WHITE, Sir Thomas (1507-66), of South Warnborough, Hants.

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



Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. 25 Mar. 1507, 1st s. of Robert White of South Warnborough by Elizabeth, da. of Sir Thomas Englefield of Englefield, Berks. educ. I. Temple, called. m. bef. 1532, Agnes, da. of Robert White of Farnham, Surr., sis. of Sir John White, 14s. inc. Henry and Thomas 6da. suc. fa. 2 Mar. 1521. Kntd. 2 Oct. 1553.

Offices Held

Clerk of the Crown and attorney King’s (Queen’s) bench 1542-Apr. 1559; treasurer, bishopric of Winchester 1538-d.; j.p. Hants 1547, q. by 1554, rem. 1558; keeper of Farnham castle, Surr. 1540- d.; master of requests 1553-?58; bencher, I. Temple by 1555, gov. 1557.


Despite his extensive estates acquired at the dissolution of the monasteries, White, a Catholic, was put off the commission of the peace at the accession of Elizabeth. Nevertheless elected knight of the shire he opposed the new prayer book, and stated that Sir Ambrose Cave, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, disliked it. Cave’s complaint that White had misrepresented him was upheld by the House on 4 Mar. 1559: ‘Therefore Mr. White, standing, asked him forgiveness; which Mr. Chancellor did take thankfully’. Next month White lost his Queen’s bench appointment.

White’s brother-in-law John White, the Marian bishop of Winchester, spent his last months at White’s house after being deprived of the see, and there he died in January 1560. White himself died on 2 Nov. 1566. His will, drawn up in 1564, and proved in February 1567, appointed his wife and Lord Chidiock Paulet executors, and affirmed White’s belief in ‘all that Holy Church, the very espouse of Christ, holdeth and believeth’. He asked for intercession of ‘all the holy company of heaven’, ‘obsequies, alms and other services’ were to be done at his burial and month’s mind, and a grandson received £50 to pray for his soul. In December 1567 the vicar of Odiham, an ex-Marian priest, was charged with having buried Sir Thomas White ‘with tapers and other papistical ceremonies’. The burial took place at South Warnborough, where a memorial was erected by his descendants, inscribed ‘Thomas and Agnes die unto God, and say, "We hope to see the goodness of God in the land of life ... Lord Jesu, take our souls into Thy mercy" ... God save the Queen'. White's son Henry received livery of his lands on 20 June 1567.

C142/37/82, 127, 148; Vis Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 82, VCH Hants ii. 487, 515-16; iii. 380; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. lxxv), 64; LP Hen VIII, xiii(1), p. 243; xviii(2), pp. 56-7; CPR, 1547-8, p. 84; 1553-4, p. 19; 1558-90, p. 107; 1566-9, p. 11; APC, iv. 324; PRO Eccl. 2/155881, 15583, 155903: CJ, i. 56; Strype, Annals, i(1), P. 213; pcc 4 Stonard; j. e. Paul, 'Hants Field Club, xxi(2), p. 65.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge