Younger brother of Henry Kirke and (John) Neville White. He attended
Pembroke College, Cambridge, graduating in 1815; Southey sent him some encouraging letters when White was
disappointed by his academic performance. White never married and became a clergyman. Initially, he held
difficult curacies in industrial parishes in West Bromwich and then St George’s, Manchester (1826–42) – Southey
helped him acquire the latter post. However, he finally benefited from the connections his brother, Neville
White, had made in Norfolk, especially that with Benjamin Cubitt (1769–1852), a wealthy clergyman and landowner.
Cubitt was a relative of Neville White’s wife, Charlotte Sewell, and married in 1827, as his second wife, Neville
and James’s middle sister, Frances Moriah White (1791–1854). To consolidate the Whites’ connections with the
Cubitts even further, in 1835 Catherine Bailey White (1794–1889), the youngest sister of Neville and James,
married Thomas Mack (1794–1858), Benjamin Cubitt’s nephew and another Norfolk clergyman and landowner (Curate
1822–37, Vicar 1837–58 of Tunstead). Cubitt, as patron of the living, appointed James White to be Vicar of
Stalham in Norfolk (1843–52). Following Cubitt’s death, White succeeded him as Rector of Sloley (1852–85), and
was followed by one of Neville White’s sons, Joseph Neville White (1825–1901) as Vicar of Stalham (1852–1901).
James White also inherited the estate at Sloley after the death of his sister, Frances. White officiated at the
marriage of Southey’s daughter, Edith May, and John Warter, at Keswick in 1834.