Sir Walter Raleigh

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Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh was born in Devon around 1554. He attended Oxford University for a time and later studied law in London.In 1585, he sponsored the first English colony in America on Roanoke Island (now North Carolina). The colony failed. Raleigh has been credited with making smoking popular back at court in Britain.He soon became a favourite of the queen, and was knighted. In 1592, the queen discovered Raleigh's secret marriage to one of her maids of honour, Elizabeth Throckmorton. This discovery threw Elizabeth into a jealous rage and Raleigh and his wife were imprisoned in the Tower. On his release, in an attempt to find favour with the queen, he set off on an unsuccessful expedition to find El Dorado, the fabled 'Golden Land'.In 1616, Raleigh also defied King James' instructions by attacking the Spanish. On his return to England, the death sentence was reinstated and Raleigh's execution took place on 29 October 1618.


- Established the Virginia colony of Roanoke Island- Knighted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1585- State capital of North Carolina was named after him in 1792- Wrote "History of the World" while imprisoned in the Tower of London

Lasting Impact

Although Sir Walter Raleigh never actually set foot in central North Carolina, where the city of Raleigh is located, he did, however, encourage the settlement of North Carolina.


- Standard4.H.1.2 Explain how and why North Carolina was established.

Sir Walter Raleigh



January 22,1552 - Birth1584 - Dispatched expedition to what is now known as The Lost Colony1585 - Knighted by Queen Elizabeth I1591 - Secretly married 1592 - Imprisoned in the Tower of London1594- Led expedition to find El DoradoOctober 29, 1618 - Death

"Sir Walter Raleigh's Colonies" Video


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