Sir Walter Raleigh and his Son, 1602. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Sir Walter Raleigh
Born 1554?
Died 29 October 1618
London, England
Occupation soldier, courtier, explorer
Nationality English

Signature File:Sir Walter Raleigh Signature.svg

Sir Walter Raleigh , or Ralegh,[1]; (?1554 - 29 October 1618) was an English poet, aristocrat, explorer, and historian.



Raleigh, son of Walter Raleigh, of Fardel, Devonshire, was born at Hayes Barton in that county. In 1568 he was sent to University of OxfordOxf., where he greatly distinguished himself. In the next year he began his career of adventure by going to France as a volunteer in aid of the Huguenots, serving thereafter in the Low Countries. The year 1579 saw him engaged in his 1st voyage of adventure in conjunction with his half-brother, Sir Humphrey Gilbert. Their object was to discover and settle lands in North America; but the expedition failed, chiefly owing to opposition by the Spaniards. The next year he was fighting against the rebels in Ireland; and shortly thereafter attracted the notice of Queen Elizabeth, in whose favor he rapidly rose. In 1584 he fitted out a new colonising expedition to North America, and succeeded in discovering and occupying Virginia, named after the Queen. On his return he was knighted. In the dark and anxious days of the Armada, 1587-1588, Raleigh was employed in organizing resistance, and rendered distinguished service in action. His favor with the Queen, and his haughty bearing, had, however, been raising up enemies and rivals, and his intrigue and private marriage with Elizabeth Throckmorton, a maid of honor, in 1593, lost him for a time the favor of the Queen. Driven from the Court he returned to the schemes of adventure which had so great a charm for him, and fired by the Spanish accounts of the fabulous wealth of Guiana, he and some of his friends fitted out an expedition which, however, though attended with various brilliant episodes, proved unsuccessful. Restored to the favor of the Queen, he was appointed an Admiral in the expeditions to Cadiz, 1596, and in the following year was engaged in an attack on the Azores, in both of which he added greatly to his reputation. The death of Elizabeth in 1603 was the turning point in Raleigh's fortunes. Thenceforward disaster clouded his days. The new sovereign and his old enemies combined to compass his ruin. Accused of conspiring against the former he was, against all evidence, sentenced to death, and though this was not at the time carried out, he was imprisoned in the Tower and his estates confiscated. During this confinement he composed his History of the World, which he brought down to 130 B.C. It is one of the finest specimens of Elizabethan prose, reflective in matter and dignified and grave in style. Released in 1615 he set out on his last voyage, again to Guiana, which, like the former, proved a failure, and in which he lost his eldest son. He returned a broken and dying man, but met with no pity from his ungenerous King who, urged, it is believed, by the King of Spain, had him beheaded on Tower Hill, October 29, 1618.[2]

Raleigh is one of the most striking and brilliant figures in an age crowded with great men. Of a noble presence, he was possessed of a commanding intellect and a versatility which enabled him to shine in every enterprise to which he set himself. In addition to his great fragment thepage 313 History of the World, he wrote A Report of the Truth of the Fight about the Azores, and The Discoverie of the Empire of Guiana, besides various poems chiefly of a philosophic cast, of which perhaps the best known are The Pilgrimage, and that beginning "Go, Soul, the Body's Guest."[2]

File:Millais Boyhood of Raleigh.jpg
File:Sir Walter Raleigh's House at Blackwall.jpg

Youth and educationEdit

Raleigh was born probably in 1552, though the date is not quite certain. His father, Walter Raleigh of Fardell, in the parish of Cornwood, near Plymouth, was a country gentleman of old family, but of reduced estate. Walter Raleigh the elder was 3 times married. His famous son was the child of his 3rd marriage with Catherine, daughter of Sir Philip Champernown of Modbury, and widow of Otho Gilbert of Compton. By her first marriage she had 3 sons, John, Humphrey and Adrian Gilbert.[3]

The elder Raleigh had been compelled to give up living in his own house of Fardell. His son was born at the farmhouse of Hayes near the head of Budleigh Salterton Bay, on the coast of Devonshire between Exmouth and Sidmouth. The name is written with a diversity exceptional even in that age. Sir Walter, his father, and a half-brother used different forms. The spelling Raleigh was adopted by Sir Walter's widow, and has been commonly used, though there was been a tendency to prefer “Ralegh” in the late 19th century. It was almost certainly pronounced “Rawley.”[3]

In 1568 he was entered as a commoner of Oriel College, Oxford, but he took no degree, and his residence was brief.[3]

Early careerEdit

In 1569 he followed his cousin Henry Champernown, who took over a body of English volunteers to serve with the French Huguenots. From a reference in his History of the World it has been supposed that he was present at the battle of Jarnac (13th of March 1569), and it has been asserted that he was in Paris during the Massacre of St Bartholomew in 1572. Nothing, however, is known with certainty of his life till February 1575, when he was resident in the Temple. During his trial in 1603 he declared that he had never studied the law, but that his breeding had been “wholly gentleman, wholly soldier.”[3]

In June 1578 his half-brother Sir Humphrey Gilbert obtained a patent for 6 years authorizing him to take possession of “any remote barbarous and heathen lands not possessed by any Christian prince or people.” The gentry of Devon had been much engaged in maritime adventure of a privateering or even piratical character since the reign of Henry VIII. In the reign of Elizabeth they were the leaders in colonial enterprises in conflict with the Spaniards in America.[3]

During 1578 Humphrey Gilbert led an expedition which was a piratical venture against the Spaniards, and was driven back after an action with them and the loss of a ship in the Atlantic. Raleigh accompanied his half-brother as captain of the Falcon, and was perhaps with him in an equally unsuccessful voyage of the following year. Gilbert was impoverished by his ventures, and Raleigh had to seek his fortune about the court.[3]

In the course of 1580 he was twice arrested for duels, and he attached himself to the queen's favorite, the earl of Leicester, and to the earl of Oxford, son-in-law of Burghley, for whom he carried a challenge to Sir Philip Sidney.[3]

By the end of 1580 he was serving as captain of a company of foot in Munster. He took an active part in suppressing the rebellion of the Desmonds, and in the massacre of the Spanish and Italian adventurers at Smerwick in November. His letters prove that he was the advocate of a ruthless policy against the Irish, and did not hesitate to recommend assassination as a means of getting rid of their leaders.In December 1581 he was sent home with dispatches, as his company had been disbanded on the suppression of the Desmonds.[3]

Elizabethan courtierEdit

His great fortune dates from his arrival at court where he was already not unknown. Raleigh had been in correspondence with Walsingham for some time. The romantic stories told by Sir Robert Naunton in the Fragmenta Regalia, and by Fuller in his Worthies, represent at least the mythical truth as to his rise into favour. It is quite possible that Raleigh, at a time when his court clothes represented “a considerable part of his estate,” did (as the old story says) throw his mantle on the ground to help the queen to walk dry-shod over a puddle, and that he scribbled verses with a diamond on a pane of glass to attract her attention, though we only have the gossip of a later generation for our authority.[3]

It is certain that his tall and handsome person, his caressing manners and his quick wit pleased the queen. The rewards showered on him were out of all proportion to his services in Ireland, which had not been more distinguished than those of many others. In March 1582 he was granted a reward of £100, and the command of a company, nominally that he might be exercised in the wars, but in reality as a form of pension, since he was allowed to discharge his office by deputy and remained at court.[3]

In February 1583 he was included in the escort sent to accompany the duke of Anjou from England to Flanders. In 1583 the queen made him a grant of Durham House in the Strand (London), the property of the see of Durham, which had however been used of late as a royal guest-house. In the same year the queen's influence secured him 2 beneficial leases from All Souls, Oxford, which he sold to his advantage, and a patent to grant licences to “vintners,” — that is, tavern keepers. This he subleased, and when his agent, one Browne, cheated him, he got the grant revoked, and reissued on terms which allowed him to make £2000 a year. In 1584 he had a licence for exporting woollen cloths, a lucrative monopoly which made him very unpopular with the merchants.[3]

In 1585 he succeeded the earl of Bedford as Warden of the Stannaries. Raleigh made a good use of the great powers which the wardenship gave him in the mining districts of the west. He reduced the old customs to order, and showed himself fair to the workers. In 1586 he received a grant of 40,000 acres of the forfeited lands of the Desmonds, on the Blackwater in Ireland. He was to plant English settlers, which he endeavored to do, and he introduced the cultivation of the potato and of tobacco. In 1587 he received a grant in England of part of the forfeited land of the conspirator Babington.[3]

During these years Raleigh was at the height of his favor. It was the policy of Queen Elizabeth to have several favorites at once, lest any 1 might be supposed to have exclusive influence with her. Raleigh was predominant during the period between the predominance of Leicester and the rise of the earl of Essex, who came to court in 1587.[3]

It is to be noted that Elizabeth treated Raleigh exclusively as a court favorite, to be enriched by monopolies and grants at the expense of her subjects, but that she never gave him any great office, nor did she admit him to the council. Even his post of captain of the Guard, given in 1587, though honorable, and, to a man who would take gifts for the use of his influence, lucrative, was mainly ornamental. His many offices and estates did not monopolize the activity of Raleigh.[3]

The patent given to his half-brother Sir Humphrey Gilbert was to run out in 1584.[3] To avert this loss Raleigh, partly out of his own pocket and partly by securing the help of courtiers and capitalists, provided the means for the expedition to Newfoundland in 1583, in which Gilbert, who had been reduced to sell “the clothes off his wife's back” by his previous misfortunes, finally perished. Sir Humphrey's patent was renewed in favor of Sir Walter in March 1584.[4]


Raleigh now began the short series of ventures in colonization which have connected his name with the settlement of Virginia. It has often been said that Raleigh showed a wise originality in his ideas as to colonization. But in truth the patent granted to him, which gave him and his heirs the proprietary right over all territory they occupied subject to payment of one-fifth of the produce of all mines of precious metals to the crown, is drawn closely on Spanish precedents. Nor was there any originality in his desire to settle English colonists, and encourage other industries than mining. The Spaniards had pursued the same aim from the start.[4]

In April 1584 Raleigh sent out 2 captains, Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe, on a voyage of exploration. They sailed by the Canaries to Florida, and from thence followed the coast of North America as far as the inlet between Albemarle and Pamlico sounds in the modern state of North Carolina. The name of Virginia was given to a vast and undefined territory, but none of Raleigh's captains or settlers reached the state of Virginia.[4]

In the same year he became member of parliament for Devonshire, and took the precaution to secure a parliamentary confirmation of his grant. His 1st body of settlers, sent out in 1585 under Sir Richard Grenville, landed on what is now Roanoke Island in North Carolina. Grenville showed himself mainly intent on taking prizes, going and coming. The settlers got on bad terms with the natives, despaired, and deserted the colony when Sir Francis Drake visited the coast in 1586.[4]

Attempts at colonization at the same place in 1586 and 1587 proved no more successful, and in 1589 Raleigh, who represented himself as having spent £40,000 on the venture, resigned his rights to a company of merchants, preserving to himself a rent, and a fifth of whatever gold might be discovered.[4]

After 1587 Raleigh was called upon to fight for his place of favorite with the earl of Essex. During the Armada year 1588 he was more or less in eclipse. He was in Ireland for part of the year with Sir R. Grenville, and was employed as vice-admiral of Devon in looking after the coast-defenses and militia levy of the county. During this year he received a challenge from Essex which did not lead to an encounter.[4]

In 1589 he was again in Ireland. He had already made the acquaintance of Edmund Spenser and now visited him at his house at Kilcolman. It was by Raleigh's help that Spenser obtained a pension, and royal aid to publish the first 3 books of the Faerie Queene.[4]

The exact cause of Raleigh's partial disgrace at court is not known, but it was probably due to the queen's habitual policy of checking a favorite by the promotion of another. In 1589 he accompanied the expedition to the coast of Portugal, which was intended to cause a revolt against King Philip II, but failed completely.[4]


In 1591 he was at the last moment forbidden to take part in the voyage to the Azores, and was replaced by his cousin Sir R. Grenville, whose death in action with the Spaniards was the subject of one of Sir Walter's most vigorous pieces of prose writing. In 1592 he was again at sea with an expedition to intercept the Spanish trade, but was recalled by the queen. The cause of his recall was the discovery that he had seduced one of her maids of honor, Elizabeth Throgmorton. Raleigh denied in a letter to Robert Cecil that there was any truth in the stories of a marriage between them.[4]

On his return he was put into the Tower, and if he was not already married was married there. To placate the queen he made a fantastic display of despair at the loss of her favor. It must be remembered that the maids of honor could not marry without the consent of the queen, which Elizabeth was always most reluctant to give and would be particularly unwilling to give when the husband was an old favorite of her own. Raleigh proved a good husband and his wife was devoted to him through life.[4]

As the ships of the expedition had taken a valuable prize, the Portuguese carrack Madre de Dios, and as there was a dispute over the booty, he was released to superintend the distribution. He had been a large contributor to the cost of the expedition, but the queen, who sent only 2 ships, took the bulk of the spoil, leaving him barely enough to cover his expenses.[4]

Raleigh now retired from court to an estate at Sherborne in Dorsetshire, which just before his disgrace he had extorted from the bishop of Salisbury, to whose see it belonged, by a most unscrupulous use of the royal influence. A son was born to him here in 1594, and he kept up a friendly correspondence with Sir Robert Cecil, afterwards earl of Salisbury, the secretary of state.[4]

But a life of constant retirement was uncongenial to Raleigh, and as his profuse habits, together with the multiplicity of his interests, had prevented him from making any advantage out of his estates in Ireland, he was embarrassed for money. In 1595 he therefore sailed on a voyage of exploration with a view to conquest, on the coast of South America. The object was undoubtedly to find gold mines, and Raleigh had heard the wild stories of El Dorado which had been current among the Spaniards for long.[4]

His account of his voyage, The Discoverie of Guiana, published on his return, is the most brilliant of all the Elizabethan narratives of adventure, but contains much manifest romance. It was received with incredulity. He was now the most unpopular man in England, not only among the courtiers, but in the nation, for his greed, arrogance and alleged scepticism in religion.[4]

In 1590 he was named with the poet Marlowe and others as an atheist. At court he was not at 1st received. The share he took in the capture of Cadiz in 1596, where he was seriously wounded, was followed by a restoration of favor at court, and he was apparently reconciled to Essex, whom he accompanied on a voyage to the Azores in 1597. This co-operation led to a renewal of the quarrel, and Raleigh, as the enemy of Essex who was the favorite of the soldiers and the populace, became more unpopular than ever.[4]

In 1600 he obtained the governorship of Jersey, and in the following year took a part in suppressing the rebellion of Essex, at whose execution he presided as captain of the Guard. In 1600 he sat as member for Penzance in the last parliament of Elizabeth's reign. In parliament he was a steady friend of religious toleration, and a bold critic of the fiscal and agrarian legislation of the time.[4]

Under JamesEdit

The death of the queen and the accession of James I were ruinous to Raleigh. James, who looked upon Essex as his partisan, had been prejudiced, and Raleigh's avowed desire for the prolongation of the war with Spain was utterly against the peace policy of the king.[4]

Raleigh was embarrassed for money, and had been compelled to sell his Irish estates to Richard Boyle, afterwards 1st earl of Cork, in 1602. He was expelled from Durham House, which was reclaimed by the bishop, dismissed from the captaincy of the Guard, deprived of his monopolies, which the king abolished, and of the government of Jersey.[4]

In his anger and despair he unquestionably took some part in the complication of conspiracies which arose in the 1st months of James's reign, and was committed to the Tower on 19 July 1603. Here he made what appears to have been an insincere attempt to stab himself, but only inflicted a small wound.[4]

His trial at Winchester, November 1603, was conducted with such outrageous unfairness as to shock the opinion of the time, and his gallant bearing in face of the brutality of the Attorney-General, Sir Edward Coke, turned public opinion in his favor. It is now impossible to reach the truth, but on the whole it appears probable that Raleigh was cognizant of the conspiracies, though the evidence produced against him was insufficient to prove his guilt. Much was kept back by the council, and the jury was influenced by knowing that the council thought him guilty.[4]

The sentence of death passed on Raleigh, and others tried at about the same time,[4] was in most cases not carried out. Raleigh was sent to the Tower, where he remained till 19 March 1616. His estate of Sherborne, which he had transferred to his son, was taken by the king, who availed himself of a technical irregularity in the transfer. A sum of £8000 offered in compensation was only paid in part.[5]

Raleigh's confinement was easy, and he applied himself to chemical experiments and literature. He had been known as one of the most poetical of the minor lyric poets of an age of poetry from his youth. In prison he composed many treatises, and the only volume of his vast History of the World published. He also invented an elixir which appears to have been a very formidable quack stimulant. Hope of release and of a renewal of activity never deserted him, and he strove to reach the ear of the king by appealing to successive ministers and favorites.[5]

At last he secured his freedom in a way discreditable to all concerned. He promised the king to find a gold mine in Guiana without trenching on a Spanish possession. It must have been notorious to everybody that this was impossible, and the Spanish ambassador, Gondomar, warned the king that the Spaniards had settlements on the coast. The king, who was in need of money, replied that if Raleigh was guilty of piracy he should be executed on his return. Raleigh gave promises he obviously knew he could not keep, and sailed on 17 March 1617, relying on the chapter of accidents, and on vague intrigues he had entered into in Savoy and France.[5]

The expedition, on which the wreck of his fortune was spent, was ill-appointed and ill-manned. It reached the mouth of the Orinoco on the last day of 1617. Raleigh was ill with fever, and remained at Trinidad. He sent 5 small vessels up the Orinoco under his most trusted captain, Lawrence Keymis, with whom went his son Walter and a nephew. The expedition found a Spanish settlement on the way to the supposed mine, and a fight ensued in which Sir Walter's son and several Spaniards were killed.[5]

After some days of bush fighting with the Spaniards, and of useless search for the mine, Keymis returned to Sir Walter with the news of his son's death and his own utter ruin. Stung by Raleigh's reproach Keymis killed himself, and then after a miserable scene of recriminations, hesitations and mutiny, the expedition returned home.[5]

Raleigh was arrested, and in pursuance of the king's promise to Gondomar was executed under his old sentence on 29 October 1618. During his confinement he descended to some unworthy supplications and devices, but when he knew his end to be inevitable he died with serenity and dignity. His wife survived him, and he left a son, Carew Raleigh. His enmity to Spain made him a popular hero.[5]


Raleigh's poetry is written in the relatively straightforward, unornamented mode known as the plain style. C.S. Lewis considered Raleigh one of the era's "silver poets", a group of writers who resisted the Italian Renaissance influence of dense classical reference and elaborate poetic devices.

In poems such as "What is Our Life" and "The Lie", Raleigh expresses a contemptus mundi (contempt of the world) attitude more characteristic of the Middle Ages than of the dawning era of humanistic optimism. But, his lesser-known long poem "The Ocean to Cynthia" combines this vein with the more elaborate conceits associated with his contemporaries Edmund Spenser and John Donne, expressing a melancholy sense of history.

A minor poem of Raleigh's captures the atmosphere of the court at the time of Queen Elizabeth I. His response to Christopher Marlowe's "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" was "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd". "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" was written in 1592, while Raleigh's "The Nymph's Reply to The Shepherd" was written four years later. Both were written in the style of traditional pastoral poetry. They follow the same structure of six four-line stanzas employing a rhyme scheme of a-a-b-b.

Critical introductionEdit

by John W. Hales

Amongst all the restless, fervid, adventurous spirits of the Elizabethan age, perhaps there is none so conspicuous for those characteristics as Sir Walter Raleigh. A soldier from his youth; at an early period connected with the great maritime movements of his time; ever the foremost hater and antagonist of Spain and all its works; one of the first, if not the first, to fully conceive the idea of colonisation and to attempt to realise it, and at the same time taking an active—too active—part in the party intrigues and contentions of a court where the struggle for place and favour never ceased raging, yet amidst all his schemes and enterprises, noble and ignoble, finding leisure also for far other interests and pursuits; capable of a keen enjoyment of poetry; himself a poet of a true and genuine quality,— he is in a singular degree the representative of the vigorous versatility of the Elizabethan period.

His high imaginativeness is perceptible in the political conceptions and dreams which abounded in his busy brain. It can scarcely be doubted that, had his energies received a different direction, he would have won a distinguished place amongst the distinguished poets of his day. He whom Spenser styles ‘the summer’s nightingale’ might have poured forth a full volume of song of rare strength and sweetness. But, as it was, he found little time for singing; the wonder is he found any—that one so cumbered about much serving did not become altogether of the world worldly, that so occupied with actualities he still was visited even transiently by visions of divine things.

We are apt to pity his misfortunes; and yet it may be they were the blessings of his chequered life. His disgraces and confinements in the Tower would after all seem to have been the times when his nobler self was asserted, and he communed with his own heart.

‘Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage’....

It is impossible not to connect two at least of his most famous pieces — "The Lie" and "The Pilgrimage" — with similar passages of his life, when, for one reason or another, he was "under a cloud," as he thought, but really in a clearer air. His imprisonments were in fact his salvations. Through the Traitor’s Gate he passed to a tranquillity and thoughtfulness for which there seemed no opportunity outside. In his cell in the White Tower his soul found and enjoyed a real freedom.

‘Then, like a bird, it sits and sings,
Then whets and claps its silver wings,
And till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.’

It is a significant tradition attached to several of his verses, that they were written the night before he was beheaded. Of only one poem is it likely to be true; in respect of several it can be certainly disproved; but it illustrates the impression often produced by his poetry. The sweet clear voice comes to us, as it were, through a barred and grated window; and calls up the image of a solitary figure soothing and quieting itself with the thought, too often forgotten elsewhere and in other days, that there is a higher life than that of the courtier, a more splendid preferment than an earthly sovereign can give.

His poetic writings are but scanty in amount. One at least, his Cinthia, is lost; part of a continuation of it, extant in a Hatfield MS., has been lately printed for the first time. His fame has been damaged by the unauthorised ascription to him of inferior and worthless pieces; and, on the other hand, by taking away from him what he undoubtedly wrote. In respect of both rejection and appropriation, Dr. Hannah has performed for him a much-needed service in his excellent volume, The Poems of Sir Walter Raleigh: Collected and authenticated; with those of Sir Henry Wotton and other courtly poets from 1540 to 1650.[6]


Raleigh was knighted in 1584.[3]

He is buried in St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, where a brass memorial and a stained glass window commemorate him.[7]

The state capital of North Carolina was named Raleigh in 1792 for Sir Walter, sponsor of the Colony of Roanoke. The "Lost Colony" is commemorated at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. Also, one of eleven boarding houses at the Royal Hospital School has been named after him.

Raleigh County, West Virginia, is also named in his honour.

Five of his poems ("The Silent Lover i," "The Silent Lover ii," "His Pilgrimage," "The Conclusion," and "Her Reply" [The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd]) were included in the Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1900.[8]

In popular cultureEdit

In 1939, Vincent Price was cast as Sir Walter Raleigh in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. The film cast also included Bette Davis and Errol Flynn.

In late 1940s through early 1950s, actor and comedian Andy Griffith appeared as Sir Walter Raleigh with other cast members in the stage play "The Lost Colony".

In popular culture, he cursed and referenced to as "a stupid git" (by the speaker who is smoking "another cigarette") in the song "I'm So Tired" by The Beatles on their 1968 release, The White Album.

In 1986, Simon Jones portrayed Raleigh in the episode "Potato" of the BBC sitcom Blackadder II.

His Historie of the World, of which only the first volume was completed before his execution, is the source of the title of the Mel Brooks comedy film History of the World, Part I.

Raleigh was also portrayed in films by Richard Todd in The Virgin Queen in 1955, and by Clive Owen in Elizabeth: The golden age in 2007.




  • The perogative [sic] of parliaments in England. London: Thomas Cotes, 1640.
  • Judicious and Select Essayes and Observations ... with his apologie for his voyage to Guiana. London: T.W. for Humphrey Moseley, 1650.
  • The discovery of the large, rich, and beautiful empire of Guiana (edited by Sir Robert H. Schomberger). London: Hakluyt Society, 1848.

Collected editionsEdit


  • Choice Passages from the Writings and Letters of Sir Walter Raleigh (edited by Alexander Balloch Grosart}. London: E. Stock, 1892.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[9]

Poems by Walter RaleighEdit

  1. The Lie

See alsoEdit

Richard Burton reads Sir Walter Ralegh's poem 'The Passionate Man's Pilgrimage'

Richard Burton reads Sir Walter Ralegh's poem 'The Passionate Man's Pilgrimage'


  • Adamson, J.H. and Folland, H.F. Shepherd of the Ocean, 1969
  • Dwyer, Jack Dorset Pioneers The History Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7524-5346-0
  • PD-icon.svg Hannay, David McDowell (1911). "Raleigh, Sir Walter". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 869-870. . Wikisource, Web, Feb. 21, 2018.
  • C.S. Lewis, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama, 1954
  • Naunton, Robert Fragmenta Regali 1694, reprinted 1824.
  • Nicholls, Mark and Williams, Penry. "Ralegh, Sir Walter (1554-1618)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. Template:DNBfirst
  • Ronald, Susan The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, her pirate adventurers, and the dawn of empire. New York: Harper Collins, 2007. ISBN 0-06-082066-7
  • Trevelyan, Raleigh Sir Walter Raleigh, 2002, ISBN 978-0713993264


  1. Many alternate spellings of his surname exist, including Rawley, Ralegh, Ralagh and Rawleigh. "Raleigh" appears most commonly today, though he, himself, used that spelling only once, as far as is known. His most consistent preference was for "Ralegh". His full name is /ˈwɔːltər ˈrɔːli/, though, in practice, /ˈræli/, ral-ee or even /ˈrɑːli/, rah-lee are the usual modern pronunciations in England.
  2. 2.0 2.1 John William Cousin, "Raleigh, Sir Walter," A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: Dent / New York: Dutton, 1910, 312-313. Wikisource, Web, Feb. 21, 2018.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 Hannay, 869.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 Hannay, 870.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Hannay, 871.
  6. from John W. Hales, "Critical Introduction: Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?–1618)," The English Poets: Selections with critical introductions (edited by Thomas Humphry Ward). New York & London: Macmillan, 1880-1918. Web, Apr. 8, 2016.
  7. Walter Raleigh, People, History, Westminster Abbey. Web, July 12, 2016.
  8. Alphabetical list of authors: Montgomerie, Alexander to Shakespeare, William. Arthur Quiller-Couch, editor, Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1900 (Oxford, UK: Clarendon, 1919)., Web, May 19, 2012.
  9. Search results = au:Walter Raleigh, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Jan. 19, 2015.

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