Sir Walter Raleigh

Raleigh was a soldier, explorer, writer, and businessman and one of the most colorful figures in English history.

In 1580 he became a captain in the army in Ireland. He soon became the favourite of Queen Elizabeth and he was granted an estate in Ireland, where he planted the first potato in 1596.

Raleigh became interested in exploration, he sent several expeditions to America, and tried to establish an English colony there. His settlers landed in North Carolina and explored the coast as far as Florida. Raleigh named the region 'Virginia' in honor of Elizabeth, 'The Virgin Queen'.

Raleigh took part in the victory over the Spanish armada in 1588. He also led an expedition to Guiana, in South America, to search for El Dorada, a legendary land of gold. Accused of treason against Elizabeth's successor, James I, Raleigh was imprisoned and was eventually put to death.