Bottesford: St Mary





Thomas White

Relief bust


1698: Erected in 1916

The inscription under the marble bust reads:

In memoriam Thomas White, DD Bishop of Peterborough 1685-90 Born at Addington, Kent 1628. Vicar of Newark 1660. Rector of All Hallows The Great, London, 1666. Rector of Bottesford, Leicestershire, 1679-85 Chaplain to the Princess (afterwards Queen) Anne, on her marriage with George Prince of Denmark. Archdeacon of Nottingham 1685. On May 4th 1689 James II issued the Order for all ministers to read his second "Declaration of Indulgence" in their churches. Bishop White was one of the seven bishops who were committed to the Tower of London for petitioning against the order, but on June 29th they were acquitted by the Court of the King's Bench. He died May 30th 1698, and was buried in St George's vault in the precincts of St Paul's Cathedral London. By his will he gave to the Parish of Bottesford 240 to be laid out in land and directed that 10 should be distributed annually among 20 poor parishioners above 40 years of age, who, on 14th December, should distinctly repeat the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles' Creed, and the Ten Commandments, without missing or changing a word. Erected by the Rector in 1916.

This mural monument, erected some 228 years after the subject's death, is on the east wall of the north aisle. Showing a bust of Thomas White, the whole is topped by a bishop's mitre.

White gained his BA (1646) and DD (1683) from St John's College Cambridge and, in 1658, published A True Relation and Baptism of Isuf the Turk. He was considered a good preacher and in 1685 appointed Bishop of Peterborough.

In June 1688 he was one of the seven bishops who presented a petition to King James II requesting him to withdraw the order under which the bishops were to distribute the king's Second Declaration of Indulgence throughout their dioceses. In the event there were only seven London churches where the Declaration was read and only six dioceses where it was dispersed.

The Declaration repealed the Test Act of 1673 which had ordered that every holder of any office, military or civil, had to take the sacrament according to the rites of the Church of England. This involved making a declaration against transubstantiation thereby effectively barring all Roman Catholics from office.

White did not fair better with William, for, in 1691, he was deprived of his living for refusing to take the Oaths of Supremacy.

Sepulchral Effigies of Leicestershire and Rutland
Text copyright 2002 Max Matthews.
Images copyright Bob Trubshaw or Max Matthews 2002.
No copying or reproduction without prior written permission.
Published by Heart of Albion Press