Sir Walter Raleigh
Sir Walter’s dizzy life brought him fame and fortune in dangerous places, the most dangerous of which was Court.
UK summer time

More like this

Mediaeval History (57) Tudor Era (8) History (373)

Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) to King James I (1603-1625)
Sir Walter Raleigh

Walter Raleigh was, by his own admission, ‘a man full of all vanity, having been a soldier, a captain, a sea captain, and a courtier, which are all places of wickedness and vice.’ But it was all on such a grand scale that he has become one of the most popular figures of England’s stylish Tudor Age.

WALTER Raleigh’s soldiering in Ireland, putting down the Desmond Rebellions, so impressed Queen Elizabeth I that in 1584 she engaged him to organise the founding of a gold-mining colony at Roanoke Island in the New World.

Raleigh himself remained at home, sitting as an MP for the south-west and co-ordinating defences against the Spanish Armada there. A secret marriage in 1591 to one of Elizabeth’s ladies-in-waiting strained his relationship with the Queen, and in 1595 he sailed for South America and the Orinoco, captivated by tales of El Dorado, the ‘lost city of gold’.

On his return he took part in the Capture of Cádiz in 1596 and was appointed Governor of Jersey, but he was itching to go back.

In 1603, Elizabeth’s nervous successor, James I, sent Raleigh to the Tower for thirteen years for conspiracy. James grudgingly sanctioned one last expedition to South America, but the ransacking of a Spanish outpost gave him an excuse to have Raleigh executed, on October 29th, 1618.

* Sir Walter probably pronounced his surname ‘rawly’, to rhyme with ‘sorely’. However, the pronunciation ‘rally’ is more common today, and has been used here.

More like this

Mediaeval History (57) Tudor Era (8) History (373)

Word Play

The word games below are adapted from textbooks used in Grammar Schools and Secondary Moderns from the 1920s to the 1960s. They are ideal as mental agility exercises, and for gaining confidence in written and spoken English.

Confusables Opposites Spinner Précis Sevens Jigsaw Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object Adjectives Word Class
Picture: From Wikimedia Commons. View original
Sir Walter Raleigh, possibly in the late 1580s, at the height of his promise when he was tasked with the colonisation of North America and holding positions of responsibility, including a Parliamentary seat, in south-west England. A fascination with the legend of El Dorado, and the accession of a new and suspicious-minded King, were about to change his life dramatically.

amazon books

featured music

letters game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: ‘Countdown’ letters game Games with Words

numbers game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps Mental arithmetic

New Stories
The unsung surveyor from Cheshire, who built railways and made friends across the world.
By William Ewart Gladstone
(1808-1898)
William Gladstone explains that a truly ‘exceptional nation’ respects the equality and rights of all nations.
By William Ewart Gladstone
(1808-1898)
William Gladstone warns voters not to leave foreign policy in the hands of interventionist politicians.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
George Stephenson won the admiration of French navvies by showing them how a Geordie works a shovel.