Thomas White Loans


Sir Thomas White was born in Reading, Berkshire, in 1492, the son of William White. He was brought up in London and apprenticed to Hugh Acton, a member of the Merchant Taylors' Company. Acton left him £100 upon his death, and Thomas White used this money to begin business for himself in 1523. Thomas White became master of the Merchant Taylor's Company around 1535.

In 1542 Thomas made his first benevolent gift to the city of Coventry for the purchase of park land. In 1545 he made a loan of £2000 to the city of Bristol.

By 1547 he became Sheriff of London. The reign of Lady Jane Grey follwed six years later during which time Thomas' loyalties lay with the Roman (or Marian) side, and this loyalty was apparently repaid by his election as the Lord Mayor of London on 29 October and 27 days after being knighted by Queen Mary I. On the 19 August 1554 he received Philip and Mary at their entry in state into the City of London.

In 1559 he purchased Gloucester Hall, Oxford. Thomas was also one of the founders of the Merchant Taylors' School.

In the year 1562 he suffered greatly from a recession in the cloth trade, and as a result of this he died a poor man, but it seems that the provisions of his will were very astutely managed by his executor, the then Master of the Rolls, Sir William Cordell. Thanks to this, he bequeathed his fortune to buy land.

The profits made from renting this land were to be given to young men in Leicester, Coventry, Nottingham, Warwick and Northampton. Each year a small number of men, originally four, were given a sum of money to set themselves up in business or provide education. They had nine years to pay back this money, and no interest was charged.

He died on 12 February 1567 and is buried in St. John's College chapel, and although twice married to Avicia (died 1558) and Joan he left no issue. It is said that several portraits of Sir Thomas White are in existence, but it is doubtful if any of them were painted from life. The one in St. John's College is said to be similar to those belonging to the Merchant Taylors' Company, to Leicester and to nearly all the towns to which he left benefactions.

You may have heard about the sir Thomas White Charity Trust loaning young people who live in the areas of Northampton, Warwick and Leicester. These loans can be used for educational purposes and other eligible purposes. These loans of up to £2500 for educational or £5000 for business purposes, are interest free (subject to terms and conditions) up to 10 years.

The Sir Thomas White Charity hands out only a small number of loans per year and applications are made through one of the Northampton Trustees. Applications to the Trustees should really be made during the first couple of months of each year in order that the allowance isn't taken up for that year.

Terms of the Loan

The rules to the scheme are as follows (correct Feb 2015):

  • borrowers are only eligible for one loan, previous borrowers may not apply;
  • the loan period is 10 years, though early payment may be made;
  • repayment is not subject to the payment of any interest (unless these terms are not adhered to).
  • borrowers must be over 21 and under 35 years of age;
  • borrowers must have resided in the Borough of Northampton for at least 5 years (if you move away during the laon period, the loan becomes fully repayable);
  • purposes for the loans must be within the Charity's own legal purposes for young people for education and training and to establish them in to business;
  • borrowers must obtain a suitable insurance or endowment policy as security for repayment of the loan (at a cost to the borrower of approx £25/£50 a month);
  • borrowers must also complete a bond signed by three guarantors who will each be responsible for repayment of the loan as a further security for repayment;
  • evidence will be required to establish the conditions are met; and
  • an administration fee of £50 + VAT (£60) is payable.

Loans are granted entirely at the discretion of the Trustees.

How can we help?

As described above, one of these conditions is that you take out a suitable insurance product of between £25 and £50 per month to ensure the loan is repaid within the 10 years;

Barry Johnson Financial Services will help you source the insurance required. Indeed, we have been working with the Sir Thomas White Charity for some 10 years.

Please contact us on 01604 879929 OR and we will put you in touch with the Trustees of Sir Thomas White Loan Charity to see if you are eligible and also to obtain an application form for the loan.

We will explain to you that application forms should be requested in writing with a short letter confirming what the loan will be used for.

The clerk to the trustees:

Hewitsons Solicitors (LLP), Elgin House Billing Road Northampton NN1 5AU

You should be aware that the Trustees have a responsibility only to Loan to suitable applicants. Therefore, they will conduct a credit check on both the guarantors and the applicant and any applicant with a poor credit history, such as a County Court Judgement (CCJ) and defaults etc will be declined.



Barry Johnson Financial Services
25 Bedford Road
Little Houghton

Tel: 01604 879929

Fax: 01604 859063


The Trustees of the Sir Thomas White Charity invite applications from young men and women resident in Northampton, for an interest free loan of up to £2500 for educational purposes or up to £5000 for business purposes, to be repaid within 10 years. 

Please contact us for further information on 01604 879929 or email 

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