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Sir Walter Raleigh

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Sir Walter Raleigh was born at Budleigh, Devon, in 1552. About 1568 he was sent to Orien College, Oxford, but did not remain long. He traveled with his brother-in-law, Siir Humphrey Gilbert, on a voyage and later fought the rebels of Munster in Ireland.

Later, Raleigh formed a company with several others and attempted to colonize what later became Virginia. He is credited with discovering tobacco.

Raleigh played a significant role in the defeat of the Armada in 1588. He continued in the favor of Elizabeth I until the end of his reign, but after the ascension of James I, he fell. Tried and convicted for treason, he spent 13 years in the Tower of London. Released from confinement, he engaged in an expedition during which he burned the Spanish town of St. Thomas in the Caribbean. To placate the Spanish, he was arrested on his return to London and beheaded in 1618.