Male portrait placeholder image

Name: James White

Burial Number: 1019

Gender: Male

Occupation: Bank Manager; Mayor of Worthing

Distinction: Mayor of Worthing

Born: 00/12/1845

Died: 14/01/1921

Buried: 19/01/1921

Jane Grant

John White

Family No: 0870


James was born in Angmering, the son of John and Jane. He was baptised on 19 Dec 1845. His father was a farmer.
In 1864, James started work for Henty’s Bank. Two years later, he married Emma Richardson at Weeke near Winchester on 5 Nov. By 1871, the couple had two children and lived in Worthing. In 1873, James was promoted to Manager of Henty’s Steyning branch and the family moved to the village living in High Street.
Henty’s bank merged with the Capital and Counties Bank and in 1898, James was appointed Manager of their Worthing branch. James always had an interest in local issues and in 1900 he was voted in as a councillor for Heene ward. From 1904 to 1906, James served two terms as Mayor of Worthing. He was appointed an Alderman at the end of his second term. He still continued his work as a bank manager, the family living at Bank House in Rowlands Road.
In 1914, James was put forward for election as Mayor when support for Ellen Chapman was withdrawn. He remained Mayor for the duration of the war having served six terms altogether.
Emma died on 30 Jun 1917. The following year, James married a widow Florence Annie Burt at Christ Church on 16 Nov. In 1919, James resigned as an Alderman and retired from civic service. The couple lived at Thetford House in Shelley Road.
James died at “Rosstrevor”, Priory Road, Bournemouth on 14 Jan 1921. His body was brought back by road for burial at Heene which was attended by most of the town council.
Probate was granted on 10 Mar to Florence Annie White widow. Effects £1864 8s 4d (approx. £54K in 2020).
For further details of James’ life and career, please read his obituary and article regarding his election as Mayor in 1914.

Researcher: Carol Sullivan

The Grave

Photograph of headstone for James  White

Location in Cemetery

Area: SWS Row: 4 Plot: 5

Exact Location (what3words): best.jazz.deed

Ashes or Urn: Unknown



No description of the headstone has been added.


in tender memory of my dear husband James White J.P. six times Mayor of Worthing who passed into rest Jan 14th 1921 aged 75 years "That man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God and eschewed Evil"

Further Information


Name: James White

Gender: Male

Born: 00/12/1845

Town: Angmering

County: Sussex

Country: England


Maiden Name: Not applicable

Marriage Date: 5/11/1864

Spouse First Name: Emma

Spouse Last Name: Richardson

Town of Marriage: Winchester

County of Marriage: Hampshire

Country of Marriage: England

Marriage Date: 16/11/1918

Spouse First Name: Florence

Spouse Second Name: Annie

Spouse Last Name: Burt

Town of Marriage: Worthing

County of Marriage: Sussex

Country of Marriage: England

Information at Death

Date of Death: 14/01/1921

Cause of death: Unknown

Address line 1: "Rosstrevor"

Address line 3: Priory Road

Town: Bournemouth

County: Hampshire

Country: England


James White JP
Worthing Gazette 19 Jan 1921
“Death of Mr James White”
Worthing’s Ninth Mayor
A Splendid Record of Municipal Service
News of quite an unexpected character was received at Worthing on Saturday, for it told of the death of Mr James White JP who has been so prominent a figure in the public life of the town for many years past.
Accompanied by Mrs White, this worthy citizen went to Bournemouth in September for a change. When he left Worthing, he intimated that he might be absent some months, but there was nothing in the condition of his health to indicate that he would not return, for in spite of his years, he was very active both physically and mentally and obviously enjoyed his retirement.
During the thirty years of its existence as a Municipal Borough, Worthing has had the service of thirteen Mayors and four are now numbered among the dead. The most recent as is indicated above is Mr James White JP. A native of Angmering where he was born seventy-five years ago, Mr White spent the whole of his life in Worthing or it’s immediate neighbourhood. He entered Messrs Henty’s Bank as far back as August 1864 and his active association with that firm and its successors lasted fully fifty-five years.
In June 1873, Mr White was appointed to the position of Manager of the Steyning branch in succession to the late Mr F Biddey; and during his occupation of that post, he established a branch at Storrington. At the end of 1898- the business having in the meantime been incorporated in the Capital and Counties Bank- Mr W F Fuller retired from the position of manager of the Worthing branch and Mr White was chosen by the directors to succeed him.
When he returned to Worthing, he renewed association with public affairs which he had always exhibited keen interest. Prior to his removal to Steyning, he was associated with Mr Melvill Green, Mr Robert Piper and Mr G Ewen Smith in the establishment, some forty-five years ago, of the Discussion Clan that ultimately developed into the Mutual Improvement Association.
In the days of the once popular Penny Readings, Mr White’s services were constantly in request, the Literary Institution being the scene of the gatherings. As an oarsman, he took an active part in local aquatics. He was one of the founders of the first rowing club established here, and won many prizes during his active career.
For many years he was a prominent figure in political circles. He was the first secretary of the Rape of Bramber and Borough of New Shoreham Conservative Association, retaining that position until it was dissolved. Then after the posting of the Redistribution of seats Bill which came into operation in 1885, he was appointed Chief Election Agent to Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, in the Mid-Sussex division.
Mr White was a churchman. He was at one time a sidesman at St Botolph’s and also a member of the Building Committee which supervised the enlargement which was carried out some sixteen years ago.
It was not long after his return to Worthing that Mr White secured election to the Town Council, and with his practical acquaintance with financial problems and his knowledge of affairs in general, he speedily demonstrated his great usefulness as a public representative. The “strong man” was ever apparent in his association with the Municipality.
His election to the Council, as one of the representatives of the Heene ward took place in 1900 when he was returned unopposed. His rapid advancement is shown by the fact that he was elected Mayor of the Borough only four years later and served for two years in succession. After an interval of eight years, he was again invited to assume the Chief Magistracy and this time once again assisted by the late Mrs White as Mayoress, he fulfilled the duties for four years; his six years service in that capacity creating a record locally.
No one ever worked more ungrudgingly in the public interest than he, and Worthing would indeed do well if all its sons were to emulate his worthy example. It is impossible in the space at our disposal to indicate all he did during his association with the Municipality, but we may briefly recall the part he played in obtaining our present Railway Station, his keen interest in the Band movement and his efforts to insure the continued public enjoyment of Homefield Park.
His retirement from the Council took place in 1919, and thenceforward his public appearances were confined to the performance of his Magisterial duties, for he had been appointed to the Commission of the Peace after he had acted by virtue of his Mayoral position.
Mr White has lived only just twelve months to enjoy his retirement from the cares of the profession with which he had been associated for more than half a century. In March 1919, his son Mr A Grant White returned from London, and assumed with his father the joint management of the local affairs of the Capital and Counties and Lloyds Bank, and the father’s retirement took place a year ago.
For many years he lived at the Bank House in Rowlands Road, but subsequent to his second marriage, which took place in November 1918, he lived at Thetford House, Shelley Road. He and his wife went on a visit to Bournemouth in September and on Saturday morning Mr A Grant White received a telegram containing an intimation that his father had passed away from heart failure.
The body has been brought back from Bournemouth to Worthing for burial, the interment at Heene Cemetery being arranged to place this afternoon.

Personal Effects

Money left to others: £1864 8 s 4 d

Current value of effects: £54000.00

Census Information


Angmering Street, Angmering, Sussex
John aged 48, farmer of 18 acres. Jane aged 38. Elizabeth aged 6. James aged 5. George aged 3. Eliza aged 1. Plus 2 servants.


Angmering Street, Angmering, Sussex
John aged 58, dairyman. Jane aged 48. James aged 15. George aged 13. Eliza aged 11. Mary aged 9. Albert aged 6. Havelock aged 3. Mary Grant aged 89, boarder, farmer’s widow. Plus 1 servant.


3 Belle Vue Cottages, Worthing.
James aged 25, banker’s clerk. Emma aged 25. Florence aged 3. Arthur aged 1. Plus 1 servant.


Bank House, High Street, Steyning, Sussex
James aged 35, bank manager. Emma aged 35. Edward aged 8. Kate aged 6. Albert aged 5. Emma aged 3. Plus 2 servants.


Bank House, High Street, Steyning, Sussex
James aged 45, bank manager. Emma aged 45. Florence aged 23. Albert aged 15. Emma aged 13. Nellie aged 9. Elizabeth aged 8. Margaret aged 5. Plus 2 servants.


“Woodview” St Botolph’s Road, Worthing.
James aged 55, bank manager. Emma aged 55. Kate aged 26. Elizabeth aged 18. Margaret aged 15. Plus a cook and 1 servant.


Bank House, Rowlands Road, Worthing.
James aged 65, bank manager. Emma aged 65. Emma aged 31. Nellie aged 28. Plus 2 servants.

Miscellaneous Information

Worthing Gazette 4 Dec 1918
“Alderman White’s Public Services”

In finally publishing the list, with a few recent additions, of those who desire to bear tribute to the excellent public service rendered by the late Mayor, Alderman James White JP, we may explain that all the names have been voluntarily sent to us. If a canvass of the town had been undertaken, we are confident that a very long list might have been secured.
Walter Arrol; R W Charles; F F Chrestien; Alfred Crouch; Robert Chignell; Alec Densham; J P Fallowes; D Ludgate Flack; E L Frazer; Henry C B Gibbs; C J Hollis (the Rev.); H Leeds Harrison; Frank Hinds; A M Hawthorn; W J Holder; G Heyer; J Heyer; W H D Jones (Lieut. Col.); A H Kingswell; Edward Michell; Henry Nelson; H Pilkington (Sir); A Percival; J Puttick (the Rev.); L S Palmer; Anderton S Roberts; Thomas Skinner (Sir); George Stacey; F J Timms; Wm Frederick Verrall; H S Ware; Pelham L Warren (Sir).
Many of those whose names are given above have added an expression of their keen appreciation of Alderman White’s labours on behalf of the town, and it must be extremely gratifying to him to know that he has commanded the respect and gratitude of those whom he sought to serve.

Worthing Gazette, Wednesday 11th 1914

The Election of Mayor – Unusual Situation – Rejection of Councillor Ellen Chapman’s Nomination – Counter-proposition succeeds.

Alderman White invited to take office.

Prior to Monday there were four boroughs in the Kingdom which had had the experience of a lady acting in the capacity of Chief Magistrate, and it was confidently hoped by many that Worthing would be added to the list by the election of Councillor Ellen Chapman, who had been a member of the Town Council for the past four years. But that, for the reason stated below, did not come about, and Worthing still awaits the time when a lady will preside over the affairs of the Council, and have her name inscribed upon the Roll of Mayors who have served the town in that capacity.

In past years the proceedings on the 9th of November have usually been of a formal nature, there having been Welcome Unanimity upon the question as to who should hold the office of Mayor for the coming year. The preliminary selection has generally been made by the past Mayors, but on this occasion a Special Committee was appointed by a ballot of the Council, and they proceeded with their appointed task.

Unfortunately, this year there was discord, the culminating point of which was reached on Monday, when two names were submitted to the members of the Council. The Committee charged with the task had recommended the nomination of Councillor Ellen Chapman for the Mayoral Chair, this lady having intimated her acceptance of the offer of the office; but there was oppositions, for on Monday Alderman James White, who has previously held the office was nominated, and when it came to the voting he was declared elected.

A great deal of interest was centred in the meeting, and there was a large attendance of the public at the Town Hall. Ladies were early in attendance – and there were many of them! The small portion of the incommodious Hall set apart for the public was soon occupied, with the result there was a crush. Councillor Ellen Chapman was the first to take her seat, and she was warmly received by a portion of the public that had assembled.

A State Occasion

On this occasion the members wore their robes, those of the Councillors being black; whilst the Alderman had their purple gowns. The Mayor was attired in his bright scarlet robe and wore his chain of office, whilst the Town Clerk appeared in wig and gown. The Corporation Mace rested on the table immediately in front of the Mayor.

When the time for the commencement of the business arrived the public were present in great force, and at the invitation of the Mayor they filed round the backs of the chairs of the Councillors in order that more room might be made. Those present when the business commenced were

Alderman – R.Piper (retiring Mayor); G. Baker; J.G. Denton; F.C.Linfield; G. Ewen Smith; W.Walter.

Councillors: W.Aston; E.A.Brackley; A.H. Brake; L.W. Burnand; R. Chignell; Ellen Chapman; A.A. Chipper; H.T. Duffield; R. Ellis; W.T. Frost; W.J. Gardiner; G. Goodall; G. Gravett; J. Gravett; T. Greenyer; A.C. Jackson; F.C. Neale; A.C.Norris; G.C. Parsons; W. Sams; C. Taylor; W.G. Tree; J.F. Whyte; H. Winchester

A Fit and Proper Person

Alderman Piper intimated that the first business before them was the election of a Mayor for the ensuing year, but before they went on with that he would like to congratulate the members who came back, and to say how pleased they were at their being sent there without opposition. With regard to the Mayoralty, his Worthing pointed out that in previous years the matter had been a formality. They had selected their member, and they simply came there on the 9th to ratify and make legal what they had done. Unfortunately things that day were no so easy as they were in past years. What they had got to do was to elect a fit and proper person, and they must elect someone from among the Aldermen or the Councillors, or anyone who was qualified to serve in the capacity of a Councillor. In electing a Mayor it did not of necessity follow that the person elected was bound to take the office; but when they had elected that person, if either he or she refused to serve they must determine within five days whether they would accept the office or not; and if either he or she did not accept, then whatever penalty there was imposed for the refusal, that person must pay.

Councillor Neale, in proposing the nomination of Councillor Ellen Chapman for the position of Mayor, said that before he proceeded to so he would like to refer to the eminently satisfactory manner in which Alderman Piper had carried out the office during the past two years. He had won the esteem of the members of the Council and the ratepayers, and it was only fitting that they should give him thanks for what he had done. There were other amongst them who had had their names on the civic roll of honour, and there were others who would doubtless have them in time to come. But there was one important omission from the roll, and that omission they hoped to rectify that day – (applause and slight hissing) – when they nominated Mrs. Ellen Chapman. He reminded the Council that a Special Committee had been appointed by ballot for the special purpose of considering the question of the Mayoralty, and the name of Mrs Chapman was now recommended, the invitation having been extended to her by a Majority of the Committee. He had heard something of the majority. It was quite true that the majority was not a large one, but it was perfectly true that it was a majority. Some little time ago some opposition manifested itself, but it was difficult to define the exact nature of the opposition itself. Those who voted against Mrs. Chapman did not do so because they said her qualifications were not such as to entitle her to hold the office; but he understood it was because she was a woman. Those who took that view now might say the same thing ten or twenty years hence. He respected their opinion, but they should let the fact be remembered that it was open for women to serve on Borough and Urban Councils, and it was open for them to take up work in other directions and in matters of a social and religious nature, and there was no objection to their sharing in that. A fortnight ago a document was sent to the Mayor, signed by the members of the Council, which referred to an Alderman of the Council – who he regretted was not there that day – stating that they had reason to believe he would have no objection to their taking the course of nominating him. That meant that he would be in competition with Mrs. Chapman, and whilst he maintained that they had a perfect right to do what they had done, it was an unfortunate thing that after the vote had been taken they should have taken steps to induce the member to come out in competition for the Mayoralty. He refused to believe that Mr White or any other member of the Council would come out against Mrs Chapman for the honour. This matter had created an interest all over England, and people were waiting now to see whether they would reject, on the ground of sex, a candidate who otherwise had all the necessary qualifications; and he hoped that it would not be said that on those grounds Worthing refused to elect a lady as Mayor. It had also been said that it would be better for a man to hold the office during the year, in view of the War; but he did not see what bearing that had upon it all. Mrs Chapman was known to most of them as a lady who was active in many departments of public life, and if they elected her she would strive to keep up the best traditions of that high office.

Councillor Duffield, in seconding the nomination, and that he had been on several Committees with Mrs Chapman who had Done Excellent Work. There were many boys and girls in the town who had got a start in life through the generosity of Mrs Chapman, who was the first to come forward with a lump sum when they started their War Relief Fund. If she was not fit to occupy the position to which they proposed to elect her, then she ought not to be on the Council. Every one member senior to Mrs Chapman had been asked to accept the office, but they had refused, but when she was asked she said “Yes.” If she was entitled to be on the Council, then she was entitled to be in that position. When did the country enjoy better prosperity that under the reigns of the Queens of England? He thought they would be doing the best in the interest of the town and for their fellow men by electing Mrs Chapman to the office.

Another Nominiation – As no member wished to speak on the proposition, the Mayor asked if there were any other nominations, and Councillor Brackeley nominated Mr James White, adding that in doing so it was not for want of respect for Mrs Chapman.

Councillor Chignell, briefly seconding, said that he had the greatest possible respect for Mrs Chapman, and if he thought that they were slighting her he would not take that course. But it would not be fair to ask a lady to take the Chair this year; they were bound to choose a strong man that day.

Councillor Gardiner said he was rather surprised to hear that Mr White had come forward. It would be well for them to know whether he had consented to stand.

The Mayor: That has nothing whatever to do with the Council. It is for the person elected to decide whether he will take office.

The voting was then taken, and resulted as follows:

For Mrs Chapman – (8) Alderman G Ewen Smith, Councillors H T Duffield, W.T. Frost, W.J. Gardiner, F.C. Neale, H. Ellis, and C. Taylor. Mrs Chapman voted in her own favour.

For Mr James White – (15) Alderman J.G. Denton, Councillors E.A. Brackley, A.A. Chipper, A.C. Norris, L.W., Burnand, G. Goodall, A.H. Brake, J. Gravett, H.B. Winchester, G. Gravett, T. Greenyer, A.C. Jackson, G.C. Parsons, R. Chignell, and W.G. Tree.

Those who did not vote were Councillors W. Sams, W. Aston, and J.F. Whyte, whilst the four retiring Alderman could not vote.

The Mayor then declared Alderman White elected Mayor, and said that until he made the declaration of office he himself was the Mayor.

The Aldermen – The Council then proceeded to elect four Aldermen, and those again chosen were Aldermen E.C.Patching (whose work for the past forty years was warmly eulogised by Alderman Piper), F.C. Linfield, G. Baker, and W. Walter. Others who received votes were Councillor Ellis (two), Councillor Aston, Councillor Gardiiner, Councillor Neale, and Councillor Taylor (one each). Mrs Chapman nominated the last three and Councillor Ellis.

The Committees – The Committees were reconstitued as follows.