On this day in history, 20th March 1616, Sir Walter Raleigh (Ralegh) was released from the Tower of London. He had spent nearly 13 years in the Tower, after having been arrested and imprisoned in July 1603, just a few months after Elizabeth I’s death. He was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death, although King James stepped in and spared his life.
Ralegh was released so that he could undertake a second expedition to Venezuela, South America, in search of El Dorado, the legendary, secret, hidden golden kingdom said to be found in South America. On this expedition, Ralegh’s son, Walter was killed, and when Ralegh returned to England his death sentence was reinstated. He was executed on the 29th October 1618.
I will be writing more about Sir Walter Ralegh in the next week or so.