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White family (per. 1795–1846), shipowners and merchants of Sunderland, first came to prominence through John White (1764–1833), who was born at Monkwearmouth, co. Durham, and began his working life as a cooper in the 1780s. During the French wars White diversified his business activities into shipowning to take advantage of boom conditions in this sector, and by 1814 he had accumulated a fleet of ...