Thomas White (scholar)
Thomas White was an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 Roman Catholic priest and scholar, known as a theologian, censured by the Inquisition
The Inquisition, Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis , was the "fight against heretics" by several institutions within the justice-system of the Roman Catholic Church. It started in the 12th century, with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy...

, and also as a philosopher contributing to scientific and political debates.


He was educated at St Omer College and Douai College; and subsequently at Valladolid
Valladolid is a historic city and municipality in north-central Spain, situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers, and located within three wine-making regions: Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Cigales...

. He taught at Douai, and was president of the English College, Lisbon
English College, Lisbon
The English College, Lisbon was a Roman Catholic seminary that existed from the 17th century to the 20th century.-Early history:...

. Ultimately he settled in London.

His role in English Catholic life was caricatured by the hostile Jesuit Robert Pugh
Robert Pugh (Jesuit)
-Life:He was one of the several sons of Philip Pugh of Penrhyn, in the parish of Eglwys-Ross, Carnarvonshire. His elder brother, Richard, born in 1607, entered the English College at Valladolid under the alias of Bartholomew Phillips in 1626, was ordained there in 1633, entered the Society of...

 in terms of the "Blackloist Cabal", a group supposed to include also Kenelm Digby
Kenelm Digby
Sir Kenelm Digby was an English courtier and diplomat. He was also a highly reputed natural philosopher, and known as a leading Roman Catholic intellectual and Blackloist. For his versatility, Anthony à Wood called him the "magazine of all arts".-Early life and career:He was born at Gayhurst,...

, Peter Fitton, Henry Holden
Henry Holden
Henry Holden was an English Roman Catholic priest, known as a theologian.-Life:Henry Holden was the second son of Richard Holden, of Chaigley, Lancashire, and Eleanor, his wife. He entered the English College at Douai under the name of Johnson, 18 September 1618...

, and John Sergeant
John Sergeant (priest)
John Sergeant was an English Roman Catholic priest, controversialist and theologian.-Life:He was son of William Sergeant, a yeoman in Barrow-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire, and was admitted in 1639 as a sub-sizar at St John's College, Cambridge, graduating in 1643...

. In fact the Old Chapter
Old Chapter
The Old Chapter was the body in effective control of the Roman Catholic Church in England, from 1623 to 1850 .-Origin:...

 was controlled by a Blackloist faction, in the period 1655 to 1660.


He wrote around 40 theological works, around which the "Blackloist controversy" arose, taking its name from his alias Blackloe (Blacklow, Blacloe).

The first philosophical work of Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

, which remained unpublished until the twentieth century, was on the De mundo dialogi tres of White, published in 1642. The Institutionum peripateticarum (1646, English translation Peripatetical Institutions, 1656) represented itself as an exposition of the 'peripatetic philosophy' of Kenelm Digby. It was a scientific work, showing acceptance of the motion of the Earth and ideas of Galileo, but disagreeing with him on the cause of the tides.

In 1654 he produced an edition of the Dialogues of the controversialist William Rushworth (Richworth). The Grounds of Obedience and Government (1655) was written during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

. Its implicit message, the Blackloist line for Catholics, was submission to the de facto ruler. The political aim was to secure an accommodation, and religious tolerance for Catholicism, and this was particularly controversial since the achievement of the objective might be at the cost of the access of Jesuits to England.
He replied to Joseph Glanvill
Joseph Glanvill
Joseph Glanvill was an English writer, philosopher, and clergyman. Not himself a scientist, he has been called "the most skillful apologist of the virtuosi", or in other words the leading propagandist for the approach of the English natural philosophers of the later 17th century.-Life:He was...

's The Vanity of Dogmatizing (1661), an attack on Aristotelians, with Scire, sive sceptices (1663).

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