Warren was an influential figure in Birmingham at a time when it was a hotbed of creative activity, opening a bookshop in High Street, Birmingham around 1727. From here he founded and published the Birmingham Journal - the town's first known newspaper; he edited and published Samuel Johnson's first book - a translation of Jerónimo Lobo’s Voyage to Abyssinia--and with Joshua Kirton sold Francis Godwin's The Man in the Moone. He also financed the cotton mill established by John Wyatt and Lewis Paul in 1741. This was the world's first mechanised cotton-spinning factory, and was to pave the way for Richard Arkwright's later transformation of the cotton industry during the Industrial Revolution.
The Paul-Wyatt cotton mill was not a financial success, however, and Warren declared bankruptcy in 1743.
- Fleeman, J.D. (2000-03-02). A Bibliography of the Works of Samuel Johnson: 1731-59 Vol 1. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-19-812269-1.
- "Johnson in Birmingham". Revolutionary Players of Industry and Innovation. Museums, Libraries and Archives - West Midlands. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
- "Johnson Collection". Birmingham City Council. 2007-12-19. Archived from the original on 2007-11-04. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
- Lawton, H. W. (1931), "Bishop Godwin's Man in the Moone", The Review of English Studies 7 (25): 23–55, JSTOR 508383
- James Thomson (2004). "Invention in the Industrial Revolution: the case of cotton". In Leandro Prados de la Escosura. Exceptionalism and Industrialisation: Britain and Its European Rivals, 1688-1815. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 135. ISBN 0-521-79304-1. Retrieved 2007-12-29.
- Wadsworth, Alfred P.; De Lacy Mann, Julia (1931). "The First Cotton Spinning Factories". The Cotton Trade and Industrial Lancashire, 1600-1780. Manchester: Manchester University Press. pp. 431–447.