- E. Thomson Shields
White, John (fl. 1585–1593), painter, was the second governor of the Virginia colony (in what is now North Carolina). Nothing is known of White’s origins; however, he was born probably in England, perhaps in Cornwall, sometime between 1540 and 1550. White most likely was educated as a limner, or illustrator, and a John White, possibly the same, is listed in 1580 as a member of the Painter-Stainer’s Company, a London guild. White may have traveled with Martin Frobisher’s 1577 expedition to Baffin Island in search of a northwest passage to Asia as attested by his paintings of Inuits; however, these paintings are copies based on lost originals, probably by White but possibly by someone else....