Blanco White, Joseph, 1775-1841

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Blanco White, José María (Seville, 1775 - Liverpool, 1841)

On arriving in Andalusia from Ireland, William White (father) changed his surname to Blanco White; that name was used interchangeably with Blanco y Crespo (surnames of his parents) by the author (son). José María Blanco White was one of the leading writers of Spanish Romanticism and also a controversial figure because of the political and religious positions he assumed throughout his life. His religious conviction changed from Catholicism to a Christian faith without a church. This last professed faith he described when dying as one that “theologues don't understand.”

During his life in Spain he held various religious positions: as a priest, as rector in the Colégio Mayor, and as magistrado de la Capilla Real de San Fernando in the Cathedral of Sevilla (1804). Nominated Preceptor of the Infante Don Francisco de Paula, he held the post for only a short period because he lost the favor of Prime Minister Godoy. As editor of Elsemanário patriotico (1808-1809) he inflated articles in favor of the independence of Spain and on the corruption of the court. As a result he was considered “persona non grata” by the Junta Suprema de España Indias and emigrated to England, where he arrived March 3, 1810.

He founded El Español (London, 1810-1813) to crusade against Spanish colonialism, though he continually stated in its pages that “America would never rebel if the ill administration of the mother country wouldn't compel them.”

In 1822 his successful book Letters from Spain appeared under the pen name Don Leucádio Dolblado. This book established his reputation in England, where he was befriended by Southey, Lord Holland, J. S. Mill and Mrs. Hemans.

In 1826 having received a M.A. degree from Oxford University for literary and economic reasons, he left London for Oxford. While living in Oxford, Blanco defected in 1835 from the Anglican church, he settled in Liverpool in the 1830's and there became a Unitarian. During this period he published his famous Observations on Heresy and Orthodoxy (London, J. Mardon, 1835) which tried to explain his doubts and faith.

The London Review requested him to prepare a series of articles about literary figures--a commission he accepted. Between 1835-36 he wrote about Martínez de la Rosa, Crabble, Guizot, Lamb, and Godoy. In 1839 (for no apparent reason) he resumed writing in Spanish, poetry and the unfinished novel Luísa de Bustamante published in Revista de Ciencias literatura y artes by D. José Blanco-White y Olloqui (his nephew). In 1840 he resumed writing in English, producing the work “Plain Dialogues on Religion” published after his death as Plain Dialogues on Religion by the Author of the Poor Man's Preservative against Popery. In February 1841, paralyzed and unable to write, he was transported to Greenbank, the Liverpool house of his friend William Rathbone, where he died on 20 May 1841.

Notes on the Blanco White Family Tree

Don Guillermo White y Nangle and his two brothers Thomas and Pablo were the first ones from the White family for Durbin and Waterford, Ireland, to move to Sevilla, Spain, in the beginning of the 18th century.

Tomas Cahill became partner of Don Guillermo Blanco White y Morrogh in 1786.

In 1802 Lucas Beck, Doña María Fernanda White, Cahill's widow in her name and her daughter's name and Don Guillermo White formed a new business company. Later Don Lucas Beck married D. María Cahill y White.

Don Guillermo Blanco (alas White y Morrogh) following the death of Tomás Cahill moved to Alcala in 1800 to escape the yellow fever plague, leaving Lucas Beck in charge of the business firm.

The uncle of Doña Gertrudis Crespo y Neve was Don Felipe de Neve Noguera Castro y Figueroa, governor of California and the founder of its city of Los Angeles.

Don Fernando Blanco White was the legitimized son of Don José María Blanco White and Magdalena Esquaya. Educated in England by his father, he later became an officer in the Indies.

Dona Ana Gabriela White y Morrogh was known in the family as “Tia Anica.”

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Vol. DCL (ff. 287). 1845-July 1846.includes:f. 1 Law INTERNATIONAL: Memoranda rel. to Copyright: 1842-1845. ff. 1-3, 98-124 Trade and Plantations; Board of Commissioners for: Papers of W. E. Gladstone as Vice-President and President: 1841-1845. f. 2 ... British Library
creatorOf Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 1772-1834. Autograph letter signed : place of writing not specified, to his nephew Edward, [1825 July 15]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf White, Joseph Blanco, 1775-1841. Autograph letter signed : London, to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1826 Jun. 21. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Dix, Dorothea Lynde, 1802-1887. Papers, 1798-1893 (bulk 1827-1887) Houghton Library
creatorOf Wilson, James, Sir, 1780-1847. [Journal], 1810 Oct. 13-1812 Dec. 12. Newberry Library
referencedIn McLachlan, H. John (Herbert John). Handlist of correspondence and papers of Joseph Blanco White in Manchester College Library, Oxford / prepared by H. John Mclachlan. University of Manchester Library, Main Library
creatorOf White, Joseph Blanco, 1775-1841. Translations / by Joseph Blanco White.
referencedIn GLADSTONE PAPEPS. Vol. DXCVIII (ff. 335). 1. An unpublished letter to The Times on Tractarianism signed "Agape", 31 Jan.1842. f. 1.2. " Course of Commercial Policy at Home and Abroad "; published in the Foreign and Colonial Quarterly Review, Jan. 184..., 1842-1845 British Library
creatorOf Blanco White Family Collection, 1713-1930, 1798-1841 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special CollectionsManuscripts Division
referencedIn Southey, Robert, 1774-1843. Robert Southey letters, 1825-1837. Johns Hopkins University, Sheridan Libraries and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library
referencedIn Vol. III. (ff. 463). 1822-1828.includes:ff. 1, 55,77, 141, 162, 206, 217, 251, 300 Sir John Barrow, 1st Baronet; Second Secretary to the Admiralty: Letters to M. Napier: 1814 -1845. ff. 3, 112, 115,342, 402, 415, 419, 428, 431, 446, 450, 460 Sir Ja..., 1822-1828 British Library
referencedIn Blanco White, José María, 1775-1841. [Carta] 1825 Octubre 1, Chelsea [a] A. Bello / J. Blanco White. Dibam Biblioteca Nacional de Chile
referencedIn ). MISCELLANEOUS original letters and papers, etc., 1645-1910. Paper (except art. A) ff. 202. Folio., 1645-1910 British Library
referencedIn Samuel Gray Ward and Anna Hazard Barker Ward papers, 1823-1934 (inclusive) 1837-1900 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf White, Joseph Blanco, 1775-1841. Autograph letter signed : Liverpool, to Edward Tagart, 1835 Sept. 24. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Blanco White, José María, 1775-1841. [Carta] 1825 Octubre 1, Chelsea [a] A. Bello / J. Blanco White. Dibam Biblioteca Nacional de Chile
creatorOf MISCELLANEOUS LETTERS, many addressed to General Sir Frederick Stovin, K.C.M.G., and his wife; late 18th cent. -early 19th cent. The autographs include those of Longfellow, Wellington, Admiral Sir Charles Napier, Lord Cardigan, Sir Herbert Taylor, L... British Library
creatorOf Blanco White, José María, 1775-1841. Cartas de Juan Sin tierra [recurso electrónico] : Crítica de las Cortes de Cádiz / José María Blanco White. Biblioteca Nacional de Mexico
referencedIn Vol. IV. (ff. 522). 1828-1831.includes:ff. 1, 442 Thomas Thomson: Letters to Rev. P. Bliss: 1820-1832. f. 3 Edward Wedlake Brayley: Letters to Rev.P. Bliss: 1818-1828. f. 5 Reverend Alexander Akehurst: Letters to Rev. P. Bliss: 1809-1828. ff. 7, 1..., 1828-1831 British Library
referencedIn Clarke, James Freeman, 1810-1888. Papers, 1841-1897 (inclusive). Harvard University, Divinity School Library
referencedIn Clarke, James Freeman. Papers, 1841-1871. Andover-Harvard Theological Library
creatorOf White, Joseph Blanco, 1775-1841. [Letter to Mrs Holmes of Beaconsfield]. University of Sheffield
referencedIn Vol. CLXII, ff. 393, 9 Feb. [1818]--10 Dec. 1826.Charles Lloyd, Bishop of Oxford 1827: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1813-1829.includes:f. 202 University of Oxford: Statement conc. commutation of the City's obligations on Dies Scholastica: 1822... British Library
creatorOf White, Joseph Blanco, 1775-1841. Autograph letter signed : London, to J.H. Wiffen, 1825 Feb. 12. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Papers, 1886-1952. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Channing, William Ellery. Papers, 1803-1900. Andover-Harvard Theological Library
creatorOf SUPPLEMENTARY MOORE PAPERS. Vol. IV (ff. 138). 1. ff. 1-27. Letters from Pedro Caro y Sureda, Marquis de la Romana, Spanish General; 1808-1809. French.2. ff. 28-59. Letters from Francisco Xavier de Castaños, Duc de Bailén, Spanish General; 1808. Part..., 1808-1812 British Library
creatorOf White, Joseph Blanco, 1775-1841. Letter, 1838 June 4, Liverpool, to George Ticknor, Portsmouth. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Vol. V. (ff. 537). 1832-1835.includes:f. 1 William Buckland, geologist: Letters to Rev. P. Bliss: 1827-1849, n.d. f. 2 Sir John Barrow, 1st Baronet; Second Secretary to the Admiralty: Letter to Rev. P. Bliss: 1832. f. 3 Thomas Thorpe, bookseller: L..., 1832-1835 British Library
creatorOf Locker, Edward Hawke, 1777-1849. Papers of Edward Hawke Locker, 1804-1896. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bello, Andrés, 1781-1865. person
associatedWith Blanco White, Fernando. person
correspondedWith Channing, William Ellery, 1780-1842 person
associatedWith Clarke, James Freeman, 1810-1888 person
associatedWith Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 1772-1834, person
correspondedWith Dix, Dorothea Lynde, 1802-1887 person
associatedWith Holmes, Mrs, of Beaconsfield. person
associatedWith IGLESIA ANGLICANA corporateBody
associatedWith Locker, Edward Hawke, 1777-1849. person
associatedWith McLachlan, H. John (Herbert John) person
associatedWith Prescott, William Hickling, 1796-1859. person
associatedWith Ray, Gordon Norton, 1915- person
associatedWith Southey, Robert, 1774-1843. person
associatedWith Tagart, Edward, person
associatedWith Ticknor, George, 1791-1871. person
associatedWith Tuckerman, Eliot. person
associatedWith Ward, Samuel Gray. person
associatedWith Wiffen, J. H., person
associatedWith Wilson, James, Sir, 1780-1847. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Kingdom of Spain 00 ES
Wigan, Lancashire
Seville (Spain)
Scotland SCT GB
Newark, Nottinghamshire
Oxford ENG GB
Ireland 00 IE
Maynooth, Kildare
Liverpool ENG GB
Spanish Americans
British literature
European literature
Authors, Spanish


Birth 1775-07-11

Death 1841-05-20




Spanish; Castilian,

Spanish; Castilian,




Ark ID: w6d61ccg

SNAC ID: 85515496