Sir Walter Raleigh
Sir Walter Raleigh (1554 – 1618) was the imaginative force behind the Roanoke colonies. His meteoric rise to favor in the court of Queen Elizabeth was dazzling. Sustained by his service as explorer, soldier, seaman, and by his gifts as a writer, Raleigh’s position brought him vast estates, influence, and knighthood. However, Raleigh’s star faded following his unapproved marriage to Lady Elizabeth Throckmorton. By 1618, after a long stay in the Tower of London, he was executed for allegedly plotting to dethrone Queen Elizabeth’s successor, James I.
For more detailed information on Sir Walter Raleigh and his attempts to colonize the New World, read the Sir Walter Ralegh (how Sir Walter spelled his own name) section. The same information about Ralegh can be viewed in the context of the park's curriculum materials, Roanoke Revisited.
Did You Know?
Wright Brothers National Memorial, the location where Wilbur and Orville Wright flew the first successful powered flights on December 17, 1903, is located only a few miles northeast of Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. More...