WHITE, William (1606-c.61), of Bashall, Mitton, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



23 Oct. 1645
? 1659
Apr. - 16 July 1660

Family and Education

b. 16 Feb. 1606, 1st s. of William White of Duffield, Derbys. by 2nd w. Sarah, da. of Matthew Cradock of Stafford. educ. I. Temple 1646. m. (1) c.1629, Margaret, da. and coh. of Thomas Talbot of Bashall, s.p.; (2) 14 Aug. 1649 (with £2,500), Frances, da. of Sir Edward Barkham, 1st Bt., of Tottenham, Mdx., s.p. suc. fa. 1619.2

Offices Held

Clerk, court of wards till c.1629; clerk of assize, Oxf. circuit 1643-56; commr. for obstructions 1648-51, arrears of revenue 1659, customs and excise appeals 1659-May 1660; Councillor of State 31 Dec. 1659-25 Feb. 1660.3

Out-bailiff, Clitheroe 1638-9; j.p. Yorks. (W. Riding) by 1640-July 1660; freeman, Preston 1642; commr. for assessment (W. Riding) 1643-9, Jan. 1660, Yorks. 1650-2, York Aug. 1660-1, sequestration (W. Riding) 1643, levying money 1643, northern assoc. 1645, militia, Yorks. 1648, 1659, Mar. 1660.4

Lt. of ft. (parliamentary) 1642-3, col. by 1644; agent for northern army by 1643-5.5


White was the last heir male of the prominent Hampshire family seated at South Warnborough in the 15th and 16th centuries. His grandfather sat for Clitheroe in 1588. White’s father became a tenant of the duchy of Lancaster in Derbyshire, and was sufficiently prosperous to be called on for a £20 loan in 1597. White’s mother, who was akin to the original governor of the Massachusetts Company, was probably the first Protestant in the family. White used his position as a subordinate official in the court of wards to acquire by marriage an estate worth £640 p.a. three miles from Clitheroe, where he stood unsuccessfully in September 1640. During the Civil War and Interregnum he attached himself to the Fairfax interest. Returned for Pontefract as a recruiter, he acquiesced in Pride’s Purge on 14 May 1649, but took no part in affairs during the Protectorate.6

White was returned for Clitheroe at the general election of 1660, and became a moderately active Member of the Convention. He was named to seven committees in the first session. He was among those instructed to draft a declaration on excise on 23 May and five days later to prepare a bill. On 31 May, as chairman of the excise committee, he reported on arrears dating back to 1657. On the same day he was appointed one of the committee to prepare the exception clauses in the indemnity bill. But on 2 June he was forced to ask for an investigation into the charge, spread by Christopher Clapham, of having said in 1649 that, if there wanted one to cut off Charles I’s head, he would do it himself. William Prynne reported to the House a fortnight later that Clapham’s informant was distempered ‘with passion, through joy of the King’s coming in, or drink, that he did not then understand well what he said’, and the House agreed to clear White of the aspersion. He continued to take a prominent part in the discussion of the indemnity bill; on 22 June he was ordered to draft a proviso to exclude arrears on rectories confiscated from bishops and chapters, and he made two speeches, one against extending the time limit for the surrender of the regicides, and the other for laying aside provisos if no Member would take responsibility for them. But on 16 July the elections committee reported against the right of the freemen to vote at Clitheroe, and White was unseated, over the passionate protests of his colleague Sir Ralph Assheton I. Other Members may well have regretted the loss of a useful colleague. White was omitted from the liber pacis after the Restoration, and is not known to have stood again. His will, dated 6 Sept. 1660, was proved on 3 Sept. 1662. He left his estate to his widow for life, with remainder to his third cousins, the Ferrers of Baddesley Clinton.7

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Abstained after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648, readmitted 14 May 1649.
  • 2. W. S. Weeks, Clitheroe in the 17th Century, 231; The Gen. n.s. viii. 178; C142/379/20; Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xx. 89; Mdx. Par. Reg. ix. 39.
  • 3. Weeks, 231; J. S. Cockburn, Hist. Eng. Assizes, 317; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1817.
  • 4. Weeks, 231.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1641-3, p. 466; 1644, p. 130.
  • 6. Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 81-83; HMC Rutland, i. 341; Lysons, Derbys. clxvi; Weeks, 229, 231; Cal. Comm. Adv. Money, 827, 1196; D. Underdown, Pride’s Purge, 48, 218.
  • 7. CJ, viii. 53, 64; Bowman diary, ff. 39v, 44v; York Wills (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. xlix), 99; Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xx. 461-2; Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. lxii), 167.