Sir Walter Raleigh explored the region between North Carolina to modern-day Florida, Guiana and South America. In between his periods of exploration, he spent time in the Tower of London. Although his exploration missions were ambitious, they were not always successful.Continue Reading
Sir Walter Raleigh was an explorer, soldier and writer who served under Queen Elizabeth I and King James I of England. His first exploration mission took place in 1587, leading him to the land between North Carolina and modern-day Florida. He named the territory Virginia, to pay homage to the virgin queen he was serving.
In 1592, he found himself locked in the Tower of London after marrying one of Queen Elizabeth's maids in waiting, and attempted to regain her favor by exploring Guiana. While there he hoped to discover El Dorado, which explorers at the time believed was a land of gold. His trip was unsuccessful, but he did bring back tobacco and potato plants that were introduced to England and Ireland.
Following Elizabeth I's death, her successor James I committed Sir Walter Raleigh to the tower. Initially he was sentenced to death, but his sentence was eventually reduced to life imprisonment. After reconsidering, James I released him so he could explore South America. When his mission failed and he returned to England without any booty, James I reinstated his execution order, which was carried out in 1618.Learn more about Exploration & Imperialism