Sir Walter Raleigh, English explorer

Sir Walter Raleigh, English explorer

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Credit: CHRIS HELLIER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sir Walter Raleigh (c.1552-1618), English explorer. In early life he took part in the suppression of rebellions in Ireland, gaining considerable land as well as the favour of Queen Elizabeth I who knighted him. He explored and colonised Virginia on behalf of the Crown. He fell out of favour by marrying one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting, for which he and his wife were sent to the Tower of London. He was later released and mounted expeditions in South America looking for the famed City of Gold. After Elizabeth I died, Raleigh was implicated in a plot against James I and imprisoned again. Released once more, he mounted an attack on a Spanish colony in San Thome, and on his return was prosecuted and beheaded.

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