Thomas White (merchant)

Last updated

Portrait of Sir Thomas White by "Sampson the paynter" (1597). In the collection of the City of Oxford. Sampson Strong Sir Thomas White.jpg
Portrait of Sir Thomas White by "Sampson the paynter" (1597). In the collection of the City of Oxford.
Statue of Sir Thomas White in Coventry, West Midlands Statue sir thomas white 29j07.JPG
Statue of Sir Thomas White in Coventry, West Midlands

Sir Thomas White (1492 – 12 February 1567) was an English cloth merchant, Lord Mayor of London in 1553, and a civic benefactor and founder of St John's College, Oxford.

Cloth merchant one who sells cloth

In the Middle Ages or 16th and 17th centuries, a cloth merchant was one who owned or ran a cloth manufacturing or wholesale import or export business. A cloth merchant might additionally have owned a number of draper's shops. Cloth was extremely expensive and cloth merchants were often very wealthy. A number of Europe's leading banking dynasties such as Medici and Berenberg built their original fortunes as cloth merchants.

St Johns College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

St John's College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford. Founded as a men's college in 1555, it has been coeducational since 1979. Its founder, Sir Thomas White, intended to provide a source of educated Roman Catholic clerics to support the Counter-Reformation under Queen Mary.



He was born in Reading, Berkshire, the son of William White, a clothier of Reading, and his wife, Mary, daughter of John Kibblewhite of South Fawley, also in Berkshire. He was brought up in London. Sir Thomas was twice married, to Avicia (died 1558) and to Joan. [1] A principal member of the guild of Merchant Taylors, he served as Sheriff of London in 1547, and was elected Lord Mayor of London in 1553. He was knighted in the same year by Queen Mary I. He was a member of the commission for the trial of Lady Jane Grey.

Reading, Berkshire Place in England

Reading is a large minster town in Berkshire, England, of which it is now the county town. It is in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, and on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway. Reading is 70 miles (110 km) east of Bristol, 24 miles (39 km) south of Oxford, 40 miles (64 km) west of London, 14 miles (23 km) north of Basingstoke, 12 miles (19 km) south-west of Maidenhead and 15 miles (24 km) east of Newbury as the crow flies.

South Fawley village in United Kingdom

South Fawley is a small village in the civil parish of Fawley in the English county of Berkshire. According to the Post Office, South Fawley Farm's population as taken at the 2011 Census was included in the civil parish of Chaddleworth. Much of the remainder of the village was included in the civil parish of Fawley.

Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors livery company of the City of London

The Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors is one of the 110 livery companies of the City of London.

In 1555, inspired by the example of Thomas Pope, founder of Trinity College, Oxford, White obtained a royal licence for the foundation of St John's College, Oxford, dedicated to the patron saint of the Merchant Taylors and established in the buildings of the dissolved Cistercian College of St Bernard. He was involved in the foundation of Merchant Taylors' School, and made provision that scholars of the college should be nominated from pupils of the school. He also established scholarships at St John's College, tenable by pupils of Tonbridge School, Bristol Grammar School, Reading School and King Henry VIII School, Coventry, [2] where one of the school's four houses bears his name. He purchased Gloucester Hall and set it up in 1560 as a hall of residence for scholars; this became the basis of the later foundation of Worcester College. As a result of his philanthropy, he was listed in Richard Johnson's Nine Worthies of London in 1592.

Thomas Pope English politician and founder of Trinity College, Oxford

Sir Thomas Pope, was a prominent public servant in mid-16th-century England, a Member of Parliament, a wealthy landowner, and the founder of Trinity College, Oxford.

Trinity College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

Trinity College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. The college was founded in 1555 by Sir Thomas Pope, on land previously occupied by Durham College, home to Benedictine monks from Durham Cathedral.

Merchant Taylors School, Northwood independent day school for boys, originally in London, now at Northwood, Hertfordshire

Merchant Taylors' School (MTS) is a British independent private day school for boys. Since 1933 it has been on 285 acres (115 ha) of grounds at Sandy Lodge in the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire.

Sir Thomas White Loan Charity

The charity was founded in 1542 and is still extant. It gives interest-free loans to aspiring businesspeople in Leicestershire and Rutland. There are several memorials to White in England and he is honoured on Leicester's Clock Tower.

Leicestershire County of England

Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands. The county borders Nottinghamshire to the north, Lincolnshire to the north-east, Rutland to the east, Northamptonshire to the south-east, Warwickshire to the south-west, Staffordshire to the west, and Derbyshire to the north-west. The border with most of Warwickshire is Watling Street.

Rutland County of England

Rutland is a landlocked county in the East Midlands of England, bounded to the west and north by Leicestershire, to the northeast by Lincolnshire and the southeast by Northamptonshire.


  1. Mark Noble p. 23, states that Joan married first Sir Ralph Warren, and was called upon her monument "daughter and co-heiress of John Lake, of London, gent,"; but most of the Cromwell family pedigrees, and the visitation of Huntingdonshire in 1613, say she was daughter and co-heiress of John Trelake, alias Davy, of Cornwall, gent. She survived Sir Ralph, and remarried Sir Thomas White, knt. and died at her son-in-law Sir Henry Cromwell's seat, at Hinchinbrook, 8 October, and was buried 4 November 1573, in the church of St. Swyth, leaving by her first husband one son, named Richard and a daughter, lady Joan, the wife of Sir Henry Cromwell, (Richard the son settled at Claybury, in Essex) and the daughter Joan was the grandmother of Oliver Cromwell. Noble (p. 24.) states that all of this is mentioned in the inscription upon her monument, which read thus:
    The lady Joan White, one of the daughters and heirs of John Lake, of London, gent, died October 8th, buried in this parish church, November 4th, 1573. She deceased at the house of Sir Henry Williams, alias Cromwell, knt. her son-in-law. called Hinchinbroke, in the county of Huntingdon. The lady Joan was first married to Sir Ralph Warren, knight, alderman, and twice lord mayor of London. By whom he had issue Richard Warren, esq. son and heir, and Joan, lady Cromwell, her daughter. She was afterwards married to sir Thomas White, knight, alderman, and sometime lord may or of London, founder of the college of St. John Baptist, Oxon; by whom she had no issue.
    He continues the said Sir Henry Williams, alias Cromwell, had issue by the lady Joan, his wife, Oliver Cromwell, esq. his son and heir, with other sons. Visit. of Hunt, in 1613; and of Kent in 1609. Stow's and Strypc's survey of London; Grafton's chronicle; pedigree in the possession of the miss Cromwells; lives of Oliver lord prot. &c.
  2. Hill, C.P. (1951) The History of Bristol Grammar School, p.46

Related Research Articles

Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel Earl of Arundel

Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel and 8th Earl of Surrey was an English nobleman and medieval military leader and distinguished admiral. Arundel was one of the wealthiest nobles, and most loyal noble retainer of the chivalric code that governed the reign of Edward III.

Baron Cromwell is a title that has been created several times in the Peerage of England. The first creation, which was by writ, was for John de Cromwell in 1308. On his death, the barony became extinct. The second creation came in 1375 when Ralph de Cromwell was summoned by writ to Parliament as Lord Cromwell. His grandson, the third Baron, served as Lord High Treasurer to King Henry VI. However, on his death in 1455 the barony fell into abeyance between his nieces Maude and Joan. On Joan's death in 1490 the abeyance was terminated in favour of Maude, the fourth holder. When she died childless in 1497 the peerage once again fell into abeyance, this time between the daughters of the first Baron. The title remained in abeyance for over 400 years. However, in 1922 the Committee for Privileges of the House of Lords reported in favour of the petition for the termination of the abeyancy of Selina Frances Bewicke-Copley, wife of Brigadier-General Sir Charles Watson Bewicke-Copley. She was the daughter of Sir Charles Watson Copley, 3rd Baronet, and one of the co-heirs of Maud, daughter of the first Baron Cromwell. Selina died in 1923 and in July of the same year the abeyance was terminated in favour of her son Robert Godfrey Wolesley Bewicke-Copley, who became the fifth Baron. He notably served as Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire. As of 2010 the ancient barony is held by his grandson, the seventh Baron, who succeeded his father in 1982. Having lost his seat in the House of Lords under the House of Lords Act 1999, in April 2014 he was elected at a hereditary peers' by-election as a Crossbencher.

Michael de Poynings, 1st Baron Poynings English nobleman and soldier

Michael de Poynings, 1st Baron Poynings, Knt., of Bures St. Mary, Suffolk, was an English nobleman and soldier. He was present at the Battle of Crécy.

Baron Grey of Powis

This article is about Baron Grey of Powis. For the title Baron Powis, see Earl of Powis.

Sir David II Strathbogie was Earl of Atholl, Constable of Scotland, and Chief Warden of Northumberland.

Thomas de Morley, 4th Baron Morley English noble

Thomas de Morley, 4th Baron Morley, KG was a baron in the Peerage of England, Lord of Morley, Hingham, Hockering, &c., in Norfolk, de jure Lord Marshall, hereditary Earl Marshal of Ireland, and a Privy Councillor. He was summoned to parliament from 20 October 1379 to 3 September 1416.

Thomas Bardolf, 5th Baron Bardolf was a baron in the Peerage of England, Lord of Wormegay, Norfolk, of Shelford and Stoke Bardolph in Nottinghamshire, Hallaton (Hallughton), Leicestershire, and others, and was "a person of especial eminence in his time".

Edmund Dunch (1602–1678) was an English Member of Parliament who supported the Parliamentary cause before and during the English Civil War. During the Interregnum he sat as a member of parliament. In 1659, after the Protectorate and before the Restoration, regaining his seat in the Rump he also sat in Committee of Safety. After the restoration of the monarchy he was not exempted under the Act of Pardon and Oblivion but the titles granted to him under the Protectorate were not recognised under the restored monarchy of Charles II.

Sir Richard Williams, also known as Richard Cromwell, was a Welsh soldier and a courtier in the court of Henry VIII. He was a maternal nephew of Thomas Cromwell, and profited from the Dissolution of the Monasteries in which he took an active part. He was the patrilineal great-grandfather of Oliver Cromwell.

Sir Henry Williams, alias Cromwell was a knight of the shire (MP) for Huntingdonshire and a grandfather of Oliver Cromwell.

Sir Ralph Warren was twice Lord Mayor of London, for the first time in 1536 and the second in 1543.

Sir Francis Russell, 2nd Baronet was a Member of Parliament and a soldier for the parliamentary cause during the English Civil War. During the Interregnum he held several positions including membership in Cromwell's House of Lords.

Ralph de Cromwell, 3rd Baron Cromwell was an English politician and diplomat. A Privy Councillor from 1422, he served as Treasurer of England (1433–1443) and twice as Chamberlain of the Household during the reign of Henry VI.

Thomas Murfyn Lord Mayor of London

Sir Thomas Murfyn was a Sheriff and Lord Mayor of London.

Sir John Garrard, sometimes spelt Gerrard, was a City of London merchant, a member of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, a Buckinghamshire landowner, and a Lord Mayor of London for the year 1601 to 1602.

Sir Anthony Lee was an English courtier and Member of Parliament, and the father of Elizabeth I's champion, Sir Henry Lee. He was at the court of Henry VIII in his youth, and served as a Justice of the Peace and Knight of the Shire for Buckinghamshire. He was a close friend of his brother-in-law, the poet Sir Thomas Wyatt.

Sir Oliver Cromwell was an English landowner, lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1589 and 1625. He was the uncle of Oliver Cromwell, the Member of Parliament, general, and Lord Protector of England.

Cromwell Lee was the son of Sir Anthony, and a younger brother of Elizabeth I's champion, Sir Henry Lee. He was the compiler of an Italian-English dictionary.

The Cromwell family is an English aristocratic family. Its most famous members are: Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, and Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector. The line of Oliver Cromwell descends from Richard Williams, son of Thomas Cromwell's sister Katherine and her husband Morgan Williams.

Rt. Hon. Henry Blayney, 2nd Baron Blayney, Baron of Monaghan was the son of Edward Blayney, 1st Baron, and of Ann Loftus his wife, daughter of Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Dublin and sometime Lord Chancellor of Ireland, by his wife Jane Purdon.


Mark Noble (biographer) British biographer

Mark Noble (1754–1827) was an English clergyman, biographer and antiquary.