Adam White

March 6, 2011 § 3 Comments

Adam White

  • Born Adam White in 1627 Inveraray, On Loch, Scotland
  • Died December 19, 1708 in Galicia, Spain (Eire, Lugo)
  • Son of Sir John White II and Catherine Greenway
  • Married Isabella White (1630-1693) in 1664
  • Children:
  1. Moses White (1665-1735)
  2. Hugh White (1671-1741)


Graduated from University of Glasgow Master of Arts in 1648. Copy of the Manuscript Matriculation Document in “A Line of White,” by J.D. White of Weatherford, TX. Adam White, was confined in jail in Ireland in 1664.

* Apr 1645 student at University of Glasgow

* 1648 graduated with Master of Arts degree* 1661 evicted from Laggen Presbyterian Church at Fammet, Donegal Co., Ireland where he was a minister

* 1664 jailed at Lifford

* 1670 Pardoned by the King

* 1672 Minister of Ardstraw, Co Tyrone, Ireland

* 1688 Fled to Scotland* 1692 Returned to Ireland & became a minister at Bushmilles, Co., Antrim, Ireland

Adam studied Greeting Logic Ethics & Physics.He died abt 1708 in Bushmils, Antrim, Ireland.

Adam White was a Presbyterian Minister. In the year of 1661, Bishop Taylor charged thirteen Presbyterian Ministers of the Lagan Presbytery with nonconformity with the Church of England and called them before him in trial. He found them guilty as charged and ejected them from their positions, replacing them with Englishmen or men of English origin. One of the 13 ejected Presbyterian Ministers was Adam White, who was identified by early biographer, C.L. Hunter, as the ancestor of the Hon. Hugh Lawson White, son of General James White

Adam White was one of 13 Presbyterian preachers, who King Charles II of England ejected for non-conformity to the church.

“Records of the White family in the National Registry of Scotland in Edinburgh and in the National Library show the family is from Argyll in the western lowlands of Scotland.”

The Whites were supposedly numerous in the Cowall District of Argyll, only the spelling of White was quite different then. “The Gaelic form of White is MacGillebhain, and until the 17th century, when English was first introduced into the schools of Scotland, that is the way White was spelled.”

The White family lived in this region of Argyll, midway between Glasgow and Oban .

Parish records of the counties Ayr and Argyll, where Adam White lived in Scotland, do not extend back far enough to list Adam or his parents. The civil records were checked with the same result. The only concrete evidence was found at the University of Glasgow, where the archivist found the Manuscript Matriculation Document, which contained the signature written in Latin, Adamus Whitus.” He began his studies in April of 1645 with Greek, followed by Logic, Ethics and finally Physics. He graduated with a Master of Arts degree in 1648.

The next six years of Adam’s life are not accounted for. It is possible they were spent in apprenticeship as an assistant to an ordained minister. He was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church at Fannet in the Laggan Presbytery, County Donegal, Ireland in 1654. He was 27 years of age.

Information was received from the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland which stated that “Adam White was born in Scotland, received a M.A. degree in 1648 from the University of Glasgow; was ordained at Clondevaddock (Fannet) County Donegal, Ireland in 1654. He received 100 pounds a year from the Protectorate in 1655. In 1661 he was deported for non-conformity but continued to minister; was excommunicated and imprisoned at Lifford from 1664 to 1670, for disobeying a summons issued by the Bishop of Raphoe (Bishop Leslie); reinstalled Sept 18, 1672.

“In 1672 Adam resigned as Minister of Fannet and became Minister of Ardstraw, County Tyrone, still in the Presbytery of Laggan. In 1688 he fled to Scotland and in 1692 he resigned Ardstraw and the Laggan Presbytery by letter. In that same year, he returned to Ireland and became Minister at Bushmills, County Antrim. He died there in 1708 , secure at last in the arms of his maker whom he had served so long and valiantly.”

According to the History of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, published in 1867, Adam White was appointed minister of Ardstraw on 28 August 1678.

He was installed at Billy (Bushmills), County Antrim in 1692 and died December 19,1708. This information was from the Fasti of the Irish Presbyterian Church No record has been found of his burial in the graveyard at Bushmills, or “Billy”, but that is where he most likely was interred.

Bishop Leslie passed sentence of excommunication upon them, issued a writ against them, and had them apprehended and imprisoned in Lifford gaol. After having been kept in prison for upwards of six years these four ministers were at last released by order of the King, some person of quality in England having, we are told, represented their case to His Majesty, who, when he was informed that these men had formerly suffered for his cause, and that their only offence was refusing to appear before the Bishop’s court, which was contrary to their principles, ordered their release.


Bill Morrow summarized the following, relying largely on “A Line of White” by Jack D. White:

Adam White was born in Scotland about 1627. His parents names are unknown. He attended Glasglow Univ. in Scotland, 1645-1648, graduating with a Masters of Art Degree. In 1654 he became a minister at Laggen Presbyterian Church at Fammet, County Donegal, Ireland. In 1661 he was evicted from his church as a result of a charge by the King of England, of conducting services contrary to the customs of the Church of England. He and 12 other ministers were removed from their positions in the church in a trial in 1662.

This was the time of the “Covenanters” and “Jacobites”, names given those who opposed the Chruch of England’s rules and practices. Covenantors were Presbyterians, so named due to Covenants which began in 1557 in Scotland. The name Presbyterian comes from “presbyters” (Greek for elder). They believed the community should govern their churches, not the Church of England. Groups of Presbyterians banded together in a covenant against the Church of England, to protect themselves.
They were able over the years to gain certain freedom of religion. Jacobites were those people loyal to King James’ descendants who were Catholic. The term comes from the latin translation of James, which is Jacob. Hence, followers and anybody opposed to the existing Royal family were called “Jacobites”.
England, Scotland and Ireland were split between Catholic and Church of England religions. Most English people favored Church of England religion since France & Spain (their enemies) were Catholic. But the Church of England wouldn’t recognize other protestant religions. Since Adam was Presbyterian, he was in conflict with the Church of England religion and therefore faced oppression.

He was confined to jail at Lifford in 1664. It is thought that his son Moses was born 1665 shortly after he began his confinement. Son Hugh was probably born one year after his release, about 1671.
Adam was pardoned by the King in 1670. By 1672 he was minister of Ardstraw, in County Tyrone, Ireland. Oppression of the Covenanters began again, so in 1668 he had to flee to Scotland. In 1690 King William agreed to a law to establish the Church of Scotland under a Presbyterian system. In 1692 he returned to Ireland and became a minister at Bushmilles, County Antrium, Ireland. He died in 1708 at Bushmilles, County Antrim, Ireland.



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