Gilbert White: Sermon

Scope and Content

A sermon by Gilbert White upon I Cor. xiii. 1-3, 10 folios. This is preceded by a list of places where the sermon was preached, 1765-1791. On a fly-leaf in the hand of Alfred Newton is 'From R. Holt-White Christmas 1906'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Gilbert White (1720-93), naturalist, was born on 18 July 1720 at the parsonage of Selborne in Hampshire, the eldest son of John White, barrister-at-law, and Anne, the only child of Thomas Holt, rector of Streatham, Surrey. He was educated at Basingstoke under the Revd Thomas Warton, before being admitted as a commoner of Oriel College, Oxford, in December 1739 (B.A., 1743; M.A., 1746). He became a college fellow in 1744, and was admitted one of the senior proctors of the university in 1752. White received deacon's orders in 1747, and became curate in Selborne. He was ordained priest but never practised, choosing instead to engage in literary pursuits and the study of nature. The results of his study of the natural history of his local area were published in The natural history and antiquities of Selborne (1789). He died on 26 June 1793 at his home, The Wakes, and was buried at Selborne church.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Bequeathed by Alfred Newton, deposited in 1926.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on White in Sidney Lee, ed., Dictionary of national biography, Vol. XXI (London, 1909), pp. 36-48.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.