Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WHITE , JOHN ( 1590 - 1645 ), Puritan ;

b. 29 June 1590 , the second son of Henry White of Henllan ( Hentland ) in the parish of Rhoscrowther, Pembs. He was descended from a family of Tenby merchants , one of whom, Thomas White , is said to have helped Henry Tudor to escape to Brittany in 1471 . John White matriculated from Jesus College , Oxford , on 20 Nov. 1607 , was admitted to the Inner Temple on 6 Nov. 1610 , and called to the Bar on 19 June 1618 ( Bencher , 1641 ). In 1625 he and eleven others raised a fund to buy impropriated tithes in order to make provision for a preaching ministry, but the funds were confiscated by order of the court of Exchequer . White became Member of Parliament for Southwark in 1640 . In 1642 he became the leading member of the Committee for Plundered Ministers which ejected royalist clergymen from their benefices . Out of this arose his book The First Century of Scandalous and Malignant Priests , 1643 , an account of one hundred such clergymen , which won him the sobriquet of ‘ Century White .’ He d. on 29 Jan. 1645 , and was buried in the Temple Church .

Sources:

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Students admitted to Inner Temple, 1547-1660 , London, 1877 , i, 95;
  • Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County Families of Wales , 1872 , 911, for family.

Author:

Emeritus Professor David Williams, D.Litt., (1900-78), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959