Warner, Ferdinando

, a very voluminous writer, was born in 1703, but where we are not told. He was of Jesus college, Cambridge, according to Mr. Cole, but we do not find his name among the graduates of that university. In 1730 he became vicar of Ronde, in Wiltshire; in 1746 rector of St. Michael Queenhithe, London, and in 1758 rector of Barnes, in Surrey. He also styles himself chaplain to the lord chancellor, and LL. D.; the latter title probably obtained from some northern university. He died Oct. 3, 1768, aged sixty-five. Dr. Warner was a laborious man, and having deservedly attained the character of a judicious and useful writer, as well as a popular preacher, he was frequently engaged in compilations for the booksellers, which, however, he executed in a very superior manner, and gave many proofs of diligent research and judgment, both in his reflections and in the use he made of his materials. The following we believe to be a complete, or nearly complete list of his publications 1. “A Sermon preached before the Lord Mayor, January 30, 1748.” 2. “A Sermon preached before the Lord Mayor, on September 2,1749. 3. “A system of Divinity and Morality, containing a series of discourses on the principal and most important points of natural and revealed Religion; compiled from the works of the most eminent divines of the Church of England,1750, 5 vols. J2mo. This was reprinted in 1756, 4 vols. 8vo. 4. “A scheme for a Fund for the better Maintenance of the Widows and Children of the | clergy,” 1753, 8vo. For this scheme, when carried into execution, he received the thanks of the London clergy, assembled in Sion college, May 21, 1765, and published another pamphlet, hereafter to be mentioned. 5. “An illustration of the Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the Church of England,” &c. 1754, folio. In this year he took the degree of LL. D. probably, as we have already suggested, at some northern university. 6. “Bolingbroke, or a dialogue on the origin and authority of Revelation,1755, 8vo. 7. “A free and necessary enquiry whether the Church of England in her Liturgy, and many of her learned divines in their writings, have not, by some unwary expressions relating to Transubstantiation and the real presence, given so great an advantage to papists and deists as may prove fatal to true religion, unless some remedy be speedily supplied; with remarks on the power of priestly absolution,1755, 8vo. 8. In 1756 he published the first volume of his “Ecclesiastical History to the Eighteenth Century,” folio; the second volume in 1757. This is the most valuable of all his works, and has frequently been quoted with approbation. 9. “Memoirs of the Life of sir Thomas More, lord high chancellor of England in the reign of Henry VIII. 1758,” 8vo. This is dedicated to sir Rcbert Henley, afterwards lord chancellor Northington, who is complimented for the favours he had conferred on him on his receiving the seals; probably for the rectory of Barnes, with which he held Queenhithe and Trinity the Less. 10. “Remarks on the History of Fingal and other poems of Ossian, translated by Mr. Macpherson, in a letter to the right hon. the lord L (Lyttelton),1762,

8vo. 11. “The History of Ireland, vol*. 1.1763, 4to. He published no more of this, being discouraged by a disappointment in his expectations of some parliamentary assistance. Yet in one of those newspaper notices, which Dr. Warner did not disdain, he speaks of the encouragement which he met with when he went to Ireland in 1761 in search of materials for this work. He tells us of “the liberty granted him by the provost and fellows of the university to peruse the books and Mss. in the college library, as also those in the library of St. Sepulchre, founded by the late primate Marsh; and of his free access to the collections of Mr. Harris, which were purchased by the parliament, &c. that he was likewise complimented with the | liberty of searching the records of the privy council, and other offices, &c.” 12. “A letter to the fellows of Sion college, and to all the clergy within the bills of mortality, and in the county of Middlesex, humbly proposing their forming themselves into a Society for the Maintenance of the Widows and Orphans of such Clergymen. To which is added, a sketch of some Rules and Orders suitable to that purpose,1765, 8vo. 13. “The History of the Rehellion and Civil War in Ireland,1767, 4to. 14. “A full and plain account of the Gout, whence will be clearly seen the folly or the baseness of all pretenders to the cure of it, in which every thing material by the best writers on that subject is taken notice of, and accompanied with some new and important instructions for its relief, which the author’s experience in the gout above thirty years hath induced him to impart.” This was the most unfortunate of all his publications, for soon after imparting his cure for the gout he died of the disorder, and destroyed the credit of his system.

Dr. Warner is said to have declared that he wrote his “Ecclesiastical History,” and his “Dissertation on the Common Prayer,” three folio volumes, both the original and corrected copies, with one single pen, which was an old one when he began, and when he finished was not worn out. We are likewise told that a celebrated countess begged the doctor to make her a present of it, and he having complied, her ladyship had a gold case made with a short history of the pen engraved upon it, and placed it in her cabinet of curiosities. This foolish story, for such it probably is, reminds us of a similar one related of the pious Matthew Henry, who is said to have written the whole of his commentary on the Bible, 5 vols. fol. with one pen. Mr. Henry is also said to have made this declaration in public. Unfortunately, however, Mr. Henry never wrote the whole of his commentary, nor lived to see it completed, and consequently could have made no such declaration.

Dr. Warner’s son, the late Dr. John Warner, was of Trinity college, Cambridge, B. A. 1758, M. A. 1761, and D. D. 1773. For many years he was preacher at a chapel in Long Acre, which was his private property. In 1771 he was presented to the united rectories of HocklifTe and Chalgrave, in Bedfordshire, and afterwards to the rectory of Stourton, in Wilts. Having resided in France at the sera of the revolution he imbibed all those principles which produced it, and although no man could be more an enemy | to the atrocities which followed, they made no difference in his republican attachments. He is known in the literary world by a singular publication entitled “Metronariston,” and wrote the *' Memoirs of Mekerchus," in the Gentleman’s Magazine. He died, after a few days illness, in St. John’s-square, Clerkenwell, Jan. 22, 1800, aged sixtyfour. 1


Nichols’s JJowycr, &c.