WHITE, Sir John (d.1573), of London and Aldershot, Hants.

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

5th s. of Robert White, merchant, of Farnham, Surr. by Katherine, da. of John Wells. m. (1) Sybil, da. of Robert White of South Warnborough, Hants by Elizabeth, da. of Sir Thomas Englefield, 4s. 3da.; (2) 1558, Catherine, da. of John Soday, apothecary to Queen Mary, and wid. of Ralph Greenway, alderman and grocer of London, 2s. 1da. Kntd. 1564.

Offices Held

Treasurer, St. Bartholomew’s hospital 1549; alderman and auditor, London 1554, sheriff 1556-7, ld. mayor 1563-4; master, Grocer’s Co. 1555-6, 1560-1; president, Bethlehem and Bridewell hospitals 1568-d.; surveyor-gen. of London hospitals 1572-3.2


The branches of the White family to be found in Hampshire and Surrey in the sixteenth century were descended from Robert White, a merchant and a mayor of the staple of Calais, who died in 1461/2, having purchased lands in Farnham, Surrey and South Warnborough, Hampshire. White himself had a younger brother, John, who became bishop of Lincoln and subsequently bishop of Winchester during Queen Mary’s reign. Bishop White, a resolute pursuer of heretics, voted against the supremacy bill in the House of Lords in Elizabeth’s first Parliament. After preaching at Mary’s funeral he was imprisoned in the Tower. On his release he retired first to his brother’s house in London and then to that of Sir Thomas White, another Catholic sympathizer, at South Warnborough. White himself, however, appears to have had no strong religious convictions, for his name appears on the pardon roll both at the beginning of Mary’s reign, and at the beginning of Elizabeth’s. A successful merchant in the Spanish trade, his second wife was of Spanish descent, and her brother, Ralph Soday, had acted in Spain as factor for her first husband, Ralph Greenway, another grocer. A Mr. White, merchant of London, was in Spain in August 1562. In 1570 White was among those appointed to hear the complaints of two English merchants engaged in the Spanish trade. Like most merchants, however, he probably did not conf