Dramatic Life of Sir Walter Raleigh, As Illustrated In Six Videos

Historic Royal Palaces: “A handsome courtier, celebrated explorer, favourite of Elizabeth I and scholar of poetry, history and science, Sir Walter Raleigh was also one of the most famous prisoners to be held at the Tower of London. Yeoman Warder Gary Burridge tells us more…”

Who was Sir Walter Raleigh and what did he had to do with the Tower of London?

Fun Kids Learn: “In Locked Up in The Tower, Annabel’s uncle is a Beefeater, one of the special Yeoman Warders at the Tower of London. He’s always telling her about the famous prisoners the Tower of London has held over the years. One of the most famous prisoners was Sir Walter Raleigh, an explorer from the 17th Century, who is best known for making tobacco popular in England, especially in the royal court. In 1594 Raleigh heard of a “City of Gold” in South America, and set off to find it. He wrote a book about his travels and this made many people believe in the legend of “El Dorado.” He’s one of the Tower of London’s most famous prisoners, having spent several years within the walls, after offending two monarchs, Queen Elizabeth, and later King James 1st. He displeased the Queen for secretly marrying one of the ladies of the court, and so was first imprisoned and punished by a stay of several weeks. The next monarch, King James 1st did not like Raleigh and believed he was plotting to remove him from the throne. This earned Sir Walter a ten year stay at the tower, where he was joined by his family and was allowed a degree of freedom to write and study. The legends of El Dorado persisted and so in 1616 he was released to try to find the mythical country one last time. The expedition failed, not least as the country did not exist, and, on his travels, Sir Walter nearly started a war with the Spanish – a terrible crime which led to his final imprisonment, and eventual execution by beheading in 1618.”

“Sir Walter Raleigh, also spelled Ralegh, 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.” Wikipedia

Died (beheaded) October 29, 1618, Old Palace Yard, London, United Kingdom
SpouseElizabeth Raleigh (m. 1591–1618)

National Portrait Gallery: “In this series of films Dr Tarnya Cooper, the National Portrait Gallery’s Chief Curator and Curator of Sixteenth Century Portraits, introduces some of the themes and works in the exhibition ‘Elizabeth I & Her People’.”

Scene from Elizabeth, the Golden Age

The Great Explorers: Sir Walter Raleigh

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