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Sir Walter Raleigh was born in 1554 in Hayes Barton Devonshire In 1569 he fought with the Huguenots French Protestants in the wars of religion Later on he went to Oriel College Oxford and Middle Temple which is a law school in London In 1580 he participated in suppressing the Irish Rebellion this caused him to be introduced at court where he became a favorite of Elizabeth I Raleigh had an imposing personality which came from a combination of his dark hair lofty forehead resolute bearing courtly manners and spirited wit However he could also be haughty and because of his pride and impatience he made many enemies so he could never be admitted to the Queens Counsel in matters of state Queen Elizabeth I asked many favors of him gave him large properties within Ireland and finally in 1585 he was knighted In return Raleigh took over several responsibilities of important positions that the queen appointed him to In 1595 Raleigh headed an expedition to the Guiana region on the north coast of South America to search for El Dorado the legendary ruler of a region abounding in gold and jewels During this same year he joined an expedition against Cadiz Spain Raleighs popularity with the queen started to decline when she found out he married one of her maids of honor Elizabeth Throckmorton After Elizabeth I died James I became King and Raleighs situation grew worse James I thought Raleigh worked against him becoming king so he took away Raleighs positions and privileges Raleigh was arrested in 1603 and sent to the Tower of London After an unfair trial he was sentenced to death for conspiring against the kings life However his gallant bearing brought public opinion to his favor and the sentence was suspended He spent thirteen years in the Tower where his wife and child were allowed to live with him and many great scholars
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