On this day in history, 29th October 1618, in the reign of King James I, Elizabethan courtier, explorer, author and soldier, Sir Walter Ralegh (Raleigh, Rawley, Ralagh, Rawleigh) was executed in the Old Palace Yard at Westminster Palace.
Ralegh had led an eventful life. He'd been a favourite of Elizabeth I - except when he secretly married her lady, Bess Throckmorton - but had been imprisoned in the Tower of London on several occasions, he'd been accused of atheism at one point, had sailed to America and tried to establish a colony, he was knighted for his service in Ireland, and he was a poet too!
Find out all about Sir Walter Ralegh's colourful life in today's talk.
Also on this day in history:
- 1532 – Henry VIII accompanied Francis I to the border between English Calais and France to bid farewell to him.
- 1586 – Four days after a commission had found Mary, Queen of Scots guilty of conspiring to assassinate Elizabeth I, Parliament met to discuss Mary’s fate. They decided that they should petition the Queen for Mary’s execution.
- 1605 – Death of George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, courtier and naval commander, at the duchy house, near the Savoy in London. He was buried in the family vault in Holy Trinity Church, Skipton, near Skipton Castle. Clifford was Elizabeth I's second champion. He commanded a ship in the Anglo-Spanish War, and is known for capturing Fort San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1598. Elizabeth I nicknamed him her “rogue”.