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Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh was born in East Budleigh in Devon, England. It is thought that he was born sometime between the years of 1552 and 1554 though his exact date of birth is unknown and has been heavily disputed over. He was the youngest of five sons born to Catherine Champernowne in two successive marriages. He was the niece of Kat Ashley, Queen Elizabeth's governess and it was she that introduced him to the court. Sir Walter Raleigh was an aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy and explorer.

In 1578, Raleigh sailed to America with explorer Sir Humphrey Gilbert, his half brother. Then in 1580, Raleigh first came to the attention of Queen Elizabeth I, when he went to Ireland to stop an uprising (an illegal overthrowing of government) in Muster. He soon became a favourite of the queen, and was later knighted. (1585)

In 1585, he sponsored the first English colony in America on Roanoke Island (now north Carolina)called Virginia. The colony failed and a second attempt at colonisation in 1587 also failed.

In 1592, the Queen discovered Raleigh's secret marriage to one of her maids of honour, Elizabeth Throckmorton. This discovery threw Elizabeth I into a jealous rage and Raleigh and his wife were imprisoned in the Tower of London. On his release (1594), Raleigh heard of a “City of Gold” in South America. So in an attempt to find favour with the queen, he set off in 1595 for what became an unsuccessful expedition to find El Dorado.

in a jointly led campaign with the Earl of Essex. the King ordered Raleigh not to interfere with any Spanish possessions. Raleigh attacked Cadiz. Though he did not find this. Raleigh was executed. this time for allegedly being involved in the Main Plot against King James I and was charged with life inprisonment for treason. On top of that the expedition was a failure and he returned to England once again empty handed. probably the most important of Spanish ports and in the following year. the legendary city of untold wealth. King James re-arrested Raleigh for his 1603 crimes and this time the sentence was upheld and on October 29th 1618. King James. In 1616 Raleigh was released from prison to lead an expedition to Guiana to search for Gold.His main aim was to find El Dorado. . forever short of money was clearly attracted to the idea of his wealth being enhanced. However as he was wary of Spain. However Raleigh's men became involved in many fights between the Spanish an his own son ended up dead. When he arrived back he published an exaggerated account of his experiences. This was a military failure but a clear statement of intent. Raleigh attempted to attack a newly formed Spanish Armada (Brand New fleet of boats from Spain). Raleigh spent the next 12 years in the Tower of London where he wrote the first volume of his "History of the World" (1614). In 1596. he did explore about 400 miles of the valley of the River Orinoco in Venezuela. To appease Spain. Following Queen Elizabeth's death in 1603 Raleigh was again imprisoned.