WHITE, John I, of Reading, Berks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Jan. 1397

Family and Education

Offices Held

Mayor, Reading Mich. 1402-4, 1410-13, 1416-17; bailiff 1426-7.1


On the occasion of White’s first election to Parliament, when he must still have been a young man, John Kent I* offered sureties for his attendance in the Commons. His other associates included William Shortwade*, by whom he was named in 1399 as an attorney to complete some private business. Following his earliest appointment as mayor, he was continuously involved in the government of the town. He was asked to witness a very large number of local deeds between 1405 and 1430, and was frequently present at the election of Reading’s parliamentary burgesses. Indeed, in the years from 1413 to 1432 he attested no fewer than 12 indentures of return. In April 1432 he was one of the common council of 24 townspeople elected to negotiate in a dispute between the commonalty and the abbot of Reading.2

White most likely lived in the parish of St. Laurence in Reading, for he contributed 8s.8d. towards the repair of that church in 1410. His acquisition of landed interests outside the town apparently came about as a consequence of his connexion with the Berkshire family of Drew, most notably with the prominent lawyer Laurence Drew*, for whom he provided securities at the Exchequer in 1405. In partnership with Laurence’s son, Thomas, he took possession of land in the parishes of Shinfield and Burghfield nine years later.3 He probably died shortly after 1433, at which time all record of him ceases.

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: Charles Kightly


  • 1. CAD, i. A553-4, 557; iv. A8712; Reading Pub. Lib. deed 103.
  • 2. Reading deed 87; C219/11/1, 12/2-4, 13/1-5, 14/1-3; Reading Recs. ed. Guilding, i. 1-2.
  • 3. C. Kerry, Hist. St. Laurence, 22; CAD, i. A558; CFR, xii. 296; CP25(1)13/18/1.