• Dogwoods in bloom during the spring

    Fort Raleigh

    National Historic Site North Carolina

Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh

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?

English landing on Roanoke Island, NC Office of Archives & History

Before the 1587 colony of families, an English expedition of soldiers and explorers resided for nearly a year on Roanoke Island from 1585 to 1586. These men formed England’s first New World settlement, beginning a new chapter in the course of the world.