Sir Walter Raleigh the Poet and Gentleman
Looking for tall, dark, and handsome? Sir Walter Raleigh was all of those things and so much more. As one of the most intriguing men of the Middle Ages, Sir Walter Raleigh's strong religious stances, political roles, outstanding writings, and genuine charm make him "Bachelor of the 16th Century". That is until he married in 1572.
Sir Walter Raleigh was born in 1552, but not to the common name that is now in print. During his lifetime, his name was spelled five different ways: Raleigh, Rawleigh, Ralegh, Rawley, and lastly Rawlee. It was not until the early 19th century that his name took hold of the Raleigh spelling. He was a very tall man, just over six feet tall. Keep in mind people were generally shorter in those days than they are today. Sir Walter Raleigh possessed a very attractive and strong Devonshire accent.
Raleigh stood on his soapbox when it came to religious conversation. He openly expressed his hatred of the Catholic Church. It was thought that this hatred resulted from his father. His father was nearly killed as a martyr against the Catholic Church. Many believe that Raleigh was a faithful Protestant, yet others think he may have been an atheist. He was a member of a poetic group called School of Night. This group was known for its skeptical attitude and critical interpretation of Christianity. School of Night
Members carried a reputation of being atheist. The only clear understanding of Raliegh's religious preference is that he was most definitely not Catholic.
The handsome aristocrat found trouble from his charm. Famous legend states that Raleigh laid his cloak over a mud puddle, so Queen Elizabeth's feet would not be soiled. The Queen grew to have a crush on Sir Walter Raliegh. Out of this affection, Queen Elizabeth granted wine monopoly to him, knighted him, gave him vast land in Ireland, and appointed him captain of her guard. It was here that his trouble began. The Queen's Maid of Honor, Bessie, and Sir Walter Raleigh fell in love. In 1572, they were married. The Queen was greatly displeased by this, and threw him in the Tower of London to be punished.
Fortunately, Sir Walter Raleigh also had a great deal of business sense. In 1575, he was released from the Tower of London because one of his ships captured the Spanish "Madre de Dios". This ship gained a great deal of treasure for the Queen. In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh organized colonizing expeditions to America. These...