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Augustine Warner II

Member From: 1672 - 1676

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  • Birth Date: 1642 or 1643 Birth Place:
  • Death Date: June 19, 1681
  • Gender: Male Race: Caucasian
  • Spouse: Elizabeth Reade
  • Children:
  • Religion:
  • Education: Merchant Tailor's School, 1658
  • Military Service:
  • Occupation/Profession:
  • Bio: AUGUSTINE WARNER, JR., was Speaker of the House of Burgesses at the last session of the assembly of 1661-1676 and at the assembly of February 1677. He had first entered the House for Gloucester County about 1672. His father, Augustine Warner, Sr. (1610-1674), had built Warner Hall and had served on the Council from 1659 to his death. Speaker Warner was born in Virginia on either 3 July 1642 or 20 October 1643. He entered the Merchant Tailor's School in London in 1658, and, after his return to Virginia, followed his father into high office. He married Elizabeth, a daughter of Councillor George Reade, before 1671 and lived at Chesake in Gloucester County until 1674, when he inherited Warner Hall. Owing to his connections and ability, one writer observed, ''in the span of his short lifetime he rose to heights of attainment denied to most leading Virginians even in their mature years.''
    In March 1676, Speaker Warner presided at the last session of the so-called long assembly, which, after concluding its business, adjourned until October. On 10 May, however, Governor Sir William Berkeley issued a proclamation dissolving the assembly and calling for new elections. The new assembly met from 5 to 25 June 1676; Thomas Godwin was Speaker. The names of Gloucester County's burgesses at this assembly, the so-called Bacon's Assembly, are not known, but probably Warner did not attend. As George Jordan, of Surry County, wrote, ''the giddy people ... have hardly Chosen one fitt well byased man for the Countryes peace: nor any of friendship with the Honorable Governor by which unhapy Accident I am put with all the rest of our dear friends . . . out of the house.''
    Armed conflict began in midsummer and continued into autumn. Warner was with Governor Berkeley's forces during their evacuation of Jamestown and retreat toward Newport News. Bacon entered and burned the capital on 19 September and retired across the York River into Gloucester County, where he established himself at Warner Hall. Later Warner sued William Byrd I for ''taking his goods and merchandize to the value of £845. 2s sterl[in]g." Byrd, who had willingly followed his trading partner, Bacon, against the Indians '' but declined to follow him in armed opposition to the government,'' replied that as Bacon's captive he was not responsible for the damage. Warner claimed Byrd had been in command under Bacon. Testimony that supported both sides was heard and the case dragged on; Warner's suit probably was unsuccessful, but the details are not known.
    After Bacon's death in October 1676, Joseph Ingram took command until the rebellion collapsed early in January. On 11 January 1677 Governor Berkeley presided at a court-martial, of which Warner was a member, that condemned several men. Although some historians have cited this as evidence that Warner had been appointed to the Council by this time, he could not have been both a councillor and Speaker in February 1677. The court-martial was composed, in fact, of the high military officers of the colony, some, but not all, of whom were also councillors. Warner was elected to the House of Burgesses that met in February 1677 and was again chosen Speaker. Following the pattern of many early revisals, that assembly declared ''all the acts, orders and proceedings'' of the assembly of 1676 "voyd, null and repealed," reenacted eight of them, and then was dissolved on 2 April 1677.
    The Council met as the General Court in September 1677, but Warner apparently was not yet among them. However, he was on the Council by the time the House of Burgesses met on 10 October 1677 with William Travers as its Speaker. Colonel Augustine Warner, wrote commissioner John Berry on 15 October 1677, was "Speaker of the House of Burgesses, in the late assembly, and [is] now sworne one of his Majestie's Councill of Virginia." Warner was "an honest, worthy Person and most Loyall sufferer by the late Rebells,'' Berry continued, ''who was plundered as much as any, and yet speakes as little of his losses, tho' they were very greate." The last phrases need explanation, for Warner did sue William Byrd for £1,000 and tried to except Byrd from benefit of the act of indemnity, a course that differed from Lieutenant Governor Herbert Jeffrey's desire for a generous act of oblivion. Warner shared, at least in part, the view of Philip Ludwell, Sr., and Robert Beverley, Sr., fierce Berkeley adherents who bitterly opposed Jeffreys, yet Warner proceeded against Byrd through the civil courts, and apparently had not personally benefitted from the postrebellion courts-martial and confiscations. In that sense he had spoken little of his losses, and in March 1679 when the Privy Council unseated Ludwell and others ''for their unworthy behaviour," Warner retained his Council seat. He served there until his death on 19 June 1681 and was buried at Warner Hall.
  • Other Notable Service and/or Elected Offices: Speaker of the House of Burgesses: 1676 - 1677
    Member of the Council of State: 1677 - 1681
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1661-1676 Gloucester Speaker of House
1677 Feb Gloucester Speaker of House

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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