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Why is Sir Walter Raleigh famous?

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Quick Answer

Sir Walter Raleigh is famous for being a soldier, an explorer, a poet and a courtier. He fought the Spanish Armada, explored coastal North Carolina and Virginia, wrote a number of poems and was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I.

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Sir Water Raleigh attracted the queen's attention in 1580, when he helped put down an uprising in Ireland. With her blessing, he helped sponsor a colony in the New World, which he called Virginia after his beloved Virgin Queen. The colony failed, but its failures helped future colonists learn how to finance and supply transoceanic colonies. His poems, like "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd," are widely anthologized even in modern times, and he sponsored other poets, such as Edmund Spenser, who wrote "The Faerie Queene," an allegorical appreciation of Queen Elizabeth.

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