Biographies A-Z

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White, Henrietta Margaret

White, Henrietta Margaret (1856–1936), principal of Alexandra College, Dublin, horticulturist, and social activist, was eldest child among three daughters and one son of Henry Charles White (1818–1903), of Charleville, Queen's Co. (Laois), JP…

White, (Herbert) Terence de Vere

White, (Herbert) Terence de Vere (1912–94), solicitor and writer, was born 29 April 1912 in Dublin, where his family lived at 61 Marlborough Road, Donnybrook. His father, Frederick Sutton Darley de Vere White, LLD, was then a junior solicitor…

White, James

White, James (1928–99), science fiction author, was born 7 April 1928 at Belfast. His parents moved to Canada in 1930 but returned to Belfast in 1935. White was educated at St John's primary school (1935–41) and in 1941 won a scholarship to St Joseph's Technical High School, which…

White, James Robert (‘Jack’)

White, James Robert (‘Jack’) (1879–1946), soldier and anarchist, was born in May 1879 in Broughshane, near Ballymena, Co. Antrim, only son among five children of Field-marshal Sir George Stuart White, an Anglo-Irish landowner and distinguished soldier, and his wife Amy, daughter of…

White, John Davis

White, John Davis (1820–93), publisher and antiquary, was born 22 May 1820 in Conaghy, Co. Kilkenny, youngest son among three sons and two daughters of Benjamin Newport White (1776–1846), landowner, late of the Slieveardagh yeomanry cavalry stationed in Killenaule, Co. Tipperary,…

Whitelaw, James

Whitelaw, James (1749–1813), clergyman, statistician, and philanthropist, was born in Co. Leitrim; nothing is known of his family. He was educated in Cavan by Rev. Lewis Kerr before entering TCD (8 July 1766), becoming a scholar (1769…

Whitelaw, William Stephen Ian (‘Willie’)

Whitelaw, William Stephen Ian (‘Willie’) (1918–99), Viscount Whitelaw of Penrith , first secretary of state for Northern Ireland, was born 28 June 1918 in Edinburgh, the only child of William Alexander Whitelaw (1892–1919), an army officer who died of pneumonia after his health was…

White, Luke

White, Luke (c.1740–1824), bookseller, millionaire, and politician, was born about 1740 and possibly originated in Cork city, as both his wives were from there and his brother, Thomas White, was listed as a Cork bookseller. A protestant, he may have been of huguenot…

White, (Patrick) James

White, (Patrick) James (1913–2003), arts administrator, art critic and art historian, was born 16 September 1913 in Holles St. maternity hospital, Dublin, son of Thomas John White, a bank clerk, of Grove Cottage, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, and (Mary) Florence White (née Coffey). His…

White, Richard

White, Richard (1767–1851), 1st earl of Bantry , landowner, and was born 6 August 1767 at Bantry, Co. Cork, the eldest son of three sons and three daughters of Simon White, a landowner, and his wife, Frances Jane White (née Hedges). He was educated locally. About 1797 he succeeded…

White, Richard Newport ('Dick')

White, Richard Newport ('Dick') (1924–2010), pilot and airline executive, was born on 21 May 1924 in Peter Street, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, the second child and eldest son of Richard White, a bank manager of Peter Street and later of Bayly Farm, Ballinaclough, near Nenagh, and his wife…

White, Rosetta Phoebe Blair-

White, Rosetta Phoebe Blair- (1895–1991), tennis player, was born in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, daughter of R. J. Newell , DL and JP, of Hillside, Omagh. She developed her tennis skills by playing every day…

White, Rowland

White, Rowland (d. 1572), Anglo-Irish reformer, was the son of Baron White of the Dufferin in north-east Ulster, which the family was forced to abandon when it came under attack from the Scots and the local Gaelic chieftains early in the sixteenth century. Nothing is known of…

Whiteside, James

Whiteside, James (1804–76), lawyer and politician, was born 12 August 1804 at Delgany, Co. Wicklow, the second son of William Whiteside, minister of the Church of Ireland, and his wife, Anne (née Robinson). After William Whiteside's death in 1806 his family lived in reduced…

White, Sir Nicholas

White, Sir Nicholas (d. 1593), lawyer and master of the rolls of Ireland, was born in Waterford city, son of James White of Waterford, who was steward to James Butler (qv), 9th earl of Ormond, and who died along with the 9th earl of…

White, Stephen

White, Stephen (1574?–1646/7), Jesuit priest, academic, and antiquary, was born in Clonmel, the son of Pierce White. His was a remarkable family, two of his brothers also being priests: James was vicar apostolic of Waterford and Lismore and

White, Thomas

White, Thomas (1556–1622), Jesuit and founder of Irish colleges in Europe, was the son of Pierce White of Clonmel and was born into one of the most staunchly catholic families in Ireland. A younger brother Stephen (qv) was a celebrated…

White, William John (‘Jack’)

White, William John (‘Jack’) (1920–80), broadcaster, editor, journalist, and novelist, was born 30 March 1920 in Cork, second child of William Luke White, accountant, and Mary White (née Tyler). In his book Minority report (1975) he described himself as ‘a member of a…

Whitla, Sir William

Whitla, Sir William (1851–1933), physician, was born 15 September 1851 at The Diamond, Monaghan town, fourth son of Robert Whitla, a presbyterian pawnbroker and draper, and his wife Anne (née Williams). Whitla's parents had five sons and seven daughters. In 1928 Whitla presented a…

Whitmore, William James Brennan-

Whitmore, William James Brennan- (1886–1977), revolutionary and journalist, was born 21 October 1886 at the family home in Mary St., Wexford, son of Thomas Whitmore, People journalist and printer, and Mary Whitmore (née Brennan) from Ferns, Co. Wexford. Both parents died…

Whitney, Patrick Joseph

Whitney, Patrick Joseph (1894–1942), missionary priest, was born 7 July 1894 at Breenletter townland, Ballyfermoyle, between Keadue and Lough Key in Co. Roscommon, on the borders with Co. Sligo and Co. Leitrim, eldest child of Bernard Whitney, smallholding farmer, and Mary Anne Whitney…

Whittaker, Sir Edmund Taylor

Whittaker, Sir Edmund Taylor (1873–1956), mathematician, theoretical physicist, and director of Dunsink observatory, was born 24 October 1873 in Birkdale, near Southport, Lancs., eldest child of John Whittaker, railway engineer and contractor, and his wife Selina, daughter of…

Whitton, Eleanor Constance

Whitton, Eleanor Constance (1879–1956), campaigner for animal welfare, was born in Co. Longford, the daughter of the Rev. Alexander Beatty, Church of Ireland minister. She appears to have been educated locally. In 1902 she married Henry M. Whitton, registrar of the court of appeal…

Whitty, Ellen (Sister Mary Vincent)

Whitty, Ellen (Sister Mary Vincent) (1819–92), Sister of Mercy, foundress, and educator, was born 1 March 1819 in Poldharrigge, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, daughter of Robert Whitty and Mary Whitty. She had two sisters and three brothers. Educated in Enniscorthy and the Academy of…

Whitty, Michael James

Whitty, Michael James (1795–1873), newspaper editor and proprietor, was born in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, in 1795, the son of a corn merchant and owner of boats operating out of Wexford port. After failing to complete his studies for the priesthood, Whitty moved to London in 1821 to…