Peter Warren (Royal Navy officer)

Admiral Sir Peter Warren, KB (10 March 1703 – 29 July 1752) was a British naval officer from Ireland who commanded the naval forces in the attack on the French fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia in 1745. He later sat as MP for Westminster.

Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Warren
Admiral Sir Peter Warren.jpg
c. 1751, by Thomas Hudson
Member of Parliament for Westminster
In office
Preceded byCharles Edwin
Viscount Perceval
Succeeded byEdward Cornwallis
Viscount Trentham
Personal details
Born10 March 1703
Warrenstown, County Meath, Ireland
Died29 July 1751(1751-07-29) (aged 48)
Dublin, Ireland
Susannah Delancey
(m. 1731; died 1752)
RelationsMatthew Aylmer, 1st Baron Aylmer (uncle) Sir William Johnson (nephew)
ParentsMichael Warren
Catherine Aylmer Plunkett
AwardsKnights Companion of the Order of the Bath
Military service
Allegiance Kingdom of Great Britain
Branch/service Royal Navy
RankVice-Admiral of the Red
CommandsWestern Squadron
Battles/warsSiege of Louisbourg
First Battle of Cape Finisterre


He was the youngest son of Michael Warren and Catherine Plunkett, née Aylmer (his mother was the first wife of Sir Nicholas Plunkett).

A brother of his mother was Matthew Aylmer, 1st Baron Aylmer (died 1720), admiral and commander-in-chief, had entered the navy under the protection of the Duke of Buckingham, as a lieutenant, in 1678, and helped secure positions for first Oliver Warren, Peter's older brother, and later, Peter.[1]


In 1716, when he was 13 years old, Warren signed on as an ordinary seaman in Dublin, Ireland and he and his brother initially served together.[2] He rapidly rose in the ranks, becoming a captain in 1727. His ship patrolled American colonial waters to provide protection from French forces. He became involved in colonial politics and land speculation.

In 1744, he was made commodore and commanded a 16-ship squadron off the Leeward Islands, capturing 24 ships in four months.

The Capture of the Marquise d'Antin and Louis Erasme by the English Privateers Duke and Prince Frederick, 10 July 1745

In 1745, Warren commanded a group of ships, the so called 'Royal Family squadron',[3][4] that supported the Massachusetts forces in the capture of Louisbourg. The prize system of the time allowed naval officers to profit from the capture of enemy ships, and this expedition earned Warren a fortune, a promotion to the rank of Rear-Admiral of the Blue, and a knighthood.

From July 1747 to 3 August 1747 he was appointed to the command of the Western Squadron. He was second in command of the British fleet on the Devonshire at the Battle of Cape Finisterre. His conduct in the battle won him further fame, a promotion to Vice-Admiral of the Red,[5] and much prize-money. While on a visit to Ireland in 1752, he died suddenly in Dublin "of a most Violent fever."[6]

Warren's lands included several thousand acres on the south side of the Mohawk River west of Schenectady, New York, now known as Florida, Montgomery County, New York, roughly across from present day Amsterdam. He brought two nephews, William Johnson, eventually Sir William Johnson, and Michael Tyrrell to clear and manage the land. Tyrrell soon left, asking his uncle for support with a naval appointment. Tyrrell had a very distinguished naval career, rising to admiral. He became sick while headed to London from the West Indies, and was buried at sea.[7] In 1741, Warren built Warren House, a mansion overlooking the Hudson River on his 300-acre (120-hectare) estate in Greenwich Village.[8] He also owned property on Long Island (Warren's Wharf), the van Cortland Estate (Westchester County, New York), and South Carolina.[9]

Eighteen months before his death, Warren purchased 151 acres along the Delaware River in what is today the Tacony neighborhood of Philadelphia. The land became the Magnolia Grove estate of wealthy Philadelphia merchant, Thomas Gordon, about 1764, and later, of Gordon's son in-law, John Saltar, of the Monmouth County, New Jersey, Saltar's. Fanny Saltar's "Reminiscences of Colonial Days in Philadelphia" were written at her home on the property, Magnolia Cottage.

Personal lifeEdit

Sir Peter Warren by John Smibert, Portsmouth Athenæum, New Hampshire

In 1731, he married Susannah Delancey (1707–1771), a daughter of Stephen Delancey, and sister of James Delancey, chief justice and lieutenant governor of the province of New York. She was also a descendant of the Schuyler family and the Van Cortlandt family. Together, Warren and his wife had six children, two of whom, a daughter and his only son died in 1744 during the smallpox epidemic in New York. He moved his wife and three surviving daughters to England in 1747. Catherine, his youngest daughter, was a few months old at the time of his death, and died at age three or four.[10]

Warren's daughter Susanna married Colonel William Skinner (not to be confused with Lt. General William Skinner, who became chief engineer of Great Britain), who was a brother of American Revolution General Cortlandt Skinner, and both brothers were grandsons of Stephanus Van Cortlandt, and thus cousins of Susannah DeLancey. This meant that William Skinner and Susannah Warren were cousins, once removed. Warren's granddaughter, Susanna Maria Skinner, was married to Henry Gage, 3rd Viscount Gage, son of General Thomas Gage. As Thomas Gage's wife, Margaret Kemble, was the daughter of Susannah Delancey's cousin, Gertrude Bayard, this made Susannah Skinner and Henry Gage both second cousins, once removed (via William Skinner) and third cousins (via Susanna Warren).

(Cortlandt Skinner's daughter Catherine was married to Sir William Henry Robinson, a son of Beverley Robinson. Beverley Robinson was a first cousin once removed of Judith Robinson, first wife of the rebel Carter Braxton).


The towns of Warren, Rhode Island and Warren, New Hampshire are named after him. Warren also gives his name to streets in Charleston, South Carolina, London (and thus Warren Street tube station), Louisbourg, and New York City.[11]

Warren family treeEdit

Warren family tree
  Sir Christopher Plunkett =Lady Plunkett (dau. of Matthew, 5th Earl of Louth)     Sir Christopher Aylmer, Baron Balrath  =Margaret     
                                                          |                              |
                                                          |                              |
                                          Sir Nicholas Plunkett = Catherine Aylmer = Michael Warren of Warrenstown, Co. Meath.
                                                          |                              |
                                                          |                              |
                                           Oliver  & several sons & 1 dau    Peter Warren=Susanah de Lancey
   |                                                |                                       |
   |                                                |                                       |           
   Charlotte Warren                           Anne Warren                       Susan(na) Warren
  =Willoughby Bertie, 4th Earl of Abingdon  =Charles FitzRoy, 1st Baron Southampton    =Gen. William Skinner
   |                                                                                               |                
   |                                                                                               |                
 * Montagu Bertie, 5th Earl of Abingdon                                              Susannah Skinner
 * George FitzRoy, 2nd Baron Southampton                                = Henry Gage, 3rd Viscount Gage


  1. ^ Gwyn 1974, pp. 7-8.
  2. ^ Gwyn 1974, p. 8.
  3. ^,_George_(d.1777)_(DNB00)
  4. ^ "Walker, George (d.1777)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  5. ^ Warren Monument, Westminster Abbey
  6. ^ Donald I. Stoetzel, Encyclopedia of the French & Indian War in North America, 1754–1763
  7. ^ Gwyn 1974, pp. 72-73.
  8. ^ Letter of William L. Stone, The American Historical Register, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1895
  9. ^ Gwyn 1974.
  10. ^ Gwyn 1974, p. 25.
  11. ^ Gwyn 1974, p. 5.


Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Charles Edwin
Viscount Perceval
Member of Parliament for Westminster
With: Viscount Trentham
Succeeded by
Edward Cornwallis
Viscount Trentham