Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Bodley, Sir Thomas, Knt., was born at Exeter in 1544. His father, a Protestant, took refuge at Geneva during Mary's reign, and in that city the young Bodley got an excellent education. He took his degree at Magdalen College, Oxford, became fellow of Merton, and for ten years led the life of a 16th century "don." In 1576 he made the tour of Europe, but some five years later entered Elizabeth's service as gentleman-usher, and was employed on various foreign missions. Disgusted with Court intrigues, and provided for by a wealthy marriage, he gave up official life in 1597, and began the formation of the famous library at Oxford, to which he bequeathed most of his fortune when he died in 1612. He was buried in Merton College chapel, where his effigy remains.