WHITEWAY, John (1614-c.77), of Dorchester, Dorset and Rickmansworth, Herts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 1614, 3rd (twin) but o. surv. s. of William Whiteway (d.1639) of Dorchester by Mary, da. of John Mounsell, merchant, of Weymouth, Dorset. m. (1) 28 Feb. 1639, Mary (d.1658), da. of Stephen White of Stanton St. John, Oxon., 4s. 2da.; (2) lic. 9 July 1667, Martha, da. of Ralph Triplett, brewer, of Thames Street, London, wid. of Francis Sedgwicke and of Timothy Alsop, brewer, of Hackney, Mdx., s.p. suc. nephew William 1646.1

Offices Held

Capt. of militia ft. Dorchester 1643; commr. for assessment, Dorset 1643-52, 1657, Jan. 1660-1; mayor, Dorchester 1645-6, 1658-9; j.p. Dorset 1647-July 1660, commr. for militia 1648, 1659, Mar. 1660, poor prisoners 1653, piracy 1653, scandalous ministers 1654.2


The Whiteways, like their kinsfolk the Goulds, were of Devonshire origin. Whiteway’s father settled in Dorchester in 1600 and represented it in the Parliaments of 1624 and 1625. The early deaths of his elder brothers left Whiteway in control of the family woollen business; he also had interests in the Newfoundland trade. From his nephew, who died soon after coming of age, he inherited a life tenancy in two farms near Dorchester. As the very type of humbly born committeemen who used his unexpected advent to power to satisfy old grudges and collect dubious debts, he must have been highly obnoxious to Royalists and moderates, not least to Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper for his attempt to prove a connexion with Sir George Booth in 1659. Nor had his activities as a magistrate during the Interregnum endeared him to the Quakers. Nevertheless he defeated his kinsman James Gould I at the general election of 1660. But he made no speeches and sat on no committees in the Convention.3

Whiteway played no further part in politics, though he paid hearth-tax on his house in Dorchester and his farm in 1662-4. After his second marriage to a widow with numerous New England connexions, he may have settled in Rickmansworth, where nonconformity abounded, though as late as 1668 he was proposed as arbitrator in a dispute between the Dorchester corporation and John Churchill I. Not all his contacts with his birthplace were so honourable, however; a discharged subordinate in the sequestration business, whom he met in the ‘Pewter Platter’ coffee-house near Temple Bar one November evening in 1672, involved him as an unwilling witness against John Rushworth about the pricking of opposition candidates as sheriffs. He probably died in embarrassed circumstances. His will dated 8 June 1674 was proved by a creditor on 6 Feb. 1679. His lease of Rickmansworth parsonage had been conveyed in trust to Sir Francis Holles and John Breedon, and he ordered his Dorset property to be sold to raise £1,600 in all for his six surviving children. His eldest son had been established as a haberdasher at a cost of £500, but the next son Stephen was picked up by the authorities later in the year hawking seditious literature about the streets of London, and nothing further is known of his descendants.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Proc. Dorset Nat. Hist. and Antiq. Field Club, xvi. 59-64; Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 230; Foster, London Mar. Lic. 1455; Soc. of Genealogists, Boyd’s London Units 35143, 56502; Fire Court ed. Jones, i. 48-49; Dorset RO, D53, f. 29.
  • 2. C. H. Mayo, Dorset Standing Committee, 132; Hutchins, Dorset, ii. 354; Christie, Shaftesbury, i. app. xlvii; Som. and Dorset N. and Q. xiii. 67; CSP Dom. 1651, p. 369; 1653-4, p. 275.
  • 3. Eg. 784, f. 51v; Dorset Standing Committee, 55, 300; CSP Dom. 1651-2, p. 139; 1656-7, p. 123; 1659-60, p. 160; Mayo, Dorchester Recs. 436.
  • 4. Dorset Hearth-Tax ed. Meekings, 4, 17; Dorchester Recs. 471; CSP Dom. 1672-3, pp. 195, 213; 1679-80, p. 488; Dorset Standing Committee, 80; PCC 31 Bath.