WHITE, Goddard (1535-89), of Winchelsea, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 1535, 1st. s. of Nicholas White by Joan, da. and coh. of John Chilton of Wye, Kent. m. Ursula, da. of Richard Mockett of Challock, Kent, 3s. 3da. suc. fa. c.1540.

Offices Held

Freeman, Winchelsea 1556, mayor 1558-9, 1565-6, jurat by 1562.


It is not clear how White, a native of Winchelsea, made his living. His father left him property at Fairlight (a few miles from Hastings), Peasmarsh, Playden, Pett and Icklesham: he also owned houses in Winchelsea. One of these, with a garden and a rood of land, formed part of a crown grant to the town early in 1586, covering former monastic and chantry estates. Later in the year it was probably this property which became the focal point of several lawsuits brought before the lord warden of the Cinque Ports between White on the one hand and Francis Bolton, recorder of Winchelsea, and James Thecher of Westham on the other: the town authorities were apparently seeking to substantiate their claims to the land. The Privy Council records have two entries about an unspecified case (probably this one) which, owing to White’s illness, was still unsettled by the end of March 1586.

As a local official White had a chequered career. He served as a jurat on a number of occasions, the town court book for May 1573 recording that as he was absent his oath was rescinded. He may have been in London: at about this time he and one John Whitefield were convicted in a riot case before the Star Chamber. In October 1581 he was fined for refusing to serve again as a jurat, the fine being halved at the lord warden’s request. Some time after this he was deprived of his freedom of Winchelsea, but was restored on 19 Apr. 1586 ‘in pursuance of letters from the Privy Council’.

He was evidently on friendly terms with his relative by marriage, John Frank, for the latter’s will asked him and William White to help the widow to carry out her husband’s instructions about selling lands. White’s own will, made in January and proved in April 1589, appointed another of his wife’s relatives, Christopher Mockett, as overseer. He asked to be buried in the north chancel of St. Thomas’s church, Winchelsea, bequeathing 10s. a year for four years after his death to the poor of the town. His eldest son, Adam, the sole executor, was to see that White’s three daughters received £100 each at marriage or the age of twenty-one; the three sons, including Adam, were to have the same amount. The widow, the residuary legatee, received a £20 annuity, to be reduced to 20 marks if she remarried.

E. Suss. RO, Winchelsea mss; F. W. T. Attree, Suss. IPMs (Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv), 239; C142/62/55; E150/1089/1; PCC 41 Leicester, 15 Chayre, 12 Streat; Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 130-1; Suss. Arch. Colls. xxiii. 35; Suss. Rec. Soc. xlvii. 106, 121, 123-4; W. D. Cooper, Winchelsea, 109-10; APC, xiv. 9-10, 50.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge