Elihu Yale, the early patron of Yale college, born in New Haven, Conn., April 5,1648, died in London, July 22, 1721. His father, Thomas Yale, came to New Haven with the first English colonists in 1638, but returned in 1658 with his family. The son never revisited America. About 1678 he went to the East Indies, and from 1687 to 1692 was governor of Fort St. George, Madras. Afterward, having returned to England, he was chosen governor of the East India company, and a little later a fellow of the royal society. In Collins's "Peerage" he is said to have caused the first sale by auction in England. The amount of his gifts to the institution which afterward received his name, in books and money, at different times from 1714 to 1721, was estimated at £500; but the timeliness even more than the amount of his aid made it of great value. In recognition of his generosity, the trustees in 1718 named the new collegiate house at New Haven Yale college; and this designation, limited at first to the edifice, was in the charter of 1745 applied to the whole institution.

A summary of what is known of his life is given in the "Yale Literary Magazine," April, 1858.