies with that of his wife under this Tomb. We are very fortunate in that on the sides of the Tomb are a number of panels with inscriptions relating to his life and the consequences of his tragic death on his wife who was to herself die a few years later.

The first panel you see has the following inscription “ To the Memory of James Warden Esq. Who fell in a duel, The 28th of April 1792 in the 56th year of his age”. This is the clearest as it was recut in 1957. Most of the others are difficult to see. Fortunately there is a record from 1864 in Hutchins History of Dorset and we have used that here on the subsequent slides.

This panel has been the most important in tracing back his exploits before he bought he settled in Charmouth. It records that “He was created Lieutenant of his Majesty's navy in the year 1760 in which capacity he served his country with reputation and success. He was in 19 engagements during the memorable expedition against the French Fleet under the Gallant Hawke, and was present at the Surrender of Belle Isle. On the commencement of hostilities with America, he voluntarily came forward to offer his service, and was in the number of those who first landed the British Grenadiers on that shore. After escaping the various dangers inseparable from his profession, he had the misfortune to experience the untimely end above mentioned”.

The three panels shown here all refer to James Warden`s widow whose maiden name was Elizabeth Newell Puddlecombe. They were written by her brother, Rev. Thomas Puddlecombe who was vicar of Branscombe from 1786 until 1812 and was known for his long florid sermons and often made informative and gossipy comments on the people whose christenings and burials he recorded one of his entries is as follows for 1798:
“Warden, Elizabeth Newell, widow of Lieut. James Warden, of Charmouth (who fell in a duel), and sister of Reverend Thomas Puddicombe, vicar of this parish, she died at the vicarage, was taken to her own house at Axminster and thence to Charmouth and buried beside her husband.”
He had inherited Wood Farm and other properties in Charmouth, from his sister and may well have been the gentleman to have had the splendid Tomb erected as a memorial to his sister and her husband. The main panel reads:
“Sacred to the memory also of Elizabeth Newell Warden, relict of the above named Lt. James Warden, who after lingering upwards of six years, at length put off her mortal part, wasting with pinning sickness, to be clothed upon with immortality, on the 11th day of June 1798 in the 48th year of her age”.
The main panel reads “Sacred to the memory also of Elizabeth Newell Warden, relict of the above named Lt. James Warden, who after lingering upwards of six years, at length put off her mortal part, wasting with pinning sickness, to be clothed upon with immortality, on the 11th day of June 1798 in the 48th year of her age”.
The other panels shown here with their verses refer to the sad and tragic fate Elizabeth Warden after the death of her husband.

We will now attempt to tell you the story of his life from the various records that have come down to us.
James Warden was born in Limehouse shown here in 1736. Its position in the Docks of London was an ideal place for the young James to be bought up, especially as his father was a Mariner and his mother’s family came from the same background. His Uncle William Parks was described as a Captain in his wife’s Will and both lived in Limehouse with a number of other members of the large family. In 1776 the town was described by Sir John Fielding “as a place chiefly inhabited by sailors, where a man would be apt to suspect himself in another country. Their manner of living, sparking, acting, dressing and behaving, are so peculiar to themselves”.

James`s parents were Hugh and Sarah Warden. Their Marriage Certificate for 1731 still exists and shows them being married at the Collegiate Church of St. Katherine by the Tower of London illustrated here which was demolished in 1825 to build St. Katherines Docks.. Hugh was described as a Mariner, born in 1707 and his wife is shown as Sarah Parks, born in 1706, both living in the parish of Limehouse. At that time London was the primary port of the British Empire, home to tens of thousands of mariners and their dependents. .

They were living at the time in the Parish of St. Anne’s in Limehouse, although early records reveal that Sarah`s family had previously lived in the adjoining parish of All Saints, Stepney, Tower Hamlets shown here. Her baptism record seen on the slide, has this event on the 30th August 1704. She was one of a number of children born to John and Elizabeth Parks including her brother William, who was later to play an important part in James Wardens future life.

At the time of their marriage, both Hugh and Sarah were living in the parish of St. Ann`s in Limehouse, whose famous church designed by Nicholas  Hawksmoor in 1730  still stands today.

The Rates Books have survived for 18th century Limehouse and it has been possible to pin point exactly where James and his family lived in Nightingale Lane, close to the River Thames. They show that in 1740 it was just Sarah, aged 36 who was  living at the address and we must assume as no more records have been found that she was a widow. The following year the next Rate book has the property as empty and his mother was shown as the “late Sarah Warden”.

The house in Nightingale Lane would have been just a short distance from the Wharfs in Limehouse as seen in the contemporary view above. It is just about possible to make out the lane today close to the huge St. Katherine`s docks that were later built nearby. As there are no further references to James`s family he was to face the uncertain world as an orphan, aged just five. He was fortunate in that his mother`s sister and her husband, Hannah and William Parks,  who had no children of their own, were to adopt and give him a good education.

The couple  also lived nearby in Limehouse shown here in a splendid contemporary watercolour. The Marriage licenses for William reveal that he had married Margaret Davis in 1738. She may well have died later as another license for 1745 has him remarrying Hannah Woodward of the same parish when he was 35 years of age. There were no children in both marriages and the young James was adopted by William and Hannah.

Again the Limehouse Rate books have proved to be very useful in giving us there place of abode as Three Colt Street near the banks of the Thames. The 1767 List has Captain William Parks  at the address, but two years after it was just Hannah as sadly her husband had died the year before. In his Will is he leaves his considerable estate to his wife Hannah who was to live on for a further 20 years.

Records for Greenwich Hospital School detail that the young James Warden was  a pupil there and that his parents had been  Hugh and Sarah Warden, with his birth on the 30 March 1735. The School was founded in 1712 as part of Greenwich Hospital, a 'charitable institution for the aged, infirm or young', and was established to provide boys from seafaring backgrounds with the rare privilege of learning arithmetic and navigation. It was at this time located in the spectacular buildings which now house the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London. On leaving the School he would be trained as a Midshipman from the age of  twelve, with the eventual aim of being a Lieutenant and ultimately a Captain. Midshipmen were usually the sons of wealthy or aristocratic families training to become commissioned officers. They were taught navigation, astronomy and trigonometry by the ship's schoolmaster as well as undertaking watches on deck when school hours were

There is a gap now in our knowledge of James`s time in the Navy until the age of  23. We have to study the inscription on a panel on his Tomb by the entrance to St. Andrews Church to understand the next chapter in his life. It reads that “He was in 19 engagements during the memorable expedition against the French fleet under the gallant Hawke”. He would still have been a lowly Midshipman, but it would have given him experience of the fighting British Fleet in action at the large number of engagements that he participated in. Sir Edward Hawke went on to achieve a victory over a French fleet at the Battle of Quiberon Bay in November 1759 during the Seven Years' War, preventing a French invasion of Britain. He developed the concept of a Western Squadron, keeping an almost continuous blockade of the French coast throughout the war.

James must have excelled as he was to be created Lieutenant in the year 1760 at the age of 24 – a rank he was to hold the rest of his life, never making the senior position of Captain. Midshipmen had to pass an examination to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant, usually at around the age of 19. Lieutenants were in charge of deck watches, and in action commanded a gun battery. Again we return back to the inscription on his tomb to read that he was with “the Gallant Hawke at the Surrender of Belle Isle”. The print of the Battle shown here gives us an idea of how it would have been seen by the young lieutenant in 1761. The Capture of Belle Île was a British amphibious expedition to capture the  French island off the  Brittany coast in during the Seven Years War. After an initial British attack was repulsed, there was a second attempt  and a landing was made, and after a six-week siege the island's main citadel at Le Palais was stormed, consolidating British control of the island. A French relief effort from the nearby mainland was unable to succeed because of British control of the sea. The British occupied the island for two years before returning it in 1763 following the Treaty of Paris. James Warden was very proud of his part in the Battle and no doubt assisted in taking the troops to shore.

On his return to England after his time with Sir Edward Hawke he met and later married a young lady named Elizabeth Smith. We know from Parish records that in 1763, Hannah Parks Warden was christened in All Saints Church in Wyke Regis, near Weymouth in Dorset to James and Betty Warden. James would have been 27 in that year. He obviously kept his adopted parents in high regard incorporating their names in that of his children. The Parish records show that Ann  Parks Warden was born the following year. The picture shown here of the church near the sea shore with Weymouth in the distance.

In Wyke Regis the majority of the houses were concentrated around the church, square and down the high street towards Portland. This no doubt would have been where the Wardens lived. The Tithe Map shown here with the family tree recording that they were to have three children whilst there. To find out more about James`s life in Wyke Regis we must now go to The Public Office at Kew which hold the records  for the Admiralty.

From 1760 it was obligatory for captains and masters of naval ships to record observations about the coasts and ports they visited, and supply this information to the Admiralty in ships' remark books. We are fortunate that James Warden as commander of the 6 gun HM Cutter “Adventure” from  26 September 1764 until 30 September 1766 record book has survived. He was patrolling the east coast of England and Scotland and the English Channel. As a coastal Customs officer his job was that of  apprehending smugglers.  Cutters evolved during the second quarter of the Eighteenth Century in Southeast England as swift channel vessels. They soon gained a deserved reputation for their speed, which was not unnoticed by smugglers who soon adopted the Cutter as their preferred smuggling craft. In turn, Cutters were employed by the British Customs Service to counter the smugglers.  
The earliest record shows that he sailed from Leith, near Edinburgh illustrated here on the 15th. October 1764 for Portsmouth after receiving orders to enter as many men as possible. Unfortunately the Cutter proved to be leaky and he had to employ a Master Carpenter (Alexander PHILP) at Burntisland to caulk and nail her. He sailed again on the evening of the 25th and  later reports on 7th November that with no Master on board he had had to employ a pilot for the North Coast. In 1766 the ADVENTURE cutter was based in the Firth of Forth. She was damaged in Leith Harbour at the beginning of August and William EDMOND, Carpenter of the HAPPY, sloop, surveyed the extent of the damage. The damage was confined to the upper works so they could be carried out by John SYME, the Carpenter in Leith. On 29th. November George CLARK, the gunner's mate, was drowned. . In March 1767 Thomas RICHMOND, the Master, asked to be replaced due to failing eyesight. In September 1767 Lieutenant WARDEN was superseded by Lieutenant George YOUNGHUSBAND. The Adventure ended its days in Sheerness where it was sold for £50 in 1768.

It is interesting to see that his only son, William Weeks Wharton Warden was born at Burntisland in 1766, near Edinburgh. As so many of the letters are from there, it may well mean that James and his wife spent some time in the port.

They must have returned later to Wyke Regis as there was an entry in their Parish Records detailing the burial of Betty, the wife of James Warden in the year 1773. He was now just 37 years of age with three young children to bring up. He may well have left the children with his Aunt whom he had named young Hannah  Parks Warden after and who  would eventually be beneficiaries of her Will. The photograph is of  All Saints  church today with the Parish Records detailing the burial of Betty Warden.

 After the death of his wife James continued to live in Weymouth as  there are a number of letters from there in the Dorset Record Office in Dorchester. They  reveal that from 1774 until 1775 he was sailing to various ports carrying commodities for Edward Weld of Lulworth Castle in Dorset in his Yacht which included Lead, Glass and wine. Edward Weld at that time owned Lulworth Castle and the painting shown here is of him by the famous Italian artist Pompeo Batoni. His will was proven November 7, 1775, just after he died from a fall from his horse and only four months after he married Maria Smythe, who was later to become Maria Fitzherbert, the secret wife of the future King George IV but, as he didn’t have chance to update his will, Maria was left with nothing at his death.

The painting shows Cutters similar to that used by James along the coast of Dorset. The letters shown above are just some of those written by James to Edward Weld from various ports to his various houses. They read:
Newcastle 3 September 1774
Sir,
I have the pleasure to acquaint you - I arrived here the 2nd instant and this day took on board the Lead, and six crates of glass, with the greatest difficulty is stowed in the cabin, and when the wind is fair intend Lessing our voyage - and on our way to call at Scarborough for Letters, and that at every place we stop at you may expect to be troubled with a letter, from him, who is respectfully your obliged and humble servant. James Warden.
Edward Weld Esq at Stoneyhurst, near Preston, in Lancashire.
My best respects to Miss Weld. Mr Henage and family and Mr. Day
Yarmouth Roads 10 a.m. 6th September 1774
Sir,
I take the opportunity to write you as We are sailing with a light Air of wind through the Cookle, and I now think of my friend Mr. Days hopes and fears - I left Newcastle last Sunday evening and reached within twenty miles of this place the Monday evening, but was forced back in a violent gale as far as Flamborough Head the next morning, when the wind changed fair and brought us this length - If the wind proves fair hope to be next the Downs tomorrow night, I hope you and friends reached Stoneyhurst with out any accident. My best wishes to Mr. D ( Day?) and am with due respect sir your most humble Servant James Warden.
Lullworth 9th September 1774
Sir,
I have the pleasure to acquaint you I arrived safe this day in a hard gale of Wind, easterly and as soon as the unnecessary stores and rigging is taken out of the Cutter, shall lay her up in the back water - your wine is safe on shore, but am afraid the glass has suffered much, owing to the bad weather - I am at present much fatigued, the want of rest, and not being able to leave the Compass during the passage - my compliments to Captain Day and accept my best wishes for your health and assure you your commands will at all times give pleasure to your most obliged humble servant Jas. Warden.

Weymouth 26th September 1774
Sir,
I am favoured in your letter dated the 17th instant which was missing to Chester, I am happy to find you and friends are well, and thank my self honoured in having the thoughts of those ladies you are pleased to mention to whom please to make my best respects.The memorable return of the 22st instant and the bad weather known to you and Mr. Day called to my recollection the difficulties you both had undergone in the Cove Cutter, and for these three days past have had as bad weather as ever known on this coast, the 22nd was forced on Portland beach, a Dutch vessel, when only three out of eleven of the crew were saved, I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Blair, the other day. He enquired kindly after you and the Captain.
I have used every means to secure your Cutters bottom from the worms, by giving her a Brimstone Bottom, and for fear of any more embezzlement of your lead ballast have had the platform taken up and every piece weighed and only find one ton, thirteen hundred, one quarter and six pounds on board, so that now you will be able to judge if any pieces has been embezzled, I have given the same, with the Cutter into Richard Wickers charge, agreeing to pay him eighteen pence for week. The account of all disbursements I shall send to the Castle and am with respect your most humble servant. James. Warden.
P.S. All the lead purchased at Scarborough and Newcastle is sent to the castle.
From Warden, apparently Master of Edward Welds Yacht.

Lyme 6th February 1775,
Sir,
My friend Captain Day having informed me that you were to be at Weymouth one day last week. I waited on purpose to pay my respects to you, and return you thanks for your kind intention to serve me.
From the above information I am emboldened to request your interest with your friends, for their getting me appointed to his Majesty’s Cutter the Sherbourne, which will soon become vacant, but if such appointment should be filled up - your friends requesting to see my name put on said List for the first promotion of Masters and Commanders, and by the Information of the public prints this day - such promotion must very soon take place - your endeavours will lay an everlasting obligation on Him whose greatest Study and Happiness will be to do honour to your recommendation from Sir your obliged and humble servant James Warden.
Edward Weld, Esq.
(HMS Sherborne was a 10-gun Cutter of the Royal Navy.  She served in the English Channel as a Revenue ship operating against smugglers.)
Lyme 4th December 1775
Sir,
My friend Captain Day having informed me of your safe arrival at the Castle, beg leave to congratulate you on your safe return, at the same time to present you with a Turkey and pair of Soles- and that I intend my self the honour of paying my respects to you in person from your most Obliged honourable Servant. James Warden.
Edward Weld Esq. Lullworth Castle Dorset.
These letters from Lyme Regis are especially interesting as he may well have been living there by then. He was not successful in getting the commission for HMS Sherborne and sadly Edward Weld died before the year was out and as a consequence here no more of James being associated with the family.

We now return back to James Wardens Tomb for the next chapter in his eventful life. It records that “on the commencement of hostilities with America he voluntarily came forward to offer his service, and was in the number of those who first landed the British Grenadiers".
A little research shows that must have been in 1776, after his time with Edward Weld, when he would have taken troops to New York before the battle there between the British and Americans. He would have been 39 by then. One wonders what was to become of his three motherless children aged 12, 11 and 10.
The event that the Tomb inscription refers to is "The Landing at Kip's Bay"  which was a British amphibious landing during the New York campaign in the American Revolutionary War on September 15 1776 which occurred on the eastern shore of present-day Manhattan shown in this painting.

The Heavy advance fire from British naval forces in the  East River caused the inexperienced militia guarding the landing area to flee, making it possible for the British to land unopposed at Kips Bay. Skirmishes in the aftermath of the landing resulted in the British capture of some of those militia. The flight of American troops was so rapid that George Washington, who was attempting to rally them, was left exposed dangerously close to British lines. The operation was a British success. The painting shows the British Grenadiers referred to at the height of the battle.

 After his time in New York, James returns home and  we see next in command of H.M. Cutter “Wells”. It had 6 three pounder guns and 8 swivel guns with 30 men on board. This was also to be the first posting of his son,William Warden, aged just 13, who entered the Navy, in Oct. 1779, as a Midshipman. They served on the Downs Squadron guarding the Straits of Dover, protecting British shipping from French privateers and blockading neutral ships from supplying military goods to French ports.
On 15th March 1779, Rear Admiral Francis Drake reported to the Admiralty that he had directed H.M. Cutter Wells and two armed cutters to cruise between the Dover Sand and Calais to intercept a neutral ship loaded with cannon bound for Toulon. Drakes dispatches to the Admiralty contains scores of accounts of the interception and seizure of neutral merchant ships carrying contraband down the Channel to enemy ports. An incident is recorded of James Warden  seizing a Spanish Ship which was only a quarter of a mile off the coast of Kent when taken and was carrying a cargo destined for a London Merchant in payment of a debt. The outcome of which was that the  merchant had to go to the High Court to get compensation for his loss.

By 1779 James Warden was forty three and his three children 16, 15 and 13. His son William who was to have a successful career in the navy may well have been a Midshipman by then. We cannot be sure where he was living then, but it may well have been with his Aunt, Hannah Parks  who had inherited considerable property in Limehouse and Wapping from her husband. The family were associates  of the Crowchers,wealthy Wapping merchants. Joseph Crowther was involved  in rope-making, and the manufacture of other articles for the rigging of ships. It was his son, James who was to marry Elizabeth Newell Puddicombe who was living in Lyme Regis at that time.

Although the  Banns shown here  were taken in Lyme Regis, in 1770, the wedding was in Chideock. James Crowter would have been thirty seven by then and his bride just nineteen. I am sure that they knew James Warden and his daughters who were living in the town. It must have been a difficult marriage for Elizabeth as records show that by 1778 her husband was described as a lunatic living in John Street, Southwark. He was to die in the same year and his widow and her brother, John Puddicombe, an apothecary of Lyme Regis were granted his estate.
Elizabeth Newell Puddicombe came from a distinguished family in Lyme Regis. A John Newell first appears in their records in 1625 as a merchant and his son played a gallant part in the Siege during the Civil War. Nicholas Newell has been Mayor in 1744 and his grandson, John Puddicombe twice mayor 1768 & 73.
She may well of known James Warden before her husbands death as their engagement is short and on the 3rd of June 1779 she marries him in Lyme Regis. By then she would have been 28 and he 43 years of age. His  two daughters, Hannah and Ann were to l

The couple seem to have settled down in Charmouth and there is no further information regarding his time in the Navy. They are shown as renting Adcocks house from 1781 in the Land Tax lists. John Adcock had originally come from London and had paid £105 to a Miss Palmer for the house. James Warden and his new wife Elizabeth were to continue to live in the village until 1788. There is a note in the Parish Records of James objecting to Jethro Cook standing as Church Warden in 1786. In the same year he subscribed to "Sermons by John Newell Puddicombe. M.A . Fellow of Dulwich College, late of Pembroke Hall Cambridge". This gentleman was the brother of his wife. The photograph shows it as a fine 5 bay Georgian house, before it was refronted. The property was later called Bruton House and is now known as Well Head.

When Hannah Parks died in 1788 it would appear the principal beneficiary was "James Warden of Charmouth in the county of Dorset Esquire the nephew of my late husband Captain William Parks Deceased" to whom she left a lifetime interest in her London properties, upon whose death they passed to "his son William Weekes Wharton Warden". She also made specific bequests to "Mrs Elizabeth Newell Warden wife of the said James Warden" (£100), to “Hannah Parks Warden the daughter of the said James Warden", to William Weekes Wharton Warden, to Ann Warden", and to various cousins. The long document is of great interest and refers to Ann receiving a chain with the name of her mother, Elizabeth Smith on it and William Warden receiving her house on the death of his father.

The year 1788 was to be the turning point in James Warden’s fortunes as a result of the death of his Aunt, Hannah Parks in Limehouse. she leaves substantial properties and money to James, his wife and family. It coincided with the sale of the Manor of Charmouth which included many of its houses and fields by the Henvill’s, who were Plantation owners on the Island of St. Kitts in the West Indies. He was not able to afford all of it and sold all the lands to the north of the Street, to the village Rector, Brian Coombes, which was renamed “Backlands Farm”. This was the same gentleman he took to court the following year with other villagers for taking stones from his beach.
The Wardens were to live in the Old Manor opposite the church, shown here. As with many houses in the village it was refronted in the 19th century and hides a 16th century house within. At that time there was a coach house opposite which was later sold and demolished to extend the church yard.
The Historic Society of Lancashire has an interesting document from his time. . It is described as following:
"Found in the room where the King was concealed in Charmouth Manor house, and presented to me by James Warden Esquire, Lord of the Manor 1786. An unsigned document dated 33 Charles ii (1682) releasing one Ellesdon of Charmouth, from the payment of certain Customs duties received by him, amounting to about £4000, in regard that he was instrumental to our escape after “ the fatal battle of Worcester”. It has attached to it the royal seal".

Although James and Elizabeth lived at the Old Manor they has started on the construction of a Manor House at Langmoor on the edge of Charmouth which is seen her in 1890 and to

Langmoor Manor is the building hatched in pink in the centre of the gardens and fields that surrounded it. It was to be owned by the family until being sold in 1853 to George Frean. The Auction catalogue in that year describes it as a Comfortable Family residence, approached by a carriage Drive through park with Lane adjoining High Road leading from Bridport to Exeter, supplied with excellent Springs of water and contains 4 principle bed chambers, a dressing Room, 2 Servants Sleeping Rooms, Drawing, Dining & Breakfast Room, Entrance Hall, Kitchen, Skullery, Dairy and other Domestic offices, Coach House & Stabling. Productive Garden and Orchards together with various pieces of Arable, Pasture and Woodlands comprising in the whole 97 acres, 2 roods

Ann Liddon Spencer, granddaughter of James stands infront of  Langmoor Manor with her pony in this old painting.

The painting looking across to Lyme Regis is by William Daniels. The shore and most of the land between it and The Street was bought by James Warden in 1788. The Land Tax on the left for that year has Francis Henvill as owner and James warden renting some from him. By the following year James is the new owner renting the main farm known as Sea Lands to John Bowdridge. The remainder had been sold to village Rector, Brian Coombes and was known as Backlands, who is listed below with John Bowdridge farming his as well. He was to fall out with the rector over his ownership of the beach in a court case  soon after his purchase in 1789. The case against him reads as follows:
“Whereas James Warden Esq. the present Lord of the Manor of Charmouth has endeavoured to dispossess us of the ancient right and privileges etc which our ancestors have enjoyed from time immemorial without let or hindrance having free egress from the said parish to the seashore and to take for their own uses seaweed, Ore, stone , sand and gravel which they are entitled to. We the undersigned hereby agree to defend the rights defrayed by a proportion of the parish rates. Signed Brian Coombe, John Bragge and Thomas Edwards. James was to win the action.

This Tithe Map clearly shows the village mainly confined to the 14th century wall on the north and ditch to the south along the Street. James Warden would have owned most of the land to the south of the Street where so much housing has been built since including many of those sitting in the audience.

In 1792 James had an altercation with a neighbouring landowner, Norman Bond. When they met in the street, an argument ensued in which Warden became extremely abusive and threatened to shoot Bond's dogs. Bond demanded Warden apologise, Warden refused, and so Bond challenged Warden to a duel. The time and place was quickly set, the duellers would meet at Hunters' Lodge Inn on the morning of 28 April 1792. James was shot through the heart and the neighbour fleeing the country to Barbados. His wife Elizabeth, was to survive him by 7 years, She was to lease Langmoor to a Mr Dicken and move to Axminster where she was to spend her last years.

Old Cleeve Rectory, Watchet, Somerset.
9th May 1950
Dear Mr. Pavey,
I was much interested in your letter and send you what little information I have, of which ( as is all so long ago) please make any use you like.
Unfortunately, what I send contains nothing from any eye witness of the duel nor does it say who Mr. Bonds second was. He Norman Bond, had a daughter - Mary, who married my great grandfather Weston Yonge of Chames Hall. Near Eccleshall in Staffordshire. Bond had a small estate in the parish of Abergwili, close to Carmarthen, through whether he possessed it when living at Charmouth, or earlier or later, or what became of it, I don’t know, my family having been very careless with its records. I think the Bonds must have been a Dorset family. A good deal of very nice silver came down into my family from their marriage and our tea service, in daily use as it was with my parents too, was Norman Bonds and bears his crest (A lion rejant) and arms. Anyway, he was my great great grandfather.
Apparently, he went to Barbados afterwards, I imagine that he came back later, perhaps to live in Abergwili, his age and when he died, I don’t know, in fact I know nothing else.
Rev. G.V. Yonge, Rector of Old Cleeve, Watchet.

Ward V Bond Duel 28th April 1792
Statement by John Bragge (in possession of the Rev. G.V. Yonge, Vicar of Cleeve)
“In the morning of the 24th day of April 1792 as I was sitting on horseback talking with Mr. Bond at the door of his house in Charmouth, Mr Warden came up the street to whom (as soon as he had approached within a few paces, Mr. Bond, in a civil manner said “Good morning to you sir”. To which Mr. Warden made no answer, but with a look of scorne and displeasure turned from him and after speaking a few words with me was passing on. After he had walked a few paces, Mr. bond called to him saying “Sir I would wish to speak to you” and on Mr. Warden turning round said “I received a message in your name just before I left home importing that’s you would shoot my dogs if I did not keep them up. I really can scarce believe that you sent such an ungentlemanlike message.” Mr Warden then in a loud and menacing tone, answered “ Yes sir, I did send it” and now also tell you that you are a dammed scoundrel” at the same time lifting up a stick he had in his hand threatened to knock him down, poured forth a torrent of oaths and abuse and even struck on him several times, which Mr. Bond avoided and came up to me and asked me for a whip, which on my refusing, very cool told Mr. Warden that he was altogether unaccustomed to abusive language and would not contend with him in that way. To which Mr. Warden answered “He was ready to meet him in any way whatever” walked off uttering abuses all the way until out of hearing. During the whole of the above altercation Mr. Bond was perfectly cool and collected, whereas Mr. Warden, on the contrary, was in the highest passion, malicious and vengeful.
To the best of my recollection the foregoing is the substance of what passed between Mr. Warden and Mr. Bond in my presence.
Signed J.W. BraggeLetter from John Palmer to Mr. Mellor. Attorney at Law. New Bridge Street, London.
Lyme Regis February 19th 1793

Sir,
Not being able to see Mr. Forward till yesterday I could not answer your letter sooner. Unless Mr. Bond should surrender or be apprehended he may rest assured of no danger from that quarter. He is bound over to prosecute merely by being overseer of Axminster at the time of the duel. Mrs Wardens attorney is Mr. Brown of Bedford Row to whom Mr. Forward says he referred you in answer to your letter. I am happy to find that Matthew Liddon the Captain Second has Mr. Bonds first challenge and I have convinced his cousin how much it is in his interest that it should be given up and I expect it Friday. His and Mrs. Life unquestionably depend upon our .... Aquital. He if convicted may under no circumstances expect a reprieve, but they never entertain such an idea and they(both) know to and a single question only has put to the latter and did you see Mr. Bond kill Mr. Warden? “which shows that many were for throwing out the Bill upon John’s narrative which was clear, concise and I understand pathetic. I am afraid to trust the whole I know to a letter but think the most favourable and the more you will be in the right, not withstanding the opinions of Council as to the severity of the Judges, yours being a case one should hardly ever hear of for such is the .... Coffee House Language at Exeter.
C.. and myself could not refrain laughing most heartily Monday at a segne you would equally have enjoyed on any other instance. Mrs W. Sunday Took Sergeant Rockes opinion how she should act and the sergeant told her that however unsafe you might be, she, Mr. Liddon and even Mr. Hingeston were in a much worse predicament, for they had the kind of excuse to plead on their parts. The letter as he has been very candid throughout informed me as this, even prepared me for any proposition that might ensue. Early next morning Mr. Forward
Believe it.
There are circumstances relative to her omitted in your case, tending greatly to aggravate the part she took in the business, such as choosing the pistols. Thanking by message the gentleman who had lent them. Taking leave of her husband who left her regretting his fears that he should never return.
Her indifference at hearing of his deaths which gave her an opportunity the afternoon of preventing as she knew of the appointment lives in sight of the Home of the magistrate and he left her for hours under the pretence of borrowing Pistols he never made use of or took out with him for no other purpose it to give her that opportunity. In short she seemed determined that one of them should fall. If Mr Bond, that her husband must be hanged and if the latter she was fair rid of him, and however she may give out and threaten ( which I hear she does) what she will do she is no fool and therefore I would, was I Mr. Bond, settle in some other part of England and not surrender at the Assizes. He will never be Sought after a surrender is not without its danger. The Judge Heath is certainly humane. I shall trouble again with a letter Saturday and I am Sir your most obedient servant

John Palmer.
The original is in the possession of the
Weston Yonge, Esquire of Charnes Hall, co. Stafford, born 24th September 1794, married 17 July 1817, Mary, daughter of Norman Bond, Esquire of Co. Carmarthen, by Anne his wife, daughter of John Lewis, Esquire of Tenby.

 

The ring still kept by descendants of James Warden recording the inscription that also appears on his Tomb.
James Warden Esq. fell in a duel. April 261792 aged 56”.
Reginald Pavey mounted an exhibition in St.Andrew`s Church in 1946 where this was the star item at that time lent by Mrs Mary Wilkinson, who had previously been married to Frank Martin Liddon Vines - a direct descendant of James Warden. There is a mention by Elizabeth Warden, his widow of a bracelet containing his portrait and lock of hair given to Ann Liddon, which would be very exiting to locate as an image of the great man.

 

 
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