A History of St. Andrew`s Church, Charmouth

(37) Warden & The Liddons
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In memory of/Capt.MATTHEW JOHN LIDDON RN./who died May 3rd 1864/aged 63 years/"We cannot Lord thy purpose see/But all is well that's done by thee."
Watts cottage was formerly Stables and Coach House to Manor House opposite it was left by Mrs warden to Thomas Puddicombe.

It is James Warden who is to become the Village`s new Lord of the Manor in 1788. It is a puzzle how he was able to afford Charmouth and also Langmoor Manor where he resided. It has been conjectured that it was from prize money for the nineteen Sea Battles he fought in. But the Will for his wife shows them owning considerable property at Wapping, near London. He quarrelled with his son, whom he disinherited, and in his will left the Estate to his wife and upon her decease, upon trust, out of the rents and profits they were to pay to his son, William Weeks Wharton, £20 a year during his life.
In 1789 James won an action against the Rev. Brian Combe and others for removing sand and seaweed from the beach which he owned. His arguments climaxed with a disagreement with a neighbour, Norman Bond that resulted in a duel at Hunter's Lodge Inn with James being shot through the heart and the neighbour fleeing the country to Barbados. The episode is recorded on the large tabletop tomb to James Warden near the entrance to Charmouth Church. On 2nd September 1944 Prudence F.Liddon Tosetti was born, and christened in Charmouth church on 15th October the same year. She was the great great grand daughter of Captain Matthew Liddon, grandson of James Warden and niece of Harry Liddon R.A.F. killed in action on 5th May 1943 whose name is on our War Memorial.


The Warden Tomb Hutchins has the following inscriptions To the Memory of James Warden Esq. Who fell in a duel, The 28th of April 1792 in the 56th year of his age. He was created Lieutenant pf his Majesty's navy in the year 1760 in which capacity he served his country with reputation and success. He was in 19 engagements during the memorable expedition against the French Fleet under the Gallant Hawke, and was present at the Surrender of Belleiste. On the commencement of hostilities with America, he voluntarily came forward to offer his service, and was in the number of those who first landed the British Grenadiers on that shore. After escaping the various dangers inseparable from his profession, he had the misfortune to experience the untimely end above mentioned. Sacred to the memory also of Elizabeth Newell Warden, relict of the above named Lt. James Warden, who after lingering upwards of six years, at length put off her mortal part, wasting with pinning sickness, to be clothed upon with immortality, on the 11th day of June 1798 in the 48th year of her age.


James Warden had an altercation with a neighbouring landowner, Norman Bond. When Warden and Bond met in the street, an argument ensued in which Warden became extremely abusive and threatened to shoot Bond's dogs. Bond demanded Warden apologise, Warden refused, and so Bond challenged Warden to a duel. The time and place was quickly set, the duellers would meet at Hunters' Lodge on the morning of 28 April 1792. [ 3 ]

According to contemporary sources, Warden's wife, Elizabeth, did not oppose the duel, and in fact, seemed to support it. She made no attempt to alert the authorities about the impending bloodshed, even though one of her neighbours was a magistrate . She was the one who had obtained the pistols for the duel. The day of the duel arrived. As Bond had issued the challenge, Warden took the first shot. Bond had a narrow escape as the ball passed straight through his hat. Bond now took his shot - Warden fell to the ground. He had been shot through the heart and died almost instantly. [ 1 ]

Lately was married, at Axminster, Matthew Liddon, Esq, of Weycroft House, to Miss Ann Warden, youngest daughter of James Warden, Esq, of Charmouth

On 2nd September 1944 Prudence F.Liddon Tosetti was born, and christened in Charmouth church on 15th October the same year. She was the great great grand daughter of Captain Matthew Liddon, grandson of James Warden and niece of Harry Liddon R.A.F. killed in action on 5th May1943 whose name is on our War Memorial.

Melbourne House on the right where the Liddons lived.


The Manor of Charmouth with it's Manorial Rights , and the Estates of Langmoor and Seaside Lands with 120 acres was auctioned on 27th of September, 1837 at the Coach and Horses in Charmouth. But it could not have met its reserve as the sale did not go through until 1854.
On January 24th 1854 Matthew and Lucy Liddon sell Estate to George Frean of Plymouth for a total of £9100, but after paying off the mortages they receive £5061. James Warden`s son William is still shown as receiving £20 a year from the Estate.
Trewman`s Exeter Flying Post Thursday, October 6, 1803; Issue 2085.
Advert for Ann Liddon (nee` Warden) to borrow £600 against the Manor of Charmouth in Trewmans Exeter Flying Post . She had lost her husband the year before and had 5 children to bring up and educate.
In 1788, the land Tax returns show Richard Henvill paying £8-6-6d for the Manor Farm with John Bowdridge as his tenant. The following year it is James Warden who is paying £4-14-8d for the land to the south called Sealands and the Reverend Brian Coombes paying £4-16-8d for the property to the North of the Street known as Backlands.
On James Warden death it is Widow, Elizabeth who is shown as paying the Land Tax for 1793. It is interesting in that it is described as part of Charmouth Farm.
The Land Tax for 1808 now shows that on the death of Elizabeth Warden it is her daughter, Ann Liddon who is the Lady of the Manor.
Ann Liddon Spencer as a young girl at Langmoor Manor, near Charmouth.
1846 proposal for railway through Charmouth showing Mrs Sarah (Ann) Liddon as lady of the Manor.
Strawberry Hill Farm, the Spencer`s home in Albany, Australia.
Papers relating to lease of ground in Wapping from Capt and Mrs Warden, 1790-98 (lease 1794) and from Mrs Warden's brother, Rev Thomas Puddicombe 1798-1827, Michael Henley & Son
I Mary Donett Warren of Charmouth 1828 Will
Trustees and friends, the Reverend John Hill, Vice Principal of St.Edmunds Hall in Oxford and William Burnard of Charmouth, Cloth Manufacturer. And my daughter Mary Elizabeth Austin, Widow, undivided moiety of half the whole of the estate called Graston Farm in Burton Bradstock containing about 80 acres lately purchased of John Hussey now in possession of John Warrren as tenant.
All that Farm called Wood Farm in Charmouth and all those lands in manor of Hawkchurch in the occupation of Bernard Cox as tenant. For my grandson Samuel Warren Puddicombe, the fatherless son of said daughter Mary Elizabeth Austin on the age of 21 and not before.
The daughter of my cousin reverend Joseph Domett of Bovey Tracey, Clerk by his first wife. Niece Frances Catherine Hardwicke, the wife of Thoms Brown Hardwicke Esq and daughter of John Warren,mEsq of Lyme Regis.
Will of my late brother, the Reverend Thomas Puddicombe, late if Branscombe, 1825. Lately purchased by the said Thomas Puddicombe of John Hussey.
Messuages, Wharfs , warehouses, lands,  eye being in Parish of St. John's , Wapping, Middx. Inherited from late Thomas Puddicombe. Jane Prsetin, daughter of Richard Preston.
Bequeathe to grandson, Samuel Warren Puddicombe my books and good watch, formerly belonged to his grandfather.
Sisters in laws , Susan, Mary and Elizabeth Warren of Lyme Regis, spinsters
Proved in 1831.

Skinner, A.J.P. Thomas Puddicombe, vicar of Branscombe, 1794-1827. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 7:4, (1912) pp.128. [Refers to vol.2, p.37, par.28. See also vol.7, p.177.]

Subscribed to Sermons by J.N. Puddicombe, M.A. Fellow of Dulwich-College; Late of Pembroke-Hall, Cambridge, 1786, PUDDICOMBE, John Newell. London, Cambridge; Subject: religion

1773 Burial record for Elizabeth, wife of james warden in Wyke Regis, near Weymouth, where their children were baptised.
1764-6 HM Cutter Adventure: assigned 'Lieut James Warden, Commander' and 'Thomas Richmond'; 26 September 1764 to 30 September 1766; England and Scotland, E Coast, and English Channel
1764 Lieutenant James Warden, Adventure Cutter in Portsmouth Harbour. Request for a Master and a qualified surgeon's mate and recommends Thomas Miller, 1st surgeon's mate of the Lark
1766 Lieutenant James Warden, Adventure Cutter, Burntisland Harbour. Is sending the monthly muster book
1766 Lieutenant James Warden, Adventure Cutter, Burntisland Harbour. Receipt of letter to have the repairs completed and is sending an account of the amount spent so far before going to Sheerness
1767 Lieutenant James Warden, Adventure Cutter, Burntisland Harbour. Has been superseded and encloses the builder's account for cleaning and repairing the cutter, for which he has drawn a bill payable to Archibald Bairnsfather
1774-5 From James Warden at various ports. Evidently carried commodities for Weld, e.g. lead, glass, wine, on board his cutter. Sept. 1774 refers to a vessel forced onto Portland Beach; Feb. 1775 asks for help in getting appointed to H.M. Cutter Sherbourne.

Folio 232: James Warden to messers Wharton and Douglas in St. Christopher's. He will ask the government to hold the snow and comments on the legal problems.

Date and place: 1777 Feb 14 St Croix.

1767 St. Annes Limehouse, London showing William Parks and also William Wharton, the first two names of James Wardens son, William Wharton Weeks Warden.
1707 Marriage Bond for Hugh Warden to Sarah Parks at St. Annes Limehouse London
Particulars and conditions of Sale of a Freehold dwelling House and land situated in Charmouth to be sold by Auction by Mr. Jerrard at the Coach and Horses Inn on Tuesday 12th August 1862 Particular Lot1. A pleasantly situated and Roomy Freehold dwelling house formerly Streets tenement with an excellent large garden and orchard thereto belonging situate opposite Lower Sea Lane in the fashionable Watering place of the Village of Charmouth containing together with about an1 acre numbered 55 on the Tithe Commutation Map now in the occupation of Mr. Digory Gordge as tenant from year to year at the yearly rent of £17. Lot 2. A very desirable Freehold Pasture Field formerly called Single Common situate near Sea in the Parish of Charmouth containing about 1 acre now occupied by Mrs Mary Hodges as Tenant thereof from year to years at the yearly rent of £4 numbered 193 on the Tithe Map. The Vendor shall within 10 days deliver to each purchaser an Abstract of this title which shall commence with a settlement dated 29th August 1812 on the marriage of the late Sir Richard and lady Spencer and no other title shall be required.
Lieut. James Warden in 1779 was in command of HM Cutter “Wells” and seized a Spanish ship. Alas the action was more “Navy Lark” than Horatio Hornblower, for the Spaniard was only a quarter of a mile off the coast of Kent when taken and was carrying a cargo destined for a London merchant in payment of a debt. The merchant had to go to the High Court of the Admiralty to get compensation. (“Representing the Royal Navy – British Sea Power, 1750-1815? by Margarethe Lincoln, 2002.)
'To THE MEMORY of JAMES WARDEN Esq. Who fell in a duel the 28th of April 1792 In the 56th year of his age.', 'He was created Lieutenant in the year 1760.He was in 19 engagements during the memorable expedition against the French fleet under the gallant Hawke and was present at the surrender of Belleisle. On the commencement of hostilities with America he voluntarily came forward to offer his service and was in the number of those who first landed the British Grenadiers on that shore. After escaping the various dangers inseparable from his profession, he had the misfortune to experience the untimely end above mentioned'
In an effort to further undermine the French, Pitt had conceived the idea of seizing the island of Belle Ile, off the coast of Brittany and asked the navy to prepare for an expedition to take it. Hawke made his opposition clear in a letter to Anson, which was subsequently widely circulated. Pitt was extremely annoyed by this, considering that Hawke had overstepped his authority.Nonetheless Pitt pressed ahead with the expedition against Belle Île. An initial assault in April 1761 was repulsed with heavy loss but, reinforced, the British successfully captured the island in June. Although the capture of the island provided another victory for Pitt, and lowered the morale of the French public by showing that the British could now occupy parts of Metropolitan France – Hawke's criticisms of its strategic usefulness were borne out. It was not a useful staging point for further raids on the coast and the French were not especially concerned about its loss, telling Britain during subsequent peace negotiations that they would offer nothing to exchange for it and Britain could keep it if they wished.
A British Grenadier in 1776.
Lieut. James WARDEN, Leith. He sailed from Leith on 15th. Oct. for Portsmouth after receiving orders to enter as many men as possible. The cutter proved to be leaky and he had to employ a Master Carpenter (Alexander PHILP) at Burntisland to caulk and nail her. He sailed again on the evening of the 25th. In the Downs on 7th. Nov. he reported that with no Master on board he had had to employ a pilot for the North Coast. Once in Portsmouth in December he requested a Master and a Surgeon's Mate. In 1766 the ADVENTURE cutter was based in the Firth of Forth. She was damaged in Leith Harbour at the beginning of August and William EDMOND, Carpenter of the HAPPY, sloop, surveyed the extent of the damage. The damage was confined to the upper works so they could be carried out by John SYME, the Carpenter in Leith. On 29th. November George CLARK, the gunner's mate, was drowned. In March 1767 Thomas RICHMOND, the Master, asked to be replaced due to failing eyesight. In September 1767 Lieut. WARDEN was superseded by Lieut. George YOUNGHUSBAND.
27th August 1790 James Warden appoints Matthew Liddon of Waycroft, Axminster (Son in Law) his Game Keeper within the Lands of the Manor of Charmouth.
1831 Land Tax showing Matthew John Liddon letting properties to Mrs. Spencedr, Miss Sophia Liddon, Miss Liddon, Mr Palmer and Joseph Cozens
Cutters evolved during the second quarter of the Eighteenth Century in Southeast England as swift channel vessels. They soon gained a deserved reputation for their speed, which was not unnoticed by smugglers who soon adopted the Cutter as their preferred smuggling craft. In turn, Cutters were employed by the British Customs Service to counter the smugglers. Cutters carried a large disproportional area of sail for their size and also served as advice yachts, packet boats and, during wartime, privateers.

The Sherbourne was built as a revenue vessel for the Customs Service. She was designed by Sir Thomas Slade, the designer of the famous Victory and was built and launched in 1763. After over 20 years of service, Sherbourne was sold in 1784 ~ a remarkably long career for such a small vessel.

Sherbourne was 54' 6" long, 19' wide and had a draught of 8' 11". She carried a compliment of 30 men and was 85 tonnes. Armament consisted of 8 x 3 pounder carriage guns and 10 swivel guns.

Sherborne was commissioned under Lieutenant John Cartwright , later to become a prominent parliamentary reformer, and was assigned to support the work of the Board of Customs by operating against smugglers in the English Channel . Cartwright commanded Sherborne from 7 December 1763 to 14 May 1766. [ 1 ] His area of responsibility was the South Coast of England, including Dorsetshire and Devon . His brother George , when at loose ends, went with him in Sherborne on a cruise out of Plymouth to chase smugglers.


A google for "Lieut James Warden" finds a few results about his early career
as a coastal Customs officer, apprehending smugglers on the east coast in
command of HM Cutter "Adventure", including his presence in the Edinburgh
port of Leith around 1764/66 (which may become relevant later). Despite
commanding the vessel, it seems he was not certified as a competent Master
and never achieved the rank of Captain.
Online accounts of his subsequent wartime gallantry have a whiff of
hyperbole but he appears to have served in the Downs Squadron guarding the
Straits of Dover, protecting British shipping fromFrench privateers and
blockading neutral ships from supplying military goods to French ports.
http://tinyurl.com/Syrett-RNinEW - search for Wells or browse pages 100-109
His most auspicious(?) exploit appears to have been the taking of a Spanish
vessel in 1779, for which a London merchant then sued the Admiralty for the
loss of his legitimate cargo.

There are various accounts of the duel in which he died, a possible
composite version being that it arose from a quarrel with his neighbour
Norman Bond in which James threatened to shoot Bond's dogs that might have
been taking game from his land. An alternative account was published in
1881 in the Western Antiquary, which also includes the full text of the
awful poem on his tombstone, allegedly penned by his wife Eliza, together
with an OTT inscription suggesting that Eliza played the merry widow before
eventually finding redemption just before she died (though I suspect she may
well have written that herself).

James WARDEN's PCC will of 1792 reveals not only that he effectively
disinherited his son William Weekes Wharton WARDEN to the tune of just 20
pounds a year, with strings attached, but that he disowned and humiliated
"my daughter Susannah Parks Liddon wife of William Liddon one shilling
only". (I have seen that wording before, in a Devonshire STOOKE will: "to
the [un-named] wife of my deceased brother one shilling only". Was that a
commonly used device?) The main beneficiary was his wife Elizabeth who got
all the Charmouth properties, the residual beneficiary being his younger
daughter Ann, wife of Matthew LIDDON of Axminster. It would be interesting
to know why James fell out with two of his children. By contrast,
Elizabeth's PCC will of 1798 demonstrates her apparently cordial
relationship with all three of her step-children.

Ancestry also has the 1856 PCC will of William Weekes Wharton WARDEN of
Chichester, Commander in the Royal Navy. in which his beneficiaries are his
wife Elizabeth and daughters Sarah Ann WARDEN and Harriet Elizabeth wife of
Samuel FORWARD "for her separate use free from the debts of her present or
any future husband". A few years earlier, the 1851 census of Chichester has
William Warden (80, Commander RN, born Edinglevigh, Scotland), Elizh Warden
(68, wife, born KENT) and J A Warden (actually S[arah] A[nn] Warden, dau, 40
unm, born Axminster, Devon). I have not found any record of William's
birth/baptism but his various 1856 death notices on BNA give his age as 90,
implying born ca 1766, and Edingvleigh is probably Edinburgh, consistent
with his father's presence in the nearby port of Leith about that time. In
1851 Samuel and Harriet FORWARD were living in Charmouth, he 60, born
Axminster, army half pay, she 43 born St Oswyth, Devon, but later censuses
correct her birthplace to St Osyth, Essex. The Warden/Liddon web page has
William married to a different wife Mary Slinn. Was she a first wife?

Finally, I concur with Julia's comments about James's first wife
Betty/Elizabeth but still find no record of such marriage prior to the birth
of their eldest child.

I don't intend to pursue this disfunctional family any further so had better
sign off now. The bottom line is that James Warden was not a nice man and
probably got what was coming to him, but is a wonderful character to have in
any family tree.

Regards - Martin Beavis
Charmouth, Dorset
To be Let, for a Term of Ten Years from Lady Day next.
All that Overland, called Sea - Side Farm,situate in the Parish of Charmouth, in the County of Dorset.
Containing by estimation, 40 Acres of exceedingly rich Pasture and Arable Land, and between 30 and 40 Acres of Rough Land, called the Cliff, bounding the said Farm on the Sea-Side - There is a Lime Kiln on the Estate, and a sufficient quantity of excellent Lime-Stone may be taken from the Beach  for manuring  the premises, and, independent of this, the Sea Weed, annually thrown on the Beach, and to which the tenant, has the exclusive right is more than sufficient to manure the whole Estate. - The Tenant to pay all the Taxes, except the Landlords Property Tax and to keep the Premises in repair.
Tenders are to be made in writing, and to be delivered, or sent post-paid, to John Harvey Pierce, Esq. New Park, Near Axminster, or to messrs. Flood and Mules, Solicitors, Honiton, on or before the 24th day of September inst. and immediately after which, the Person approved of, will have notice that his offer is accepted.
For viewing the Premises, Apply to Mrs. Liddon, in Charmouth aforesaid, the Owner, who will direct a Person to show the same, and further Particulars may be known on application to the above named John Harvey Pierce Esq. or Messrs. flood and Mule, Honiton. September 9, 1811.
1754 John Newell for Wood Farm