Sir Thomas Roe
|Died||6 November 1644 (aged 62-63)|
|Spouse(s)||Lady Eleanor Beeston|
|Parent(s)||Sir Robert Rowe |
Sir Thomas Roe (c. 1581 – 6 November 1644) was an English diplomat of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. Roe's voyages ranged from Central America to India; as ambassador, he represented England in the Mughal Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Holy Roman Empire. He sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1614 and 1644. Roe was an accomplished scholar and a patron of learning.
Roe was born at Low Leyton near Wanstead in Essex, the son of Sir Robert Rowe of Gloucestershire and Cranford, Middlesex, and his wife Elinor Jermy, daughter of Robert Jermy of Worstead, Norfolk. He matriculated at Magdalen College, Oxford, on 6 July 1593, at the age of twelve. In 1597 he entered Middle Templeand became esquire of the body to Queen Elizabeth I of England. He was knighted by James I on 23 July 1604, and became friendly with Henry, Prince of Wales, and also with his sister Elizabeth, afterwards briefly Queen of Bohemia, with whom he maintained a correspondence and whose cause he championed.
In 1610, Roe was sent by Prince Henry on a mission to the West Indies, during which he visited Guiana and the Amazon River. He tried to reach the Lake Parime location of the fabled El Dorado, that was represented in the map of Thomas Harriot in 1596. However, he failed then, and in two subsequent expeditions, to discover the gold he was seeking.
In 1614, Roe was elected Member of Parliament for Tamworth. [ citation needed ] His journal was a valuable source of information for the reign of Jahangir.From 1615 to 1618, he was ambassador to the court at Agra, India, of the Great Mughal Ruler, Jahangir. The principal object of the mission was to obtain protection for the East India Company`s factory at Surat. At the Mughal court, Roe allegedly became a favourite of Jahangir and may have been his drinking partner. This greatly enhanced Roe's status with the Mughals.
In 1621, Roe was elected MP for Cirencester.He received diplomatic credentials to the Ottoman Empire on 6 September, arriving at Constantinople in December. In this role, he obtained an extension of the privileges of the English merchants. He concluded a treaty with Algiers in 1624, by which he secured the liberation of several hundred English captives. He also gained the support, by an English subsidy, of the Transylvanian Prince Gabriel Bethlen for the European Protestant alliance and the cause of the Palatinate.
Through his friendship with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Cyril Lucaris, the famous Codex Alexandrinus was presented to James I,and Roe himself collected several valuable manuscripts which he subsequently presented to the Bodleian Library. 29 Greek and other manuscripts, including an original copy of the synodal epistles of the council of Basle, he presented in 1628 to the Bodleian Library, after his letters of appointment had been revoked on 26 October 1627. But Roe did not leave Porte until June 1628. A collection of 242 coins was given by his widow, at his desire, to the Bodleian Library after his death. He also searched for Greek marbles on behalf of the Duke of Buckingham and the second Earl of Arundel.
In 1629, Roe was successful in another mission undertaken, to arrange a peace between Sweden and Poland. In so doing, he was able to help free up Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden to intervene decisively in the Thirty Years War on the side of the Protestant German princes. Roe also negotiated treaties with Danzig and Denmark, returning home in 1630, when a gold medal was struck in his honour. In 1631, he sponsored the Arctic exploration of Luke Fox; Roes Welcome Sound was named in his honor.
In January 1637, Roe was appointed Chancellor of the Order of the Garter, with a pension of £1200 a year. Subsequently, he took part in the peace conferences at Hamburg, Regensburg and Vienna, and used his influence to obtain the restoration of the Palatinate, the emperor declaring that he had "scarce ever met with an ambassador till now." In June 1640, he was made a privy councillor. In November 1640 he was elected MP for Oxford University in the Long Parliament and sat until his death in 1644 at the age of about 63.He was buried in the parish church of St. Mary in Woodford, London.
Roe married Eleanor, Lady Beeston, the young widowed daughter of Sir Thomas Cave of Stanford-on-Avon, Northamptonshire in 1614, just weeks before embarking for India.(see Cave-Browne-Cave baronets for the background of the family). Not going to India, his wife accompanied Roe on the subsequent embassy to Constantinople. The couple were childless and adopted an orphaned girl introduced by Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia. When Eleanor died in 1675 she was buried alongside him in the parish church of St. Mary, Woodford.
His Embassy of Sir Thomas Roe to the Court of the Great Mogul, 1615-1619, as narrated in his journal and correspondence , several times printed, has been re-edited, with an introduction by William Foster, for the Hakluyt Society (1899). This is a valuable contribution to the history of India in the early 17th century.
Vol. i. was published in 1740, but the work was not continued. Other correspondence, consisting of letters relating to his mission to Gustavus Adolphus, was edited by SR Gardiner for the Camden Society Miscellany (1875), vol. vii., and his correspondence with Lord Carew in 1615 and 1617 by Sir F. Maclean for the same society in 1860.
Several of his manuscripts are in the British Museum collections. Roe published a True and Faithful Relation ... concerning the Death of Sultan Osman ..., 1622; a translation from Paolo Sarpi,
There are two modern biographies, Itinerant Ambassador: the Life of Sir Thomas Roe by Michael J. Brown (University of Kentucky Press, Lexington, 1970) and Sir Thomas Roe 1581–1644. A Life by Michael Strachan (Michael Russell, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 1989).
Nur-ud-din Muhammad Salim, known by his imperial name Jahangir, was the fourth Mughal Emperor, who ruled from 1605 until his death in 1627. His imperial name, means 'conqueror of the world', 'world-conqueror' or 'world-seizer'.
1615 (MDCXV) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar, the 1615th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 615th year of the 2nd millennium, the 15th year of the 17th century, and the 6th year of the 1610s decade. As of the start of 1615, the Gregorian calendar was 10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
Events from the 1610s in England.
The Mughal Empire had a number of imperial flags and standards. The principal imperial standard of the Mughals was known as the alam. It was primarily moss green. It displayed a lion and sun facing the hoist of the flag. The Mughals traced their use of the alam back to Timur.
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Sir Henry St George (1581–1644) was an English Officer of arms. He was the third son of the herald Sir Richard St George and his wife Elizabeth St John..
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|Parliament of England|
Sir Thomas Beaumont
Sir John Ferrers
| Member of Parliament for Tamworth |
With: Sir Percival Willoughby
Sir Thomas Puckering
Sir Anthony Manie
| Member of Parliament for Cirencester |
With: Thomas Nicholas
Sir William Master
Sir Francis Windebanke
Sir John Danvers
| Member of Parliament for Oxford University |
With: John Selden