" ‘Tis a sharp remedy, but a sure one for all ills.”
- Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618)
Last words on feeling the edge of the axe before his execution.
Raleigh was an English landed gentleman, writer, poet, soldier, politician, courtier, spy, and explorer. Raleigh rose rapidly in the favour of Queen Elizabeth I and was knighted in 1585. Instrumental in the English colonisation of North America, Raleigh was granted a royal patent to explore Virginia, which paved the way for future English settlements and led to his introduction of tobacco to England. In 1616 Raleigh led a second expedition in search of El Dorado, the legendary city of gold. This was unsuccessful and men under his command ransacked a Spanish outpost. He returned to England and, to appease the Spanish, was arrested and executed in 1618.