Digby, Kenelm, Sir (1603 -1665)
Kenelm Digby was the elder son of Sir Everard Digby, and Mary, daughter and heiress of William Mulsho of Gothurst. He was educated at Gloucester Hall in Oxford, where he matriculated as a Gentleman Commoner in 1618. He travelled widely on the Continent, particularly in France and Spain. He was knighted in 1623, and in 1625 married his childhood sweetheart Venetia, daughter and coheir of Sir Edward Stanley and Lucy daughter of Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland. Digby was a Roman Catholic and was imprisoned for his faith in 1643, and then banished. He settled in Paris and lived there until his death. A prolific author, he is probably best remembered for his answer to Sir Thomas Browne's Religio Medici, which he is said to have written in twenty four hours. He presented the books he inherited from his old tutor, Thomas Allen, to the Bodleian Library. He had a considerable library in Paris which was sold by the authorities for 10,000 écus, but partly repurchased by his kinsman the Earl of Bristol. It was finally dispersed, partly at the Golden Lion, Paternoster Row 19 April 1680, and partly by auction in London in 1730.