Sir Walter Raleigh and South America

By William M. Wisser

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Raleigh was born in the 1550s. As a young man, he already showed the character of an adventurer. He fought in battles for England in France and Ireland. He also went to college for a short time at Oxford. While he performed well on battlefields and in school, he performed even better in the royal court. He returned to England from fighting abroad in 1581 and quickly became a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I. He was knighted for his heroism and was given several large estates for his personal use in Ireland.