Sackville, Thomas, 1st Earl of Dorset (1536 -1608)
Thomas Sackville was the son of Richard Sackville, a cousin to Anne Boleyn. He was knighted in the presence of Queen Elizabeth by the Duke of Norfolk 8 June 1567, and created Baron Buckhurst on the same day. In 1571 he was sent on a special mission to congratulate King Charles IX of France on his marriage with Elizabeth of Austria, the daughter of the Emperor Maximilian, and also to negotiate the matter of the proposed alliance of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Anjou, brother of the French king. In 1572 he was one of the Peers that sat on the trial of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk. In 1586 he was selected to convey to Mary, Queen of Scots, the sentence of death confirmed by the English Parliament. In 1599 he succeeded William Cecil, Lord Burghley as Lord Treasurer. He was also a minor author, and with Thomas Norton wrote the play Gorboduc (1561), the first English drama to be written in blank verse. He also contributed a couple of poems to the 1563 edition of Mirror for Magistrates, and wrote the allegorical poem Induction. He was chosen to be Chancellor of Oxford University from 1591, and gave generously to the library. A gift of £100 is recorded first in the Benefactor's Register of the Bodleian Library, though in fact it is clear that the gift was made in March 1602, not in 1600, as claimed in the register. Through his agents on the Continent, he bought one hundred and seventy seven works with the money. Most of these are still in the library, their bindings stamped with his arms. Buckhurst was appointed Lord High Treasurer of England in 1594, and created Earl of Dorset in 1604.