WHITE, Thomas II (1667-1732), of Wallingwells, Notts.
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Family and Education
b. Aug. 1667, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of John White*. educ. G. Inn 1685; Christ’s, Camb. 1686. m. 28 July 1698 (with £5,000), Bridget, da. and h. of Richard Taylor*, 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 1713.1
?Gent. of the Ordnance, Whitehall 1700; first clerk 1702; clerk of the Ordnance 1718–d.2
White followed in the same Whig tradition as his father. He married the daughter of the Nonconformist Richard Taylor, thereby inheriting an interest at East Retford. Little is known of his early life, but he may have been the ‘Mr White’ who acted as a steward for the Earl of Kingston (Evelyn Pierrepont*), his second cousin. His father refused to allow him to stand for Newark in 1695 on grounds of cost. He voted for both Whig candidates in the county election in 1698. Shortly after gaining control of the Wallingwells estate he was deemed influential enough by the Duke of Newcastle (John Holles†) to be appointed to the deputy-lieutenancy. The first test of his parliamentary interest ended in disappointment, for although he was returned to the Commons in January 1701, the House unseated him three months later in favour of Sir Willoughby Hickman, 3rd Bt. There is no doubt that his Whig contemporaries regarded him as a suitable candidate, for in November 1701 the Presbyterian divine Matthew Sylvester suggested that he stand for the county in the forthcoming election. Instead of taking this advice, he contested East Retford again, being returned with John Thornhagh. Their opponents petitioned, but White and his partner were declared duly elected by two votes in a House of over 340. In the 1702 election he and his partner were returned again, only to be unseated on petition.3
White did not stand again until 1708, busying himself in the interim in the minutiae of local administration, including searching the houses of papists for arms and horses in the invasion scare of that year. In October 1707 Newcastle attempted to entice White into standing for the county at the forthcoming election, but he declined to put himself forward if Thornhagh or Sir Francis Molyneux, 4th Bt.*, indicated an interest. Backed by Newcastle and the whole of the Whig interest, he topped the poll at East Retford. He was classed as a Whig on a list of early 1708 with the election returns added, and voted for the naturalization of the Palatines in the opening session of the Parliament. On 9 Mar. 1709 he acted as a teller for the question that the House resolve itself into a committee of the whole to consider the bill for the export of tobacco and other commodities of Britain and the dominions. This committee was then put off for a month and no further proceedings taken on the bill. In the following session he voted for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell and carried up an estate bill. At the shire election of 1710 he voted for both Whig candidates and following his own re-election was classed as a Whig on the ‘Hanover list’, but was unseated on petition.4
White returned to the Commons in the Whig victory of 1715 and was again classed as a Whig on a list comparing the new Parliament with its predecessor. He was very active in the Nottinghamshire militia during 1715, keeping the new Duke of Newcastle informed of the decisions of the deputy-lieutenants. He was rewarded for his support with an Ordnance office in 1718 and he continued to vote with the Whigs for the remainder of his career in Parliament. He died on 30 Sept. 1732 ‘about six of the clock as he was coming out of his closet’. George Gregory’s* assessment was that he had ‘lost a good friend and the public a good officer’ and this country a ‘useful person among us’. He was buried under the high altar in Tuxford church, and was succeeded by his son John†.5
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Stuart Handley
- 1. M. H. White, Mems. House of White of Wallingwells, 21–22.
- 2. H. Tomlinson, Guns and Govt. 228, 235.
- 3. HMC Portland, ii. 182; Brief Memoir of Mr Justice Rokeby (Surtees Soc. xxxvii), 55; Harl. 6846, f. 340; White, 22, 18; CSP Dom. 1700–2, p. 35.
- 4. Notts. RO, Portland mss DD4P/64/21/2, William Jessop* to Newcastle, 22 Oct. 1707; Add. 70024, f. 263; 70025, ff. 62–63; Thoroton Soc. Rec. Ser. xviii. 53.
- 5. Add. 32686, ff. 55–56, 61, 63, 69–71, 79; 32687, f. 494; T. W. Swift, Some of our Yesterdays, 32.