Thomas Roe 1581-1644

From Book Owners Online

Sir Thomas ROE 1581-1644

Biographical Note

Of Rendcomb, Gloucestershire and St. Martin’s Lane, Westminster; later of Woodford, Essex. Son of Robert Roe (1550-1587), haberdasher and landowner, and his wife, Eleanor (d.1630). Matriculated at Magdalen College, Oxford, but did not graduate; enrolled as a student in Middle Temple. He had an extensive diplomatic career; he commanded an expedition to Guinia in 1610 and in 1613 he accompanied Princess Elizabeth to Heidelberg following her marriage with Frederick. He was elected MP for Tamworth in 1614, appointed ambassador to Mughal India 1615-1619 and ambassador at Constantinople 1621-1629. Roe undertook various further diplomatic missions in Europe 1629-1640 and served as MP for Oxford in the Long Parliament. His career began to decline during this time as a result of his advocacy for compromise between Charles I and parliament and the deaths of many of those upon whom he relied upon for advancement.


Gave ca. 30 Greek manuscripts to the Bodleian Library, 1628. Bequeathed the bulk of his books to his nephew Maurice Berkeley of Stoke (d.1654), with some allowed to his wife, Lady Eleanor Beeston (d.1675); an inventory of the books received by Berkeley runs to ca.500 titles, edited as PLRE 274.