Sir Walter Raleigh (.. - October 29, 1618)
Died: 29th October, 1618
Nationality: English explorer
Region: England, London

Sir Walter Raleigh Facts

Biography

Sir Walter Raleigh, Raleigh also spelled Ralegh, (born 1554?, Hayes Barton, near Budleigh Salterton, Devon, England--died October 29, 1618, London), English adventurer and writer, a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, who knighted him in 1585. Accused of treason by Elizabeth's successor, James I, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London and eventually put to death.

Raleigh was a younger son of Walter Raleigh (d. 1581) of Fardell in Devon, by his third wife, Katherine Gilbert (nee Champernowne). In 1569 he fought on the Huguenot (French Protestant) side in the Wars of Religion in France, and he is known later to have been at Oriel College, Oxford (1572), and at the Middle Temple law college (1575). In 1580 he fought against the Irish rebels in Munster, and his outspoken criticism of the way English policy was being implemented in Ireland brought him to the attention of Queen Elizabeth. By 1582 he had become the monarch's favourite, and he began to acquire lucrative monopolies, properties, and influential positions. His Irish service was rewarded by vast estates in Munster. In 1583 the queen secured him a lease of part of Durham House in the Strand, London, where he had a monopoly of wine licenses (1583) and of the export of broadcloth (1585); and he became warden of the stannaries (the Cornish tin mines), lieutenant of Cornwall, and vice admiral of Devon and Cornwall and frequently sat as a member of Parliament. In 1587, two years after he had been knighted, Raleigh became captain of the queen's guard. His last appointment under the crown was as governor of Jersey (one of the Channel Islands) in 1600.

In 1592 Raleigh acquired the manor of Sherborne in Dorset. He wanted to settle and found a family. His marriage to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, possibly as early as 1588, had been kept a secret from the jealous queen. In 1592 the birth of a son betrayed him, and he and his wife were both imprisoned in the Tower of London. Raleigh bought his release with profits from a privateering voyage in which he had invested, but he never regained his ascendancy at court. The child did not survive; a second son, Walter, was born in 1593 and a third son, Carew, in 1604 or 1605.

Although Raleigh was the queen's favourite, he was not popular. His pride and extravagant spending were notorious, and he was attacked for unorthodox thought. A Jesuit pamphlet in 1592 accused him of keeping a "School of Atheism," but he was not an atheist in the modern sense. He was a bold talker, interested in skeptical philosophy, and a serious student of mathematics as an aid to navigation. He also studied chemistry and compounded medical formulas. The old idea that Shakespeare satirized Raleigh's circle under the name of the "School of Night" is now entirely discredited.

Raleigh's breach with the queen widened his personal sphere of action. Between 1584 and 1589 he had tried to establish a colony near Roanoke Island (in present North Carolina), which he named Virginia, but he never set foot there himself. In 1595 he led an expedition to what is now Venezuela, in South America, sailing up the Orinoco River in the heart of Spain's colonial empire. He described the expedition in his book The Discoverie of Guiana (1596). Spanish documents and stories told by Indians had convinced him of the existence of Eldorado (El Dorado), the ruler of Manoa, a supposedly fabulous city of gold in the interior of South America. He did locate some gold mines, but no one supported his project for colonizing the area. In 1596 he went with Robert Devereux, 2nd earl of Essex, on an unsuccessful expedition to the Spanish city of Cadiz, and he was Essex's rear admiral on the Islands voyage in 1597, an expedition to the Azores.

Raleigh's aggressive policies toward Spain did not recommend him to the pacific King James I (reigned 1603-25). His enemies worked to bring about his ruin, and in 1603 he and others were accused of plotting to dethrone the king. Raleigh was convicted on the written evidence of Henry Brooke, Lord Cobham, and, after a last-minute reprieve from the death sentence, was consigned to the Tower. He fought to save Sherborne, which he had conveyed in trust for his son, but a clerical error invalidated the deed. In 1616 he was released but not pardoned. He still hoped to exploit the wealth of Venezuela, arguing that the country had been ceded to England by its native chiefs in 1595. With the king's permission, he financed and led a second expedition there, promising to open a gold mine without offending Spain. A severe fever prevented his leading his men upriver. His lieutenant, Lawrence Kemys, burned a Spanish settlement but found no gold. Raleigh's son Walter died in the action. King James invoked the suspended sentence of 1603, and in 1618, after writing a spirited defense of his acts, Raleigh was executed.

Popular feeling had been on Raleigh's side ever since 1603. After 1618 his occasional writings were collected and published, often with little discrimination. The authenticity of some minor works attributed to him is still unsure. Some 560 lines of verse in his hand are preserved. They address the queen as Cynthia and complain of her unkindness, probably with reference to his imprisonment of 1592. His best-known prose works in addition to The Discoverie of Guiana are A Report of the Truth of the Fight About the Iles of Acores This Last Sommer (1591; generally known as The Last Fight of the Revenge) and The History of the World (1614). The last work, undertaken in the Tower, proceeds from the Creation to the 2nd century bc. History is shown as a record of God's Providence, a doctrine that pleased contemporaries and counteracted the charge of atheism. King James was meant to note the many warnings that the injustice of kings is always punished.

Raleigh survives as an interesting and enigmatic personality rather than as a force in history. He can be presented either as a hero or as a scoundrel. His vaulting imagination, which could envisage both North and South America as English territory, was supported by considerable practical ability and a persuasive pen, but some discrepancy between the vision and the deed made him less effective than his gifts had promised.

Sir Walter Raleigh essays

Read more informative topics on our blog
The History Of Tobacco History Essay
The drought finally concluded and Jamestown turned a corner. A fresh cash crop was released to Virginia which helped bring success and a way in to the future. John Rolfe is acknowledged with being the man who introduced cigarette to America. Tobacco has an extended history in the Americas. The Mayan Indians of Mexico carved drawings in rock showing tobacco use. These drawings time back to somewhere within 600 to 900 A. D. Cigarette was harvested by North american Indians prior to the Europeans came from England, Spain, France, and Italy to THE UNITED STATES. Native Us citizens smoked tobacco via..
The United kingdom Renaissance Produced Many Types of Literary works Essay
The Uk Renaissance Created Many Types of Materials and Was Influenced By simplyShakespeare, Marlow, and SpenserThe English Renaissance produced many types of materials for the earthto see. Shakespeare, Spenser, and Marlowe most contributed to the shaping in thetime period. Captain christopher Marlowe's "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love"shows one of the normal love poetry that can be viewed from the Renaissance. Aguy is in search of the like of an additional girl, or woman. Sir Walter Raleighwrote a poem in response to this verse of Marlowe's entitled "The..
The History of Food in Latin America Essay
In the event that one examines any publication shops collection of cookery books you will find quantities about the cuisine of many parts of the world, but all those about South America will be very exceptional indeed, though Mexican and Caribbean food may be described. Yet individuals other delicacies use foods that start in The southern part of America just like potatoes, chocolates, chillies, tomato plants, and numerous legumes. You can also get grains which have remained approximately local to South America including quinoa, recognized to the Incas as the mother grain'.Maize originated..
Subscribe to our updates
79 345 subscribers already with us

Related authors

J.R.R. Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien, in full John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, (born January 3, 1892, Bloemfontein, South Africa--died..
St. Ambrose
St. Ambrose
St. Ambrose, Latin Ambrosius, (born 339 ce, Augusta Treverorum, Belgica, Gaul [now Trier, Germany]--died..
Jules Verne
Jules Verne
Jules Verne, (born February 8, 1828, Nantes, France--died March 24, 1905, Amiens), prolific French..
Jean-Paul Marat
Jean-Paul Marat
Jean-Paul Marat, (born May 24, 1743, Boudry, near Neuchatel, Switzerland--died July 13, 1793,..
J.M. Barrie
J.M. Barrie
J.M. Barrie, in full Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, (born May 9, 1860, Kirriemuir, Angus,..
Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt, nee Sarah Morgan Bryan, (born August 11, 1836, Fayette county, Kentucky,..
Friedrich Holderlin
Friedrich Holderlin
Friedrich Holderlin, in full Johann Christian Friedrich Holderlin, (born March 20, 1770, Lauffen..
Quintilian
Quintilian
Quintilian, Latin in full Marcus Fabius Quintilianus, (born ad 35, Calagurris Nassica, Hispania..
Stephane Mallarme
Stephane Mallarme
Stephane Mallarme, (born March 18, 1842, Paris--died Sept. 9, 1898, Valvins, near Fontainebleau,..
Henry Darger
Henry Darger
Henry Darger, (born April 12, 1892, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.--died April 13, 1973, Chicago), American..
Lee Ufan
Lee Ufan
Lee Ufan, Korean Lee Woo-Hwan, (born June 24, 1936, Haman, South Kyongsang [Gyeongsang] province,..
John Lithgow
John Lithgow
John Lithgow, in full John Arthur Lithgow, (born October 19, 1945, Rochester, New York, U.S.), American..
Stephen Crane
Stephen Crane
Stephen Crane, (born Nov. 1, 1871, Newark, N.J., U.S.--died June 5, 1900, Badenweiler, Baden, Ger.),..
Lu Xun
Lu Xun
Lu Xun, Wade-Giles romanization Lu Hsun, pen name (biming) of Zhou Shuren, (born September 25, 1881,..
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Gerard Manley Hopkins, (born July 28, 1844, Stratford, Essex, Eng.--died June 8, 1889, Dublin),..
Gil Vicente
Gil Vicente
Gil Vicente, (born c. 1465, Portugal--died 1536/37), chief dramatist of Portugal, sometimes called..
Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry, in full Stephen John Fry, (born August 24, 1957, London, England), British actor, comedian,..
Clement Greenberg
Clement Greenberg
Clement Greenberg, (born Jan. 16, 1909, Bronx, N.Y., U.S.--died May 7, 1994, New York, N.Y.), American..
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, (born February 27, 1807, Portland, Massachusetts [now in Maine],..
Roger Corman
Roger Corman
Roger Corman, in full Roger William Corman, (born April 5, 1926, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.), American..