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On this day in 1618, Sir Walter Raleigh was executed in the Tower of London

James Manning

Sir Walter Raleigh was an explorer, adventurer and favourite of Elizabeth I. He established two of the first colonies in North America, and although they failed, he was credited with bringing back potatoes and tobacco to England. However, when Elizabeth heard that he had secretly married her lady-in-waiting, she locked them both in the Tower of London.

Upon his release, Raleigh tried to return to favour by seeking El Dorado, the lost city of gold in South America. But Elizabeth’s successor, James I, disliked Raleigh, and when he was implicated in a plot against the king, he ended up back in the Tower for 12 years.

When he was released, Walt tried again to win the favour of his monarch by finding El Dorado, but defied the King’s wishes by attacking the Spanish. Upon his return he was again taken to the Tower, and this time, on October 29 1618, he was beheaded.

From ‘London Map of Days’ by Mychael Barratt.

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