About The Charity of Sir Thomas White, Warwick
The Charity of Sir Thomas White, Warwick provides interest-free loans for young people establishing a business, or to assist in improving their existing business in Warwick or undertaking tertiary education.
The main requirement for eligibility for both student loans and business loans is residence/premises within the borough of Warwick, i.e. with a CV34 postcode. For more details on eligibility, please see the specifics on student loans and business loans
History of Sir Thomas White
Sir Thomas White, was born in Reading, Berkshire, in 1492, the son of William White, a clothier. He was brought up in London and apprenticed, in 1504, to Hugh Acton, a member of the Merchant Taylors' Company. Acton left him £100 upon his death, and Thomas used this bequeathal to begin business for himself in 1523. He became master of the Merchant Taylor's Company around 1535.
By this time he was regarded as a prosperous clothier and in 1542 he 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.
In 1544 Thomas was committed to Newgate prison for refusing 'to take upon himself the weight' of office of alderman for Cornhill. But he was also an Alderman of the City of London in that same year, and contributed £300 to King Henry VIII for his war against Scotland.
By 1547 he became Sheriff of London; the "reign" of the Nine Day Queen, Lady Jane Grey, followed 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, some 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.
As Lord Mayor of London he sat on the commission for the trial of the Nine Day Queen and her adherents.
In 1555, inspired by the example of Thomas Pope, founder of Trinity College, Oxford, he obtained a royal licence to found St. John's College, Oxford, which he endowed with £3,000 at his death. The College is dedicated to the patron saint of Merchant Taylors and established in the buildings of the dissolved Cistercian College of St Bernard.
In 1559 he purchased Gloucester Hall, Oxford, which he opened as a hall of residence for a hundred scholars in 1560. He was also one of the founders of the Merchant Taylors' School and provided that scholars of the college should be nominated from pupils of the 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
The Charity of Sir Thomas White has improved my higher education experience in so many ways. The financial support allowed me to reduce hours spent at my part time job and allowed me to put more time and effort into my Psychology degree. I have now finished the academic year with a first-class honours. The Charity is fantastic and I would recommend to any student considering higher education.
Obtaining a loan for University can be expensive over the long term, especially with rising interest rates on student loans. Therefore, having access to an interest-free loan whilst at University can provide additional funds without the need to worry about additional charges. It is helpful to know that when I leave University, I will only pay back exactly what I borrowed in a manageable way.
The Charity of Sir Thomas White has aided me enormously in terms of being able to grasp an array of opportunities, such as being able to involve myself in a number of educational and exciting society events and trips, helping me to create fulfilling memories in my University experience.
Receiving the loan was such a help, and the people at the Charity were so nice and genuinely interested in my studies - don't be put off by the application process. It came in useful many times, for example, when there was a week between my student halls rent going out and my maintenance loan going in, or when my laptop broke just in time for my midterm essay. Student living is expensive! Make the most of the support available.
The loan from the charity has allowed me to focus not only on my university work but also on my hobbies, giving me time to join various societies. It has helped alleviate the pressure of having to work during term time, which is especially helpful around exam season as I can concentrate on revising without having to worry about money. The payment for 4 years will also be very useful for my 3rd year, which will be abroad in China and Spain as I study languages, giving me the opportunity to explore and learn whilst away from home.
The loan I received from the Charity of Sir Thomas White gave me the financial support to go on to post- graduate studies and gain an MA in Heritage Management. I have always wanted to work in the heritage industry, which can be very competitive for jobs. Since completing my studies I have managed to get an amazing job with the National Trust, without my MA I would have struggled to get this job and without the Sir Thomas White loan I would not have been able to afford my MA. This loan has really opened doors for me to start a career of my dreams and I am extremely thankful to the charity for giving me the opportunity to confidently pursue the career that I am passionate about.
Without the offer of a business loan from The Charity of Sir Thomas White, I wouldn't have been able to launch my own Fashion Brand. The support of the Trustees and their belief in me has enabled me to follow my dreams, which I thank them tremendously.
The Charity of Sir Thomas White has been extremely helpful in supporting my studies for the last 5 years. The money was a great financial boost at the start of each year when it was really needed for text books, equipment and rent for the coming terms. The support allowed me to thoroughly enjoy my time at University and spend more time studying. I am extremely grateful for all the help the charity has given me and would like to thank everyone for their continuing work.
Mog and Pauline
The business loan from The Charity of Sir Thomas White gave us the resources we needed to invest in our business in the early years of its growth, through refurbishment and recruitment. In doing this we have laid firm foundations of a sustainable and exciting business that can explore many more avenues. We are grateful for the Charity's support to us as young business owners and are confident that the Charity has contributed to the promising future of Warwick's only independent bookshop. Thank you.