WHITE, Adam (c.1563-1611), of Winchelsea, Suss. and Canterbury, Kent

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1563,1 1st s. of Goddard White† of Winchelsea and Ursula, da. and coh. of Richard Mockett of Challock, Kent. educ. St. John’s, Camb. 1579. m. by 1601, Hester (d.1619), da. and coh. of Oliver Cortiece of ‘Montweete’, Normandy, at least 2s.2 suc. fa. 1589.3 d. 15 Oct. 1611.4

Offices Held

Jurat, Winchelsea by 1602-d., deputy to the Guestling 1602, 1608, asst. to the mayor 1603, auditor, chamberlain’s accounts 1603, mayor 1608-9.5


White came from a family long prominent in the Cinque Ports. His grandfather represented Winchelsea in the Guestling in 15256 and his father sat for the borough in the first Elizabethan Parliament. White inherited property in Winchelsea, but his widow described him as a resident of Canterbury.7 By the time of his death he also owned marshland either side of the Thames estuary, at Plumstead, Kent and Wennington, Essex. These purchases may have been financed by the sale of his father-in-law’s estate in Normandy, for which purpose he and his wife applied for a pass overseas in 1601.8

White helped to carry the canopy at the coronation of James I in 1604, and received £10 towards his expenses.9 Elected to the first Jacobean Parliament, he left no trace on its records, either in committee or debate, but in 1607 the corporation resolved to allow him 4s. a day for attending ‘the service of Parliament’. He had actually received £30 by 23 June 1608, when a further order was passed that he was to have only £20 more ‘during the whole Parliament unless that this corporation shall voluntarily give him any more, and that without any motion of Mr. White or any other by his procurement’. Five days later White, having recently been elected mayor, delivered the charge to the grand jury, a task he performed so well that it was noted that he had set ‘a memorable example to his successors’.10 However, his colleagues on the corporation were less impressed when he empanelled one of their number to serve, and the following year they charged him in the Guestling with infringing their liberties. They proved reluctant to fine him, though, and he escaped with a mere submission.11 He continued to represent the corporation over the new charter, and they agreed to bear his costs in an action of false imprisonment. He died in October 1611, leaving his Essex property to his widow. His will has not been found. No later member of his family sat in Parliament.12

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Peter Lefevre


  • 1. Age calculated from date of university admiss.
  • 2. Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 130-1; Al. Cant.; HMC Hatfield, xi. 586; PROB 11/134, f. 72.
  • 3. PROB 11/73, f. 325.
  • 4. Suss. Inquisitions comp. F.W.T. Altree (Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv), 239.
  • 5. Cal. White and Black Bks. of the Cinque Ports ed. F. Hull (Kent Recs. xix), 373, 384, 386; E. Suss. RO, WIN 55, ff. 58v, 63v, 130, 150.
  • 6. Cal. White and Black Bks. 193.
  • 7. PROB 11/134, f. 72.
  • 8. HMC Hatfield, xi. 586.
  • 9. E. Suss. RO, WIN 55, ff. 74v, 75v.
  • 10. Ibid. ff. 110v, 120, 137v.
  • 11. Cal. White and Black Bks. 389.
  • 12. E. Suss. RO, WIN 55, ff. 144v, 145, 165v; Suss. Inquisitions, 239.