Sir Walter Raleigh

 

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Raleigh, SIR WALTER, navigator; born in Hayes, Devonshire, England, in 1552; educated at Oxford; and at the age of seventeen went as a soldier to France to assist the Huguenots. He afterwards fought in the Netherlands, and returning to England found that his half-brother, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, had just obtained a patent for establishing a plantation in America. Raleigh joined him, and they sailed for the Western Continent in 1579, but were turned back by the loss of one ship and the crippling of the others in a fight with Spanish cruisers. After serving in the suppression of a rebellion in Ireland, he was admitted to the Court of Queen Elizabeth, who conferred honors upon him. These favors were won by his gallantry in spreading his scarlet cloak over a miry place for the Queen to walk upon.

Through his influence he obtained another patent for Gilbert, and they again proposed to sail for America. Accident kept Raleigh at home, but Gilbert sailed from Plymouth with five ships in 1583, and landing in Newfoundland he took possession of the island in the name of the Queen. Off the coast of Maine the squadron was dispersed, and the vessel in which Gilbert sailed was lost in a storm with all on board. Afterwards Raleigh obtained for himself a patent as lord proprietor of the country extending from Delaware Bay to the mouth of the Santee River, to plant a colony there; and in 1584 he sent two ships thither under the respective commands of Philip Amidas and Arthur Barlow. They entered Ocracoke Inlet, off the coast of North Carolina, in July; explored Pamlico and Albemarle sounds; discovered Roanoke Island, and, waving over its soil the banner of England, took possession of it in the name of the Queen. On their return to England in the autumn they gave glowing accounts of the country they had discovered, and as a memorial of her unmarried state, it is said, the Queen gave to the domain the name of Virginia. She knighted Raleigh, and gave him lucrative privileges that enriched him.

Raleigh now took measures for sending out a colony to settle in Virginia, and on April 9, 1585, seven of his vessels sailed from Plymouth with 180 colonists and a full complement of seamen. Sir Richard Grenville commanded the expedition, accompanied by Sir Ralph Lane as governor of the colony, Philip Amidas as admiral of the fleet, Thomas Cavendish, who the next year followed the path of Drake around the world, Thomas Harriott, as historian of the expedition, and John With, a competent painter, to delineate men and things in America. The expedition reached the American coast late in June, and the vessels being nearly wrecked on a point of land, they named it Cape Fear. Entering Ocracoke Inlet, they landed on Roanoke Island. There Grenville left the colonists and returned to England with the ships. The next year Raleigh sent reinforcements and supplies to the colony, but the settlement was abandoned. The settlers had gone home in one of Drake's ships (see DRAKE, SIR FRANCIS). In 1587 Raleigh sent out a colony of farmers and mechanics to settle on the shores of Chesapeake Bay, with John White as governor. He gave them a charter and a municipal government to found the "City of Raleigh." White landed on Roanoke Island and went back to England for reinforcements and supplies. Two of Raleigh's supply ships were captured by French cruisers. His funds were exhausted, having spent $200,000 in his colonization schemes, and the colonists were left to perish or become incorporated with the Indian tribes.

Raleigh was a lieutenant-general in command of the forces in Cornwall in 1588, and behaved gallantly in fighting the Spanish Armada. The next year he formed under his patents a company of "Merchants and Adventurers" to carry on his colonization schemes in America, but it was a failure. With Drake he went to restore Dom Antonio to the throne of Portugal in 1589; brought the poet Edmund Spenser from Ireland to the British Court; lost favor there himself by bad conduct; planned an expedition to Guiana, South America, and went there with five ships in 1595, and published a highly colored account of the country on his return. Regaining a portion of the royal favor, he was in public employment and received large grants from the crown, but the death of Elizabeth in 1603 was a fatal blow to his fortunes. On the accession of James he was stripped of his preferments, and soon after was arrested on a charge of conspiring to dethrone the King, found guilty, and sentenced to be beheaded. He was reprieved and imprisoned in the Tower thirteen years, during six of which his wife bore him company. During that period Raleigh wrote his History of the World. Released in 1615 (not pardoned) , he was commanding admiral of the fleet, and was sent by James with fourteen ships to Guiana in search of treasures. One of Raleigh's commanders was sent up the Orinoco with 250 men in boats, landed at the Spanish settlement of St. Thomas, and, in defiance of the peaceable instructions of the King, killed the governor and set fire to the town. Raleigh's eldest son was killed in the Sir Walter Raleighaction. Unable either to advance or to maintain their position, they retreated in haste to the ships, a Spanish fleet, which had been informed of their movements, hovering near. The expedition was a failure, several of the ships were lost, and he returned in 1613 ruined in health and reputation. Disappointed in his avaricious desires, the infamous King consented to Raleigh's recommitment to the Tower and his execution (October 29, 1618) under the sentence of 1603. Lane, Raleigh's governor in Virginia, first introduced tobacco into England. He had learned to smoke it, and taught Raleigh. When the servant of the latter first saw his master enveloped in tobacco smoke, supposing him to be on fire, he dashed a pail of water over him. Raleigh taught the Queen to smoke.

CHARTER IN FAVOR OF SIR WALTER RALEIGH, KNIGHT, FOR THE DISCOVERY AND PLANTING OF NEW LANDS IN AMERICA, 25 MARCH 1584.

Elizabeth by the grace of God of England, France and Ireland Queene, defender of the faith, &c. To all people to whom these presents shall come, greeting. Know ye that of our especial grace, certaine science, & meere motion, we have given and graunted, and by these presents for us, our heires and successors doe give and graunt to our trusty and welbeloved servant Walter Ralegh Esquire, and to his heires and assignes for ever, free liberty & licence from time to time, and at all times for ever hereafter, to discover, search, finde out, and view such remote, heathen and barbarous lands, countreis, and territories, not actually possessed of any Christian prince, nor inhabited by Christian people, as to him, his heires and assignes, and to every or any of them shall seeme good, and the same to have, holde, occupy & enjoy to him, his heires and assignes for ever, with all prerogatives, commodities, jurisdictios, royalties, privileges, franchises and preeminences, thereto or thereabouts both by sea and land, whatsoever we by our letters patents may grant, and as we or any of our noble progenitors have heretofore granted to any person or persons, bodies politique or corporate: and the saide Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and all such as from time to time, by licence of us, our heires and successors, shal goe or travaile thither to inhabite or remaine, there to build and fortifie, at the discretion of the said Walter Ralegh, his heires & assignes, the statutes or act of Parliament made against fugitives, or against such as shall depart, remaine or continue out of our Realme of England without licence, or any statute, act, law, or any ordinance whatsoever to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

And we do likewise by these presents, of our especial grace, meere motion, and certaine knowledge, for us, our heires and successors, give and graunt full authoritie, libertie, and power to the said Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and every of them, that he and they, and every or any of them shall and may at all and every time and times hereafter, have, take, and leade in the sayde voyage, and travaile thitherward, or to inhabite there with him or them, and every or any of them, such and so many of our subjects as shall willingly accompany him or them, and every or any of them: and to whom also we doe by these presents, give full libertie and authoritie in that behalfe, and also to have, take and employ, and use sufficient shipping and furniture for the transportations, and Navigations in that behalfe, so that none of the same persons or any of them be such as hereafter shall be restrained by us, our heires or successors.

And further that the said Walter Ralegh his heires and assignes, and every of them, shall have, holde, occupie and enjoy to him, his heires and assignes, and every of them for ever, all the soyle of all such landes, territories, and Countreis, so to be discovered and possessed as aforesayd, and of all such Cities, Castles, Townes, Villages, and places in the same, with the right royalties, franchises, and jurisdictions, as well marine as other within the sayd landes, or Countreis, or the seas thereunto adjoyning, to be had, or used, with full power to dispose thereof, and of every part in fee simple or otherwise, according to the order of the lawes of England, as neere as the same conveniently may be, at his, and their wil and pleasure, to any persons then being, or that shall remaine within the allegiance of us, our heires and successors: reserving alwayes to us, our heires and successors, for all services, dueties, and demaunds, the fift part of all the oare of golde and silver, that from time to time, and at all times after such discoverie, subduing and possessing, shall be there gotten and obteined : All which lands, Countreis, and territories shall for ever be holden of the said Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, of us, our heires and successors, by homage, and by the sayd payment of the said fift part, reserved onely for all services.

And moreover, we do by these presents, for us, our heires and successors, give and grant licence to the said Walter Ralegh, his heires, and assignes, and every of them, that he and they, and every or any of them, shall and may from time to time, and at all times for ever hereafter, for his and their defence, encounter and expulse, repell and resist as well by sea as by lande, and by all other wayes whatsoever, all and every such person and persons whatsoever, as without especiall liking and licence of the sayd Walter Ralegh, and of his heires and assignes, shall attempt to inhabite within the sayde Countreys, or any of them, or within the space of two hundreth leagues neere to the place or places within such Countreys as aforesayd (if they shall not bee before planted or inhabited within the limits as aforesayd with the subjects of any Christian Prince being in amitie with us) where the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires, or assignes, or any of them, or his, or their, or any of their associats or company, shall within sixe yeeres (next ensuing) make their dwellings or abidings, or that shall enterprise or attempt at any time hereafter unlawfully to annoy, eyther by Sea or Lande the sayde Walter Ralegh, his heires or assignes, or any of them, or his or their, or any of his or their companies: giving and graunting by these presents further power and authoritie to the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and every of them from time to time, and at all times for ever hereafter, to take and surprise by all maner of meanes whatsoever, all and every those person or persons, with their Shippes, Vessels, and other goods and furniture, which without the licence of the sayde Walter Ralegh, or his heires, or assignes, as afore sayd, shalbe found traffiquing into any Harbour, or Harbours, Creeke, or Creekes, within the limits aforesayd, (the subjects of our Realmes and Dominions, and all other persons in amitie with us, trading to the Newfound lands for fishing as heretofore they have commonly used, or being driven by force of a tempest, or shipwracke onely excepted:) and those persons, and every of them, with their shippes, vessels, goods, and furniture to deteine and possesse as of good and lawfull prize, according to the discretion of him the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires, and assignes, and every, or any of them. And for uniting in more perfect league and amitie, of such Countryes, landes, and territories so to be possessed and inhabited as aforesayd with our Realmes of England and Ireland, and the better encouragement of men to these enterprises: we doe by these presents, graunt and declare that all such Countries, so hereafter to be possessed and inhabited as is aforesayd, from thencefoorth shall be of the allegiance of us, our heires and successours. And wee doe graunt to the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires, and assignes, and to all, and every of them, and to all, and every other person and persons, being of our allegiance, whose names shall be noted or entred in some of our Courts of recorde within our Realme of England, that with the assent of the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires or assignes, shall in his journeis for discoverie, or in the journeis for conquest hereafter travail e to such lands, countreis and territories, as aforesayd, and to their, and to every of their heires, that they, and every or any of them, being eyther borne within our sayde Realmes of England or Irelande, or in any other place within our allegiance, and which hereafter shall be inhabiting within any the Lands, Countryes, and Territories, with such licence (as aforesayd) shall and may have all the privileges of free Denizens, and persons native of England, and within our allegiance in such like ample maner and forme, as if they were borne and personally resident within our said Realme of England, any law, custome, or usage to the contrary notwithstanding.

And forasmuch as upon the finding out, discovering, or inhabiting of such remote lands, countries, and territories as aforesaid, it shalbe necessary for the safety of all men, that shall adventure themselves in those journeys or voyages, to determine to live together in Christian peace, and civill quietnesse eche with other, whereby every one may with more pleasure and profit enjoy that whereunto they shall atteine with great paine and perill, wee for us, our heires and successors, are likewise pleased and contented, and by these presents doe give & grant to the said Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes for ever that he and they, and every or any of them, shall and may from time to time for ever hereafter, within the said mentioned remote lands and countries, in the way by the seas thither, and from thence, have full and meere power and authoritie to correct, punish, pardon, governe, and rule by their and every or any of their good discretions and policies, as well in causes capitall, or criminall, as civill, both marine and other, all such our subjects, as shal from time to time adventure themselves in the said journeys or voyages, or that shall at any time hereafter inhabite any such lands, countreis, or territories as aforesayd, or that shall abide within 200 leagues of any of the sayde place or places, where the sayde Walter Ralegh, his heires or assignes, or any of them, or any of his or their associats or companies, shall inhabite within G. yeeres next ensuing the date hereof, according to such statutes, lawes and ordinances as` shall be by him the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and every or any of them devised, or established, for the better government of the said people as aforesaid. So alwayes as the said statutes, lawes, and ordinances may be, as nere as conveniently may bee, agreeable to the forme of the lawes, statutes, government, or pollicie of England, and also so as they be not against the true Christian faith, nowe professed in the Church of England, nor in any wise to withdrawe any of the subjects or people of those lands or places from the alleagance of us, our heires and successours, as their immediate Soveraigne under God.

And further, we doe by these presents for us, our heires and successors, give and grant ful power and authoritie to our trustie and welbeloved Counsailour Sir William Cecill knight, Lorde Burghley, or high Treasourer of England, and to the Lorde Treasourer of E ngland for us, our heires and successors, for the time being, and to the privie Counsaile of us, our heires and successors, or any foure or more of them, for the time being, that he, they, or any foure or more of them, shall and may from time to time, and at all times hereafter, under his or their handes or Seales by vertue of these presents, authorize and licence the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and every or any of them by him, & by themselves, or by their, or any of their sufficient Atturnies, Deputies, Officers, Ministers, Factors, and servants, to imbarke & transport out of our Realme of England and Ireland, and the Dominions thereof, all or any of his or their goods, and all or any the goods of his and their associate and companies, and every or any of them, with such other necessaries and commodities of any our Realmes, as to the sayde Lorde Treasurer, or foure or more of the privie Counsaile, of us our heires and successors for the time being (as aforesaid) shalbe from time to time by his or their wisedomes, or discretions thought meete and convenient, for the better reliefe and supportation of him the sayde Walter Ralegh, his heires, and assignes, and every or any of them, and of his or their or any of their associats and companies, any act, statute, law, or any thing to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

Provided alwayes, and our wil and pleasure is, and we do hereby declare to all Christian kings, princes, and states, that if the sayde Walter Ralegh, his heires or assignes, or any of them, or any other by their licence or appointment, shall at any time or times hereafter robbe or spoile by sea or by land, or doe any acte of unjust or unlawfull hostilitie, to any of the subjects of us, our heires or successors, or to any of the subjects of any the kings, princes, rulers, Governours, or estates, being then in perfect league and amitie with us, our heires and successours, and that upon such in jurie, or upon just complaint of any such Prince, Ruler, Governour or estate, or their subjects, wee, our heires and successors, shall make open Proclamation within any the portes of our Realme of England, that the saide Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and adherents, or any to whom these our Letters patents may extende, shall within the termes to bee limited, by such Proclamation, make full restitution, and satisfaction of all such injuries done: so as both we and the said Princes, or other so complaining, may hold us and themselves fully contented: And that if the said Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, shall not make or cause to be made satisfaction accordingly within such time so to be limited, that then it shall be lawful to us, our heires and successors, to put the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and adherents, and all the inhabitants of the saide places to be discovered (as is aforesaid) or any of them out of our allegeance and protection, and that from and after such time of putting out of protection of the sayde Walter Ralegh, his heires, assignes and adherents, and others so to be put out, and the said places within their habitation, possession and rule, shall be out of our allegeance and protection, and free for all Princes and others to pursue with hostilitie, as being not our subjects, nor by us any way to be avouched, maintained, or defended, nor to be holden as any of ours, nor to our protection, or dominion, or allegeance any way belonging: for that expresse mention of the cleere yeerely value of the certaintie of the premisses, or any part thereof, or of any other gift, or grant by us, or any our progenitors, or predecessors to the said Walter Ralegh, before this time made in these presents bee not expressed, or any other grant, ordinance, provision, proclamation, or restraint to the contrary thereof, before this time, given, ordained, or provided, or any other thing, cause, or matter whatsoever, in any wise notwithstanding. In witnesse whereof, wee have caused these our letters to be made Patents. Witnesse our selves, at Westminster the five and twentie day of March, in the' sixe and twentith yeere of our Raigns.

 

 

 

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