When we try to view White as a man, to bring him into focus as an individual human being, we are confronted by a number of problems, for many of the usual sources of evidence are in his case missing. First, there are very few clues even as to what he looked like, for although an engraved portrait is known to have existed,1 its whereabouts are now unknown. Second, he left no account of his own life — either as an autobiography, or, in the style of such contemporaries as John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys, in personal diaries. Third, despite a growing fashion for writing biographies, exemplified at the time by John Aubrey and Anthony à Wood, no-one who actually knew him has left us a ‘Life’ of White — though a short one does survive from the mid-eighteenth century.2 Some three years after White’s death, the hostile Robert Pugh announced his intention of publishing a biography, “which is almost ready for the Press”3; but, if ever actually produced, that work is now lost.


Physical Pleasure Personal Diary Roman Catholic Church Sexual Scandal Intellectual Passion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    The existence of an engraving by Vertue is recorded by Granger, Biographical History (4th edn.; 4 vols.; London, 1804), II.202.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Robert Pugh, Blacklo’s Cabal (1680; facsimile edn., Farnborough, 1970), The Epistle to the Catholick Reader. Pugh himself died in 1679.Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    Thomas White, Notes on Mr F.D.’s Result of a Dialogue concerning the Middle State of Souls (Paris, 1660), p. 39.Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    Thomas White, The Grounds of Obedience and Government (London, 1655), pp. 24–25.Google Scholar
  5. 14.
    Thomas White, Peripateticall Institutions (English transl., London, 1656), p. 115. A literary source might be Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, Book 4,1. 1268.Google Scholar
  6. 14a.
    Thomas White,A literary source might be Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, Book 4,1. 1268.Google Scholar
  7. 16.
    The position of women in the seventeenth century has recently been a major growth area in historical studies. See for example H.L. Smith, Reason’s Disciples: Seventeenth Century English Feminists (Chicago, 1982)Google Scholar
  8. 16a.
    S.H. Mendelson, The Mental World of Stuart Women (Brighton, 1987)Google Scholar
  9. 16b.
    M. George, Women in the First Capitalist Society. Experiences in Seventeenth Century England (Brighton, 1988).Google Scholar
  10. 17.
    Thomas White, Controversy-Logicke (Paris, 1659), p. 45.Google Scholar
  11. 18.
    Alexander Ross, Arcana Microcosmi (London, 1651), Epistle Dedicatory.Google Scholar
  12. 19.
    Thomas White, An Exercise of Love (Paris, 1654), pp. 140–141.Google Scholar
  13. 22.
    Meric Casaubon, To J.S., the author of Sure-Footing (London, 1665), p. 15Google Scholar
  14. 22a.
    George Leyburn, Encyclical Answer (Douai, 1661), p. 70.Google Scholar
  15. 24.
    Thomas White, Muscarium (London, 1661), pp. 9–10Google Scholar
  16. 24a.
    S.W., A Vindication (Paris, 1659), p. 83.Google Scholar
  17. 26.
    Sir Philip Sidney, Apologie for Poetrie (1595)Google Scholar
  18. 26b.
    John Dennis, Grounds of Criticism in Poetry (London, 1704), p. 101.Google Scholar
  19. 28.
    Henry Power, letter to Sir Thomas Browne, 13 June 1646; in J.O. Halliwell ed., A Collection of Letters Illustrative of the Progress of Science in England... (London, 1841), p. 91.Google Scholar
  20. 34.
    Anon., Mr Blacklow’s Reply, p. 3; A Catechism of Christian Doctrine (2nd edn., Paris, 1659), Note to the Reader, pp. 4–5.Google Scholar
  21. 39.
    Francis Bacon, Novum Organum I.LXI, in Works, ed. J. Spedding, R.L. Ellis, and D.D. Heath (2 vols.; London, 1864, 1859)Google Scholar
  22. Joseph Glanvill, The Vanity of Dogmatizing (London, 1661), pp. 76, 170, 145.Google Scholar
  23. 42.
    Henry Holden, A Letter concerning Mr White’s treatise De Medio Animarum Statu (Paris, 1661), p. 2.Google Scholar
  24. 45.
    Peter Du Moulin, A Vindication of the Sincerity of the Protestant Religion (London, 1664), p. 62.Google Scholar
  25. 49.
    Sylvester Jenks, A View of Mr White’s Principles (London, 1712), p. 47.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beverley C. Southgate
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HertfordshireUK

Personalised recommendations