National Recording Project


Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

The Thomas White (d.1566) Memorial


Type Statue

     A standing male figure on a simple plinth which is surrounded by ornate iron railings. Sir Thomas White is depicted in mid-sixteenth century costume with a chain of office around his neck. On a separate brick plinth in front of the work is a glass box containing an open Bible with Matthew XXII 21 highlighted in pink. This pedestal has a city trail plaque on it.
     The memorial committee was set up in 1878, their first plans were for a grand scheme, which would have consisted of the Coventry Cross combined with statues of several benefactors of the city including Sir Thomas White and emblems of the city's industries. The cost of such a grand scheme proved prohibitive, and was scaled down to the solitary statue of White which cost £600. (1) The Wills brothers stated in their estimate that they would 'spare no pains in studying a good and pleasing likeness and the correct costume of the period' (2). The maquette for this work was illustrated in the Art Journal and the Illustrated London News in 1883.
     Sir Thomas White (d.1566) was a benefactor of Coventry, and several other towns and cities of England. He was the founder of St John's College, Oxford, and served as Lord Mayor of London in 1555.


On front face of plinth, engraved: 'SIR THOMAS WHITE' On rear face of plinth, engraved: '1883'

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Wills, W W Artist
Wills, T W Artist

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Pedestal Cornish granite 305cm high
Statue Sicilian marble 228cm high

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
WMcvCVxx163 BM
General condition Fair
Surface condition
  • Biological growth
  • Other
Structural condition
  • None
  • None
Road Greyfriars Green
Precise location None
A-Z ref None
OS ref SP332786
Date of design 1883
Year of unveiling 1883
Unveiling details unveiled 11th October 1883
Commissioned by Sir Thomas White Memorial Committee
Duty of care None
Listing status Don't know
At risk? No known risk

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