WHITE, Thomas III, of Lewes, Suss.
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Family and Education
Coroner, Suss. by Dec.-aft. Sept. 1417.
Tax collector, Suss. May 1416, Nov. 1419, May 1437.
In 1391, as resident at Hamsey near Lewes, White completed the purchase from John Bedford I* and his wife Maud, of the latter’s reversionary interest in a messuage and ten acres of land there. He served as a juror at Lewes in October 1397 providing information to royal commissioners about the forfeited possessions of Richard, late earl of Arundel, following his condemnation for treason.1 As a coroner in Sussex, White was employed initially in the rape of Chichester, in the west of the county, but following his replacement there in 1406 he was re-appointed to serve in the other half of the county, thereafter being active in the rapes of Pevensey and Lewes. Writs to replace him because of alleged non-residence or other (unspecified) disqualifications, were issued in 1401, 1406, and twice in 1410, but he nevertheless continued in service until 1417 or later. During his term of office he attended the shire court at Chichester for the Sussex elections to the Parliaments of 1407, 1414 (Nov.) and 1415. In February 1421, shortly after his own first appearance in the Commons as Member for Lewes, he took possession of certain casks of wine cast ashore from a wreck at Seaford, within the lordship of Beatrice, countess of Arundel, acting ex officio as one of her ministers.2 It may be that he also served the countess in Lewes, where she held the castle and other estates in dower.
White witnessed a deed at Lewes in January 1425, and was a member of the local jury empannelled to assess the tax levied on parishes in May 1428. When, in July 1437, he took out a royal pardon, it was as ‘of Lewes, gentleman, and former coroner of Sussex’.3