Elihu Yale

Elihu Yale (* April 5, 1649 in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony; † July 8th, 1721 in London) was a merchant of Welsh descent, Governor of the British East India Company in Madras and promoter of the eponymous Yale College, emerged from the later Yale University.


Elihu Yale returned in 1651 with his family to England, grew up in London and went to school there. 1670 he moved to Madras (India, now Chennai ), where he worked in the East India Company, where he was quickly successful. In 1687, he became Governor of Madras, but was way more as a businessman working whereby he became rich quick. In both of these roles, he pursued all retailers that did business in South East Asia and had not been licensed by the East India Company. In 1680, Yale married Catherine Hynmers widow in the St. Mary's Church in Chennai, India. It was the first wedding in the St. Mary's church, which was dedicated on October 28.

1692 Yale resigned as governor back because of a scandal. In 1699 he returned to England and became governor of the East India Company.


Between 1714 and 1721, Elihu Yale donated at the request of Cotton Mather of the Collegiate School in Old Saybrook, Connecticut 560 pounds sterling, which proceeds from the sale of nine bales corresponded goods ( for that time an enormous sum ) and 417 books to school facilities and a painting of the British King George I.

1716 moved the College to New Haven in Connecticut to and two years later was renamed in honor of Elihu Yale in Yale College.

Elihu Yale died 22 years after his return to the British Isles on July 8, 1721 in London. He is buried at the cemetery in Wrexham, North Wales.

1887 was officially renamed Yale College to Yale University.