SIR WALTER RALEIGH (/ˈrɔːli/ , /ˈræli/ , or /ˈrɑːli/ ; _circa_ 1554 – 29 October 1618) was an English landed gentleman , writer, poet, soldier, politician, courtier, spy and explorer. He was cousin to Sir Richard Grenville and younger half-brother of Sir Humphrey Gilbert . He is also well known for popularising tobacco in England.
Raleigh was born to a
Protestant family in
In 1594, Raleigh heard of a "City of Gold" in South America and sailed to find it, publishing an exaggerated account of his experiences in a book that contributed to the legend of " El Dorado ". After Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, Raleigh was again imprisoned in the Tower, this time for being involved in the Main Plot against King James I , who was not favourably disposed towards him. In 1616, he was released to lead a second expedition in search of El Dorado. During the expedition, men led by his top commander ransacked a Spanish outpost, in violation of both the terms of his pardon and a peace treaty with Spain. He returned to England and, to appease the Spanish, was arrested and executed in 1618.
* 1 Early life
* 12 Poetry
* 12.1 List of poems
* 13 Legacy * 14 See also * 15 References
* 16 Bibliography
* 16.1 Historiography * 16.2 Poems
* 17 External links
* 17.1 Texts by Raleigh
Little is known about Raleigh's birth. Some historians believe that
he was born on 22 January 1552, although the _Oxford Dictionary of
National Biography _ currently favours a date of 1554. He grew up in
the house of Hayes Barton, a farmhouse near the village of East
Budleigh , not far from
Budleigh Salterton in
Raleigh's family was highly Protestant in religious orientation and had a number of near escapes during the reign of Roman Catholic Queen Mary I of England . In the most notable of these, his father had to hide in a tower to avoid execution. As a result, Raleigh developed a hatred of Roman Catholicism during his childhood, and proved himself quick to express it after Protestant Queen Elizabeth I came to the throne in 1558. In matters of religion, Elizabeth was more moderate than her half sister Mary.
In 1569, Raleigh left for France to serve with the Huguenots in the French religious civil wars. In 1572, Raleigh was registered as an undergraduate at Oriel College, Oxford , but he left a year later without a degree. Raleigh proceeded to finish his education in the Inns of Court . In 1575, he was registered at the Middle Temple . At his trial in 1603, he stated that he had never studied law. His life is uncertain between 1569 and 1575, but in his _History of the World_ he claimed to have been an eyewitness at the Battle of Moncontour (3 October 1569) in France. In 1575 or 1576, Raleigh returned to England.
_ "Raleigh's First Pipe in England", an illustration included in Frederick William Fairholt 's Tobacco, its history and associations_
Between 1579 and 1583, Raleigh took part in the suppression of the Desmond Rebellions . He was present at the Siege of Smerwick , where he led the party that beheaded some 600 Spanish and Italian soldiers. Raleigh received 40,000 acres (16,000 ha) upon the seizure and distribution of land following the attainders arising from the rebellion, including the coastal walled towns of Youghal and Lismore . This made him one of the principal landowners in Munster , but he had limited success inducing English tenants to settle on his estates .
Raleigh made the town of Youghal his occasional home during his 17 years as an Irish landlord, frequently being domiciled at Killua Castle , Clonmellon , County Westmeath . He was mayor there from 1588 to 1589. His town mansion of Myrtle Grove is assumed to be the setting for the story that his servant doused him with a bucket of water after seeing clouds of smoke coming from Raleigh's pipe, in the belief that he had been set alight. But this story is also told of other places associated with Raleigh: the Virginia Ash Inn in Henstridge near Sherborne , Sherborne Castle , and South Wraxall Manor in Wiltshire , home of Raleigh's friend Sir Walter Long .
Amongst Raleigh's acquaintances in
Munster was another Englishman who
had been granted land there, poet
Edmund Spenser . In the 1590s, he
and Raleigh travelled together from
Raleigh's management of his Irish estates ran into difficulties, which contributed to a decline in his fortunes. In 1602, he sold the lands to Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork , who subsequently prospered under kings James I and Charles I . Following Raleigh's death, members of his family approached Boyle for compensation on the ground that Raleigh had struck an improvident bargain.
Engraved portrait of Raleigh
In 1584, Queen Elizabeth granted Raleigh a royal charter authorising him to explore, colonise and rule any "remote, heathen and barbarous lands, countries and territories, not actually possessed of any Christian Prince or inhabited by Christian People," in return for one-fifth of all the gold and silver that might be mined there. This charter specified that Raleigh had seven years in which to establish a settlement, or else lose his right to do so. Raleigh and Elizabeth intended that the venture should provide riches from the New World and a base from which to send privateers on raids against the treasure fleets of Spain . Raleigh himself never visited North America, although he led expeditions in 1595 and 1617 to the Orinoco River basin in South America in search of the golden city of El Dorado . Instead, he sent others to found the Roanoke Colony , later known as the "Lost Colony".
These expeditions were funded primarily by Raleigh and his friends but never provided the steady stream of revenue necessary to maintain a colony in America. (Subsequent colonisation attempts in the early 17th century were made under the joint-stock Virginia Company , which was able to raise the capital necessary to create successful colonies.)
In 1587, Raleigh attempted a second expedition, again establishing a
settlement on Roanoke Island. This time, a more diverse group of
settlers was sent, including some entire families, under the
governance of John White . After a short while in America, White
returned to England to obtain more supplies for the colony, planning
to return in a year. Unfortunately for the colonists at Roanoke, one
year became three. The first delay came when Queen Elizabeth I ordered
all vessels to remain at port for potential use against the Spanish
Armada . After England's 1588 victory over the Spanish Armada, the
ships were given permission to sail. :125–126 _ Raleigh's house
at Blackwall ,
The second delay came after White's small fleet set sail for Roanoke and his crew insisted on sailing first towards Cuba in hopes of capturing treasure-laden Spanish merchant ships. Enormous riches described by their pilot, an experienced Portuguese navigator hired by Raleigh, outweighed White's objections to the delay. :125–126
When the supply ship arrived in Roanoke, three years later than planned, the colonists had disappeared. :130–33 The only clue to their fate was the word "CROATOAN" and letters "CRO" carved into tree trunks. White had arranged with the settlers that if they should move, the name of their destination be carved into a tree or corner post. This suggested the possibilities that they had moved to Croatoan Island , but a hurricane prevented John White from investigating the island for survivors. :130–33 Other speculation includes their having starved, or been swept away or lost at sea during the stormy weather of 1588. No further attempts at contact were recorded for some years. Whatever the fate of the settlers, the settlement is now remembered as the "Lost Colony of Roanoke Island" .
In December 1581, Raleigh returned to England from
Raleigh commissioned shipbuilder R. Chapman of Deptford to build a ship for him. It was originally called _Ark_ but became _Ark Raleigh _, following the convention at the time by which the ship bore the name of its owner. The Crown (in the person of Queen Elizabeth I) purchased the ship from Raleigh in January 1587 for £5,000 (£1,100,000 as of 2015). This took the form of a reduction in the sum that Sir Walter owed the queen; he received Exchequer tallies but no money. As a result, the ship was renamed _Ark Royal_.
In 1592, Raleigh was given many rewards by the Queen, including Durham House in the Strand and the estate of Sherborne, Dorset. He was appointed Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard . However, he had not been given any of the great offices of state . In the Armada year of 1588, Raleigh had some involvement with defence against the Spanish at Devon. His ship, the _Ark Raleigh_, was Lord High Admiral Howard 's flagship.
In 1591, Raleigh was secretly married to Elizabeth "Bess"
Throckmorton (or Throgmorton). She was one of the Queen's
ladies-in-waiting , 11 years his junior, and was pregnant at the time.
She gave birth to a son, believed to be named Damerei, who was given
to a wet nurse at Durham House, but he died in October 1592 of plague.
Bess resumed her duties to the queen. The following year, the
unauthorised marriage was discovered and the Queen ordered Raleigh to
be imprisoned and Bess dismissed from court. Both were imprisoned in
the Tower of
It was several years before Raleigh returned to favour, and he travelled extensively in this time. Raleigh and his wife remained devoted to each other. They had two more sons, Walter (known as Wat) and Carew .
Raleigh was elected a burgess of Mitchell , Cornwall in the parliament of 1593. He retired to his estate at Sherborne, where he built a new house, completed in 1594, known then as Sherborne Lodge. Since extended, it is now known as Sherborne (new) Castle . He made friends with the local gentry , such as Sir Ralph Horsey of Clifton Maybank and Charles Thynne of Longleat . During this period at a dinner party at Horsey's, Raleigh had a heated discussion about religion with Reverend Ralph Ironsides. The argument later gave rise to charges of atheism against Raleigh, though the charges were dismissed. He was elected to Parliament, speaking on religious and naval matters.
FIRST VOYAGE TO GUIANA
Further information: Raleigh\'s El Dorado Expedition Republic of Guyana, 100-dollar gold coin 1976 Commemorating the book Discovery of Guiana 1596 and 10 Years of Independence from British Rule
In 1594, he came into possession of a Spanish account of a great golden city at the headwaters of the Caroní River . A year later, he explored what is now Guyana and eastern Venezuela in search of Lake Parime and Manoa, the legendary city. Once back in England, he published _ The Discovery of Guiana _ (1596), an account of his voyage which made exaggerated claims as to what had been discovered. The book can be seen as a contribution to the El Dorado legend. Venezuela has gold deposits, but no evidence indicates that Raleigh found any mines. He is sometimes said to have discovered Angel Falls , but these claims are considered far-fetched.
Raleigh and his son Walter in 1602
In 1596, Raleigh took part in the Capture of Cadiz , where he was wounded. He also served as the rear admiral (a principal command) of the Islands Voyage to the Azores in 1597. On his return from the Azores Raleigh faced the major threat of the 3rd Spanish Armada during the autumn of 1597. The Armada was dispersed by a storm, but Lord Howard of Effingham and Raleigh were able to organise a fleet that resulted in the capture of a Spanish ship in retreat carrying vital information regarding the Spanish plans.
In 1597 Raleigh was chosen member of parliament for Dorset , and in 1601 for Cornwall . He was unique in the Elizabethan period in sitting for three counties.
From 1600 to 1603, as governor of the Channel Island of Jersey , Raleigh modernised its defences. This included construction of a new fort protecting the approaches to Saint Helier , Fort Isabella Bellissima, or Elizabeth Castle .
TRIAL AND IMPRISONMENT
Raleigh's cell, Bloody Tower, Tower of
Royal favour with Queen Elizabeth had been restored by this time, but
his good fortune did not last; the Queen died on 23 March 1603.
Raleigh was arrested on 19 July 1603, charged with treason for his
involvement in the
Main Plot against Elizabeth's successor, James I ,
and imprisoned in the Tower of
Raleigh's trial began on 17 November in the converted Great Hall of Winchester Castle . Raleigh conducted his own defence. The chief evidence against him was the signed and sworn confession of his friend Henry Brooke, 11th Baron Cobham . Raleigh repeatedly requested that Cobham be called to testify. " my accuser come face to face, and be deposed. Were the case but for a small copyhold , you would have witnesses or good proof to lead the jury to a verdict; and I am here for my life!" Raleigh argued that the evidence against him was "hearsay ", but the tribunal refused to allow Cobham to testify and be cross-examined. He was found guilty, but King James spared his life.
He remained imprisoned in the Tower until 1616. While there, he wrote many treatises and the first volume of _The Historie of the World_ (first edition published 1614) about the ancient history of Greece and Rome. His son, Carew, was conceived and born (1604) while Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower.
SECOND VOYAGE TO GUIANA
James I's royal warrant pardoning Raleigh in 1617.
In 1617, Raleigh was pardoned by the King and granted permission to
conduct a second expedition to
Venezuela in search of El Dorado.
During the expedition, a detachment of Raleigh's men under the command
of his long-time friend
Lawrence Keymis attacked the Spanish outpost
of Santo Tomé de Guayana on the
Orinoco River, in violation of peace
treaties with Spain, and against Raleigh's orders. A condition of
Raleigh's pardon was avoidance of any hostility against Spanish
colonies or shipping. In the initial attack on the settlement,
Raleigh's son, Walter, was fatally shot. Keymis informed Raleigh of
his son's death and begged for forgiveness, but did not receive it,
and at once committed suicide . On Raleigh's return to England, an
outraged Count Gondomar , the Spanish ambassador, demanded that
Raleigh's death sentence be reinstated by King James, who had little
choice but to do so. Raleigh was brought to
EXECUTION AND AFTERMATH
Raleigh was beheaded in the Old Palace Yard at the Palace of Westminster on 29 October 1618. "Let us dispatch", he said to his executioner. "At this hour my ague comes upon me. I would not have my enemies think I quaked from fear." After he was allowed to see the axe that would be used to behead him, he mused: "This is a sharp Medicine, but it is a Physician for all diseases and miseries." According to biographers, Raleigh's last words (as he lay ready for the axe to fall) were: "Strike, man, strike!" _ Raleigh just before he was beheaded – an illustration from circa_ 1860
Having been one of the people to popularise tobacco smoking in England, he left a small tobacco pouch , found in his cell shortly after his execution. Engraved upon the pouch was a Latin inscription: _Comes meus fuit in illo miserrimo tempore_ ("It was my companion at that most miserable time").
Raleigh's head was embalmed and presented to his wife. His body was to be buried in the local church in Beddington , Surrey , the home of Lady Raleigh, but was finally laid to rest in St. Margaret\'s, Westminster , where his tomb may still be visited today. "The Lords", she wrote, "have given me his dead body, though they have denied me his life. God hold me in my wits." It has been said that Lady Raleigh kept her husband's head in a velvet bag until her death. After his wife's death 29 years later, Raleigh's head was returned to his tomb and interred at St. Margaret's Church.
Although Raleigh's popularity had waned considerably since his Elizabethan heyday, his execution was seen by many, both at the time and since, as unnecessary and unjust, as for many years his involvement in the Main Plot seemed to have been limited to a meeting with Lord Cobham . One of the judges at his trial later said: "The justice of England has never been so degraded and injured as by the condemnation of the honourable Sir Walter Raleigh."
Raleigh while imprisoned in the Tower wrote his incomplete "The Historie of the World." Using a wide array of sources in six languages, Raleigh was fully abreast of the latest continental scholarship. He wrote not about England, but of the ancient world with a heavy emphasis on geography. Despite his intention of providing current advice to the King of England, King James I complained that it was "too sawcie in censuring Princes."
Raleigh's poetry is written in the relatively straightforward, unornamented mode known as the plain style. C. S. Lewis considered Raleigh one of the era's "silver poets", a group of writers who resisted the Italian Renaissance influence of dense classical reference and elaborate poetic devices. His writing contains strong personal treatments of themes such as love, loss, beauty, and time. Most of his poems are short lyrics that were inspired by actual events.
In poems such as _What is Our Life_ and _The Lie _, Raleigh expresses a _contemptus mundi _ (contempt of the world) attitude more characteristic of the Middle Ages than of the dawning era of humanistic optimism. But his lesser-known long poem _The Ocean's Love to Cynthia_ combines this vein with the more elaborate conceits associated with his contemporaries Edmund Spenser and John Donne , expressing a melancholy sense of history. The poem was written during his imprisonment in the Tower of London.
Raleigh wrote a poetic response to Christopher Marlowe 's _The Passionate Shepherd to His Love _ of 1592, entitled _The Nymph\'s Reply to the Shepherd _. Both were written in the style of traditional pastoral poetry and follow the structure of six four-line stanzas employing a rhyme scheme of AABB , with Raleigh's an almost line-for-line refutation of Marlowe's sentiments. Years later, the 20th century poet William Carlos Williams would join the poetic "argument" with his _ Raleigh was Right _.
LIST OF POEMS
All finished, and some unfinished, poems written by, or plausibly attributed to, Ralegh. _As ye came from the holy land_ is often attributed to Ralegh, but in the words of Gerald Bullett "it certainly existed before Ralegh arrived on the scene; Ralegh's connexion with it is largely a matter of conjecture".
* "The Advice" * "Another of the Same" * "Conceit begotten by the Eyes" * "Epitaph on Sir Philip Sidney" * "Epitaph on the Earl of Leicester" * "Even such is Time" * "The Excuse" * "False Love" * "Farewell to the Court" * "His Petition to Queen Anne of Denmark" * "If Cynthia be a Queen" * "In Commendation of George Gascoigne's Steel Glass" * "The Lie " * "Like Hermit Poor" * "Lines from Catullus" * "Love and Time" * "My Body in the Walls captive" * "The Nymph\'s Reply to the Shepherd " * "Of Spenser's Faery Queen" * "On the Snuff of a Candle" * "The Ocean's Love to Cynthia" * "A Poem entreating of Sorrow" * "A Poem put into my Lady Laiton's Pocket" * "The Pilgrimage" * "A Prognistication upon Cards and Dice" * "The Shepherd's Praise of Diana" * "Sweet Unsure" * "To His Mistress" * "To the Translator of Lucan's Pharsalia" * "What is Our Life?" * "The Wood, the Weed, the Wag"
A galliard was composed in honour of Raleigh by either Francis Cutting or Richard Allison .
The state capital of North Carolina , its second-largest city, was named Raleigh in 1792, after Sir Walter, sponsor of the Roanoke Colony . In the city, a bronze statue, which has been moved around different locations within the city, was cast in honour of the city's namesake. The "Lost Colony" is commemorated at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island , North Carolina.
Raleigh County, West Virginia , is also named in his honour.
Mount Raleigh in the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in British Columbia , Canada , was named for him, with related features the Raleigh Glacier and Raleigh Creek named in association with the mountain. Mount Gilbert , just to Mount Raleigh's south, was named for his half-brother, Sir Humphrey.
Raleigh has been widely speculated to be responsible for introducing the potato to Europe, and was a key figure in bringing it to Ireland. However, modern historians dispute this claim, suggesting it would have been impossible for Raleigh to have discovered the potato in the places he visited.
In 1927, Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company introduced a line of Sir Walter Raleigh pipe tobaccos. Instantly popular and remaining so to this day, they are now made by Scandinavian Tobacco Group Lane Ltd.
Due to Raleigh's role in the popularisation of smoking, John Lennon humorously referred to him as "such a stupid get " in the song "I\'m So Tired " on the "White Album" _The Beatles _ (1968).
Various colourful stories are told about him, such as laying his cloak over a puddle for the Queen, but they are probably apocryphal.
* Poetry portal
* ^ "Sir Walter Raleigh". Nndb.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
* ^ Many alternative spellings of his surname exist, including
_Rawley_, _Ralegh_, _Ralagh_, and _Rawleigh_. "Raleigh" appears most
commonly today, though he used that spelling only once, as far as is
known. His most consistent preference was for "Ralegh". His full name
is /ˈwɔːltər ˈrɔːli/ , though in practice /ˈræli/ , _RAL-ee_
, or even /ˈrɑːli/ _RAH-lee_ are the usual modern pronunciations
* ^ "BBC – Great Britons – Top 100". _
Internet Archive _.
Archived from the original on 2002-12-04. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _The Broadview Anthology of British
Literature_. (2011) Broadview Press, Canada, 978-1-55481-048-2. p. 724
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Nicholls, Mark; Williams, Penry (September 2004).
"Ralegh, Sir Walter (1554–1618)". _Oxford Dictionary of National
Oxford University Press . Retrieved 20 May 2008.
(subscription or UK public library membership required)
* ^ Hayes Barton, Woodbury Common. britishexplorers.com
* ^ Ronald, Susan (2007) _The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, her
Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire_ Harper Collins Publishers,
New York. ISBN 0-06-082066-7 . p. 249.
* ^ Bremer, Francis J.; Webster, Tom (2006). _Puritans and
Puritanism in Europe and America_. 1. Santa Barbara, California:
ABC-CLIO Inc. p. 454.
* ^ Edwards, Edward (1868) _The Life of Sir Walter Ralegh. Volume
I_. London: Macmillan, pp. 26, 33.
* ^ Fairholt, Frederick William (1859) _Tobacco, Its History and
Associations_. London, Chapman and Hall
* ^ Saint-John, James Augustus . "Perpetrates the Massacre of Del
Oro". _Life of Sir Walter Raleigh: 1552 – 1618 : in two volumes,
Volume 1_. pp. 52–77.
* ^ Nicholls, Mark; Williams, Penry. "The
* ^ Nicholas Popper, _Walter Ralegh's "History of the World" and the Historical Culture of the Late Renaissance_ (2012) p 18. * ^ J. Racin, _Sir Walter Raleigh as Historian_ (1974). * ^ "Notes for _The Passionate Shepherd to His Love_". Dr. Bruce Magee, Louisiana Tech University . Retrieved 29 October 2012. * ^ Bullett, Gerald (1947). _Silver Poets of the 16th Century_. Everyman\'s Library . 1985. London: J. M. Dent & Sons . p. 280. * ^ "Mathew Holmes lute books: Sir Walter Raleigh\'s galliard". Cambridge Digital Library. Retrieved 11 December 2014. * ^ "The Lost Colony pageant" * ^ "Raleigh County history sources". West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Retrieved 30 May 2015. * ^ "Mount Raleigh". BC Names/GeoBC * ^ "Raleigh Glacier". BC Names/GeoBC * ^ "Raleigh Creek". BC Names/GeoBC * ^ "Mount Gilbert". BC Names/GeoBC * ^ Salaman, Redcliffe N (1985). Burton, William Glynn; Hawkes, J. G., eds. _The History and Social Influence of the Potato_. Cambridge University Press Library Editions. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-5213-1623-1 . * ^ _The Beatles_ (_The White Album_) "I\'m So Tired" website. Retrieved 11 December 2014 * ^ Naunton, Robert _Fragmenta Regalia_ 1694, reprinted 1824. * ^ Fuller, Thomas (1684) _Anglorum Speculum or the Worthies of England_ * ^ 10 Historical Misconceptions, HowStuffWorks
* Adamson, J.H. and Folland, H. F. _Shepherd of the Ocean_, 1969 * Beer, Anna. _Sir Walter Raleigh and his readers in the Seventeenth Century_ (Springer, 1997). * Dwyer, Jack _ Dorset Pioneers_ The History Press , 2009. ISBN 978-0-7524-5346-0 * Lewis, C. S. _English Literature in the Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama,_ (1954). * Hiscock, Andrew. "Walter Ralegh and the Arts of Memory." _Literature Compass_ 4.4 (2007): 1030-1058. * Holmes, John. "The Guiana Projects: Imperial and Colonial Ideologies in Ralegh and Purchas." _Literature Carroll Smyth (Editor), Susan L. Pemberton (Contributor) _Shakespeare And Sir Walter Raleigh: Including Also Several Essays Previously Published In The New Shakspeareana_, Kessinger Publishing, LLC; 264 pages, 2007. ISBN 978-0548312483 * Stebbing, William : _Sir Walter Ralegh._ Oxford, 1899 Project Gutenberg eText
* Lawson-Peebles, Robert. "The many faces of Sir Walter Ralegh." _History Today_ 48.3 (1998): 17+. * Lyons, Mathew. "Cloaked in Mystery." _History Today_ (2012) 62.7 pp 72-72 * Nicholls, Mark, and Penry Williams. _Sir Walter Raleigh: In Life and Legend_ (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011). * Popper, Nicholas. _Walter Ralegh's " History of the World" and the historical culture of the late Renaissance_ (U of Chicago Press, 2012).
* Ralegh, Sir Walter, and Michael Rudick. "The Poems of Sir Walter Ralegh: A Historical Edition." (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies/Renaissance English Text Society, 1999).
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