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SAMUEL WARREN (1807-1877)

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 331 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SAMUEL WARREN (1807-1877), English lawyer and author, son of Dr Samuel Warren, rector of All Souls', Ancoats, Manchester, was born near Wrexham in Denbighshire on the 23rd of May 1807. The elder Samuel Warren (1781—1862) became a Wesleyan minister, but was expelled by Conference in 1835 on account of his attitude towards proposals for the establishment of a theological training college at Manchester. He formed a new association, the members of which were nicknamed Warrenites, and this developed into the United Methodist Free Churches. Warren himself took orders in the Church of England. His son, the younger Samuel Warren, studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, but abandoned this to study for the English bar. He entered the Inner Temple in 1828, and was successful in his profession. He took silk in r851, was made recorder of Hull in 1852, represented Midhurst in parliament for three years (1856-1859) and was rewarded in 1859 with a mastership in lunacy. He had already written a good deal on the subject of insanity in its legal aspects, and he was always a determined opponent of the rising school of medical alienists who were more and more in favour of reducing certain forms of crime to a state of mental aberration which should not be punished outside of asylums. Meantime he had made much more brilliant success in fiction. Very early in his career he had begun to write for Blackwood. His Passages from the Diary of a Late Physician were published in that magazine between August 183o and August 1837, and appeared in collected form in 1838. These realistic short stories, with a somewhat morbid interest shielded under a moral purpose, were extremely popular. Warren's brief experience as a medical student thus stood him in good stead. But his great success was Ten Thousand a Year, which ran in Blackwood from October 1839 to August 1841, and was published separately immediately on its conclusion. Critics complained of the coarse workmanship, the banality of the moralizing, the crudeness of the pathos, the farcical extravagance of the humour; but meantime the work proved one of the most popular novels of the century. Of the higher qualities of imagination and passion Warren was destitute, but his sketches of character, especially farcical character—Tittlebat Titmouse, Oily Gammon, Mr Quicksilver (an open caricature of Lord Brougham)—are bold and strong, forcibly imprinted on the memory, and the interest of the story is made to run with a powerful current. For several years Warren was known as the author of Ten Thousand a Year, and many tales were told of his open pride in the achievement. In 1847 he made another venture, but Now and Then was not a success. The Lily and the Bee, a squib on the Crystal Palace, published in 1851, though it had the honour of translation into Italian, was a signal failure. A pessimistic dissertation on The Intellectual and Moral Development of the Age, published in 1853, also fell flat, and thenceforth Warren, after publishing his Works: Critical and Imaginative, in four volumes in 18J4i retired on his laurels. He died in London on the 29th of July 1877. Warren also wrote several legal works of repute—Introduction to Law Studies (1835), Extracts from Blackstone (1837), Manual of Parliamentary Law (1852).
End of Article: SAMUEL WARREN (1807-1877)
MINTON WARREN (1850-1907)

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