WHITE, Sir Richard (-d.1616), of Appuldurcombe, I.o.W. and Southampton House, Holborn, Mdx.

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

m. by 1606,1 Barbara, da. of William St. John† of Farley Chamberlayne, Hants and wid. of Thomas Worsley (d. 16 July 1604) of Appuldurcombe, 1s.; (2) Elizabeth, 1da.2 kntd. 16 Dec. 1605.3 bur. 24 July 1616.4

Offices Held

?Lt. ft., France 1596-7, ?capt. 1597.5

Commr. subsidy, I.o.W. 1608.6


White must be distinguished from two Hampshire namesakes who also received knighthoods in the opening years of the seventeenth century. One, Sir Richard White of South Warnborough, a wealthy gentleman and local j.p., was convicted of recusancy and died in 1613. A Chancery suit involving his infant son was discussed during the 1621 Parliament.7 The other namesake, Sir Richard White of Baddesley, was apparently a merchant, and was still living in 1614. He had numerous Welsh contacts, and should therefore probably be identified as the knight of this name who belonged to an Anglesey family seated at the Greyfriars, Llanfaes.8

White’s own background is uncertain, though his surname was common among Hampshire’s gentry in this period.9 He was possibly the Richard White who served in the 1596 expeditionary force to Picardy, being recruited initially as lieutenant of a Hampshire company and promoted to captain in the following year. A man of this name and rank was implicated in Essex’s rebellion in 1601, though he escaped with nothing worse than a fine.10 Such a profile is consistent with the firm evidence that exists about this Member, who is known to have been ‘a soldier, and follower of Henry, earl of Southampton’, Essex’s sometime close associate. He presumably owed his knighthood at Whitehall in December 1605 to his patron’s influence. In the following month, Southampton granted him the Hampshire manor of Itchell, which he described as his main residence in December 1606, when he was assessed for subsidy at £20 in land. However, White clearly spent much of his time at the earl’s London residence, as his two children were baptized at St. Andrew’s, Holborn in 1607 and 1614. White’s first marriage also gave him a base on the Isle of Wight; he served as a subsidy commissioner there in 1608, and Sir John Oglander* regarded him as one of the island’s leading figures at around this time. The Itchell grant may in fact have been a mortgage arrangement, and White surrendered the property back to Southampton in 1611, in return for £400 and a £120 annuity.11

White doubtless secured his seat at Bere Alston in 1614 through the earl, who was a family friend of the borough’s principal patron, Mountjoy Blount. Southampton may have intended White to co-operate with Sir Henry Neville I’s* scheme for managing the Commons. Indeed, that scenario is rendered more plausible by the fact that White’s stepson, Sir Richard Worsley*, a fellow Member of the Addled Parliament, was also Neville’s son-in-law. However, in the event White left no trace on the Commons’ records.12

White died intestate at Southampton House in July 1616, and was buried at St. Andrew’s, Holborn. Administration of his estate was granted to his widow, Lady Elizabeth, on 20 Sept. that year. His pension presumably ceased upon his death, and Worsley provided for Elizabeth and her infant daughter by granting them two Sussex manors shortly afterwards. The fate of White’s son is unknown.13

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: John. P. Ferris / Paul Hunneyball


  • 1. Hants RO, 5M53/439.
  • 2. Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 23, 193; C142/283/100; PROB 6/9, f. 83; GL, ms 6667/1, unfol.
  • 3. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 139.
  • 4. GL, ms 6673/1, unfol.
  • 5. APC, 1596-7, p. 194; 1597, p. 211.
  • 6. SP14/31/1.
  • 7. Shaw, ii. 99; Ct. of Jas. I ed. G. Goodman, ii. 22; Vis. Hants, 82; C142/337/103; C66/1594; 66/1898; CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 45; Nicholas, Procs. 1621, i. 179.
  • 8. Shaw, ii. 128; Exchequer Procs. Concerning Wales in tempore Jas. I ed. T.I. Jeffreys Jones, 172; J.E. Griffith, Peds. of Anglesey and Caern. Fams. 130.
  • 9. Vis. Hants, 13, 138, 163.
  • 10. APC, 1596-7, p. 194; 1597, p. 211; 1600-1, 314, 356; HMC Hatfield, xi. 87.
  • 11. Oglander Mems. ed. W.H. Long, 23, 187; E115/408/56; Hants RO, 5M53/439-40; L. Stone, Fam. and Fortune, 221.
  • 12. PROB 11/108, f. 2v; J.J. Alexander, ‘Bere Alston as a Parliamentary Borough’, Reps. and Trans. Devon Assoc. xli. 153; A.L. Rowse, Shakespeare’s Southampton, 219; Vis. Hants, 23.
  • 13. GL, ms 6673/1, unfol.; PROB 6/9, f. 83; VCH Suss. iv. 189.