Roe, Thomas (1581 -1644)

Sir Thomas Roe was born at Low Leyton near Wanstead in Essex, the son of Robert Rowe, haberdasher of London, and his wife Eleanor Jermy, daughter of Robert Jermy of Antingham, Norfolk. After matriculating at Magdalen College, Oxford, on 6 July 1593, at the age of twelve, he entered Middle Temple.
He 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.
In 1610, Roe was sent by Prince Henry on a mission to the West Indies, which Roe financed in partnership with Sir Walter Ralegh and the 3rd earl of Southampton, during which he visited Guiana and the Amazon River. He tried to reach the Lake Parime location of the fabled El Dorado, but failed.
In 1614, Roe was elected Member of Parliament for Tamworth. From 1615 to 1618, he was ambassador to the court at Agra, India, of the Great Mughal Ruler, Jahangir, where he obtained protection for the East India Company. In 1621, Roe was elected MP for Cirencester. He received diplomatic credentials to the Ottoman Empire on 6 September, arriving at Constantinople in December.
Through his friendship with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Cyril Lucaris, the famous Codex Alexandrinus was presented to James I. Roe himself collected several valuable manuscripts which he subsequently presented to the Bodleian Library, including twenty-nine Greek and other manuscripts, including an original copy of the synodal epistles of the council of Basle.
In January 1637, Roe was appointed Chancellor of the Order of the Garter. He took part in the peace conferences at Hamburg, Regensburg and Vienna, and used his influence to obtain the restoration of the Palatinate. 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 Lady Eleanor Beeston, the young widowed daughter of Sir Thomas Cave of Stanford-on-Avon, Northamptonshire in 1614, just weeks before embarking for India
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.

Stamp(s) Stamp Information
Title: Roe, Thomas (1581 - 1644) (Stamp 1)
Arms: On a chevron between three trefoils slipped three roundels
Crest: A stag's head erased
Dimensions (height x width): 47mm x 37mm
Heraldic Charges: chevron, on a, between, Heraldic Charges: roundels (3), Heraldic Charges: stag's head couped, Heraldic Charges: trefoils (3)