Aylesbury, Thomas

, a patron of learning, was the second son of William Aylesbury by his wife Anne, daughter of John Poole, esq. and was born in London in 1576. He was educated at Westminster school, and, in 1598, became a student of Christ church, Oxford where he distinguished himself by his assiduous application to his | studies, especially the mathematics. In June 1605, he took his degree of M. A. After he quitted the university, he was employed as secretary to Charles earl of Nottingham, then lord high admiral of England, in which post he had an opportunity of improving his mathematical knowledge, as well as of giving many proofs of it. On this account when George Villiers, duke of Buckingham, succeeded the earl of Nottingham as high admiral, Mr. Aylesbury not onlv kept his employment, but was also, by the favour of that‘powerful duke, created a baronet, April 19, 1627, having been before made master of requests, and master of the mint. These lucrative employments furnished him with the means of expressing his regard for learned men. He not only made all men of science welcome at his table, and afforded them all the countenance he could but likewise gave to such of them as were in narrow circumstances, regular pensions out of his own fortune, and entertained them at his house in Windsor-park, where he usually spent the summer. Walter Warner, who, at his request, wrote a treatise on coins and coinage, and the famous Mr. Thomas Harriot, were among the persons to whom he extended his patronage, and Harriot left him (in conjunction with Robert Sidney and viscount Lisle) all his writings and all the Mss. he had collected. Mr. Thomas Allen of Oxford, likewise, whom he had recommended to the duke of Buckingham, confided his manuscripts to sir Thomas, who is said to have been one of the most acute and candid critics ef his time. By this means he accumulated a valuable library of scarce books and Mss. which were either lost at home during the civil wars, or sold abroad to relieve his distresses; for in 1642 his adherence to the king, occasioned his being turned out of his places, and plundered of his estates. This he bore with some fortitude, but the murder of his sovereign gave him a distaste of his country, and retiring with his family to Flanders, he lived for some time at Brussels, and afterwards at Breda, where in 1657 he died. He left a son William, who, at the request of Charles I. undertook to translate D’Avila’s History of the Civil Wars of France, which appeared in 1647 but in the second edition, published in 1678, the merit of the whole translation is given to sir Charles Cotterel, except a few passages in the first four books. The calamities of his country affected this gentleman too, and in 1657, when Cromwell fitted out a fleet to go on an expedition to the | West Indies, and to carry a supply to the island of Jamaica, Mr. Aylesbury, from pure necessity, engaged himself as secretary to the governor, and died on the island soon after. His surviving sister, the countess of Clarendon, became heiress of what could be recovered of the family estate. 1


Biog. Brit.—Ath. Ox. vol. I.—Lloyd’s Memoirs, fol. p. 699.