Richard Warner (antiquary)

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Rev. Richard Warner (1763–1857) was an English clergyman and writer of a considerable number of topographical books based on his walks and his interest in antiquarianism.[1]


Richard Warner was born in St. Marylebone on 18 October 1763. He was lucky enough to meet Sir Henry Burrard Neale after his father (another Richard) had retired to a house with status at Lymington. Warner was educated at Christchurch Grammar School and it was there that he became interested in antiquities and started to dig into ancient barrows. After publishing his first book on Netley Abbey and working in an attorney's office did he start his further education late at St. Mary's Hall, Oxford and stayed there for nearly three years. He left to become a curate to the Rev. William Gilpin at Boldre in Hampshire. Gilpin needed Warner as he could no longer carry out his duties, but Gilpin did pass on to Warner his love of literature, walking and the countryside. Gilpin became a mentor to his curate. Warner had left Oxford without graduating so he had to be ordained by the Archbishop of York. It was only after three months as curate in the village of Wales, South Yorkshire was he able to return to Boldre. He became the Rev. Henry Drummond's curate at Fawley in 1793.[1] By this time he had published several further books on Lymington, a transcription of Hampshire's Domesday Book entries, and a reissue of ancient cookery books including a Forme of Cury.[2]

Warner obtained his first position as a minister at All Saints in Bath in 1794 and after only a year he moved on to the nearby St James Church. Warner was still publishing book for both interest and profit. In 1795, A History of Hampshire was published under Warner's name, but this is thought to be someone else's work. Now based in Bath he was able to investigate the many local antiquities and published many articles and two books on that city. Warner married Ann Pearson in 1801 and became a father in 1802. He was at St James church until 1817[1] although he also took on the parish of Great Chalfield in 1809 although it is suspected he never lived there.[3]

It was during this period in Bath that Warner went on holiday to Wales, walking 26 miles a day, investigating areas of interest and recording these travels in letters. This format was so popular that Warner issued further books concerning other tours including the Scottish borders, the western counties and another tour of Wales.[1] At the same time Warner was publishing satirical books on Bath Society under noms de plume.

Warner died in 1857 and was outlived by his wife.


  • Netley Abbey : a Gothic story (1785)
  • A companion in a tour round Lymington (1789)
  • Hampshire extracted from Domes-day book (1789)
  • Antiquitates culinariae; or, Curious tracts relating to the culinary affairs of the Old English, with a preliminary discourse, notes, and illus. (1791)
  • An attempt to ascertain the situation of the ancient Clausentum (1792)
  • Topographical remarks relating to the South-western parts of Hampshire (1793)
  • General view of the agriculture of the county of Hants (1794)
  • The history of the Isle of Wight (1795)
  • An illustration of the Roman antiquities discovered at Bath (1797)
  • A Walk through Wales (1799)
  • A walk through some of the western counties of England (1800)
  • History of Bath (1801)
  • A Second Walk through Wales (1800)
  • A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland (1802)
  • Chronological History of our Lord and Saviour: an English Diatessaron (1803)
  • Bath characters : or, sketches from life / by Peter Paul Pallet (1808)
  • Sermons on the Epistles or Gospels for the Sundays throughout the year (including Christmas-Day and Good-Friday) for the use of families and country congregations... (1819)
  • Illustrations, historical, biographical and miscellaneous, of the novels by the author of Waverley: with criticism, general and particular (1823)


  1. ^ a b c d  "Warner, Richard (1763-1857)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  2. ^ Richard Warner, Bea and Peter Siegel Books, accessed December 2009
  3. ^ 'Parishes: Great Chalfield', A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 7 (1953), pp. 59-66. URL: Date accessed: 27 December 2009.