Raleigh, Sir Walter

Sir Walter Raleigh
c.1522-1618. English soldier, courtier, writer and explorer. When his half brother Sir Humphrey Gilbert's patent, or right to plant colonies, was due to run out, Raleigh became the financial backer of the expedition in which Gilbert found Newfoundland and lost his life. After getting the patent renewed in 1584, Raleigh organized the expedition that planted a colony in Roanoke Island, then sent a second expedition there in 1587. Raleigh was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I and named Virginia for her. Elizabeth's death ruined Raleigh; he was imprisoned by James I and beheaded.