'Were' irrealis is used for unreal, counter-factual, highly unlikely present or future.
And, 'were to' also refers to hypothetical situations and actions (Cambridge Grammar of English by Carter and McCarthy). So from my understanding and what I read in two other English grammar learning site (here and here) It should be only used in present or future reference.
But I found few examples of 'were to' in this site and in other books where they have been used with past tense.
- Used with 'in case':
Urquhart had taken the precaution of taking down the details from Simon's driving licence, just in case he were to continue to cause trouble and needed to be tracked down. (CGE)
My question is that 'in case' is usually followed by 'present simple' or 'simple past' for present time or past time respectively but if, for the sake of being very formal (CGE), we are putting 'were to' then it should be 'were to have +past participle' not the former as it is used in present or future time and here the sentence refers to past time.
- "Below the bridge, the fishermen started shouting that if Chaudhary were to jump, they would catch him and foil his attempt to end his life."
My question is that author has used past-tense narrative mode so why he used just 'were to' not 'were to have'?
And why we see cases of type-2 conditional being used in past narrative story when it doesn't talk about a thing which will stay true even in the present?
Edit - I have read a few answers given on somewhat similar questions and they say that you can only use type 2 conditionals in past tense narrative when it is timeless or not tied to specific event. But in all the cases the sentences were tied to specific Event and not timeless. But then I came across a sentence from a best seller 'If he ever decided to leave, they would suffer' when the whole story is written in past narrative style. So now I doubt the whole concept.