John White was the son and heir of Thomas White of Tuxford and Wallingwells and his wife Bridget. He succeeded to his father’s estates at the age of 33 in 1732. A portrait of him as a young man show him as being handsome, and similar in looks to Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie).
John was a highly influential politician in his day. He was elected MP for East Retford in 1734, a seat he held until 1761. He was strongly Whig in his outlook and a staunch supporter of Henry Pelham and the Duke of Newcastle, who were the Prime Ministers between 1744 and 1756. In particular he exercised great influence over the Duke of Newcastle, who was a close friend of both John and his late father, Thomas.
Each season John would travel in great state to London in a coach and six, attended by a throng of servants and outriders. The park at Wallingwells was well stocked with deer and its ponds teaming with fish.