Whately’s brilliant mind produced works on many subjects. His Elements of logic (1826) became a standard university text; his Historical doubts relative to Napoleon Buonaparte offered a powerful rebuttal against Hume’s extreme school of philosophical scepticism.
He remained independent of political parties and religious factions, though not uninterested in questions like Catholic emancipation and state endowment of clergy. Additionally, he supported manhood suffrage.
Early Life and Education
Whately was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire to his two-time Mayor father and attended local schools before studying logician at Christ’s College Cambridge gaining him recognition as an academician.
While at Oxford, he wrote the treatise on logic that bears his name. Contributed to Encyclopaedia Metropolitana for publication, this text provided great impetus to study logic in England. Furthermore, he also published texts on rhetoric.
Whately was a staunch supporter of liberal politics, supporting both the Reform Bill and advocating manhood suffrage. Additionally, he took an interest in social issues, supporting Catholic emancipation as well as receiving government funds to Maynooth Seminary – something which caused friction with Protestants due to his opposition to proselytising; his great spirit was broken due to this friction.
Once he had established himself as an actor on stage, he found success on television as an actor playing roles in British soap operas and dramas. By 1987 he had become a household name as Detective Sergeant Lewis in Granada TV’s long-running series Inspector Morse alongside John Thaw – providing more humanistic investigations with them than Morse’s more intellectual approach could manage alone.
In 2010, he played the lead in Joe Maddison’s War, a television film exploring strains on family and social relations during World War II. Since then he has appeared in various roles such as Shoestring, Geordie Racer, Angels, Juliet Bravo and Coronation Street.
Whately has been serving Faversham and Mid Kent constituency as a Conservative member since 2015 and currently works at the Department for Health and Social Care as one of its ministers under Rishi Sunak’s direction.
Achievement and Honors
Whately is home to many natural, recreational, and historical resources. The Community Context section documents these valuable assets while outlining any trends that could impact them in the future.
Whately’s early work proved instrumental in breaking through centuries-long stagnation of logic. His views provided a philosophical basis for revolutionary changes seen throughout nineteenth-century logic.
Whately was a Liberal, yet often took up issues which were contentious among other political parties. He particularly infuriated Catholic clergy by advocating state endowments of Catholic clergy and his support of national education system. Furthermore, Whately suffered from debilitating paralysis until his death in 1863.
Whately was an influential voice for liberal politics, fiercely opposing any form of sacramentalist attitudes and advocating nonsectarian religious instruction in public schools while supporting Catholic rights to hold political office in Ireland. Additionally, Whately championed improving living standards among Irish poor while supporting utilitarianism over Malthusian ideas.
Pink Floyd and Dire Straits were two bands he particularly appreciated. In addition, he narrated a BBC documentary called Island Medics which explored Shetland’s most remote hospital. Since retiring from playing DI Lewis he returned to acting, appearing as an uncredited cameo on Scottish sitcom Still Game as well as various TV plays – most recently appearing in a three-part Miss Marple adaptation in 1985.
Whately has achieved immense success as an actor over his three decade-long career. His performances in Inspector Morse and its spin-off Lewis won him international praise, cementing him as one of Britain’s leading actors.
He most notably played Jack Kerruish in the BBC series Peak Practice and made multiple guest appearances on various other shows like Shoestring, Geordie Racer, The Two Ronnies, You Must Be the Husband, Alas Smith and Jones: Broker’s Man and Coronation Street. In addition, he frequently performed at charity concerts as an active supporter of charitable organizations.
He is married to Helen Whately, a British politician serving as Minister for State Social Care. They share one child, Kieran Whately.