Sir Thomas Bodley

Bodley, Sir Thomas,

1545–1613, English scholar and diplomat, organizer of the Bodleian LibraryBodleian Library
, at the Univ. of Oxford. The original library, destroyed in the reign of Edward VI, was replaced in 1602, chiefly through the efforts of Sir Thomas Bodley, who gave it valuable collections of books and manuscripts and in his will left a fund for maintenance.
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 at Oxford. He was a Greek scholar and teacher at Oxford, and in 1584 he was elected to Parliament. He spent 11 years (1585–96) abroad on diplomatic missions for Queen Elizabeth I. In 1598 his offer to restore Duke Humphrey's library was accepted by Oxford, and he spent the rest of his life and most of his fortune on it.


See his Letters to Thomas James, First Keeper of the Bodleian Library, ed. by G. W. Wheeler (1926).

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What stands out here is the degree to which Bill's dealings in particular were integrated with the Continental circulation of books: he was not simply a link between, for instance, Sir Thomas Bodley in England and the businesses which he visited in "Venice, Ferrara, Padua, Verona, Brescia, Mantua, Pauia, Milan, Florence, Pisa, Rome &c.