The Warburtons of Hefferston Grange

I’ve been distracted from the Partington Warburtons for a couple of days by the Warburtons of Hefferston Grange. When I was investigating the Warburton Lees recently and discovering their link to Hefferston Grange, I came across a tree on Ancestry’s Public Trees which had comprehensive detail about the Warburtons of Hefferston Grange.

A brief exchange of messages with the owner of the tree informed me that this tree had the benefit of access to books and documents at Arley Hall. Nevertheless I was a bit suspicious because the tree extends to the Warburtons of Arley in general, and there were a couple of significant divergences from the Ormerod trees I had based my Arley clan tree on, not least in the identity of Adam de Dutton who first acquired the land at Warburton.

Then recently I noticed there was an image on this Public Tree which I believe is a copy of a page from Ormerod of the tree of Warburton, Henry and Ashton of Hefferston Grange. The tree includes the statement: “From documents furnished by the family (including a genealogical memoir by Judge Warburton), the collections of Ralph Bigland esq. Norroy King at Arms, and William Radclyffe esq., Rouge Croix, and the parochial Registers of Weaverham”.

Judge Warburton is, I believe, Peter Warburton of Hefferston Grange 1588-1666, who was a judge during the English Civil War. His biography is in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, conveniently repeated on Wikipedia. Also two members of the Hefferston family were Members of Parliament with entries in The History of Parliament, and there are a couple of wills.

Using all this material I have fleshed out the Warburtons of Hefferston within the Arley Clan and added the updates to the website.

A couple of interesting stories emerged. The first is that one of the Parliamentarians, a Richard who died in 1610, married Anne Vavasour around June 1603. Anne was lady of the bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth and daughter of William Vavasour of Weston, Yorkshire. 

She is confused in some sources with her notorious aunt, also named Anne Vavasour. This Anne was a Maid of Honour to Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1580-1, and the mistress of two aristocratic men. Her first lover was Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, by whom she had an illegitimate son, Edward. For that offence, both she and the Earl were sent to the Tower of London by the orders of the Queen. She later became the mistress of Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley, by whom she had another illegitimate son.

Richard seems to have been a protege of Robert Cecil, and in early August 1604 he asked Cecil to stand as godfather to his son as a token of his continuing favour. Warburton was granted this request, and duly named his heir Cecil. This gives a good fix on the date of Cecil’s birth. The Hefferston tree says he married and had issue, but has no details.

There have been suggestions that the Warburtons of Garryhinch are connected to the Hefferston Warburtons, and the aforementioned Ancestry Public Tree has Richard of Dublin as a child of Cecil. But it also has an earlier birth date for Cecil, probably because it also combines the two Anne Vavasours. The fact that Cecil’s father is Richard probably also played a part, butif Cecil’s date of birth is 1604 it is too late for him to have a son old enough to be a merchant in Dublin in the 1630’s.

Another interesting discovery is the identity of the last Warburton occupant of Hefferston Grange. Some time ago I obtained the will of Philip Henry Warburton of Hefferston Grange. He died in 1760. and having never married he left his estates to the descendants of his numerous sisters. Fortunately Philip was the MP for Chester from 1742 to 1754, and so has an entry in The History of Parliament. He was elected as a Tory, but as he voted against the Government in all recorded divisions he was classed as Opposition when re-elected in 1747.

I discovered that Philip was actually born Philip Henry the son of Reverend Matthew Henry and Mary Warburton. In 1714, when Mary’s brother Peter died without issue, she inherited Hefferston Grange, and when she died in 1731 Philip inherited and assumed the additional name of Warburton.

Hefferston Grange passed to Philip’s neice Mary Philpot, the daughter of Elizabeth Henry and John Philpot. Mary married Nicholas Aston who outlived her. Thus Hefferston Grange came into the possession of the Ashtons.

The Warburton Lees were descended from Philip’s sister Theodosia, who married Randle Keay.

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