Warren, Charles (1798-1866) (DNB00)


WARREN, Sir CHARLES (1798–1866), major-general, colonel of the 96th foot, born at Bangor on 27 Oct. 1798, was third son of John Warren (1766–1838), dean of Bangor, who was nephew of John Warren [q. v.], bishop of Bangor. His mother was Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Crooke, M.D., of Preston, Lancashire. He entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, but, being offered by the Duke of York a commission in the infantry, he was gazetted ensign in the 30th foot on 24 Nov. 1814, and joined the depôt at Colchester on 24 Jan. 1815. He commanded a detachment from Ostend in the march of the Duke of Wellington's army to Paris after Waterloo, and entered Paris with the allied army.

In January 1816 Warren embarked for India, and served at Fort St. George, Madras, until his return to England in the summer of 1819. He was promoted to be lieutenant on 13 Nov. 1818. On 17 Aug. 1820 he exchanged into the 55th foot. In December 1821 he embarked with his regiment for the Cape of Good Hope, was promoted to be captain by purchase on 1 Aug. 1822, commanded a detachment of two companies on the Kaffir frontier from November 1824 to the end of 1825, and returned to England in 1827. During his service at the Cape he rode from Capetown to Grahamstown, and, among other expeditions into the interior, he journeyed across the Orange and Vaal rivers to Sitlahoo in company with Mr. Glegg of the Madras civil service, who published an account of it at the time. Warren visited the Griqua and Baralong chiefs and Robert Moffat's mission station near Kuraman. Extracts from his journals were printed in the ‘Royal Engineers Journal’ in June and July 1884. His notes and sketches were made use of by his son, Lieutenant-colonel (afterwards Sir) Charles Warren of the royal engineers, when reporting on the Bechuana and the Griqua territories fifty years later, in 1876.

Warren married in 1830, and, with his wife, embarked for India. He served at Fort St. George, Madras, until the end of 1831, when he marched to Tunamalli and Bellary in command of a wing of the regiment. He commanded the 55th (Colonel Mill of that regiment being in command of the column, until a few days before he was killed) in the expedition against the raja of Kurg in April 1834, led an assault and captured the stockade of Kissenhally, and was engaged in the attack on the stockade of Soamwapettah, where he was severely wounded. He was promoted to be major on 21 Nov. 1834, sent to Vellore in 1835, to Sikandarabad in 1836, and returned to England with his family in 1838.

On 26 June 1841 Warren sailed for China in command of a detachment, and arrived at Hongkong in November. He embarked for the Yang-tse-kiang in June 1842, and when his lieutenant-colonel, (afterwards Sir) James Holmes Schœdde, succeeded to the command of the brigade, he commanded the regiment at the assault and capture, on 21 July, of Ching-kiang-foo (where he was personally engaged with three Tartars, whom he killed, and was himself severely wounded), and continued to command it until its return to England. Warren was favourably mentioned in Schœdde's despatch of 21 July 1842 to Sir Hugh Gough. For his services he was promoted to be brevet lieutenant-colonel on 23 Dec. 1842, and the following day was made a companion of the order of the Bath, military division. He also received the war medal. In October 1842 he moved to Chusan, which was held by the British as a material guarantee until the indemnity was paid, and he returned to England in August 1844.

Warren was promoted to be regimental lieutenant-colonel to command the 55th regiment on 25 Nov. 1845, and served with it in Ireland during the disturbances in 1846–7. In March 1851 he accompanied it to Gibraltar, where he served until May 1854, when he took it to Turkey and the Crimea. He commanded the regiment, which formed part of the 1st brigade, 2nd division, at the affair of Bouljanak on 19 Sept., and on the following day at the battle of the Alma, where he received two contused wounds. He was mentioned in despatches (see Kinglake, ii. 302). He was also at the repulse of the sortie from Sebastopol on 26 Oct. He commanded the 1st brigade, 2nd division, at the battle of Inkerman on 5 Nov., and maintained the position of the division, which was attacked at the beginning of the day, until the whole of the Russians were driven off the field (see Kinglake, vol. v.). He was slightly wounded at first, and later severely so in pursuing the Russians. He was mentioned in Lord Raglan's despatch of 11 Nov. 1854 as wounded ‘while leading his men with his usual conspicuous bravery;’ and Sir De Lacy Evans, in a letter of 11 Feb. 1855, wrote: ‘His conduct under my command has been distinguished on every occasion by efficiency, constant exertion, and marked gallantry.’

He was sent to Scutari and then on sick leave, until he was sufficiently recovered to return to the Crimea on 12 July 1855; on the 30th he resumed command of the 1st brigade, 2nd division, and served continuously in the trenches until the fall of Sebastopol. He was slightly wounded at the attack on the Redan on 8 Sept. He was mentioned in despatches by General (afterwards Sir) James Simpson [q. v.] (3 Feb. 1856). In February 1856 he was given the command of an independent brigade, composed of the 11th hussars, the siege-train, and four battalions of infantry, which he held until June, and in July he returned to England. For his Crimean services he received the medal with clasps for Alma, Inkerman, and Sebastopol, the reward for distinguished military service, the fourth class of the legion of honour, the third class of the Medjidie, and the Turkish and Sardinian medals.

On 8 Aug. 1856 he was appointed to command a brigade at Malta with the temporary rank of major-general. On 26 Oct. 1858 he was promoted to be major-general on the establishment of the army. He remained at Malta for five years, and, in the absence of the governor, acted for some time as governor and commander of the forces. He was made a knight commander of the order of the Bath, military division, on 19 April 1865. He died at Monkstown, near Dublin, on 27 Oct. 1866.

Warren had a natural turn for science and mathematics. His memory was so good that he could retain in his mind all the figures of a long calculation, and could correct and alter those figures at will. He was also a good draughtsman. He occupied his leisure time during the later years of his life in perfecting an instrument which he had invented for the graphic solution of astronomical problems for nautical purposes, and which he had brought to the notice of the admiralty in 1845. The instrument was for the purpose of approximately determining the latitude from two observations taken before 9 a.m. and at noon, and also of finding the latitude by a south altitude, from the time of day, and of finding the amplitude and azimuth. The invention was considered ingenious, and its principle correct; but its adoption was not recommended for the royal navy, lest its general use might induce neglect of even the slight acquaintance with nautical astronomy which officers were then required to possess.

Warren married, first, on 17 April 1830, at the British embassy at Paris, Mary Anne (d. 20 Jan. 1846), daughter of William and Margaret Hughes of Dublin and Carlow, by whom he had six children, two of whom died young; secondly, on 4 Oct. 1859, Mary (d. 22 Dec. 1860), daughter of George Bethell, rector of Worplesden and vice-provost of Eton College. The eldest son, John, a captain in the 55th regiment, served with his father in the Crimea, and died of a wound in Scutari hospital after the battle of Inkerman. Another son is Sir Charles Warren, chief commissioner of the metropolitan police 1886–8.

General Warren's elder brother, John Warren (1796–1852), mathematician, eldest son of the dean of Bangor, born on 4 Oct. 1796 at Bangor deanery, was educated at Westminster school and Jesus College, Cambridge, of which he was a fellow and tutor. In 1818 he was fifth wrangler, and in 1825 and 1826 served the office of moderator and examiner. In 1830 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. In 1828 he published at Cambridge ‘A Treatise on the Geometrical Representation of the Square Roots of Negative Quantities,’ a subject which had previously attracted the attention of Wallis, Professor Heinrich Kühn of Danzig, M. Buée, and M. Mourey, whose researches were, however, unknown to Warren. The work bears evident marks of originality, and has received honourable mention as well from continental as from English mathematicians. The title hardly conveys an exact idea of the main object, which is to represent every kind of quantity geometrically by the intervention of symbolical expressions, which involve the square roots of negative quantities, and designate lines in position as well as magnitude. He was strongly convinced of the superiority of geometry as a means of demonstration to the use of mere symbols of quantity, and thought that the obscurity attaching to the proofs of some of the fundamental rules of algebraic and analytical operations might be removed by adopting a geometrical representation of quantity such as he proposed.

On 19 Feb. 1829 Warren read a paper before the Royal Society entitled ‘Considerations of the Objections raised against the Geometrical Representation of the Square Roots of Negative Quantities,’ which was followed on the 4th of June by another ‘On the Geometrical Representation of the Powers of Quantities whose Indices involve the Square Roots of Negative Quantities,’ in which he came to the conclusion ‘that all algebraic quantity may be geometrically represented, both in length and direction, by lines drawn in a given plane from a given point.’

Warren was chancellor of the diocese of Bangor and rector of Graveley in Cambridgeshire, and of Caldecott in Huntingdonshire. He owned the advowson of the latter, which, as well as an adjoining parish, was without a resident clergyman. To remedy this evil he proposed to unite the two parishes. He sold the advowson of Caldecott to the patron of the other parish, and gave the purchase-money to build a parsonage for the united parishes—an incident characteristic of the man. He married his cousin, Caroline Elizabeth, daughter of Captain and Lieutenant-colonel Richard Warren of the 3rd foot guards. He died at Bangor on 16 Aug. 1852, without issue.

[War Office Records; Despatches; private sources; manuscript memorandum by James Challis [q. v.], professor of astronomy at the university of Cambridge; Abstracts of Papers of the Royal Society, London, vol. vi.; Haydn's Book of Dignities; Kinglake's Invasion of the Crimea; Mackenzie's Narrative of the Second Campaign in China, London, 1842; Murray's Doings in China, London, 1842; Ouchterlony's Chinese War, London, 1844, pp. 372 seq.; Theal's Compendium of the History and Geography of South Africa; Histories of India.]

R. H. V.