He was born at Cambridge in 1585. He was at Eton College in 1598. and then went to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1602. After graduating, he became a clergyman in the North of England.
In 1611 he went to Virginia, where he was appointed a minister at Henrico on the James River. Initially the agreement was that he would serve three years in Virginia. He acquainted himself with the beliefs of the local Indian population and, in a lengthy letter published in 1613 as a pamphlet, Good Newes from Virginia, stated that they had known the God of the Jews and Christians in the past and retained "many footsteps of Gods image". The pamphlet (some 45 pages) may be the first publication written entirely in North America.
A little before 4 April 1617 he drowned while crossing the James River.
It is possible to find pages on the web where his birthplace is given as in Lancashire (where his father was born), without a source being given. These include his entry on the Find a Grave website. This is almost certainly wrong. Those more reliable sources, like Magna Carta Ancestry, which give a birthplace say it was Cambridge, where his father was a don and siblings were born.
↑ His mother's 1st cousin had been married to Thomas Smith, the Treasurer of Virginia (de-facto Governor) in the Company era.
↑ 2.02.12.22.32.42.5 Douglas Richardson. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 4 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham, 2nd edition (Salt Lake City: the author, 2011), volume IV, page 332 WHITAKER 14.ii
↑ 3.03.1 Porter, Harry Culverwell. Alexander Whitaker: Cambridge Apostle to Virginia, The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 3 (July 1957), pp. 317-343
↑ Berkshire, Eton College Register, 1441-1698, FindMyPast
↑ 5.05.15.25.3Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Whitaker, Alexander
Richardson, Douglas. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 4 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. 2nd edition. Salt Lake City: the author, 2011. See also WikiTree's source page for Magna Carta Ancestry.
Kupperman, Karen Ordahl . '‘Whitaker, Alexander (1585–1617)’', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, viewable online via some libraries
Porter, Harry Culverwell. Alexander Whitaker: Cambridge Apostle to Virginia, The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 3 (July 1957), pp. 317-343 - viewable at JSTOR, (free) account signup required
Douglas Richardson. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham (Salt Lake City: the author, 2013), volume V, page 360 WHITAKER 18i.
Child or [Dr.] William Whitaker, by Susan Culverwell:
i. [Rev.] Alexander Whitaker, of Blackfriars, London, Anglican clergyman, born at Cambridge in 1585. He immigrated to Virginia in 1611, where he settled in Henrico County. He was drowned accidentally in the James River shortly before 4 August 1617. He left a will dated 16 Feb. 1611[/12], proved 4 August 1617.
Douglas Richardson used this source with volume V. page 360, as one of his sources for [Rev.] Alexander Whitaker:
Roberts "Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants" (2004): 416-421.
Page 417, image 529:
16. William Whitaker, master of St. John's College, Cambridge = ____ Culverwell
17. Alexander Whitaker (c. 1585-1616/7) of Va., Anglican clergyman, d. unm.
17. Jabez Whitaker of Va. = Mary Bourchier of Va., ARD, SETH.