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

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
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. by 1532, Agnes, da. of Robert White of Farnham, Surr., 14s. inc. Henry and Thomas IV 6da. suc. fa. 2 Mar. 1521. Kntd. 2 Oct. 1553.2

Offices Held

Bencher, I. Temple by 1555, gov. 1557.

Treasurer, bpric. of Winchester 1538-d.; keeper, Farnham castle, Surr. 1540-d.; jt. (with Thomas Wriothesley) clerk of the crown and King’s attorney KB 1542-50, sole 1550-9; commr. contribution, Hants 1546, relief 1550, goods of churches and fraternities 1553; j.p. Hants 1547, q. 1554; master of requests Aug. 1553-?58.3


White came of a well-connected family with lands in Hampshire, Kent and Surrey. At his father’s death in 1521 he was nearly 14 years old, and his wardship was granted to John Morris. As Morris was later to hold minor office under the bishop of Winchester at Farnham, he may have commended White to Bishop Gardiner; another possible sponsor was Thomas Wriothesley, with whom in 1538 White was to be granted the reversion to William Fermor’s offices in the King’s bench. White was appointed Gardiner’s treasurer at Michaelmas 1538 and held the post throughout the bishop’s arrest, trial and deprivation; he was himself questioned during the proceedings but his deposition has not survived. White next served Gardiner’s successor John Ponet, on whose surrender of most of the episcopal lands to the King his fee of £13 6s.8d. a year as treasurer and surveyor was reduced to £8 17s.9d. At Mary’s accession, with Ponet deprived and Gardiner restored and given the great seal, White’s fortunes revived: in August 1553 he was made a master of requests and two months later he was knighted at the coronation. Although White must have felt Gardiner’s death in 1555 personally—he was a chief mourner at both the burial at Southwark and the subsequent re-interment at Winchester—the appointment of his own brother-in-law as Gardiner’s successor in the see confirmed his position and his services were used both locally and at the centre: in 1556 he served on a commission concerning pirates arrested at Southampton and in 1557 made investigations into allegations against Sir John Allen, a former chancellor of Ireland.4

White’s return as knight of the shire for every Parliament between 1547 and 1559 save perhaps one, that of March 1553 (for which only the name of one of the knights, Sir Richard Cotton, is known), while doubtless owing something to his personal standing in the county, for which he was nominated as sheriff four times between 1545 and 1552, although never pricked, must be chiefly ascribed to his official position. This was also true of his election to Elizabeth’s first Parliament: when he was returned, probably early in January 1559, the bishop was still in office although under house arrest following his funeral sermon for Queen Mary. By this time his Catholicism, and his identification with the Marian regime, were already bringing White’s public career to an end. He made his will on 21 Feb. 1564. He had increased the family estate by the purchase of former monastic lands in Hampshire. One of his executors was Chidiock Paulet, his son-in-law and successor in the treasurership. White died in London on 2 Nov. 1566 and was buried at South Warnborough.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
  • 2. Date of birth given at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/37/82, 127. Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 82; VCH Hants, iii. 380; C142/145/9.
  • 3. Eccles. 2/155881, 155883, 155903; LP Hen. VIII, xiii, xvii, xxi; CPR, 1553, pp. 358, 416; 1558-60, p. 107; APC, iv. 324.
  • 4. Eccles. 2/155874, 155881; LP Hen. VIII, xiii; Foxe, Acts. and Mons. vi. 130; CPR, 1550-3, p. 179; APC, v. 335; vi. 105; Lansd. 156, f. 103; Machyn’s Diary (Cam. Soc. xlii), 335; Letters of Stephen Gardiner ed. Muller, 507, 511, 514.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xviii, xx, xxi; CPR, 1553, pp. 316, 387; PCC 4 Stonard; C142/145/9; VCH Hants, iii. 380; Pevsner and Lloyd, Hants, 603-4.