Sir Walter Ralegh - A Biography
by William Stebbing
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A Biography

















II. IN SEARCH OF A CAREER (1552-1581) 6

III. ROYAL FAVOUR (1581-1582) 22


V. VIRGINIA (1583-1587) 42

VI. PATRON AND COURTIER (1583-1590) 53

VII. ESSEX. THE ARMADA (1587-1589) 60

VIII. THE POET (1589-1593) 69

IX. THE REVENGE (September, 1591) 82


XI. AT HOME; AND IN PARLIAMENT (1592-1594) 100

XII. GUIANA (1594-1595) 108


XIV. FINAL FEUD WITH ESSEX (1597-1601) 141

XV. THE ZENITH (1601-1603) 155

XVI. COBHAM AND CECIL (1601-1603) 168

XVII. THE FALL (April-June, 1603) 180

XVIII. AWAITING TRIAL (July-November, 1603) 186

XIX. THE TRIAL (November 17) 207


XXI. REPRIEVE (December 10, 1603) 232

XXII. A PRISONER (1604-1612) 241


XXIV. THE RELEASE (March, 1616) 287


XXVI. THE EXPEDITION (May, 1617-June, 1618) 313

XXVII. RETURN TO THE TOWER (June-August, 1618) 331

XXVIII. A MORAL RACK (August 10-October 15) 343

XXIX. A SUBSTITUTE FOR A TRIAL (October 22, 1618) 359

XXX. RALEGH'S TRIUMPH (October 28-29, 1618) 371





Students of Ralegh's career cannot complain of a dearth of materials. For thirty-seven years he lived in the full glare of publicity. The social and political literature of more than a generation abounds in allusions to him. He appears and reappears continually in the correspondence of Burleigh, Robert Cecil, Christopher Hatton, Essex, Anthony Bacon, Henry Sidney, Richard Boyle, Ralph Winwood, Dudley Carleton, George Carew, Henry Howard, and King James. His is a very familiar name in the Calendars of Domestic State Papers. It holds its place in the archives of Venice and Simancas. No family muniment room can be explored without traces of him. Successive reports of the Historical Manuscripts Commission testify to the vigilance with which his doings were noted. No personage in two reigns was more a centre for anecdotes and fables. They were eagerly imbibed, treasured, and circulated alike by contemporary, or all but contemporary, statesmen and wits, and by the feeblest scandal-mongers. A list comprising the names of Francis Bacon, Sir John Harington, Sir Robert Naunton, Drummond of Hawthornden, Thomas Fuller, Sir Anthony Welldon, Bishop Goodman, Francis Osborn, Sir Edward Peyton, Sir Henry Wotton, John Aubrey, Sir William Sanderson, David Lloyd, and James Howell, is far from exhausting the number of the very miscellaneous purveyors and chroniclers.

Antiquaries, from the days of John Hooker of Exeter, the continuer of Holinshed, Sir William Pole, Anthony a Wood, and John Prince, to those of Lysons, Polwhele, Isaac D'Israeli, Payne Collier, and Dr. Brushfield, have found boundless hunting-ground in his habits, acts, and motives. Sir John Hawles, Mr. Justice Foster, David Jardine, Lord Campbell, and Spedding have discussed the technical justice of his trials and sentences. No historian, from Camden and de Thou, to Hume, Lingard, Hallam, and Gardiner, has been able to abstain from debating his merits and demerits. From his own age to the present the fascination of his career, and at once the copiousness of information on it, and its mysteries, have attracted a multitude of commentators. His character has been repeatedly analysed by essayists, subtle as Macvey Napier, eloquent as Charles Kingsley. There has been no more favourite theme for biographers. Since the earliest and trivial account compiled by William Winstanley in 1660, followed by the anonymous and tolerably industrious narrative attributed variously to John, Benjamin, and James, Shirley in 1677, and Lewis Theobald's meagre sketch in 1719, a dozen or more lives with larger pretensions to critical research have been printed, by William Oldys in 1736, Thomas Birch in 1751, Arthur Cayley in 1805, Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges in 1813, Mrs. A.T. Thomson in 1830, Patrick Fraser Tytler in 1833, Robert Southey in 1837, Sir Robert Hermann Schomburgk in 1848, C. Whitehead in 1854, S.G. Drake, of Boston, U.S., in 1862, J.A. St. John in 1868, Edward Edwards in the same year, Mrs. Creighton in 1877, and Edmund Gosse in 1886.

Almost every one of this numerous company, down even to bookmaking Winstanley the barber, has shed light, much or little, upon dark recesses. By four, Oldys, Cayley, Tytler, and Edwards, the whole learning of the subject, so far as it was for their respective periods available, must be admitted to have been most diligently accumulated. Yet it will scarcely be denied that there has always been room for a new presentment of Ralegh's personality. That the want has remained unsatisfied after all the efforts made to supply it is to be imputed less to defects in the writers, than to the intrinsic difficulties of the subject. Ralegh's multifarious activity, with the width of the area in which it operated, is itself a disturbing element. It is confusing for a biographer to be required to keep at once independent and in unison the poet, statesman, courtier, schemer, patriot, soldier, sailor, freebooter, discoverer, colonist, castle-builder, historian, philosopher, chemist, prisoner, and visionary. The variety of Ralegh's powers and tendencies, and of their exercise, is the distinctive note of him, and of the epoch which needed, fashioned, and used him. A whole band of faculties stood ready in him at any moment for action. Several generally were at work simultaneously. For the man to be properly visible, he should be shown flashing from more facets than a brilliant. Few are the pens which can vividly reflect versatility like his. The temptation to diffuseness and irrelevancy is as embarrassing and dangerous. At every turn Ralegh's restless vitality involved him in a web of other men's fortunes, and in national crises. A biographer is constantly being beguiled into describing an era as well as its representative, into writing history instead of a life. Within an author's legitimate province the perplexities are numberless and distracting. Never surely was there a career more beset with insoluble riddles and unmanageable dilemmas. At each step, in the relation of the most ordinary incidents, exactness of dates, or precision of events, appears unattainable. Fiction is ever elbowing fact, so that it might be supposed contemporaries had with one accord been conspiring to disguise the truth from posterity. The uncertainty is deepened tenfold when motives have to be measured and appraised. Ralegh was the best hated personage in the kingdom. On a conscientious biographer is laid the burden of allowing just enough, and not too much, for the gall of private, political, and popular enmity. He is equally bound to remember and account, often on the adverse side, for inherent contradictions in his hero's own moral nature. While he knows it would be absurdly unjust to accept the verdict of Ralegh's jealous and envious world on his intentions, he has to beware of construing malicious persecution as equivalent to proof of angelic innocence.

One main duty of a biographer of Ralegh is to be strenuously on the guard against degenerating into an apologist. But, above all, he ought to be versed in the art of standing aside. While explanations of obscurities must necessarily be offered, readers should be put into a position to judge for themselves of their sufficiency, and to substitute, if they will, others of their own. Commonly they want not so much arguments, however unegotistical and dispassionate, as a narrative. They wish to view and hear Ralegh himself; to attend him on his quick course from one field of fruitful energy to another; to see him as his age saw him, in his exuberant vitality; not among the few greatest, but of all great, Englishmen the most universally capable. They desire facts, stated as such, simply, in chronological sequence, and, when it is at all practicable, in the actor's own words, not artificially carved, coloured, digested, and classified. As for failings and infirmities, they are more equitable and less liable to unreasonable disgusts than a biographer is inclined to fancy. They are content that a great man's faults, real or apparent, should be left to be justified, excused, or at all events harmonized, in the mass of good and ill.

No biographer of Ralegh need for lack of occupation stray from the direct path of telling his readers the plain story of an eventful life. The rightful demands on his resources are enough to absorb the most plentiful stores of leisure, patience, and self-denial. He should be willing to spend weeks or months on loosing a knot visible to students alone, which others have not noticed, and, if they had, would think might as profitably have been left tied. He should collect, and weigh, and have the courage to refuse to use, piles of matter which do not enlighten. He should be prepared to devote years to the search for a clue to a career with a bewildering capacity for sudden transformation scenes. He should have the courage, when he has lost the trace, to acknowledge that he has wandered. He should feel an interest so supreme in his subject, in its shadows as in its lights, as neither to count the cost of labour in its service, nor to find affection for the man incompatible with the condemnation of his errors. Finally, after having arrived at a clear perception of the true method to be pursued, and ends to be aimed at, he should be able to recognize how very imperfectly he has succeeded in acting up to his theory.


LONDON: September, 1891.


Not a few readers and critics, who have been so kind as to speak otherwise only too favourably of the book, have intimated that its value would be increased by references to the authorities.

In compliance with the suggestion, the author now prints the list—a formidable one. He has drawn it up in a form which, he hopes, may enable students without much difficulty to trace the sources of the statements in the text.

The figures in the parentheses () after the title of each authority are the date of the original edition, where that is not the one cited. The figures which follow give the date of the edition actually referred to. The brackets [] after the pages of the Life contain the pages, or volumes and pages, of the cited works.


D'ISRAELI, ISAAC, Cur. Lit. (1791-1834), date of original edition. ed. B. Disraeli, 1849, date of edition referred to. 79, page of Life. [iii. 140], volume and page of Cur. Lit.


ARBER, EDWARD, English Reprints: p. 83 [No. 29, xiv. 13-22].

Archaeologia (Transactions of the Society of Antiquaries): pp. 130 [xxii. 175], 299 [xii. 271], 368 [xliv. 394]. See also Collier, Monson.

Ashmolean MSS. (Bodleian Library): pp. 368 [DCCLXXXVI, fol. 101], 386.

AUBREY, JOHN, Letters by Eminent Persons and Lives of Eminent Men, 1813: pp. 8, 13, 25, 28, 35, 49, 57, 58, 100, 104, 105, 164, 180, 181, 192, 209, 249, 273, 282, 283, 300 [ii. 416 and 494, and 509-21].

Aulicus Coquinarius (published in Secret History of James I, 1811)—'supposed to have been compiled from Bishop Goodman's materials by William Sanderson': p. 210 [173].


BACON, ANTHONY, Correspondence (MSS. Tenison, at Lambeth, and Catalogue, Lambeth Palace MSS.): pp. 89 [Cat. 162], 108 [Cat. 166].

BACON, FRANCIS, LORD, Works, Letters, and Life, ed. James Spedding, R.E. Ellis, and D.D. Heath, 1858-1874.

Apophthegms: pp. 8 [ii. 163], 89 [ii. 129], 155 [ii. 124], 302 [ii. 168].

Life: pp. 359 [vi. 360-2], 361 [vi. 356, 364-5].

BAYLEY, JOHN, History and Antiquities of the Tower of London, 1821: p. 250 [Appendix, vol. ii. ch. x].

BEATSON, ROBERT, Political Index to the Histories of Great Britain and Ireland (1786), 3rd ed. 1806: pp. 35 [i. 448], 108 [i. 448].

BEAUMONT, CHRISTOPHER DE HARLAY DE, Lettres a Henri IV (transcripts by E. Edwards from MSS. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris): pp. 182, 195, 201, 227, 237, 239, 240.

Biographia Britannica, 1747-1766 (Art. W. Ralegh): pp. 39, 49.

BIRCH, REV. THOMAS, D.D., Memoirs of Queen Elizabeth, 1754: pp. 89 [i. 79], 147 [ii. 418].

Life of Sir Walter Ralegh (Oxford ed. of Ralegh's Works): pp. 89 [i. 593], 300 [i. 613].

BLACKSTONE, MR. JUSTICE SIR WILLIAM, Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769). Revised by Serjeant Henry John Stephen, 3rd ed. 1853: p. 285 [ii. 475].

BOLINGBROKE, HENRY ST. JOHN, VISCOUNT ('The Craftsman, by Caleb D'Anvers, Esq.' 1731-1737. Nos. 160, 163, 164, 175, 274): p. 269.

BRAY. See Manning.

BRAYLEY, EDWARD WEDLAKE, and JOHN BRITTON, History of Surrey, 1850: p. 380 [ii. 93-4].

BRUCE, REV. JOHN, Correspondence of King James VI of Scotland with Sir R. Cecil and others in England (Camden Society), 1861: pp. 58 [67], 148 [Appendix 82-3, 90], 172 [15], 173 [67], 175 [43], 176 [18-9], 177 [ibid.], 254 [140-60, 219].

BRUSHFIELD, THOMAS NADAULD, M.D., Raleghana (Burial-place of Walter and Katherine Ralegh), 1896: p. 5 (Devon Assoc. Trans. xxviii. 291-4).

— — (Birthplace of Sir Walter Ralegh), 1889: pp. 6, 101 (Devon Assoc. Trans. xxi. 319-21).

— — (Children of), 1896: p. 197 (Devon Assoc. Trans. xxviii. 310-12).

London and Suburban Residences of Sir Walter Ralegh: pp. 103-5 (Western Antiquary, iv. 82-7, 109-12).

Bibliography of Sir Walter Ralegh (reprinted from Western Antiquary), 1886: pp. 265-76.

— (Tobacco and Potatoes): p. 49 (Devon Assoc. Trans. xxx. 158-97). Builder, The, Sept. 17, 1864: p. 105.

BULLEN, A.H. (Poetical Rhapsody, ed. Francis Davison, 1602), 1890: pp. 78 [i. 116, and Introd. 83, 84], 79 [i. 28, and Introd. 86].

BULLEN, A.H. (England's Helicon, 1600), 1887: p. 80 [Introd. 22, 23].

BURGHLEY, WILLIAM CECIL, LORD, State Papers at Hatfield House, Vol. ii, 1571-1596, ed. Rev. Wm. Murdin: pp. 93 [ii. 657], 95 [ii. 658], 102 [ii. 675], 152 [ii. 811].


Calendar, Carew MSS. 1515-1624, Lambeth Palace Library, ed. Rev. John S. Brewer and William Bullen, 1868: pp. 38, 49, 71, 91, 126, 148, 149, 156, 158, 162, 169, 330.

State Papers, Domestic Series, Elizabeth and James I, 1585-1618: pp. 34, 35, 36, 37, 43, 45, 51, 54, 55, 58, 59, 64, 69, 82, 84, 87, 89, 96, 98, 101, 102, 117, 125, 134, 135, 142, 146, 147, 164, 169, 180, 182, 201, 208, 241, 242, 243, 247, 249, 252, 254, 257, 260, 262, 263, 264, 266, 288, 297, 298, 300, 301, 302, 307, 313, 316, 332, 333, 337, 346, 347, 348, 349, 352, 358, 366, 369, 372, 375, 381, 384, 385, 386, 387, 393, 394, 396.

Venetian State Papers, 1581-1591: pp. 50, 64.

CAMDEN, WILLIAM, Annales, etc. regnante Elizabetha (Part I, to 1589, 1615; Part II, 1627), ed. Thomas Hearne, 1717: pp. 9 [i. 198], 66 [ii. 574-5], 89 [iii. 697], 109 [iii. 697], 137 [iii. 741-2].

Annales Regni Jacobi I: p. 275 [9].

Epistolae (containing in appendix the Annales Jacobi I), ed. Thomas Smith, 1691: pp. 325 [256], 333 [243].

CAMPBELL, JOHN, LORD, Lives of the Chief Justices of England, 1849-1857: p. 209 [i. 210-11].

CAREW, RICHARD, Survey of Cornwall (1602), ed. Lord de Dunstanville, 1811: p. 168 [xxv-xxvi].

CARLYLE, THOMAS: p. 279 (see Cromwell).

CARTE, THOMAS, General History of England, 1747-1755: p. 205 [iii. 719].

CLARENDON, EDWARD HYDE, FIRST EARL of, The Difference and Disparity between the Estates and Conditions of George, Duke of Buckingham, and Robert, Earl of Essex, 'written by the Earl of Clarendon in his younger Dayes' (in Reliquiae Wottonianae, 4th ed. 1685, 185-202): p. 145 [190].

COKE, SIR EDWARD, Third Institute (1644), 1797: p. 214 [24-5].

COLLIER, JOHN PAYNE (Notes and Queries, 3rd Series, vol. v): pp. 244 [7], 246 [7].

Archaeologia (Society of Antiquaries) 1852-1853: pp. 11 [xxxiv. 139], 15 [xxxiv. 139], 21 [xxxiv. 141], 36 [xxxv. 368-71], 42 [xxxiii. 199, and xxxiv. 151], 89 [xxxiv. 160], 90 [xxxiv. 161], 91 [xxxiv. 165], 133 [xxxiv. 168], 164 [xxxiv. 163-4], 165 [xxxv. 214], 244 [xxxv. 217-8], 252 [xxxv. 219-20].

CORNEY, BOLTON, 'Curiosities of Literature, by I. D'Israeli, Esq., Illustrated by Bolton Corney, Esq.,' 1837: p. 274.

COSTELLO, LOUISA STUART, Memoirs of Eminent Englishwomen, 1844: p. 63 [i. 209-10].

Cotton. Library MSS., British Museum: pp. 57 [Galba, C. 9, fol. 157], 132 [Vespas. C. 13, fol. 290], 149 [Julius, F. 6, p. 433], 272 [Julius, C. 3, fol. 311], 316 [Titus, B. 8, fol. 155], 351 [Vitell. C. 17, foll. 439-40], 373 [Titus, C. 6, fol. 93].

Craftsman. See Bolingbroke.

CROMWELL, OLIVER, Letters and Speeches, ed. Thomas Carlyle, 1870: p. 279 [ii. 293].

Memoirs of the Protector Oliver Cromwell, and of his sons, Richard and Henry, by Oliver Cromwell, Esq. (1820), 3rd ed. 1822: p. 279 [i. 369-70].


Declaration of the Demeanour and Carriage of Sir Walter Raleigh, as well in his Voyage, as in and since his Return, printed by the King's Printers, 1618; reprinted Harleian Miscellany, iii, 1809; Somers Collect, ii, 1809: pp. 301 [Harl. iii. 20-3], 389-93 [Harl. iii. 18, et seq.].

DEE, DR. JOHN, Private Diary, ed. J.O. Halliwell (Camden Society), 1842: p. 104 [54].

DEVEREUX, WALTER B., Lives and Letters of the Devereux, Earls of Essex, 1853: pp. 61 [i. 86], 62 [i. 186-8], 130 [i. 376-7], 138 [i. 457].

Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature, and Art, Transactions of the (see also Brushfield): pp. 2 [xv. 163-79], 313 [xv. 459].

D'EWES, SIR SIMONDS, Journals of all the Parliaments during the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, ed. Paul Bowes (1682), 1862: pp. 105 [478, 492], 106 [508-9], 158 [674-6], 159 [629-33].

D'ISRAELI, ISAAC, Curiosities of Literature (1791-1834), ed. B. Disraeli, 1849: pp. 79 [iii. 140], 274 [iii. 145-7], 334 [iii. 127], 375 [iii. 141].

— 'Amenities of Literature (Psychological History of Rawleigh (1840)),' 1841: pp. 59 [iii. 152], 181 [iii. 166-7], 274 [iii. 172-84].

DIXON, WILLIAM HEPWORTH, Her Majesty's Tower, 1869-71: pp. 198 [i. 351-4], 266 [i. 369-70].

DREXELIUS, JEREMIAH (Trismegistus Christianus), Antwerp, 1643: p. 40 [469].

DRUMMOND, WILLIAM, of Hawthornden, 'Notes of Ben Jonson's Conversations with—January, 1619' (Shakespeare Society), ed. David Laing, 1842: pp. 13 [21], 270 [15], 274 [15], 301 [21].


ECHARD, ARCHDEACON LAURENCE, History of England, 1711: p. 186 [i. 911].

EDWARDS, EDWARD, Life of Sir Walter Ralegh, 1868: p. 26 [i. 54-5].

Egerton Papers—from MSS. belonging to Lord Francis Egerton, ed. J. Payne Collier (for Camden Society), 1840: pp. 36 [94], 183 [377].

ELIOT, SIR JOHN, Monarchy of Man, MSS. Harleian, 2228, Brit. Mus. (cf. Forster's Life of Eliot [i. 34, 604]): pp. 375, 397.

EVELYN, JOHN, Diary and Correspondence, ed. William Bray (1818-1819), 1872: p. 267 [i. 391].


FEBRE, NICHOLAS LE, Discours sur le Grand Cordial de Sir Walter Ralegh, 1664: p. 266.

Flying Chudleigh, Chaplain of the, MSS. Corpus Christi, Oxford: p. 326.

FORSTER, JOHN, Life of John Eliot, 1864. See Eliot.

Fortescue Papers; collected by John Packer, Secretary to George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, ed. S.R. Gardiner, 1871: pp. 332 [40], 386 [80], 387 [67], 395 [143].

FOSS, EDWARD, Judges of England, 1857: pp. 209 [vi. 179], 231 [vi. 159].

FOSTER, MR. JUSTICE SIR MICHAEL, Trial of the Rebels in 1746, and other Crown Cases (1st ed. 1762), new ed. 1809: pp. 214, 222 [234].

FOX (or FOXE), JOHN, Acts and Monuments (1554-1562), 1684: p. 5 [iii. 748].

FROUDE, JAMES ANTHONY, History of England, 1856-1870: p. 4 [vi. 149].

FULLER, REV. THOMAS, Church History of Britain, 1655: p. 7 [170].

History of the Worthies of England (1662), 1811: pp. 24 [i. 287], 166 [ii. 286], 394 [ii. 336].


GAINSFORD, CAPTAIN THOMAS, Vox Spiritus, or Sir Walter Rawleigh's Ghost, 1620: p. 395 [Fortescue Papers, 143].

GARDINER, SAMUEL RAWSON, History of England, from the Accession of James I to the Disgrace of Chief Justice Coke, 1603-1616. 1863: pp. 190 [i. 102], 193 [i. 89], 226 [i. 58-9], 263 [i. 29-32].

Prince Charles and the Spanish Marriage, 1617-1623. 1869: pp. 238 [i. 151], 309 [i. 57-64], 324 [i. 125, 130], 332 [i. 134], 337 [i. 140].

The Case against Sir Walter Ralegh (Fortnightly Review, vol. vii; New Series, vol. i), 1867: pp. 305 [613], 318 [602-14].

GASCOIGNE, GEORGE, The Glasse of Gouernment (1576), ed. W.C. Hazlitt (Roxburghe Library), 1870: p. 12 [ii. 178].

GERARD, JOHN, Herbal, or General History of Plants, 1597, with dedication to Sir Walter Raleigh: p. 105 [546].

GIBBON, EDWARD, Life and Works, ed. John Lord Sheffield (1799), new ed. 1814: pp. 102 [i. 152], 281 [i. 151], 309 [i. 152-3], 398 [i. 153].

Gibson MSS., Lambeth Palace Library: p. 345 [viii. fol. 21].

GIFFORD, WILLIAM, Ben Jonson's Works, with Memoir by, 1860: p. 157 [19].

GOODMAN, GODFREY, EX-BISHOP OF GLOUCESTER, Court of King James the First, ed. John S. Brewer, 1839: pp. 195 [ii. 93-7], 381 [i. 69].

GORGES, SIR ARTHUR, A larger Relation of the said Island Voyage (1607), iv. Purchas, 1938-1969: pp. 136 [iv. 1950], 139 [iv. 1965], 140 [iv. 1938-69].

GOSSE, EDMUND, Athenaeum, January 2 and 9, 1886: p. 73.

GUTCH, REV. J., Collectanea Curiosa, 1781: pp. 368 [i. 94-5], 367, 372, 373, 374, 376 [ii. 421-4].


HAILES, LORD, Secret Correspondence of Sir Robert Cecil with James VI, ed. Lord Hailes, 1766: pp. 171 [116], 174 [9], 175 [29], 176 [68], 180 [231], 182 [107], 254 [140-60, 290].

HAKLUYT, RICHARD, Voyages, Navigations, Traffics, and Discoveries of the English Nation (1600). New ed. 1810: pp. 11 [iii. 364], 15 [iii. 186], 44 [iii. 301-6], 45 [iii. 324-40], 47 [iii. 365], 50 [iii. 366], 53 [iii. 364], 67 [ii. 169], 84 [ii. 663-70], 119 [iv. 66].

HALL, BISHOP JOSEPH, Balm of Gilead (1660), Works, 1837: p. 279 [vii. 171].

HALLAM, HENRY, Constitutional History of England, Henry VII—George II (1827), 1850: pp. 183 [i. 354], 199 [i. 353], 204 [i. 354], 225 [i. 353], 285 [i. 277], 293 [i. 352-3], 303 [i. 354].

Introduction to the Literature of Europe (1838-1839), 1847: pp. 79 [ii. 126], 277 [iii. 149].

Hampshire, History of, by Richard Warner, 1795, Woodward, Wilks, and Lockhart (undated) 209 [i. 298-302], Murray's Handbook, 5th ed. 1898: p. 209 [98-9].

HANNAH, ARCHDEACON JOHN, The Courtly Poets, from Raleigh to Montrose, 1870: pp. 56 [56], 73 [Introd. xiv-xv], 367 [52-3].

HARINGTON, SIR JOHN (Nugae Antiquae, 1804). A Brief State of the Church of England: pp. 91 [ii. 127], 101 [ii. 125], 102 [ii. 152], 143 [ii. 129], 164 [ii. 125], 194 [ii. 126], 237 [ii. 99], 273 [ii. 127].

Letters: pp. 90 [i. 348-53], 93 [i. 362], 156 [i. 342], 171 [ibid.], 205 [i. 343], 293 [i. 348-53].

HARIOT (HARRIOT, HERIOTT, or HERIOT), THOMAS, A Briefe and True Report of the new found Land of Virginia, February, 1587; published, London, 1588, and in Latin, by Theodore Bry at Frankfort, 1590; reprinted from the London edition by Hakluyt (iii. 324-40), 1600; new ed. of Hakluyt, 1810: pp. 45, 49.

Harleian MSS., British Museum: pp. 20 [6993, fol. 5], 21 [1644, fol. 77], 56 [6994, fol. 2], 181 [11402, fol. 88], 210, 218 [xxxix. ff. 277 et seq.], 288 [xxxix. fol. 359], 290 [xxxix. ff. 350-1], 329 [4761, ff. 23-5], 333 [7002, fol. 410].

Harleian Miscellany (from library of Edward, second Earl of Oxford), (1st ed. William Oldys, 1744-1753; 2nd ed. the late William Oldys and Thomas Park, 1808-1813): pp. 381 [iv. 62], 382 [iv. 63], 387 [iii. 63-8].

Hatfield Papers, Hatfield House: pp. 18, 102, 103, 107, 111, 112, 119, 120, 124, 126, 141, 156, 160, 164, 165, 170, 171, 174, 178, 181, 194, 201, 203, 232, 233, 242, 244, 246, 247, 249, 260, 261, 334.

HAWLES, SIR JOHN, The Magistracy and Government of England Vindicated, 1689: pp. 186, 224 [35].

HEARNE, THOMAS, Appendix to Preface to Chronic. Walteri Hemingford, Edw I, II, and III, 1731: pp. 372, 374 [i. 181].

HENNESSY, SIR JOHN POPE, Sir Walter Ralegh in Ireland, 1883: pp. 70 [1-3], 162 [75-9], 272 [142-3].

HEYLIN, REV. PETER, D.D.,'Observation upon some particular persons and passages in a Book intitled A Compleat History of the Lives and Reigns of Queen Mary and King James, By a Lover of the Truth, 1656' (ascribed to Carew Ralegh, but queried in British Museum Catalogue as by Peter Heylin): pp. 243, 254, 281.

Historical Account of Sir Walter Raleigh's Voyages and Adventures, 1719: p. 7.

'Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1st ed. by Raphael Holinshed, 1577; 2nd ed. by Raphael Holinshed, William Harrison, and others, newlie augmented and continued to the yeare 1586 by John Hooker, alias Vowell, Gent.'—the 'supplie' by Hooker, vol. vi, 323-461—1586-1587). Reprint 1807 (to which I refer): pp. 4 [iii. 942], 15 [vi. 107], 16 [vi. 437], 18 [vi. 441-5], 38 [vi. 183], 45 [iv. 598-9].

HOOKER, JOHN, alias VOWELL. See Holinshed. Also, Epistle Dedicatory, prefixed to his translation of The Irish Histories of Giraldus Cambrensis, and his Continuation of the Chronicles of Ireland, in ii. Holinshed, ed. 1587. Reprint 1807, vol. vi, pp. 101-110: pp. 1 [vi. 105-6], 3 [vi. 105], 53 [vi. 107].

HOWELL, THOMAS BAYLY (Cobbett's Complete Collection of State Trials, edited by Thomas Bayly Howell, 1809-1815; and by Thomas Jones Howell, 1815-1826): pp. 174 [ii. 48], 228 [ii. 48], 230 [ii. 47-51], 237 [ii. 50], 260 [ii. 950-1].

HOWELL (or HOWEL), JAMES, Epistolae Ho-Elianae (1645-1655), 7th ed. 1705: pp. 49 [404], 302 [371], 303 [ibid.], 305 [369], 327 [370].

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Irish Correspondence, Eliz. (Record Office): pp. 19 [lxxx. Sec. 82], 20 [lxxxiii. Sec. 16].

IZACKE, RICHARD, Remarkable Antiquities of the City of Exeter (1677), enlarged by Samuel Izacke, 1724: p. 6 [147].


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LAING, DAVID (viii. MSS. Hawthornden, Antiqu. Society of Scotland; ii, Drummond Miscel.): p. 367 [iv. 236-8].

Lansdowne MSS., Brit. Mus.: pp. 1 [clx. fol. 311], 97 [xx. fol. 88], 99 [lxx. fol. 210], 361 [cxlii. ff. 412, &c.].

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PURCHAS, REV. SAMUEL, Purchas his Pilgrimes (or Purchas his Pilgrimage), 1613-1625: pp. 136, 138, 139, 140, 291 [iv. 1938-1969, and 1267].

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Discourse of War in General: p. 11 [viii. 279].

Discourse touching a War with Spain: p. 17 [viii. 304-5].

Instructions to his Son, and to Posterity: pp. 167 [viii. 563], 187 [viii. 558].

Letters: pp. 20, 42, 56, 87, 88, 92-3, 95, 103, 106, 107, 151-2, 183, 233, 237-8, 257, 262, 293, 317, 324, 329, 349-50 [viii. 627-66].

Match between the Lady Elizabeth and the Prince of Piedmont: p. 256 [viii. 224-36].

Marriage between Prince Henry and a Daughter of Savoy: p. 256 [viii. 237-52].

Maxims of State: p. 286 [viii. 2].

Orders to Commanders: p. 313 [viii. 682-8].

Poems: pp. 12, 56, 72-81, 102, 103, 258 [viii. 697-736].

Prerogative of Parliaments: pp. 148 [viii. 199], 159 [viii. 187], 178 [viii. 178], 259 [viii. 179], 285 [viii. 154], 286 [viii. 213].

Relation of Cadiz Action: pp. 127 [viii. 668], 131 [viii. 674].

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History of the World: pp. 10 [vi. 211], 35 [vii. 789], 50 [iv. 684], 52 [v. 318], 65 [vi. 101-2], 66 [vi. 81-2], 85 [vi. 113-4], 134 [vii. 789-90], 137 [vi. 103-5], 162 [ii. 151-2], 167 [vi. 458-63], 204 [v. 210], 208 [ii. Preface, 2], 270 [vi. 83], 396 [vii. 900].

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— CAREW, Observation upon Sanderson's History. See Heylin.

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Remains of Sir Walter Raleigh, 1651 and 1656-1657. Lowndes dates 1660. (The contents of this publication—treatises and letters—are incorporated in the Oxford 1829 edition of the Works): pp. 257, 294, 317.

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SPEDDING, JAMES. See Francis Bacon.

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Tanner MSS. (Archbishop Sancroft's, at Bodleian): pp. 271 [xxv. No. 10, fol. 12], 304 [lxxiii. Sec. 160], 368 [ccxcix. fol. 87].

Tenison MSS., Lambeth Palace Library Catalogue: p. 69 [i. 160].

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Wharton MSS. (Bodleian, Oxford): pp. 221 [vol. lxxx], 230 [lxxx. ff. 440, &c.].

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WOOD, ANTHONY A, Athenae Oxonienses, to which are added The Fasti (1691-1692), ed. Rev. Philip Bliss, 1815: pp. 8 [ii. 235], 12 [ibid.], 54 [ii. 299-303], 89 [ii. 237], 270 [ii. 242], 273 [iii. 18], 274 [ii. 626], 300 [iii. 169], 301 [ii. 612], 382 [ii. 244-5].


P. 5, l. 12, for 'him. It has not been' read 'his career. Until lately it had not even.'

P. 5, ll. 22-26, for 'In fact no trace ... face of Ralegh's words' read 'But a few years ago an entry was discovered in the Registers of St. Mary Major, Exeter, of the burial in that church on February 23, 1581, of "Mr. Walter Rawlye, gentelman." Katherine Ralegh, as appears from her will, found in 1895, died in 1594.'

P. 89, l. 10, omit 'published in 1615.'

P. 90, l. 2 from bottom, omit 'in 1615 by Ralegh and his wife.'

P. 102, l. 28, for 'absence of the detail of private life' read 'barrenness in Oldys's biography of the detail of private life.'

P. 209, l. 7, for 'Wolvesey Castle, the old episcopal palace, now a ruin' read 'the great Hall of the Castle.'

P. 233, l. 20, for 'Send me my life' read 'Lend me my life.'

P. 248, l. 4, omit 'and there remained all the years of his imprisonment.'

P. 248, l. 8, for 'died on Tower Hill' read 'was buried in St. Peter's Chapel in the Tower.'

P. 256, l. 14, for 'the Duke' read 'the Dukes.'

P. 258, l. 8 from bottom, 'Historical scavengers, Aubrey and Osborn,' omit 'Aubrey and Osborn.'

P. 269, l. 11, for 'against the phrase' read 'against misuse of the phrase.'

P. 285, l. 12, for 'a statement in the Dialogue' read 'a statement in the Preface to the History.'

P. 317, l. 2, for 'November 17' read 'November 14, 1617.'

P. 324, l. 10 from bottom, for '"I know"—or, according to the Apology, "I know not"' read '"I know," according to the Apology—or, according to another account, "I know not."'

P. 335, ll. 11-14, omit sentence 'Mr.... mob,' which, entirely in error, attributes to Dr. Gardiner the opinion of another writer.

P. 373, l. 9 from bottom, for 'God hold me and' read 'God hold me in.'

P. 398, l. 22, omit 'and a fund of materials not yet properly manufactured.'




The Raleghs were an old Devonshire family, once wealthy and distinguished. At one period five knightly branches of the house flourished simultaneously in the county. In the reign of Henry III a Ralegh had been Justiciary. There were genealogists who, though others doubted, traced the stock to the Plantagenets through an intermarriage with the Clares. The Clare arms have been found quartered with those of Ralegh on a Ralegh pew in East Budleigh church. The family had held Smallridge, near Axminster, from before the Conquest. Since the reign of Edward III it had been seated on the edge of Dartmoor, at Fardell. There it built a picturesque mansion and chapel. The Raleghs of Fardell were, writes Polwhele, 'esteemed ancient gentlemen.' But the rapacious lawyers of Henry VII had discovered some occasion against Wimund Ralegh, the head of the family in their day. They thought him worth the levy of a heavy fine for misprision of treason; and he had to sell Smallridge.

[Sidenote: Ralegh's Parents.]

[Sidenote: Their Character.]

Wimund married into the Grenville family; and in 1497 his son and heir, Walter, was born. Before the boy attained majority the father died. As Dr. Brushfield, a Devon antiquarian, to whose diligence and enthusiasm all students of the life of Walter Ralegh are indebted, has shown, Walter Ralegh of Fardell, on the termination of his minority, in 1518, was possessed, in addition to Fardell, of the manors of Colaton Ralegh, Wythecombe Ralegh, and Bollams. He may be presumed to have succeeded to encumbrances likewise. Part of Colaton was sold by him; and he did not occupy Fardell. As he is known to have owned a bark in the reign of Mary, it has been supposed that he took to commerce. Whether for the sake of contiguity to Exeter, then the centre of a large maritime trade, or for economy, he fixed his residence in East Budleigh parish, on a farm, which was his for the residue of an eighty years' term. His choice may have been partly determined by his marriage to Joan, daughter to John Drake of Exmouth. The Exmouth Drakes were connected with East Budleigh; and Joan's nephew, Robert Drake, bequeathed charitable funds in 1628 for the benefit of East Budleigh parish in which he lived. The dates of Joan's marriage and death are uncertain. It is only known that the two events occurred between 1518 and 1534. Her tomb is in East Budleigh church, with an inscription asking prayers for her soul. She left two sons, George and John. Secondly, Walter married a lady of the family of Darell or Dorrell, though some genealogists describe her as Isabel, daughter of de Ponte, a Genoese merchant settled in London. She left a daughter, Mary, who married Hugh Snedale. On her death, some time before 1549, Walter married thirdly Katherine, daughter of Sir Philip Champernoun. She was widow of Otho Gilbert, of Compton and Greenway Castles, to whom she had borne the three Gilbert brothers, John, Humphrey, and Adrian. By her marriage to Walter Ralegh of Fardell she had three more children, Carew, and Walter, 'Sir Walter Ralegh,' with a daughter, Margaret, described sometimes as older, and sometimes as younger than Walter.

At the time of Ralegh's birth the family had lost its pristine splendour. But there has been a tendency to exaggeration of the extent of the decadence, by way of foil to the merit which retrieved the ruin. John Hooker, a contemporary Devonshire antiquary, uncle to the author of The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, described the family as 'consopited,' and as having 'become buried in oblivion, as though it had never been.' Yet Walter Ralegh of Fardell was still a land-owner of importance. His third marriage indicates that he had not fallen out of the society of his class. Not even personally can he and his wife Katherine be set down as altogether obscure. Holinshed names one of them, and Foxe names both. Walter seems to have had much of his great son's restlessness and independence of character, if without the genius and the gift of mounting. After his first wife's death he energetically adopted reformed doctrines. In 1549 during the rising in the West his religious zeal endangered his life.

[Sidenote: In Peril of Death.]

The story is thus told in Holinshed's Chronicles. 'It happened that a certain gentleman named Walter Ralegh, as he was upon a side holy day riding from his house to Exeter, overtook an old woman going to the parish church of Saint Mary Clift, who had a pair of beads in her hands, and asked her what she did with those beads. And entering into further speech with her concerning religion which was reformed, and as then by order of law to be put in execution, he did persuade with her that she should, as a good Christian woman and an obedient subject, yield thereunto; saying further that there was a punishment by law appointed against her, and all such as would not obey and follow the same, and which would be put in execution upon them. This woman nothing liking, nor well digesting this matter, went forth to the parish church, where all the parishioners were then at the service; and being impatient, and in an agony with the speeches before passed between her and the gentleman, beginneth to upbraid in the open church very hard and unseemly speeches concerning religion, saying that she was threatened by the gentleman, that, except she would leave her beads, and give over holy bread and holy water, the gentlemen would burn them out of their houses and spoil them, with many other speeches very false and untrue, and whereof no talk at all had passed between the gentleman and her. Notwithstanding, she had not so soon spoken but that she was believed, and in all haste like a sort of wasps they fling out of the church, and get them to the town which is not far from thence, and there began to intrench and fortify the town, sending abroad into the country round about the news aforesaid, and of their doings in hand, flocking, and procuring as many as they could to come and to join with them. But before they came into the town they overtook the gentleman Master Ralegh aforesaid, and were in such a choler, and so fell in rages with him, that, if he had not shifted himself into the chapel there, and had been rescued by certain mariners of Exmouth which came with him, he had been in great danger of his life, and like to have been murdered. And albeit he escaped for this time, yet it was not long before he fell into their hands, and by them was imprisoned and kept in prison in the tower and church of Saint Sidwell, without the east gate of the city of Exeter, during the whole time of the commotion, being many times threatened to be executed to death.' He was not released till the battle of Clyst, called by Holinshed, Clift, Heath, won on August 4, 1549, by Lords Grey and Bedford near the scene of his misadventure, followed by a second victory on the next day, forced the Catholic insurgents to raise the siege of Exeter, which they had been blockading since July 2.

He was no fair weather theologian. His Protestantism out-lived King Edward. He sympathized with the demonstration in 1553 against the Spanish marriage. On the failure of the Devonshire movement his cousin, Sir Peter Carew, the ringleader at Exeter, is stated in official depositions to have effected his escape abroad through Walter Ralegh, whom he 'persuaded to convey him in his bark' to France from Weymouth. The wording implies active and conscious intervention. The strange thing is that he should not have been punished for complicity. Later in the reign of Mary his wife exposed herself to similar peril, and similarly escaped. Foxe in his Acts and Monuments relates that Agnes Prest, before she was brought to the stake in 1557 at Southernhay, had been comforted in Exeter gaol by the visits of 'the wife of Walter Ralegh, a woman of noble wit, and of good and goodly opinion.'

[Sidenote: Death and Burial.]

Unless that Walter was churchwarden of East Budleigh in 1561, and that a conveyance by him of the Sidmouth Manor fish tithes proves him to have been alive in April, 1578, nothing more is known of him. It has not been ascertained when he and Katherine died, though they are believed to have been dead in 1584. The interest in the East Budleigh farm had by that time run out; and it is surmised they had removed into Exeter, if they had not previously possessed a residence there, perhaps by the Palace Gate. On the authority of a request by their son in 1603 to be buried, if not at Sherborne, beside them in 'Exeter Church,' it has been concluded that they were interred in the Cathedral. A monument erected to Katherine's son by her first marriage, Sir John Gilbert, was long accepted as theirs. In fact no trace of their burial in any Exeter church has been found. The present inclination of local archaeologists seems to be to assume that they were not buried at Exeter at all. It is hard to assent in the face of Ralegh's words. At all events, nothing else of any kind is remembered of the pair; or could reasonably be expected to have been remembered. History has told much more of them than of most country gentlemen and their wives.


IN SEARCH OF A CAREER (1552-1581).

[Sidenote: Ralegh's Birthplace.]

Walter, the second son by the third marriage of Walter Ralegh of Fardell and Hayes, was born in the reign of Edward VI, it has been supposed, in 1552. The exact date is not beyond doubt; for the registration of baptisms at East Budleigh was not begun till two or three years later. If the inscription on the National Portrait Gallery picture, '1588, aetatis suae 34,' and that on Zucchero's in the Dublin Gallery, 'aet. 44, 1598,' be correct, his birth must have been not in 1552, but about 1554. A similar, or nearly similar, inference may be drawn from the statement, on a miniature of him at Belvoir Castle, of his age as sixty-five in 1618. One local writer, R. Izacke, has claimed the honour of his birthplace for a house in Exeter, adjoining the Palace-gate. Probably the rumour points, as I have intimated, to its occupation at some time or other by his parents. Another author asserts that he was born at Fardell. His own testimony, 'being born in that house,' is decisive in favour of his father's Budleigh home, a lonely, one-storied, thatched, late Tudor farmhouse, not a manor-house, of moderate size, with gabled wings, and a projecting central porch. Tradition has marked out the particular room in which he was born, as on the upper floor at the west end, facing southwards. The house, which is a mile west of East Budleigh church, and six from Exmouth, with the exception of some change at the end of the east wing, probably retains its original character. It was restored in 1627 by 'R.D.' For a century past it has been denominated Hayes Barton, or simply Hayes. Previously it had been called, after successive landlords, Poerhayes or Power's Hayes, and Dukes-hayes. The hollow in which it lies, among low hills, is on the verge of a tract of moorland; and Hayes Wood rises close at hand. Through the oak wood to Budleigh Salterton Bay is two miles and a half.

[Sidenote: At Oxford.]

In this quiet spot Ralegh spent his boyhood, in circumstances not very unlike those of more eminent county families with which his was connected. During the earlier half of the sixteenth century the majority of the gentry were continually growing poorer, and a minority were growing richer. The Raleghs, it is plain, had not met with the good fortune of the Russells, and others of their rural peers. They were declining, if hardly in the degree represented subsequently. But an ampler share of prosperity could not have made much difference in young Walter's prospects or training. Three brothers were all before him in the succession to the patrimony. His birthright could not have comprised more than the cadet's prescriptive portion of necessity and brains. It is unfair to the natural curiosity of posterity that his extraordinary endowments in the second respect are not traceable in anecdotes of his childhood. Naturally a local legend reports him to have loved the society of adventurous mariners. Sir John Millais in his 'Boyhood of Ralegh,' which was painted at Budleigh Salterton, has embodied it. In a narrative printed a century after his death a general assertion of his fondness for books of voyages occurs. Otherwise his boyish tastes and habits are wholly unknown. The name of his school has not been preserved. The first accepted fact after his birth is his entrance, as a commoner, into Oriel College, of which, says Anthony a Wood, his cousin, C. Champernoun, was a member. According to a statement by Thomas Fuller, of which there is no corroboration either in the books of Christ Church, or elsewhere, he belonged also to Christ Church, before or after his admission into Oriel. For any details of his academical course, as for the dates of its commencement and close, posterity is indebted to Wood, who remarks that he went up to Oriel 'in 1568, or thereabouts,' and, 'after he had spent about three years in that house, left the University without a degree.' Wood declares that 'his natural parts being strangely advanced by academical learning, under the care of an excellent tutor, he became the ornament of the juniors, and was worthily esteemed a proficient in oratory and philosophy.' It is exceedingly likely, Ralegh being Ralegh. At the same time, particulars would have been welcome.

[Sidenote: Chronological difficulties.]

Lord Bacon has enshrined in his Apophthegms an example of Ralegh's wit at Oxford. A cowardly fellow happened to be a very good archer. Having been grossly abused by another, he bemoaned himself to Ralegh, and asked what he should do to repair the wrong that had been offered him. 'Why, challenge him,' answered Ralegh, 'to a match of shooting.' If the sarcasm is not very keen its preservation in academical memory implies an impression of distinction in its author. Perhaps as much may be said for another anecdote of his University career, for which John Aubrey solemnly vouches, that he borrowed a gown at Oxford of one T. Child, and never restored it. Bacon's anecdote, in any case, being contemporary testimony, answers the useful purpose of confirming the reality of Ralegh's membership of the University, which otherwise would have to be believed on the faith simply of vague tradition, and of Wood's hasty assertions. No evidence indeed of Ralegh's connection with Oxford has ever been discovered in the College or University papers and books, beyond the entry, a little below the name of C. Champernoun, of 'W. Rawley,' in the list of members of Oriel, dated 1572. It is printed in Mr. Andrew Clark's valuable Oxford Register. This W. Rawley must have been, like Champernoun, an undergraduate; for the name has not the graduate's prefix of 'Mr' or 'Sr.' The presence of the name in the list, with that of Champernoun, would be known to Wood. He may have built upon it the whole of his account of the periods both of Ralegh's admission into Oriel, and his departure after some three years. It would seem to him reasonable enough that Ralegh should have entered about 1568 at sixteen, and be still in residence three or four years later. Unfortunately an interlude, put apparently by Wood several years later, separates 1568 and 1572 in Ralegh's career. His academical course cannot fill up the gap; and it at once renders the chronology of the Athenae impossible, and that of the Oriel list hard to understand. Ralegh is known to have been out of England for part, if not the whole, of 1569, and is believed with good cause to have remained abroad over 1572. There are ways of explaining the consequent discrepancies. The W. Rawley on the Oriel list may have been, and probably was, our Walter Ralegh, retained among the number of undergraduates, though he had ceased to reside. A century later the name of the Duke of Monmouth, who had resided for a few months only, was kept on the Corpus books for many years. Again, to take and revise Wood's reference, Ralegh may well have entered long before he was sixteen. If, having been, in accordance with the common belief, born in 1552, he had, like his son Walter, gone up at fourteen, he would, in 1569, have passed three years at Oxford. But at all events Wood is mistaken in the assertion that he resided there about three years from 1568; for in 1569 he certainly was campaigning in France.

[Sidenote: In France.]

It happened in this way. His maternal kinsmen, the Champernouns, were connected by marriage with the Huguenot Comte de Montgomerie. One of them, Henry, had obtained the leave of Elizabeth to raise a troop of a hundred mounted gentlemen volunteers for the Protestant side. He collected them chiefly from the West. Ralegh is said to have been among those who accepted his invitation; 'admodum adolescens,' writes Camden in the Annals, 'jam primum fatis monstratus.' He must have quitted Oriel, perhaps in company with C. Champernoun, for the purpose. Generally it has been supposed that he crossed the Channel with the rest of the troop. But there is some reason for holding that he reached France earlier. The contingent entered the Huguenot camp on October 5, 1569, two days after the defeat at Moncontour. Ralegh alludes to himself in the History of the World as of the beaten army. Praising Count Lewis of Nassau for his skilful conduct of the Huguenot retreat, he remarks: 'Of which myself was an eye-witness, and was one of them that had cause to thank him for it.' The passage proves that he was in the Huguenot camp after Moncontour. Nothing in the remark is inconsistent with his earlier arrival, if there be, as there is, evidence to support it. Elsewhere in the History he says: 'I remember it well, that, when the Prince of Conde was slain after the battle of Jarnac,' the Huguenots consoled themselves for his death. Jarnac was fought on March 13, 1669. If, then, the phrase, 'I remember,' refer to Ralegh's personal experiences of Huguenot sentiment on the field, he must have joined the army at least half a year before the retreat after Moncontour. The only way of avoiding that conclusion is to take the violent course of supposing that he was recalling French criticisms delivered some time after the actual event.

[Sidenote: Ferocities of Civil War.]

A haze of uncertainty shrouds his original advent among the Huguenots. It lifts for a moment to show him there; and that is all. As soon as he has ridden within the Huguenot lines the clouds gather once more, and darkness swallows up his individuality. He tells one anecdote in the History of the manner in which the Huguenots chased Catholics in the hills of Languedoc. They tracked the fugitives to caverns half way up precipitous cliffs. Then they smoked them out with their treasures by lighted bundles of straw let down by iron chains opposite the mouth. General Pelissier plagiarised the device, with more murderous details, in Algeria in 1849. It is a specimen of the brutalities of a conflict, which its English assistants, though they had countenanced, would not care to chronicle minutely. To Ralegh's keen sight the struggle would soon have displayed itself shorn of the glamour of religious enthusiasm. He regarded it simply as a civil war, by which 'the condition of no nation,' as he wrote later, 'was ever bettered.' Of one of its prime authors, Admiral Coligny, he has recorded his belief that he 'advised the Prince of Conde to side with the Huguenots, not only out of love to their persuasion, but to gain a party.' English troopers on their return were not likely to dilate on their exploits at the Court of Elizabeth, who audaciously disavowed to the French Catholic Court the auxiliaries she had licensed.

[Sidenote: In the Netherlands.]

[Sidenote: The Middle Temple.]

On the authority of an observation of the younger Hakluyt's, that Ralegh had resided longer in France than he, the period is computed to have been not less than six years. As he appears to have been in London at the end of February, 1575, that term would be completed within a fortnight, if he were present at the battle of Jarnac. The time covered the massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day, August 24, 1572. But there is no foundation for the story that he was then in Paris, and was one of the Englishmen sheltered in Walsingham's house. He had enlisted as a lad of seventeen. He emerged a man of twenty-three. Of this long and critical stage in his education we know really nothing, as we know nothing of his youth at school and college. After he quitted France it would appear from allusions by several contemporary writers that he served, about 1577-78, in the Netherlands with Sir John Norris's contingent under the Prince of Orange. Modern enquirers have doubted the fact, on the ground of evidence that he was in England between 1576 and 1578. The reasoning is not demonstrative. He may, if a regular combatant, have obtained a furlough to cross over, and see his family; or, from his English home, he may have paid a flying visit or visits to his brother, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who commanded a regiment of the English auxiliaries. The dates are not incompatible even with a statement that he fought at the battle of Rimenant on August 1, 1578, though, had he been present on so famous an occasion, it would have been more like him to refer somewhere to the circumstance. But if there is no sufficient ground for questioning the belief in his participation in the war of the Low Countries, there is yet less for disputing his residence in England from 1576. His signature to a family deed, already mentioned, in April, 1578, testifies that in 1578 and in ensuing years he was for a time in Devonshire. Evidence exists that in 1576, if not earlier, he was living in London. For 1576 itself the proof consists of some commendatory verses by 'Walter Rawely of the Middle Temple' prefixed to the Steele Glasse by Gascoigne, published in that year. Upon the description Wood has based a distinct assertion that Ralegh went from Oxford to the Middle Temple to improve himself in the intricate knowledge of the municipal laws. Oldys says he had searched the Registers of the Inn and they yielded no sign of a Walter Rawely or Ralegh. Moreover, if Ralegh had ever been formally a law student, it has been argued he could scarcely have solemnly declared at his trial in 1603 that he had never read a word of law or the statutes. On the other hand, doubts of the identity of the Rawely of the poem with Ralegh always involved intrinsic difficulties. Ralegh would have known Gascoigne through Humphrey Gilbert, with whom Gascoigne served in Flanders; and there is not a trace of the existence of a namesake acquainted with Gascoigne, or able to compose the verses. Now, at any rate, no room for serious dispute remains. A list in two manuscript volumes of all members of the Middle Temple from the commencement of the sixteenth century has lately been completed by order of the Benchers. In it, under the date 1574/5, February 27, appears an entry 'Walter Rawley, late of Lyons Inn, Gent. Son of Walter R. of Budleigh, Co. Devon, Esq.' The specification of parentage is useful. Without it a hypothesis would have been possible, that the traditions both of Oxford and of the Temple had been concurrently and equally at fault, and that some inglorious William or Walter had been personating the future hero alike in 1572 and in 1575. As for Ralegh's assertions in later years that he had read no law, as large a disclaimer might have been conscientiously made by many students at Inns of Court beside him. But it is evident that he intended to follow the profession of the law, and took the orthodox steps towards initiation into it, having commenced, as was usual, with admission into an Inn of Chancery, the bygone little collection of brick tenements in Newcastle-street. There is no reason to suppose that he was ever called to the Bar.

[Sidenote: About the Court.]

In the year following the publication of the Steele Glasse he undoubtedly was living in London, though in a different quarter. William and Richard Paunsford, two servants of his, as appears from the Middlesex Registers edited by Mr. Jeaffreson, were in December, 1577, taken up for defying the watch. They had to be bailed out. In the recognizance for one Ralegh was described as 'Walter Rawley, Esq. of Islington,' and in the other as 'Walter Rawley, Esq. de Curia,' that is of the Court. Young men of good family and ambition were in the habit of obtaining an introduction to the Court. They used it as a club, though they might not advance beyond the threshold. Ralegh on his return from France had pursued the regular course. He sought for opportunities of advancement where they most abounded; and, while he waited for them, he enjoyed the pleasures of life. In the use of his leisure he may not always have been more discreet than his riotous dependents. His wife is reported to have remarked of a censure upon their elder son's addiction to equivocal society, that she had heard Ralegh in his youth showed similar tastes. Aubrey, whom nobody believes and everybody quotes, the 'credulous, maggotty-headed, and sometimes little better than crazed' antiquarian, as Wood, his debtor for much curious unsifted gossip, courteously characterizes him, relates how, at a tavern revel, Ralegh quieted a noisy fellow, named Charles Chester. He sealed up his mouth by knotting together the beard and moustache. It is on record that in the February of 1580 he was in trouble for a brawl with Sir Thomas Perrot, who afterwards married the sister of Lord Essex, Lady Dorothy Devereux. Ralegh and Perrot were committed by the Council to the Fleet for six days. The affray is not creditable; but it indicates that Ralegh associated with courtiers.

[Sidenote: Maritime adventures.]

The company he kept was not all of Chester's or of Perrot's kind. His later correspondence proves that at this early period he must have become known to Walsingham and Burleigh, and have found means for allying himself with Leicester. He can have been no absolutely obscure adventurer now, any more than was his family at the time of his birth the utterly fallen stock it has been the fashion to suppose it. Whence he derived the resources for the maintenance of an establishment, and for social extravagances, is not as clear. He may have brought spoil from France; or, more probably, he had already begun to cultivate the West country art of privateering. Assistance would be furnished at need by his helpful half brother, Humphrey, his 'true brother,' as Ralegh called him. When at last the employment Ralegh desired came, the opening was made by Gilbert. Gilbert had in 1577 formed a plan for the capture, without warning, of the foreign ships, especially the Spanish and Portuguese, which resorted to the Newfoundland coast for the fisheries. His prizes he proposed to bring into Dutch ports, where they could be sold. With the proceeds he would have fitted out an expedition sufficiently strong, he hoped, to conquer the chief Spanish possessions in America. A main feature of the scheme was that the Queen's name should not be compromised. The leaders were to represent themselves as servants of the Prince of Orange. The English Government might, in proof of good faith, punish any naval officers who had abetted the project. Mr. St. John, a former biographer of Ralegh, has fancied that Ralegh's hand can be detected in the design as laid in writing before Elizabeth. Mr. Spedding is inclined to agree, on account of the extraordinary resemblance he traces between it and the Guiana expedition of 1617-18. The parallel is imaginary, as is the supposition that Gilbert's bold and inventive intellect needed inspiration from any one. But undoubtedly, had the Queen's wary counsellors given their sanction, Ralegh would have been among the adventurers. The next year he accepted a command in the expedition Gilbert was equipping for 'Norimbega,' in search, it was said, for the North-West passage to Cathay. By a Royal charter Gilbert had been authorized for six years from 1578 to discover and occupy heathen territory not actually possessed by any Christian prince or people. The adventure was retarded. A Seville merchant complained of the seizure of his cargo of oranges and lemons at Dartmouth by some of Sir Humphrey's company. At his suit the Privy Council ordered Gilbert and Ralegh to remain until he should be compensated. The County authorities were directed to stop the fleet. How the demand was settled, and whether the embargo were formally taken off, is not recorded. A memorandum in the Privy Council books stating the imposition of fines upon Ralegh and several other West countrymen, and their payment in 1579, may perhaps relate to the injunction, and imply that it was disregarded. At any rate, before the end of 1578 the fleet sailed, though curtailed in strength through quarrels among the adventurers. In an encounter with a Spanish squadron it lost a ship. Ralegh's name is not mentioned in the narrative in Hakluyt. Hooker, however, speaks of him as engaged in a dangerous sea-fight wherein 'many of his company were slain.' Battered and dispirited the expedition returned. From an allusion in Holinshed it would appear that Ralegh held on his course for a time by himself, though finally he too was compelled, early in 1579, to turn back through want of victuals. The year 1579 came and went, and his fortune remained unmade.

[Sidenote: In Ireland.]

[Sidenote: 'Thorough.']

From Humphrey Gilbert came his second chance of distinction. Sir Humphrey in 1569-70 had been appointed President of Munster. With many noble qualities he was unruly. His friends admitted his liability to 'a little too much warmth and presumption.' He had administered his Irish province with a vigour somewhat in excess even of the taste of his age. Consequently, he had been replaced by Sir John Perrot, father of Ralegh's recent opponent. Sir John acted more leniently to the natives. The collision between his son and Ralegh may have arisen out of controversies on the proper policy to be pursued in the island. In any case to Humphrey Gilbert's favour with the Queen, and to his continuing interest in Irish affairs, Ralegh owed his regular entrance into the public service. In 1580 he was commissioned as captain of a hundred foot-soldiers raised to fight the insurgents of Munster, and their Spanish and Italian confederates. From July 13, 1580, he drew allowances in that capacity. The appointment was not lucrative. His pay was four shillings a day. Sir Robert Naunton, who rose to be Secretary of State to King James, and was connected with a crisis in Ralegh's fate, compiled some biographical notes, entitled Fragmenta Regalia on Queen Elizabeth's favourite counsellors. Fuller describes the work, which was not published till after the author's death, as a fruit of Naunton's younger years. Allusions to events which occurred after the death of James I prove that part or all was composed, or revised, when he had already risen, and had access to authentic sources of information. Ralegh's career is one of his themes, though he does not continue it nearly to its close. He sketches it with a generosity which contrasts strangely with the subsequent relations of the two men. Of Ralegh's Irish appointment he speaks as 'not leaving him food and raiment, for it was ever very poor.' The employment afforded abundance of hard work. He gathered confidence in himself, if he ever lacked it. An untried, if not wholly unknown, subordinate, he exhibited the spirit and sense of responsibility of a viceroy. 'Thorough' was as much his motto as Stafford's, and he acted upon it from the first. Towards American Indians he could be gentle and just. His invariable rule with Irishmen and Anglo-Irishmen of every degree was to crush. A characteristic story is told of the outset of Ralegh's Irish career. A kerne was caught carrying a bundle of withies on the outskirts of the English camp. Ralegh asked their destination. 'To hang up English churls!' 'Well,' retorted Ralegh, 'they will do for an Irishman;' and the prisoner was strung up by them accordingly. It is a savage legend which deserves to be remembered in justice to the audacity of the nameless peasant. Probably invented to glorify a renowned Englishman's inflexibility, it illustrates at all events the temper in which the war was waged. Ferocity to Irishmen was accounted policy and steadfastness. Every advantage was taken of the superiority of English steel and ordnance. Writing in 1603 for the information of King James, Ralegh says that, when he was a Captain in Ireland, a hundred foot and a hundred horse would have beaten all the force of the strongest provinces, for 'in those days the Irish had darts.' Towards the end of the Queen's reign they had bought good English arms, and fought on even terms.

[Sidenote: The Smerwick Massacre.]

One of his first public acts was to join Sir Warham St. Leger in trying and executing at Cork in August, 1580, Sir James Fitzgerald, the Earl of Desmond's brother. Fitzgerald was drawn, hanged, and quartered. His immediate superior was the Earl of Ormond, the Lieutenant of Munster, who showed occasional tenderness to his fellow-countrymen. The Lord Deputy was Lord Grey of Wilton, whose views were generally as stern as Ralegh's. Edmund Spenser was assistant secretary to Grey, and held as austere a theory of Irish government. Ralegh in November, 1580, was with Lord Grey's army. With the assistance of an English fleet under Admiral Winter it blockaded at Smerwick in Kerry a mixed Spanish and Irish garrison. On November 10 the garrison capitulated without conditions. Thereupon Grey sent in Ralegh and Macworth, who had the ward of the day. They are stated by Hooker, in his continuation of Holinshed, to have made a great slaughter. Four hundred Spaniards and Italians were put to the sword. All the Irishmen and several Irish women were hanged. An Englishman and an Irish priest, who suffered the same doom, had their legs and arms first broken. Only the foreign officers were held to ransom. The act was that of the Deputy. Afterwards it was discovered that the massacre excited general horror through Europe. Attempts were made to repudiate sympathy with it on the Queen's part. Bacon wrote that she was much displeased at the slaughter. Her own letters to Grey comment on the whole proceeding as greatly to her liking. She expresses discontent only that she had not been left free to kill or spare the officers at her discretion. Personally Ralegh cannot be accounted amenable for the atrocity. He is not named in Grey's despatch to the Council. But it would be folly to pretend that he disapproved it. Hooker, his eulogist, claims it for him as an eminent distinction. He cordially sympathized with Grey's ideal of a Mahometan conquest for Ireland.

[Sidenote: Feats of Arms.]

His Irish service gave him opportunities of a nobler order. He ventured his life in a score of hazardous feats. On one occasion his horse was desperately wounded. He must have been slain but for the aid of his servant Nicholas Wright, a trusty Yorkshireman. Another time the Seneschal of Imokelly with fifteen horsemen and sixty foot lay in wait for him at a ford between Youghal and Cork. He had crossed in safety when Henry Moile, one of a few Downshire horsemen he had added to his foot soldiers, was thrown in the middle of the stream. Back rode Ralegh, and stood by his comrade in the face of tremendous odds. The Seneschal, though his men outnumbered Ralegh's by twenty to one, was intimidated. He let Ralegh accomplish his purpose, which was the occupation of Barry's Court, the seat of Lord Barry. Barry was one of the Irish nobles whose loyalty was not fixed. Ralegh desired to convince the class of the futility of resistance by sudden blows. His courage in this instance was more apparent than his wisdom. He had with difficulty obtained the Deputy's consent to the enterprise. The result justified Grey's hesitation. Barry had escaped before Ralegh's arrival at his castle. He became, and remained for years, an open enemy. At last he seems to have been reconciled to the Government. In 1594 Ralegh was interceding for him against the grant of a favour at his expense to another veteran malcontent, Florence MacCarthy. Ralegh's vigour had fuller success against another suspected noble, Lord Roche, of Bally. Roche's castle, twenty miles from Cork, was strong, and his retainers devoted and many. With a petty detachment Ralegh set off on a dark night. He foiled two bands, one of eight hundred, the other of five hundred, which endeavoured to block his way. During a parley he contrived to introduce first a few and then all his followers. Lord Roche professed much loyalty, and entertained the intruders courteously at dinner. He refused to accompany Ralegh on his return till he was shown that the castle was in the hands of the English soldiers. Reluctantly he yielded, and Ralegh conveyed him and his family across the rugged hills into Cork by night. Roche proved an excellent subject.

[Sidenote: Claim to Reward.]

Ralegh was indefatigable. He shunned no toil or danger. He did not care if the enemy were five or twenty to one. But he was not a workman who never complains of his tools, or an ox content to be muzzled while treading out the corn. He spoke of his soldiers as such poor and miserable creatures as their captains did not dare lead them into battle. Wellington sometimes was as uncomplimentary to his. He bitterly criticized Ormond. Grey had granted him the custody of Barry's Court. He wrote in February, 1581, to Sir Francis Walsingham, with whom he had established a correspondence. He asked the Secretary to obtain from the Deputy Grey his confirmation in the post. He accused Ormond of compelling so long a delay before Ralegh could enter, that Barry had been able to dismantle the castle. He imputed the blunder either to covetousness, or to unwillingness that any Englishman should have anything. He contrasted the multiplication of traitors in Munster by a thousand in the two years of Ormond's rule with Gilbert's suppression of a previous rising in two months. 'Would God Sir Humphrey Gilbert's behaviour were such in peace it did not make his good service forgotten, and hold him from the preferment he is worthy of!' He was ashamed to receive her Majesty's pay, though but a poor entertainment, and see her so much abused. Walsingham wrote to Grey, and the Lord Deputy assigned to Ralegh the Barry's Court domain from Rostellan Castle to Fota. It comprised one side of Cork harbour, with the island now occupied by Queenstown. The Queen, through the influence, it is said, of Burleigh, refused her sanction. Next year Ralegh was writing again to Grey in vehement censure of Ormond. He repudiated any complicity in the defencelessness of the great wood of Conoloathe, and the country between the Dingle and Kilkenny. The commissariat of Cork, he charged, had been recklessly neglected; and Desmond's and Barry's wives were being encouraged to gather help for their traitor lords.

[Sidenote: Discontent.]

Denunciations of a general by his officer have an evil sound. Ralegh's apology, such as it is, must be sought in his just sense of a masterly capacity. He knew he was right; from the point of view of the prevalent Elizabethan policy towards Ireland, though not from Burleigh's, he was right. He raged at his want of official authority to correct the wrong. He fretted, moreover, at being left in Ireland at all. Ormond quarrelled with Grey, and was recalled in the spring of 1581. The lieutenancy of Munster was assigned jointly to Ralegh, Sir William Morgan, and Captain Piers. Ralegh continued discontented. He sighed for a wider sphere. From his quarters at Lismore he wrote in August, 1581, to Lord Leicester. He desired 'to put the Earl in mind of his affection, having to the world both professed and practised the same.' Incidentally he intimated more than readiness to return to England. 'I have spent,' he writes, 'some time here under the Deputy, in such poor place and charge as, were it not for I knew him to be one of yours, I would disdain it as much as to keep sheep.' His tone implied that he understood he had come on probation for more exalted functions elsewhere, and that he had a claim upon Leicester's patronage. How he had established it is unknown. Probably the intimacy began in London before he received his Irish commission. He was at any rate sufficiently intimate to be able to recommend a man of some eminence, as was Sir Warham St. Leger, to the Earl's protection.

[Sidenote: Return to England.]

He did not wish to stay in Ireland. The immediate success of his hardness and resoluteness, when he was given a free hand, would have deprived him of the option, if he had wished it. After Ormond's dismissal the pacification of Munster went rapidly on under him and his fellow lieutenants. Captain John Zouch, an officer as ruthless to Irishmen as himself, who was appointed Governor of the province in August, 1581, worked on the same lines. It became practicable to disband part of the English forces. Ralegh's own company was paid off without apparent dissatisfaction on his part. Being needed no longer in Ireland he was sent home by Grey in December, 1581, with despatches. For his expenses he was paid on December 29, at the liberal rate of L20, which may be roughly reckoned as equivalent to L100.


ROYAL FAVOUR (1581-1582).

[Sidenote: Ralegh and Grey.]

This visit of Ralegh's to the Court was the turning-point in his career. How it became that has been explained in different ways. According to Naunton a variance between him and Grey drew both over to plead their cause. Naunton goes on to say that Ralegh 'had much the better in telling of his tale; and so much that the Queen and the lords took no slight mark of the man and his parts; for from thence he came to be known, and to have access to the Queen and the lords.' It is natural to suppose that Ralegh's Irish campaigns were concerned with his sudden rise at Court. Thenceforward he was a high authority on Irish policy. His Irish experience continued to be the sheet-anchor of his ascendency with the Queen. Naunton's tale, too, is supported by evidence from the Hatfield and the Irish State papers of Ralegh's disposition to form and push Irish plans of his own, and of Grey's keen jealousy of the habit. Burleigh on January 1, 1582, in a letter to the Lord Deputy, mentioned that Mr. Rawley had informed her Majesty how the charge of five or six hundred soldiers for the garrison of Munster might be shifted from the Queen to the province without umbrage to Ormond, its most powerful land-owner. To this the Lord Deputy speedily replied, vehemently criticising 'the plot delivered by Captain Rawley unto her Majesty.' He condemned it as a plausible fancy, 'affecting credit with profit,' but 'framed upon impossibilities for others to execute.' To Walsingham he complained bitterly of misrepresentations at Court in the same January, and, in the following April, declared that he 'neither liked Captain Rawley's carriage, nor his company.' On the other hand, Grey is not known to have returned from Ireland till August, 1582; and the Council Register contains no reference to a personal controversy between Ralegh and him. But Ralegh may well have privately expounded to the Queen and some Privy Councillors his views, which would then have been transmitted to Grey to answer. Naunton's mistake in confronting the Deputy and the self-confident Captain directly at the Council board does not seriously affect the value otherwise of his statement. Still, the account of Ralegh's admittance to the Queen's favour, with its particular circumstances, rests, it must be remembered, on Naunton's own not unimpeachable authority. Other authors who tell the same story, have simply and unsuspiciously borrowed it from him. Students of Ralegh's history have to accustom themselves to the use by successive biographers of the same hypothetical facts with as much boldness as if they had been the fruit of each writer's independent research.

[Sidenote: Fuller's Tale.]

Another account attributes to Leicester Ralegh's sudden favour on his return from Ireland. A few months before he was, we have seen, soliciting the Earl for a change of employment. His introduction at Court may have been the answer. Sir Henry Wotton, adopting the view, cynically surmised that Leicester wished to 'bestow handsomely upon another some part of the pains, and perhaps of the envy, to which long indulgent fortune is obnoxious.' By others, whom Scott has partly followed, the Earl of Sussex has been credited with the elevation of Ralegh, as a counterpoise to Leicester. Neither the one noble nor the other, it was supposed, could have patriotically desired to enrol in the public service the most effective of recruits. Amongst all the subtle solutions of the mystery of Ralegh's leap into prominence, Fuller's well-worn story, which is now Scott's, commends itself for comparative simplicity. Everybody has heard how her Majesty, meeting with a plashy place, made some scruple to go on; when Ralegh, dressed in the gay and genteel habit of those times, presently cast off and spread his new plush cloak on the ground, whereon the Queen trod gently over, rewarding him afterwards with many suits for his so free and seasonable tender of so fair a footcloth. Fuller, again, it is who vouches for the sequel of the incident. Ralegh, he says, having thus attracted notice, wrote on a window, which Elizabeth was to pass—

Fain would I climb, yet fear I to fall.

Elizabeth capped it with

If thy heart fails thee, climb not at all.

[Sidenote: Not Improbable.]

Some of Ralegh's later biographers have felt so intensely the seriousness of their task, that they either omit or ridicule the legend. The whole appeared first in the Worthies, published in 1662. No documentary proof can be given of its veracity; and there is no disproof. The opportunity might easily have occurred; and Ralegh was of an eagerness and an adroitness not to have let it slip. Undoubtedly the anecdote has the intrinsic merit beyond the rest of pointing to the final and determining agent in his change of fortune. All the other answers to the enigma may contain an ingredient of truth. Leicester would recognize his capacity, and might have been ready to use him. Sussex would perceive the danger of allowing so redoubtable a free lance to pass to a rival service. Walsingham and Burleigh were manifestly impressed with his extraordinary sagacity and strength of will. His Irish services, which had called forth the admiration of Grey himself so long as Ralegh fought under him, could not fail to be appreciated by the Queen's wise councillors. He was backed by the vast family circles of the Gilberts and Champernouns. In his later life he could speak of 'an hundred gentlemen of my kindred.' He was no novice at the Court itself, which he had studied for years before it recognized him as an inmate. But Leicester and Sussex, like Grey, and even Burleigh and Walsingham, though they might have employed him, and have bandied him among them, would have concurred in keeping him in the background. To Elizabeth herself may confidently be ascribed the personal decision that he was to be acknowledged, and not merely used, but distinguished.

[Sidenote: The Queen's Choice.]

To the Queen he owed his emergence from an obscurity, which posterity wonders to find enveloping him till thirty. His was not a nature which ripens late. As a boy at home, as an undergraduate at Oxford, as an adventurer in France, as a seaman in the Atlantic, as a military leader in Munster, as a commencing courtier, he might have been expected to flash forth from the mass of his comrades. No apathy of contemporary opinion is to blame for the long delay. Rather it was the hurry and the glitter of contemporary life. A nation, like the English under Elizabeth, facing the dawn of a new age, does not pause to mark degrees of individual brightness. All eyes are dazzled with the radiance of the era itself. The few rare and peculiar stars are not discriminated as shining with a lustre of their own. The Queen would not be better able than her subjects to measure the particular mode in which Ralegh overtopped his neighbours. She discerned the special gifts which others discerned, the 'good presence in a handsome and well compacted person; the strong natural wit and a better judgment, with a bold and plausible tongue, whereby he could set out his parts to the best advantage.' She was diverted by his flights of fancy emphasized by the broad Devon accent, which, to the day of his death, he never lost, or tried to lose. She must have been conscious of depths of capacity, to which, whatever the exigency, appeal was never made in vain. But the surpassing attraction for her was the feeling that he and his grandeur were her creature and creation.

[Sidenote: Scandal.]

Personally she chose him, and she exacted that his service should be personally rendered to her. He understood the conditions of his tenure of influence, and generally fulfilled them faithfully. She knew, and he knew, that he was selected for gifts which made him a valuable servant of the State, as impersonated in its chief. Yet it is not strange that, in an age of coarse feeling, and coarser language, his elevation should have been attributed to mere feminine weakness. It is much more surprising that the warning, 'No scandal about Queen Elizabeth,' should have been disregarded by grave modern historians and biographers. Mr. Edward Edwards, for instance, Ralegh's most thorough and painstaking biographer since the learned but unmethodical Oldys, takes the report for granted, and appears to think it honourable. The belief cannot bear the least examination. Elizabeth was in the habit of requiring all her courtiers to kneel to her as woman as well as Queen, to hail her at once Gloriana and Belphoebe. The fashion was among her instruments of government. By appealing to the devotion of her courtiers as lovers, she hoped to kindle their zeal in serving their Queen. They who mock at her claims to adoration as the Lady of the land are ungrateful to a policy which preserved the tone of English society for a generation romantic, poetical, and chivalrous. In pursuance of her usual system, and in innocence of any vice but vanity, she was sure to invite the language of passion from the owner of genius and looks like Ralegh's. She played upon his Christian name, writing it as she and others pronounced it, Water. She enjoyed the anger her kindness aroused in other admirers, such as Hatton. He was willing to offer the homage for which she thirsted. So were other courtiers by the dozen. Cautious methodical George Carew wrote to her when she was seventy, and nearing the grave, envying 'the blessing others enjoy in beholding your Royal person whose beauty adorns the world.' Of sensual love between her and Ralegh there is not a tittle of evidence which will be accepted by any who do not start by presuming in her the morals of a courtesan. In support of the calumny, passages of the Faerie Queene have been cited, in which the poet has been interpreted as literally and as illiberally as the courtier. Fastidious Spenser would have shuddered to imagine the coarse construction against his Queen to which his delicate allegories were to be wrested. Had there been ground for the legend, we may feel tolerably certain that Lady Ralegh would have known of it. She could not have refrained from hinting at a motive for the wrath with which, it will hereafter be seen, her mistress visited her transgression.

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