Hale White

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
William Hale White
1887 crayon drawing by Arthur Hughes (1831–1915)

William Hale White (December 22, 1831 – March 14, 1913), known by his pseudonym Mark Rutherford, was a British writer and civil servant.

Life, career and memorials[edit]

Plaque on his birthplace.

White's father, William White, a member of the Nonconformist community of the Bunyan Meeting, became well known as a doorkeeper at the House of Commons and wrote sketches of parliamentary life for the Illustrated Times. A selection of his parliamentary sketches was published posthumously, in 1897, by Justin McCarthy, the Irish nationalist MP, as The Inner Life of the House of Commons.[1]

White himself was born in Bedford and educated at Bedford Modern School until the family moved to London. There he was trained for the Congregational ministry, but the development of his views prevented his taking up that career and he became a clerk in the Admiralty.

He had already served an apprenticeship to journalism before he made his name, or rather his pen name, "Mark Rutherford", famous with three novels, supposedly edited by one Reuben Shapcott: The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford (1881), Mark Rutherford's Deliverance (1885) and The Revolution in Tanner's Lane (1887).[2]

Under his own name White translated Spinoza's Ethics (1883). His later books include Miriam's Schooling, and Other Papers (1890), Catherine Furze (2 vols, 1893), Clara Hopgood (1896), Pages from a Journal, with Other Papers (1900), and John Bunyan (1905).

There is now a Mark Rutherford School in Bedford and a blue plaque commemorates White at 19 Park Hill in Carshalton.[3]


His eldest son, Sir William Hale-White, was a distinguished doctor (sketch). His second son, Jack, married Agnes Hughes, one of Arthur Hughes' daughters.


  • The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford: Dissenting Minister Trubner and Co., London, 1881
  • Mark Rutherford's Deliverance Trubner and Co., London, 1885
  • The Revolution in Tanner's Lane Trubner and Co., London, 1887
  • Miriam's Schooling Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., London, 1890
  • Catharine Furze T. Fisher Unwin, London, 1893
  • Clara Hopgood T. Fisher Unwin, London, 1896


  1. ^ William White, The Inner Life of the House of Commons, edited with a preface by Justin McCarthy, MP, London, T. Fisher Unwin, 1897
  2. ^ Max Saunders, "Autobiografiction," Times Literary Supplement (October 3, 2008), 13-15.
  3. ^ "WHITE, WILLIAM HALE (1831–1913)". English Heritage. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  • William James Dawson, "Religion in Fiction", a chapter, part of which is devoted to Hale White (on p. 283-289) in The Makers of English Fiction, 2nd ed., F.H. Revell Co., 1905.
  • E. J. Feuchtwanger, White, William (1807–1882), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.

External links[edit]

This article is about the British writer. For the English footballer, see Mark Rutherford (footballer).