Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WHITE , RAWLINS or RAWLYN ( fl. 1485?-1555 ), one of the only three Marian martyrs in Wales —

the others were bishop Robert Ferrar (q.v.) and William Nichol of Haverfordwest , of whom nothing further seems to be known. White , a fisherman (from c. 1535 ) at Cardiff , is first heard of in the Ministers’ Accounts of 1541-2 , when he was the tenant of a half-burgage in the street extending from the West Gate as far as the wall of the town in front of ‘ le slauterhouse in Hom'by ’ (= Womanby ), i.e. in the modern Westgate Street . In the 1542-3 Ministers’ Accounts he holds a ‘farm’ of five ‘hengis’ (hang-nets) in Roath manor . He was married, and had children. Though himself illiterate, he had learnt by heart passages of the Bible read out to him by one of his sons, and had become a Protestant . For this, he was arrested, and imprisoned at Chepstow and at Cardiff ; persistent and kindly efforts were made by the bishop of Llandaff ( Anthony Kitchin , q.v. ) to get him to recant his opinions, but he refused, and was burnt at the stake at Cardiff , ‘about March,’ 1555 , says Foxe . A modern memorial-tablet on Bethany chapel , Cardiff , gives the date as 30 March , but this precise dating is rather suspect — it would seem odd that White and bishop Ferrar , in widely distant corners of Wales , should have died on exactly the same day; for that matter, even the year has been queried, and it may have been 1556 . According to Foxe , White was 70 ‘or thereabouts’ at the time of his death.

Sources:

  • J. Hobson Matthews (ed.), Cardiff Records (1898–1911) , i, 213, 235-and v, 475 sqq. , which reproduces the account in Foxe 's The Book of Martyrs. Being a History of the Persecution of the Protestants .

Author:

Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959