The Tudor Society

October 29 – Sir Walter Ralegh is executed

On this day in history, 29th October 1618, Sir Walter Ralegh (Raleigh, Rawley, Ralagh, Rawleigh) was executed in the Old Palace Yard at Westminster Palace.

Although his execution took place in the reign of King James I, so in the Stuart period, Sir Walter Ralegh was a famous Elizabethan courtier, explorer, author and soldier.

Ralegh had been a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, until he angered the queen by secretly marrying her lady, Bess Throckmorton, and he'd led an eventful life. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London on several occasions, he was accused of atheism at one point, and he had sailed to America and tried to establish a colony. He was also knighted for his service in Ireland, and he was a poet too!

Find out all about Sir Walter Ralegh's colourful life...

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October 29 – Sir Walter Ralegh is executed