White, Thomas

, founder of Sion college, London, the.son of John White, was born in Temple parish, in the city of Bristol. His family was a branch of the Whites of Bedfordshire. He was entered of Magdalen Hall, Oxford, about 1566, took his degrees in arts, was ordained, and became a noted and frequent preacher. He afterwards settled in London, where he had the living of St. Gregory’s, near St. Paul’s, and in 1575 was made vicar of St. Dunstan’s, Fleet-street, where his pulpit services were much admired. In 1584 he was licensed to proceed in divinity, and commenced doctor in that faculty. In 1588 he had the prebend of Mora/ in the church of St. Paul, conferred upon him, and in 1590 was made treasurer of the church of Sarum by the queen’s letters. In 1591 he was made canon of Christ Church, and in 1593, canon of Windsor. He died March 1, 1623-4, according to Reading, but Wood says 1622-3; and was buried in the chancel of St. | DunStan’s church. In his will he ordered a grave-stone to be placed over his remains, with a short inscription, but this was either neglected, or has been destroyed. As soon as an account of his death arrived at Oxford, the heads of the university, in honour of his memory as a benefactor, appointed Mr. Price, trie first reader of the moral philosophy lecture, to deliver an oration, which, with several encomiastic verses by other members of the university, was printed under the title of “Schola Moralis Philosophise Oxon. in funere Whiti pullata,” Oxon. 1624, 4to.

Dr. White published, 1. “Two Sermons at St. Paul’s in the lime of the Plague,” 8vo. 2. “Funeral Sermon on sir Henry Sidney,” Lond. 1586, 8vo. 3. “Sermon at St. Paul’s Cross on the queen’s day (Nov. 17) 1589,” ibid. 1589, 8vo. But his memory Js chiefly to be venerated for his works of charity, and his liberal encouragement of learning. In 1613 he built an hospital in Temple parish, Bristol, endowing it with 92l. per ann. He also founded the moral philosophy lecture at Oxford, for the maintenance of which he gave the manor of Langdon Hills, in the county of Essex, which was conveyed by him to the university, under the form of a purchase, by his deed enrolled, bearing date June 2.0, 1621. Out of the revenues of this manor, besides an anriuttl stipend of 100l. to the philosophy lecturer, he appointed several sums to be paid to other uses as, to Christ Church library to the Tuesday’s preachers of the university to the Easter sermons to the prisoners in the castle, &c. He founded also small exhibitions for four poor scholars, and for five divinity students of Magdalen Hall, most of which are still continued. But his greatest benefaction was to Sion college. He directed in his will that 3000l. should be applied in building a college and alms-house on the ruins of Elsynge priory, London- wall. His executors accordingly purchased the site of this priory for 2,450l. and erected Sion college. The charters of incorporation are dated July 3, 6 Charles I. and June 20, 16 Charles II. By these authorities, a president, two deatis, and four assistants, with all the rectors, vicars, &c. of the city of London and suburbs, were constituted a corporation. At the same time, alms-houses for ten men, and as many women, were established. Dr. White had appropriated by will separate funds for the maintenance of these poor people. The library, now the most copious in the city of London, was principally the foundation of the rev. | Thomas Wood, rector of St. Michael’s, Crooked-lane. Dr. White left his own library to the dean and canons of Windsor. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. I. new edit. Reading’s Hist, of Sion College, appended to the Catalogue. Wood’s Annals. Fuller’s Worthies.