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White, Thomas

WHITE, THOMAS - two noted English relgious figures of that name:

(1) WHITE, THOMAS - (c. 1550-1624), English divine, was born at Bristol about 1550, the son of a clothier. He graduated from Magdalen Hall (now Hertford College), Oxford; in 1570; took holy orders, and, coming to London, became rector of St Gregory by St Paul's and shortly after vicar of St Dunstan's in the West. Several of his sermons, attacking play-going and the vices of the metropolis, were printed. He was made a prebendary of St Paul's, treasurer of Salisbury, canon of Christ Church, Oxford, and canon of Windsor. In 1613 he built and endowed an almshouse, called the Temple Hospital, in Bristol. In 1621 he founded what is now known as White's chair of moral philosophy at Oxford, with a salary of 100 per annum for the reader, and several small exhibitions for scholars of Magdalen Hall. He died on the 1st of March 1624, bequeathing 3000 for the establishment of a collegs of " all the ministers, parsons, vicars, lecturers and curates in London and its suburbs " (afterwards Sion College (g.r.)), and an almshouse, now abolished, and leaving bequests for lectureships at St Paul's, St Dunstan's and at Newgate.

(2) WHITE, THOMAS - (1628-1698), bishop of Peterborough, was born at Aldington in Kent, and educated at St John's College, Cambridge. Having taken hoiy orders, he became vicar of Newark-on-Trent in 1660, vicar of Allhallows the Great, London, in 1666, and vicar of Bottesford, Leicestershire, in 1679. 1 1683 he was appointed chaplain to the princess Anne, and in 1685 he was chosen bishop of Peterborough. In 1688 he joined the archbishop of Canterbury, William Sancroft, and five of his suffragan bishops in petitioning against the declaration of indulgence issued by James II., sharing the trial and the triumphant acquittal of his colleagues. In 1689 he refused to take the oath of allegiance to William and Mary and was deprived of his see, but he did not become very active among the nonjurors. White died on the 30th of May 1698.

The bishop must be distinguished not only from the founder of Sion College, but also from Thomas White (1593-1676), philosopher and controversialist. Educated at St Omer, Valladolid and Douai, the latter was ordained priest in 1617, and taught for some years in the college at Douai. Later he was president of the English college at Lisbon. He died in London on the 6th of July 1676. White was a voluminous writer; not only did he engage in controversy with Protestants, but he attacked the personal infallibility of the pope.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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