George Warleggan was a banker. George was the second husband of the late Elizabeth Warleggan and the guardian of Trenwith until Geoffrey Charles Poldark was of age. He had two children, Valentine (whose true paternity was Ross Poldark, unbeknownst to George) and Ursula Warleggan.
George was known for his schemes and was unafraid of being cruel to achieve his goals. He and Cary would manipulate and ruin people financially, having no sympathy for doing so. George was a force of power, both socially and financially. He strived to better himself when he became bored of the level of power he had by seeking a better one.
George had a great rivalry with Ross Poldark, which began when they were at school together. Ross had no patience for George who had the same sentiment. Their ideals were mismatched, and George strived to ruin Ross and his family.
For George, his money would only get him so far. Ross had the wealth and status George wanted, but he never prized it. Ross was one of the few people who would not give in to George's bullying. George knew that his life would be easier without Ross around to stand in his way.
1783 - 1790
Having created a high status for himself in the financial business, George was disappointed when Ross came home alive from the Revolutionary War. He mocked him and his choices, such as his marriage to Demelza Carne, and tried to ruin him and his cousin Francis Poldark as they set out on a venture to create a new mine.
George bought shares in Wheal Leisure and set about encouraging smelting companies to sell copper at a lower price. He spoke with Francis Poldark when the latter was drunk in the hope of learning the names of the people in partnership with Ross. He then demanded that they pay their debts, leading the mine into ruin.
George also tried to find where the mine owners were creating their own smelting company, which he manages to close by outbidding them. He celebrated by buying a ship which sunk, leading to the death of his cousin. Having heard how Ross went to the beach to save people, he manipulated events by claiming Ross and his friends were wrecking illegally, not just salvaging. George then had Ross arrested.
1791 - 7893
Ross was approached by Elizabeth Poldark who hoped he might be able to help Ross. However, George continued trying to manipulate the trial by bribing people to tell false tales about him and that night. When Jud Paynter betrayed him which let Ross go free, he tried to kill him.
George then brought new and increased shares in Wheal Leisure which gave him a say in the running of the mine. Ross then gave up on the mine, selling half of his shares because he was unhappy with George's involvement.
When Francis Poldark died at Wheal Grace, he left his wife and son in debt. Ross sold his remaining shares and paid his debt to George, giving the money to Elizabeth. George had another idea in mind. He began to manipulate Elizabeth in the hope of marrying her. He and his uncle thought it would be in their best interests by marrying into a family of status. George gave Elizabeth money and charmed her, something only Agatha Poldark noticed.
When George started to get closer to Elizabeth, he and Agatha would often argue and he treated her in a cruel manner. Ross was unhappy to hear of Elizabeth's plan to marry George, who had since proposed to her. She accepted and they were married.
George moved into Trenwith and changed the management of the estate, such as forcibly stopping the villagers from walking through the land, which led to a short riot. He was happy when Elizabeth announced her pregnancy, but was unaware that the child's true father might be Ross.
George continued to change things at Trenwith which upset Agatha and his step son, whose name he wanted to change from Poldark to Warleggan, which he rejected. He was delighted at the early birth of his son and heir, Valentine, who he thought looked like him. However, he was the only one who had that sentiment even though people hinted at Valentine's true paternity.
He brought Morwenna Chynoweth to Trenwith to be Governess to Geoffrey Charles. He and Elizabeth argued about the choice he made without her, because he wanted her to teach him and detach him from Elizabeth in time for him to start at boarding school the next year.
As he continued to change things at Trenwith, he continued to treat Agatha in a cruel manner which was noticed by Ross. He then made an agreement with Ross - he would leave him be provided he had a care for Agatha and his nephew. George agreed to the delight of him and Elizabeth. George continued to do well for himself, becoming a judge and opening his own bank.