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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Raleigh, by Edmund Gosse

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Title: Raleigh

Author: Edmund Gosse

Editor: Andrew Lang

Release Date: December 20, 2008 [EBook #27580]

Language: English

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RALEIGH

ENGLISH WORTHIES.

Edited by ANDREW LANG.

Price 2s. 6d. each.


ALREADY PUBLISHED:

CHARLES DARWIN. By Grant Allen.

MARLBOROUGH. By George Saintsbury.

SHAFTESBURY (the First Earl). By H. D. Traill.

ADMIRAL BLAKE. By David Hannay.


IN PREPARATION:

STEELEBy Austin Dobson.
SIR T. MOREBy J. Cotter Morison.
WELLINGTONBy R. Louis Stevenson.
LORD PETERBOROUGHBy Walter Besant.
CLAVERHOUSEBy Mowbray Morris.
LATIMERBy Canon Creighton.
DRAKEBy W. H. Pollock.
BEN JONSONBy J. A. Symonds.
ISAAK WALTONBy Andrew Lang.
CANNINGBy Frank H. Hill.

London: LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO.

English Worthies

Edited by ANDREW LANG


RALEIGH

BY

EDMUND GOSSE, M.A.

CLARK LECTURER IN ENGLISH LITERATURE AT TRINITY COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE

LONDON

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

1886

All rights reserved

PRINTED BY SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE LONDON

[Pg v]

PREFACE.

The existing Lives of Raleigh are very numerous. To this day the most interesting of these, as a literary production, is that published in 1736 by William Oldys, afterwards Norroy King at Arms. This book was a marvel of research, as well as of biographical skill, at the time of its appearance, but can no longer compete with later lives as an authority. By a curious chance, two writers who were each ignorant of the other simultaneously collected information regarding Raleigh, and produced two laborious and copious Lives of him, at the same moment, in 1868. Each of these collections, respectively by Mr. Edward Edwards, whose death is announced as these words are leaving the printers, and by the late Mr. James Augustus St. John, added very largely to our knowledge of Raleigh; but, of course, each of these writers was precluded from using the discoveries of the other. The present Life is the first in which the fresh matter brought forward by Mr. Edwards and by Mr. St. John has been collated; Mr. Edwards, moreover, deserved well of all Raleigh students by editing for the first time, in 1868, the correspondence of Raleigh. I hope that I do not seem to disparage[Pg vi] Mr. Edwards's book when I say that in his arrangement and conjectural dating of undated documents I am very frequently in disaccord with him. The present Life contains various small data which are now for the first time published, and more than one fact of considerable importance which I owe to the courtesy of Mr. John Cordy Jeaffreson. I have, moreover, taken advantage up to date of the Reports of the Historical MSS. Commission, and of the two volumes of Lismore Papers this year published. In his prospectus to the latter Dr. Grosart promises us still more about Raleigh in later issues. My dates are new style.

The present sketch of Raleigh's life is the first attempt which has been made to portray his personal career disengaged from the general history of his time. To keep so full a life within bounds it has been necessary to pass rapidly over events of signal importance in which he took but a secondary part. I may point as an example to the defeat of the Spanish Armada, a chapter in English history which has usually occupied a large space in the chronicle of Raleigh and his times. Mrs. Creighton's excellent little volume on the latter and wider theme may be recommended to those who wish to see Raleigh painted not in a full-length portrait, but in an historical composition of the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. I have to thank Dr. Brushfield for the use of his valuable Raleigh bibliography, now in the press, and for other kind help.[Pg vii]

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER PAGE
I. YOUTH 1
II. AT COURT 17
III. IN DISGRACE 40
IV. GUIANA 65
V. CADIZ 88
VI. LAST DAYS OF ELIZABETH 111
VII. THE TRIAL AT WINCHESTER 132
VIII. IN THE TOWER 161
IX. THE SECOND VOYAGE TO GUIANA 189
X. THE END 204
INDEX 225

[Pg viii]

MAPS.

SOUTH OF ENGLAND AND IRELAND To face p. 16
GUIANA "     70

[Pg 1]

RALEIGH.

CHAPTER I.

YOUTH.

Walter Raleigh was born, so Camden and an anonymous astrologer combine to assure us, in 1552. The place was Hayes Barton, a farmstead in the parish of East Budleigh, in Devonshire, then belonging to his father; it passed out of the family, and in 1584 Sir Walter attempted to buy it back. 'For the natural disposition I have to the place, being born in that house, I had rather seat myself there than anywhere else,' he wrote to a Mr. Richard Duke, the then possessor, who refused to sell it. Genealogists, from himself downwards, have found a rich treasure in Raleigh's family tree, which winds its branches into those of some of the best Devonshire houses, the Gilberts, the Carews, the Champernownes. His father, the elder Walter Raleigh, in his third marriage became the second husband of Katherine Gilbert, daughter of Sir Philip Champernoun of Modbury. By Otto Gilbert, her first husband, she had been the mother of two boys destined to be bold navigators and colonists, Humphrey and[Pg 2] Adrian Gilbert. It, is certainly the influence of his half-brother Sir Humphrey Gilbert, of Compton, which is most strongly marked upon the character of young Raleigh; while Adrian was one of his own earliest converts to Virginian enterprise.

The earliest notice of Sir Walter Raleigh known to exist was found and communicated to the Transactions of the Devonshire Association by Dr. Brushfield in 1883. It is in a deed preserved in Sidmouth Church, by which tithes of fish are leased by the manor of Sidmouth to 'Walter Rawlegh the elder, Carow Ralegh, and Walter Ralegh the younger,' on September 10, 1560. In 1578 the same persons passed over their interest in the fish-titles in another deed, which contains their signatures. It is amusing to find that the family had not decided how to spell its name. The father writes 'Ralegh,' his elder son Carew writes 'Caro Rawlyh,' while the subject of this memoir, in this his earliest known signature, calls himself 'Rauleygh.'

His father was a Protestant when young Walter was born, but his mother seems to have remained a Catholic. In the persecution under Mary, she, as we learn from Foxe, went into Exeter to visit the heretics in gaol, and in particular to see Agnes Prest before her burning. Mrs. Raleigh began to exhort her to repentance, but the martyr turned the tables on her visitor, and urged the gentlewoman to seek the blessed body of Christ in heaven, not on earth, and this with so much sweet persuasiveness that when Mrs. Raleigh 'came home to her husband she declared to him that in her life she never heard any woman, of such simplicity to see to, talk so godly and so earnestly; insomuch, that if God were not[Pg 3] with her she could not speak such things—"I was not able to answer her, I, who can read, and she cannot."' It is easy to perceive that this anecdote would not have been preserved if the incident had not heralded the final secession of Raleigh's parents from the creed of Philip II., and thus Agnes Prest was not without her share in forging Raleigh's hatred of bigotry and of the Spaniard. Very little else is known about Walter and Katherine Raleigh. They lived at their manorial farm of Hayes Barton, and they were buried side by side, as their son tells us, 'in Exeter church.'

The university career of Raleigh is vague to us in the highest degree. The only certain fact is that he left Oxford in 1569. Anthony à Wood says that he was three years there, and that he entered Oriel College as a commoner in or about the year 1568. Fuller speaks of him as resident at Christ Church also. Perhaps he went to Christ Church first as a boy of fourteen, in 1566, and removed to Oriel at sixteen. Sir Philip Sidney, Hakluyt, and Camden were all of them at Oxford during those years, and we may conjecture that Raleigh's acquaintance with them began there. Wood tells us that Raleigh, being 'strongly advanced by academical learning at Oxford, under the care of an excellent tutor, became the ornament of the juniors, and a proficient in oratory and philosophy.' Bacon and Aubrey preserved each an anecdote of Raleigh's university career, neither of them worth repeating here.

The exact date at which he left Oxford is uncertain. Camden, who was Raleigh's age, and at the university at the same time, says authoritatively in his Annales, that he was one of a hundred gentlemen volunteers[Pg 4] taken to the help of the Protestant princes by Henry Champernowne, who was Raleigh's first-cousin, the son of his mother's elder brother. We learn from De Thou that Champernowne's contingent arrived at the Huguenot camp on October 5, 1569. This seems circumstantial enough, but there exist statements of Raleigh's own which tend to show that, if he was one of his cousin's volunteers, he yet preceded him into France. In the History of the World he speaks of personally remembering the conduct of the Protestants, immediately after the death of Condé, at the battle of Jarnac (March 13, 1569). Still more positively Raleigh says, 'myself was an eye-witness' of the retreat at Moncontour, on October 3, two days before the arrival of Champernoun. A provoking obscurity conceals Walter Raleigh from us for the next six or seven years. When Hakluyt printed his Voyages in 1589 he mentioned that he himself was five years in France. In a previous dedication he had reminded Raleigh that the latter had made a longer stay in that country than himself. Raleigh has therefore been conjectured to have fought in France for six years, that is to say, until 1575.

During this long and important period we are almost without a glimpse of him, nor is it anything but fancy which has depicted him as shut up by Walsingham at the English embassy in Paris on the fatal evening of St. Bartholomew's. Another cousin of his, Gawen Champernoun, became the son-in-law and follower of the Huguenot chief, Montgomery, whose murder on June 26, 1574, may very possibly have put a term to Raleigh's adventures as a Protestant soldier in France. The allusions to his early experiences are[Pg 5] rare and slight in the History of the World, but one curious passage has often been quoted. In illustration of the way in which Alexander the Great harassed Bessus, Raleigh mentions that, 'in the third civil war of France,' he saw certain Catholics, who had retired to mountain-caves in Languedoc, smoked out of their retreat by the burning of bundles of straw at the cave's mouth. There has lately been shown to be no probability in the conjecture, made by several of his biographers, that he was one of the English volunteers in the Low Countries who fought in their shirts and drawers at the battle of Rimenant in August 1578.

On April 15, 1576, the poet Gascoigne, who was a protégé, of Raleigh's half-brother, issued his satire in blank verse, entitled The Steel Glass, a little volume which holds an important place in the development of our poetical literature. To this satire a copy of eighteen congratulatory verses was prefixed by 'Walter Rawely of the middle Temple.' These lines are perfunctory and are noticeable only for their heading 'of the middle Temple.' Raleigh positively tells us that he never studied law until he found himself a prisoner in the Tower, and he was probably only a passing lodger in some portion of the Middle Temple in 1576. On October 7, 1577, Gascoigne died prematurely and deprived us of a picturesque pen which might have gossiped of Raleigh's early career.

I am happy, through the courtesy of Mr. J. Cordy Jeaffreson, in being able for the first time to prove that Walter Raleigh was admitted to the Court as early as 1577. So much has been suspected, from his language to Leicester in a later letter from Ireland, but there has[Pg 6] hitherto been no evidence of the fact. In examining the Middlesex records, Mr. Jeaffreson has discovered that on the night of December 16, 1577, a party of merry roisterers broke the peace at Hornsey. Their ringleaders were a certain Richard Paunsford and his brother, who are described in the recognisances taken next day before the magistrate Jasper Fisher as the servants of 'Walter Rawley, of Islington, Esq.,' and two days later as yeoman in the service of Walter Rawley, Esq., 'of the Court (de curia).'

It is very important to find him thus early officially described as of the Court. As Raleigh afterwards said, the education of his youth was a training in the arts of a gentleman and a soldier. But it extended further than this—it embraced an extraordinary knowledge of the sea, and in particular of naval warfare. It is tantalising that we have but the slenderest evidence of the mode in which this particular schooling was obtained. The western ocean was, all through the youth of Raleigh, the most fascinating and mysterious of the new fields which were being thrown open to English enterprise. He was a babe when Tonson came back with the first wonderful legend of the hidden treasure-house of the Spaniard in the West Indies. He was at Oxford when England thrilled with the news of Hawkins' tragical third voyage. He came back from France just in time to share the general satisfaction at Drake's revenge for San Juan de Ulloa. All through his early days the splendour and perilous romance of the Spanish Indies hung before him, inflaming his fancy, rousing his ambition. In his own family, Sir Humphrey Gilbert represented a milder and more generous class of adventurers than Drake and[Pg 7] Hawkins, a race more set on discovery and colonisation than on mere brutal rapine, the race of which Raleigh was ultimately to become the most illustrious example. If we possessed minute accounts of the various expeditions in which Gilbert took part, we should probably find that his young half-brother was often his companion. As early as 1584 Barlow addresses Raleigh as one personally conversant with the islands of the Gulf of Mexico, and there was a volume, never printed and now lost, written about the same time, entitled Sir Walter Raleigh's Voyage to the West Indies. This expedition, no other allusion to which has survived, must have taken place before he went to Ireland in 1580, and may be conjecturally dated 1577.

The incidents of the next two years may be rapidly noted; they are all of them involved in obscurity. It is known that Raleigh crossed the Atlantic for a second time on board one of the ships of Gilbert's ill-starred expedition to the St. Lawrence in the winter of 1578. In February of the next year[1] he was again in London, and was committed to the Fleet Prison for a 'fray' with another courtier. In September 1579, he was involved in Sir Philip Sidney's tennis-court quarrel with Lord Oxford. In May of this same year he was stopped at Plymouth when in the act of starting on a piratical expedition against Spanish America. He had work to do in opposing Spain nearer home, and he first comes clearly before us in connection with the Catholic invasion of Ireland in the close of 1579. It was on July 17,[Pg 8] 1579, that the Catholic expedition from Ferrol landed at Dingle. Fearing to stay there, it passed four miles westward to Smerwick Bay, and there built a fortress called Fort del Ore, on a sandy isthmus, thinking in case of need easily to slip away to the ocean. The murder of an English officer, who was stabbed in his bed while the guest of the brother of the Earl of Desmond, was recommended by Sandars the legate as a sweet sacrifice in the sight of God, and ruthlessly committed. The result was what Sandars had foreseen; the Geraldines, hopelessly compromised, threw up the fiction of loyalty to Elizabeth. Sir Nicholas Malby defeated the rebels in the Limerick woods in September, but in return the Geraldines burned Youghal and drove the Deputy within the walls of Cork, where he died of chagrin. The temporary command fell on an old friend of Raleigh's, Sir Warham Sentleger, who wrote in December 1579 a letter of earnest appeal which broke up the apathy of the English Government. Among other steps hurriedly taken to uphold the Queen's power in Ireland, young Walter Raleigh was sent where his half-brother, Humphrey Gilbert, had so much distinguished himself ten years before.

The biographer breathes more freely when he holds at last the earliest letter which remains in the handwriting of his hero. All else may be erroneous or conjectural, but here at least, for a moment, he presses his fingers upon the very pulse of the machine. On February 22, 1580, Raleigh wrote from Cork to Burghley, giving him an account of his voyage. It appears that he wrote on the day of his arrival, and if that be the case, he left London, and passed down the[Pg 9] Thames, in command of a troop of one hundred foot soldiers, on January 15, 1580. By the same computation, they reached the Isle of Wight on the 21st, and stayed there to be transferred into ships of Her Majesty's fleet, not starting again until February 5. On his reaching Cork, Raleigh found that his men and he were only to be paid from the day of their arrival in Ireland, and he wrote off at once to Burghley to secure, if possible, the arrears. His arrival was a welcome reinforcement to Sentleger, who was holding Cork in the greatest peril, with only forty Englishmen. It must be recollected that this force under Raleigh was but a fragment of what English squadrons were busily bringing through this month of January into every port of Ireland. Elizabeth had, at last, awakened in earnest to her danger.

Raleigh, in all probability, took no part in the marchings and skirmishings of the English armies until the summer. His 'reckoning,' or duty-pay, as a captain in the field, begins on July 13, 1580, and perhaps, until that date, his services consisted in defending Cork under Sentleger. In August he was joined with the latter, who was now Provost-marshal of Munster, in a commission to try Sir James, the younger brother of the Earl of Desmond, who had been captured by the Sheriff of Cork. No mercy could be expected by so prominent a Geraldine; he was hanged, drawn and quartered, and the fragments of his body were hung in chains over the gates of Cork. Meanwhile, on August 12, Lord Grey de Wilton arrived in Dublin to relieve Pelham of sovereign command in Ireland. Grey, though he learned to dislike Raleigh, was probably more cognisant of his powers than Pelham, who[Pg 10] may never have heard of him. Grey had been the patron of the poet Gascoigne, and one of the most prominent men in the group with whom we have already seen that Raleigh was identified in his early youth.

From the moment of Grey's arrival in Ireland, the name of Raleigh ceased to be obscure. Sir William Pelham retired on September 7, and Lord Grey, who had brought the newly famous poet, Edmund Spenser, with him as his secretary, marched into Munster. With his exploits we have nothing to do, save to notice that it must have been in the camp at Rakele, if not on the battle-field of Glenmalure, that Raleigh began his momentous friendship with Spenser, whose Shepherd's Calender had inaugurated a new epoch in English poetry just a month before Raleigh's departure for Ireland. It is scarcely too fanciful to believe that this tiny anonymous volume of delicious song may have lightened the weariness of that winter voyage of 1580, which was to prove so momentous in the career of 'the Shepherd of the Ocean.' Lodovick Bryskett, Fulke Greville, Barnabee Googe, and Geoffrey Fenton were minor songsters of the copious Elizabethan age who were now in Munster as agents or soldiers, and we may suppose that the tedious guerilla warfare, in the woods had its hours of literary recreation for Raleigh.

The fortress on the peninsula of Dingle was now occupied by a fresh body of Catholic invaders, mainly Italians, and Smerwick Bay again attracted general interest. Grey, as Deputy, and Ormond, as governor of Munster, united their forces and marched towards this extremity of Kerry; Raleigh, with his infantry, joined them at Rakele; and we may take September 30, 1580,[Pg 11] which is the date when his first 'reckoning' closes, as that on which he took some fresh kind of service under Lord Grey. Hooker, who was an eye-witness, supplies us with some very interesting glimpses of Raleigh in his Supply of the Irish Chronicles, a supplement to Holinshed. We learn from him that when Lord Grey broke into the camp at Rakele, Raleigh stayed behind, having observed that the kerns had the habit of swooping down upon any deserted encampment to rob and murder the camp followers. This expectation was fulfilled; the hungry Irish poured into Rakele as soon as the Deputy's back was turned. Raleigh had the satisfaction of capturing a large body of these poor creatures. One of them carried a great bundle of withies, and Raleigh asked him what they were for. 'To have hung up the English churls with,' was the bold reply. 'Well,' said Raleigh, 'but now they shall serve for an Irish kern,' and commanded him 'to be immediately tucked up in one of his own neck-bands.' The rest were served in a similar way, and then the young Englishman rode on after the army.

Towards the end of October they came in sight of Smerwick Bay, and of the fort on the sandy isthmus in which the Italians and Spaniards were lying in the hope of slipping back to Spain. The Legate had no sanguine aspirations left; every roof that could harbour the Geraldines had been destroyed in the English forays; Desmond was hiding, like a wild beast, in the Wood. By all the principles of modern warfare, the time had come for mercy and conciliation, and one man in Ireland, Ormond, thought as much. But Lord Grey was a soldier of the old disposition, an implacable enemy to Popery, what we now call a 'Puritan' of the most[Pg 12] fierce and frigid type. There is no evidence to show that the gentle Englishmen who accompanied him, some of the best and loveliest spirits of the age, shrank from sharing his fanaticism. There was massacre to be gone through, but neither Edmund Spenser, nor Fulke Greville, nor Walter Raleigh dreamed of withdrawing his sanction. The story has been told and retold. For simple horror it is surpassed, in the Irish history of the time, only by the earlier exploit which depopulated the island of Rathlin. In the perfectly legitimate opening of the siege of Fort del Ore, Raleigh held a very prominent commission, and we see that his talents were rapidly being recognised, from the fact that for the first three days he was entrusted with the principal command. It would appear that on the fourth day, when the Italians waved their white flag and screamed 'Misericordia! misericordia!' it was not Raleigh, but Zouch, who was commanding in the trenches. The parley the Catholics demanded was refused, and they were told they need not hope for mercy. Next day, which was November 9, 1580, the fort yielded helplessly. Raleigh and Mackworth received Grey's orders to enter and 'fall straight to execution.'

It was thought proper to give Catholic Europe a warning not to meddle with Catholic Ireland. In the words of the official report immediately sent home to Walsingham, as soon as the fort was yielded, 'all the Irish men and women were hanged, and 600 and upwards of Italians, Spaniards, Biscayans and others put to the sword. The Colonel, Captain, Secretary, Campmaster, and others of the best sort, saved to the number of 20 persons.' Of these last, two had their arms and legs broken before[Pg 13] being hanged on a gallows on the wall of the fort. The bodies of the six hundred were stripped and laid out on the sands—'as gallant goodly personages,' Lord Grey reported, 'as ever were beheld.' The Deputy took all the responsibility and expected no blame; he received none. In reply to his report, Elizabeth assured him a month later that 'this late enterprise had been performed by him greatly to her liking.' It is useless to expatiate on a code of morals that seems to us positively Japanese. To Lord Grey and the rest the rebellious kerns and their Southern allies were enemies of God and the Queen, beyond the scope of mercy in this world or the next, and no more to be spared or paltered with than malignant vermin. In his inexperience, Raleigh, to be soon ripened by knowledge of life and man, agreed with this view, but, happily for Ireland and England too, there were others who declined to sink, as Mr. Froude says, 'to the level of the Catholic continental tyrannies.' At Ormond's instigation the Queen sent over in April 1581 a general pardon.

Severe as Lord Grey was, he seemed too lenient to Raleigh. In January 1581, the young captain left Cork and made the perilous journey to Dublin to expostulate with the Deputy, and to urge him to treat with greater stringency various Munster chieftains who were blowing the embers of the rebellion into fresh flame. Among these malcontents the worst was a certain David Barry, son of Lord Barry, himself a prisoner in Dublin Castle. David Barry had placed the family stronghold, Barry Court, at the disposal of the Geraldines. Raleigh obtained permission to seize and hold this property, and returned from Dublin to carry out his[Pg 14] duty. On his way back, as he was approaching Barry's country, with his men straggling behind him, the Seneschal of Imokelly, the strongest and craftiest of the remaining Geraldines, laid an ambush to seize him at the ford of Corabby. Raleigh not only escaped himself, but returned in the face of a force which was to his as twenty to one, in order to rescue a comrade whose horse had thrown him in the river. With a quarter-staff in one hand and a pistol in the other, he held the Seneschal and his kerns at bay, and brought his little body of troops through the ambush without the loss of one man. In the dreary monotony of the war, this brilliant act of courage, of which Raleigh himself in a letter gives a very modest account, touched the popular heart, and did as much as anything to make him famous.

The existing documents which illustrate Raleigh's life in Ireland during 1581, and they are somewhat numerous, give the student a much higher notion of his brilliant aptitude for business and of his active courage than of his amiability. His vivacity and ingenuity were sources of irritation to him, as the vigour of an active man may vex him in wading across loose sands. There was no stability and apparently no hope or aim in the policy of the English leaders, and Raleigh showed no mock-modesty in his criticism of that policy. Ormond had been on friendly terms with him, but as early as February 25 a quarrel was ready to break out. Ormond wished to hold Barry Court, which was the key to the important road between Cork and Youghal, as his own; while Raleigh was no less clamorous in claiming it. In the summer, not satisfied with complaining of Ormond to Grey, he denounced Grey to Leicester.[Pg 15] In the meantime he had succeeded in ousting Ormond, who was recalled to England, and in getting himself made, if not nominally, practically Governor of Munster. He proceeded to Lismore, then the English capital of the province, and made that town the centre of those incessant sallies and forays which Hooker describes. One of these skirmishes, closing in the defeat of Lord Barry at Cleve, showed consummate military ability, and deserves almost to rank as a battle.

In August, Raleigh's temporary governorship of Munster ended. He was too young and too little known a man permanently to hold such a post. Zouch took his place at Lismore, and Raleigh, returning to Cork, was made Governor of that city. It was at this time, or possibly a little earlier in the year, that Raleigh made his romantic attack upon Castle Bally-in-Harsh, the seat of Lord Roche. On the very same evening that Raleigh received a hint from head-quarters that the capture of this strongly fortified place was desirable, he set out with ninety men on the adventure. His troop arrived at Harsh very early in the morning, but not so early but that the townspeople, to the number of five hundred, had collected to oppose his little force. He soon put them to flight, and then, by a nimble trick, contrived to enter the castle itself, to seize Lord and Lady Roche at their breakfast-table, to slip out with them and through the town unmolested, and to regain Cork next day with the loss of only a single man. The whole affair was a piece of military sleight of hand, brilliantly designed, incomparably well carried out. The summer and autumn were passed in scouring the woods and ravines of Munster from Tipperary to[Pg 16] Kilkenny. Miserable work he found it, and glad he must have been when a summons from London put an end to his military service in Ireland. In two years he had won a great reputation. Elizabeth, it may well be, desired to see him, and talk with him on what he called 'the business of this lost land.' In December 1581 he returned to England.

One point more may be mentioned. In a letter dated May 1, 1581, Raleigh offers to rebuild the ruined fortress of Barry Court at his own expense. This shows that he must by this time have come into a certain amount of property, for his Irish pay as a captain was, he says, so poor that but for honour he 'would disdain it as much as to keep sheep.' This fact disposes of the notion that Raleigh arrived at the Court of Elizabeth in the guise of a handsome penniless adventurer. Perhaps he had by this time inherited his share of the paternal estates.[2]

SOUTH OF ENGLAND AND IRELAND. SOUTH OF ENGLAND AND IRELAND.

[Pg 17]

CHAPTER II.

AT COURT.

Raleigh had not completed his thirtieth year when he became a recognised courtier. We have seen that he had passed, four years before, within the precincts of the Court, but we do not know whether the Queen had noticed him or not. In the summer of 1581 he had written thus to Leicester from Lismore:—

I may not forget continually to put your Honour in mind of my affection unto your Lordship, having to the world both professed and protested the same. Your Honour, having no use of such poor followers, hath utterly forgotten me. Notwithstanding, if your Lordship shall please to think me yours, as I am, I will be found as ready, and dare do as much in your service, as any man you may command; and do neither so much despair of myself but that I may be some way able to perform so much.

To Leicester, then, we may be sure, he went,—to find him, and the whole Court with him, in the throes of the Queen's latest and final matrimonial embroilment. Raleigh had a few weeks in which to admire the empty and hideous suitor whom France had sent over to claim Elizabeth's hand, and during this critical time it is possible that he enjoyed his personal introduction to the[Pg 18] Queen. Walter Raleigh in the prime of his strength and beauty formed a curious contrast to poor Alençon, and the difference was one which Elizabeth would not fail to recognise. On February 1, 1582, he was paid the sum of 200l. for his Irish services, and a week later he set out under Leicester, in company with Sir Philip Sidney, among the throng that conducted the French prince to the Netherlands.

When Elizabeth's 'poor frog,' as she called Alençon, had been duly led through the gorgeous pageant prepared in his honour at Antwerp, on February 17, the English lords and their train, glad to be free of their burden, passed to Flushing, and hastened home with as little ceremony as might be. Raleigh alone remained behind, to carry some special message of compliment from the Queen to the Prince of Orange. It is Raleigh himself, in his Invention of Shipping, who gives us this interesting information, and he goes on to say that when the Prince of Orange 'delivered me his letters to her Majesty, he prayed me to say to the Queen from him, Sub umbra alarum tuarum protegimur: for certainly, said he, they had withered in the bud, and sunk in the beginning of their navigation, had not her Majesty assisted them.' It would have been natural to entrust to Leicester such confidential utterances as these were a reply to. But Elizabeth was passing through a paroxysm of rage with Leicester at the moment. She ventured to call him 'traitor' and to accuse him of conspiring with the Prince of Orange. Notwithstanding this, his influence was still paramount with her, and it was characteristic of her shrewd petulance to confide in Leicester's protégé, although not in Leicester himself.[Pg 19] Towards the end of March, Raleigh settled at the English Court.

On April 1, 1582, Elizabeth issued from Greenwich a strange and self-contradictory warrant with regard to service in Ireland, and the band of infantry hitherto commanded in that country by a certain Captain Annesley, now deceased. The words must be quoted verbatim:—

For that our pleasure is to have our servant Walter Rawley [this was the way in which the name was pronounced during Raleigh's lifetime] trained some time longer in that our realm [Ireland] for his better experience in martial affairs, and for the especial care which We have to do him good, in respect of his kindred that have served Us, some of them (as you know) near about Our person [probably Mrs. Catherine Ashley, who was Raleigh's aunt]; these are to require you that the leading of the said band may be committed to the said Rawley; and for that he is, for some considerations, by Us excused to stay here. Our pleasure is that the said band be, in the meantime, till he repair into that Our realm, delivered to some such as he shall depute to be his lieutenant there.

He is to be captain in Ireland, but not just yet, not till a too tender Queen can spare him. We find that he was paid his 'reckoning' for six months after the issue of this warrant, but there is no evidence that he was spared at any time during 1582 to relieve his Irish deputy. He was now, in fact, installed as first favourite in the still susceptible heart of the Virgin Star of the North.

This, then, is a favourable opportunity for pausing to consider what manner of man it was who had so suddenly passed into the intimate favour of the Queen.[Pg 20] Naunton has described Raleigh with the precision of one who is superior to the weakness of depreciating the exterior qualities of his enemy: 'having a good presence, in a handsome and well-compacted person; a strong natural wit, and a better judgment; with a bold and plausible tongue, whereby he could set out his parts to the best advantage.' His face had neither the ethereal beauty of Sidney's nor the intellectual delicacy of Spenser's; it was cast in a rougher mould than theirs. The forehead, it is acknowledged, was too high for the proportion of the features, and for this reason, perhaps, is usually hidden in the portraits by a hat. We must think of Raleigh at this time as a tall, somewhat bony man, about six feet high, with dark hair and a high colour, a facial expression of great brightness and alertness, personable from the virile force of his figure, and illustrating these attractions by a splendid taste in dress. His clothes were at all times noticeably gorgeous; and to the end of his life he was commonly bedizened with precious stones to his very shoes. When he was arrested in 1603 he was carrying 4,000l. in jewels on his bosom, and when he was finally captured on August 10, 1618, his pockets were found full of the diamonds and jacinths which he had hastily removed from various parts of his person. His letters display his solicitous love of jewels, velvets, and embroidered damasks. Mr. Jeaffreson has lately found among the Middlesex MSS. that as early as April 26, 1584, a gentleman named Hugh Pew stole at Westminster and carried off Walter Raleigh's pearl hat-band and another jewelled article of attire, valued together in money of that time at 113l. The owner, with character[Pg 21]istic promptitude, shut the thief up in Newgate, and made him disgorge. To complete our picture of the vigorous and brilliant soldier-poet, we must add that he spoke to the end of his life with that strong Devonshire accent which was never displeasing to the ears of Elizabeth.

The Muse of History is surely now-a-days too disdainful of all information that does not reach her signed and countersigned. In biography, at least, it must be a mistake to accept none but documentary evidence, since tradition, if it does not give us truth of fact, gives us what is often at least as valuable, truth of impression. The later biographers of Raleigh have scorned even to repeat those anecdotes that are the best known to the public of all which cluster around his personality. It is true that they rest on no earlier testimony than that of Fuller, who, writing in the lifetime of men who knew Raleigh, gives the following account of his introduction to Elizabeth: 'Her Majesty, meeting with a plashy place, made some scruple to go on; when Raleigh (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.' The only point about this story which is incredible is that this act was Raleigh's introduction to the Queen. Regarded as a fantastic incident of their later attachment, the anecdote is in the highest degree characteristic of the readiness of the one and the romantic sentiment of the other.

Not less entertaining is Fuller's other story, that at[Pg 22] the full tide of Raleigh's fortunes with the Queen, he wrote on a pane of glass with his diamond ring:—

Fain would I climb, but that I fear to fall,

whereupon Elizabeth replied,

If thy heart fail thee, then climb not at all.

Of these tales we can only assert that they reflect the popular and doubtless faithful impression of Raleigh's mother-wit and audacious alacrity.

If he did not go back to fight in Ireland, his experience of Irish affairs was made use of by the Government. He showed a considerable pliancy in giving his counsel. In May 1581 he had denounced Ormond and even Grey for not being severe enough, but in June 1582 he had veered round to Burghley's opinion that it was time to moderate English tyranny in Ireland. A paper written partly by Burghley and partly by Raleigh, but entitled The Opinion of Mr. Rawley, still exists among the Irish Correspondence, and is dated October 25, 1582. This document is in the highest degree conciliatory towards the Irish chieftains, whom it recommends the Queen to win over peacefully to her side, this policy 'offering a very plausible show of thrift and commodity.' It is interesting to find Raleigh so supple, and so familiar already with the Queen's foibles. It was probably earlier in the year, and about this same Irish business, that Raleigh spoke to Elizabeth, on the occasion which Naunton describes. 'Raleigh,' he says, 'had gotten the Queen's ear at a trice; and she began to be taken with his elocution, and loved to hear his reasons to her demands; and the truth is, she took him for a kind[Pg 23] of oracle, which nettled them all.' Lord Grey, who was no diplomatist, had the want of caution to show that he was annoyed at advice being asked from a young man who was so lately his inferior. In answer to a special recommendation of Raleigh from the Queen, Lord Grey ventured to reply: 'For my own part I must be plain—I neither like his carriage nor his company, and therefore other than by direction and commandment, and what his right requires, he is not to expect from my hands.' Lord Grey did not understand the man he was dealing with. The result was that in August 1582 he was abruptly deposed from his dignity as Lord Deputy in Ireland. But we see that Raleigh could be exceedingly antipathetic to any man who crossed his path. That it was wilful arrogance, and not inability to please, is proved by the fact that he seems to have contrived to reconcile not Leicester only but even Hatton, Elizabeth's dear 'Pecora Campi,' to his intrusion at Court.

As far as we can perceive, Raleigh's success as a courtier was unclouded from 1582 to 1586, and these years are the most peaceful and uneventful in the record of his career. He took a confidential place by the Queen's side, but so unobtrusively that in these earliest years, at least, his presence leaves no perceptible mark on the political history of the country. Great in so many fields, eminent as a soldier, as a navigator, as a poet, as a courtier, there was a limit even to Raleigh's versatility, and he was not a statesman. It was political ambition which was the vulnerable spot in this Achilles, and until he meddled with statecraft, his position was practically unassailed.[Pg 24] It must not be overlooked, in this connection, that in spite of Raleigh's influence with the Queen, he never was admitted as a Privy Councillor, his advice being asked in private, by Elizabeth or by her ministers, and not across the table, where his arrogant manner might have introduced discussions fruitless to the State. In 1598, when he was at the zenith of his power, he actually succeeded, as we shall see, in being proposed for Privy Council, but the Queen did not permit him to be sworn. Nothing would be more remarkable than Elizabeth's infatuation for her favourites, if we were not still more surprised at her skill in gauging their capacities, and her firmness in defining their ambitions.

Already, in 1583, Walter Raleigh began to be the recipient of the Queen's gifts. On April 10 of that year he came into possession of two estates, Stolney and Newland, which had passed to the Queen from All Souls College, Oxford. A few days later, May 4, he became enriched by obtaining letters patent for the 'Farm of Wines,' thenceforward to be one of the main sources of his wealth. According to this grant, which extended to all places within the kingdom, each vintner was obliged to pay twenty shillings a year to Raleigh as a license duty on the sale of wines. This was, in fact, a great relief to the wine trade, for until this time the mayors of corporations had levied this duty at their own judgment, and some of them had made a licensing charge not less than six times as heavy as the new duty. The grant, moreover, gave Raleigh a part of all fines accruing to the Crown under the provisions of the wines statute of Edward VI.[Pg 25] From his 'Farm of Wines' Raleigh seems at one time to have obtained something like 2,000l. a year. The emoluments dwindled at last, just before Raleigh was forced to resign his patent to James I., to 1,000l. a year; but even this was an income equivalent to 6,000l. of our money. The grant was to expire in 1619, and would therefore, if he had died a natural death, have outlived Raleigh himself. We must not forget that the cost of collecting moneys, and the salaries to deputy licensers, consumed a large part of these receipts.

While Raleigh was shaking down a fortune from the green ivy-bushes that hung at the vintners' doors, the western continent, at which he had already cast wistful glances, remained the treasure-house of Spain. His unfortunate but indomitable half-brother, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, recalled it to his memory. The name of Gilbert deserves to be better remembered than it is; and America, at least, will one day be constrained to honour the memory of the man who was the first to dream of colonising her shores. Until his time, the ambition of Englishmen in the west had been confined to an angry claim to contest the wealth and beauty of the New World with the Spaniard. The fabulous mines of Cusco, the plate-ships of Lima and Guayaquil, the pearl-fisheries of Panama, these had been hitherto the loadstar of English enterprise. The hope was that such feats as those of Drake would bring about a time when, as George Wither put it,

the spacious West,
Being still more with English blood possessed,
The proud Iberians shall not rule those seas,
To check our ships from sailing where they please.
[Pg 26]

Even Frobisher had not entertained the notion of leaving Spain alone, and of planting in the northern hemisphere colonies of English race. It was Sir Humphrey Gilbert who first thought of a settlement in North America, and the honour of priority is due to him, although he failed.

His royal charter was dated June 1578, and covered a space of six years with its privilege. We have already seen that various enterprises undertaken by Gilbert in consequence of it had failed in one way or another. After the disaster of 1579 he desisted, and lent three of his remaining vessels to the Government, to serve on the coast of Ireland. As late as July 1582 the rent due to him on these vessels was unpaid, and he wrote a dignified appeal to Walsingham for the money in arrears. He was only forty-three, but his troubles had made an old man of him, and he pleads his white hairs, blanched in long service of her Majesty, as a reason why the means of continuing to serve her should not be withheld from him. Raleigh had warmly recommended his brother before he was himself in power, and he now used all his influence in his favour. It is plain that Gilbert's application was promptly attended to, for we find him presently in a position to pursue the colonising enterprises which lay so near to his heart. The Queen, however, could not be induced to encourage him; she shrewdly remarked that Gilbert 'had no good luck at sea,' which was pathetically true. However, Gilbert's six years' charter was about to expire, and his hopes were all bound up in making one more effort. He pleaded, and Raleigh supported him, until Elizabeth finally gave way, merely refusing to allow[Pg 27] Raleigh himself to take part in any such 'dangerous sea-fights' as the crossing of the Atlantic might entail.

On June 11, 1583, Sir Humphrey Gilbert sailed from Plymouth with a little fleet of five vessels, bound for North America. According to all authorities, Raleigh had expended a considerable sum in the outfit; according to one writer, Hayes (in Hakluyt), he was owner of the entire expedition. He spent, we know, 2,000l. in building and fitting out one vessel, which he named after himself, the 'Ark Raleigh.'

Sir Humphrey Gilbert was not born under a fortunate star. Two days after starting, a contagious fever broke out on board the 'Ark Raleigh,' and in a tumult of panic, without explaining her desertion to the admiral, she hastened back in great distress to Plymouth. The rest of the fleet crossed the Atlantic successfully, and Newfoundland was taken in the Queen's name. One ship out of the remaining four had meanwhile been sent back to England with a sick crew. Late in September 1583 a second sailed into Plymouth with the news that the other two had sunk in an Atlantic storm on the 8th or 9th of that month. The last thing known of the gallant admiral before his ship went down was that 'sitting abaft with a book in his hand,' he had called out 'Be of good heart, my friends! We are as near to heaven by sea as by land.'

At the death of Gilbert, his schemes as a colonising navigator passed, as by inheritance, to Raleigh. That he had no intention of letting them drop is shown by the fact that he was careful not to allow Gilbert's original charter to expire. In June 1584 other hands might have seized his brother's relinquished enterprise, and[Pg 28] therefore it was, on March 25, that Raleigh moved the Queen to renew the charter in his own name. In company with a younger half-brother, Adrian Gilbert, and with the experienced though unlucky navigator John Davis as a third partner, Raleigh was now incorporated as representing 'The College of the Fellowship for the Discovery of the North West Passage.' In this he was following the precedent of Gilbert, who had made use of the Queen's favourite dream of a northern route to China to cover his less attractive schemes of colonisation. Raleigh, however, took care to secure himself a charter which gave him the fullest possible power to 'inhabit or retain, build or fortify, at the discretion of the said W. Raleigh,' in any remote lands that he might find hitherto unoccupied by any Christian power. Armed with this extensive grant, Raleigh began to make his preparations.

It is needful here to pass rapidly over the chronicle of the expeditions to America, since they form no part of the personal history of Raleigh. On April 27 he sent out his first fleet under Amidas and Barlow. They sailed blindly for the western continent, but were guided at last by 'a delicate sweet smell' far out in ocean to the coast of Florida. They then sailed north, and finally landed on the islands of Wokoken and Roanoke, which, with the adjoining mainland, they annexed in the name of her Majesty. In September this first expedition returned, bringing Raleigh, as a token of the wealth of the new lands, 'a string of pearls as large as great peas.' In honour of 'the eternal Maiden Queen,' the new country received the name of Virginia, and Raleigh ordered his own arms to be cut[Pg 29] anew, with this legend, Propria insignia Walteri Ralegh, militis, Domini et Gubernatoris Virginiæ. No attempt had been made on this occasion to colonise. It was early in the following year that Raleigh sent out his second Virginian expedition, under the brave Sir Richard Grenville, to settle in the country. The experiment was not completely successful at first, but from August 17, 1585, which is the birthday of the American people, to June 18, 1586, one hundred and eight persons under the command of Ralph Lane, and in the service of Raleigh, made Roanoke their habitation. It is true that the colonists lost courage and abandoned Virginia at the latter date, but an essay at least had been made to justify the sanguine hopes of Raleigh.

These expeditions to North America were very costly, and by their very nature unremunerative for the present. Raleigh, however, was by this time quite wealthy enough to support the expense, and on the second occasion accident befriended him. Sir Richard Grenville, in the 'Tiger,' fell in with a Spanish plate-ship on his return-voyage, and towed into Plymouth Harbour a prize which was estimated at the value of 50,000l. But Raleigh was, indeed, at this time a veritable Danaë. As though enough gold had not yet been showered upon him, the Queen presented to him, on March 25, 1584, a grant of license to export woollen broad-cloths, a privilege the excessive profits of which soon attracted the critical notice of Burghley. Raleigh's grant, however, was long left unassailed, and was renewed year by year at least until May 1589. It would seem that his income from the trade in undyed broad-[Pg 30]cloth was of a two-fold nature, a fixed duty on exportation in general, and a charge on 'over-lengths,' that is to say, on pieces which exceeded the maximum length of twenty-four yards. When Burghley assailed this whole system of taxation in 1591, he stated that Raleigh had, in the first year only of his grant, received 3,950l. from a privilege for which he paid to the State a rent of only 700l. If this was correct, and no one could be in a better position than Burghley to check the figures, Raleigh's income from broad-cloth alone was something like 18,000l. of Victorian money.

Such were the sources of an opulence which we must do Raleigh the credit to say was expended not on debauchery or display, but in the most enlightened efforts to extend the field of English commercial enterprise beyond the Atlantic. We need not suppose him to have been unselfish beyond the fashion of his age. In his action there was, no doubt, an element of personal ambition; he dreamed of raising a State in the West before which his great enemy, Spain, should sink into the shade, and he fancied himself the gorgeous viceroy of such a kingdom. His imagination, which had led him on so bravely, gulled him sometimes when it came to details. His sailors had seen the light of sunset on the cliffs of Roanoke, and Raleigh took the yellow gleam for gold. He set his faith too lightly on the fabulous ores of Chaunis Temotam. But he was not the slave of these fancies, as were the more vulgar adventurers of his age. More than the promise of pearls and silver, it was the homely products of the new country that attracted him, and his captains were bidden to bring news to him of the fish and fruit of Virginia, its salts and dyes and[Pg 31] textile grasses. Nor was it a goldsmith that he sent out to the new colony as his scientific agent, but a young mathematician of promise, the practical and observant Thomas Hariot.

Some personal details of Raleigh's private life during these two years may now be touched upon. He was in close attendance upon the Queen at Greenwich and at Windsor, when he was not in his own house in the still rural village of Islington. In the summer of 1584, probably in consequence of the new wealth his broad-cloth patent had secured him, he enlarged his borders in several ways. He leased of the Queen, Durham House, close to the river, covering the site of the present Adelphi Terrace. This was the vast fourteenth-century palace of the Bishops of Durham, which had come into possession of the Crown late in the reign of Henry VIII. Elizabeth herself had occupied it during the lifetime of her brother, and she had recovered it again after the death of Mary. Retaining certain rooms, she now relinquished it to her favourite, and in this stately mansion as his town house Raleigh lived from 1584 to 1603. In spite of his uncertain tenure, he spent very large sums in repairing 'this rotten house,' as Lady Raleigh afterwards called it.

Some time between December 14, 1584, and February 24, 1585, Raleigh was knighted. On the latter date we find him first styled Sir Walter, in an order from Burghley to report on the force of the Devonshire Stannaries. His activities were now concentrated from several points upon the West of England, and he became once more identified with the only race that ever really loved him, the men of his native Devon[Pg 32]shire. In July he succeeded the Earl of Bedford as Lord Warden of the Stannaries; in September he was appointed Lieutenant of the County of Cornwall; in November, Vice-Admiral of the two counties. He, appointed Lord Beauchamp his deputy in Cornwall, and his own eldest half-brother, Sir John Gilbert of Greenway, his deputy in Devonshire. In the same year, 1585, he entered Parliament as one of the two county members for Devonshire. As Warden of the Stannaries he introduced reforms which greatly mitigated the hardships of the miners.

It is pleasanter to think of Raleigh administering rough justice from the granite judgment-seat on some windy tor of Dartmoor, than to picture him squabbling for rooms at Court with 'Pecora Campi,' or ogling a captious royal beauty of some fifty summers, Raleigh's work in the West has made little noise in history; but it was as wholesome and capable as the most famous of his exploits.

In March, 1586, Leicester found himself in disgrace with Elizabeth, and so openly attributed it to Raleigh that the Queen ordered Walsingham to deny that the latter had ceased to plead for his former patron. Raleigh himself sent Leicester a band of Devonshire miners to serve in the Netherlands, and comforted him at the same time by adding, 'The Queen is in very good terms with you, and, thanks be to God, well pacified. You are again her "Sweet Robin."' It seems that the strange accusation had been made against Raleigh that he desired to favour Spain. This was calculated to vex him to the quick, and we find him protesting (March 29, 1586): 'I have consumed the best part of my fortune,[Pg 33] hating the tyrannous prosperity of that State, and it were now strange and monstrous that I should become an enemy to my country and conscience.' Two months later he was threatened with the loss of his post as Vice-Admiral if he did not withdraw a fleet he had fitted out to harass the Spaniards in the Newfoundland waters. About the same time he strengthened his connection with the Leicester faction by marrying his cousin, Barbara Gamage, to Sir Philip Sidney's younger brother Robert. This lady became the grandmother of Waller's Sacharissa. The collapse of the Virginian colony was an annoyance in the summer of this year, but it was tempered to Raleigh by the success of another of his enterprises, his fleet in the Azores. One of the prizes brought home by this purely piratical expedition was a Spanish colonial governor of much fame and dignity, Don Pedro Sarmiento. Raleigh demanded a ransom for this personage, and while it was being collected he entertained his prisoner sumptuously in Durham House.

On October 7, 1586, Raleigh's old friend Sir Philip Sidney closed his chivalrous career on the battle-field at Zutphen. Raleigh's solemn elegy on him is one of the finest of the many poems which that sad event called forth. It blends the passion of personal regret with the dignity of public grief, as all great elegiacal poems should. One stanza might be inscribed on a monument to Sidney:

England doth hold thy limbs, that bred the same;
Flanders thy valour, where it last was tried;
The camp thy sorrow, where thy body died;
Thy friends thy want; the world thy virtues' fame.
[Pg 34]

This elegy appeared with the rest in Astrophel in 1595; but it had already been printed, in 1593, in the Phœnix Nest, and as early as 1591 Sir John Harington quotes it as Raleigh's.

It was not till the following spring that Raleigh took possession of certain vast estates in Ireland. The Queen had named him among the 'gentlemen-undertakers,' between whom the escheated lands of the Earl of Desmond were to be divided. He received about forty-two thousand acres in the counties of Cork, Waterford, and Tipperary, and he set about repeopling this desolate region with his usual vigour of action. He brought settlers over from the West of England, but these men were not supported or even encouraged at Dublin Castle. 'The doting Deputy,' as Raleigh calls him, treated his Devonshire farmers with less consideration than the Irish kerns, and although it is certain that of all the 'undertakers' Raleigh was the one who, after his lights, tried to do the best for his land, his experience as an Irish colonist was on the whole dispiriting. By far the richest part of his property was the 'haven royal' of Youghal, with the thickly-wooded lands on either side of the river Blackwater. He is scarcely to be forgiven for what appears to have been the wanton destruction of the Geraldine Friary of Youghal, built in 1268, which his men pulled down and burned while he was mayor of the town in 1587. Raleigh's Irish residences at this time were his manor-house in Youghal, which still remains, and Lismore Castle, which he rented, from 1587 onwards, of the official Archbishop of Cashel, Meiler Magrath.

We have now reached the zenith of Raleigh's per[Pg 35]sonal success. His fame was to proceed far beyond anything that he had yet gained or deserved, but his mere worldly success was to reach no further, and even from this moment sensibly to decline. Elizabeth had showered wealth and influence upon him, although she had refrained, at her most doting moments, from lifting him up to the lowest step in the ladder of aristocratic preferment. But although her favour towards Raleigh had this singular limit, and although she kept him rigidly outside the pale of politics, in other respects her affection had been lavish in the extreme. Without ceasing to hold Hatton and Leicester captive, she had now for five years given Raleigh the chief place in her heart. But, in May 1587, we suddenly find him in danger of being dethroned in favour of a boy of twenty, and it is the new Earl of Essex, with his petulant beauty, who 'is, at cards, or one game or another, with her, till the birds sing in the morning.' The remarkable scene in which Essex dared to demand the sacrifice of Raleigh as the price of his own devotion is best described by the new favourite in his own words. Raleigh had now been made Captain of the Guard, and we have to imagine him standing at the door in his uniform of orange-tawny, while the pert and pouting boy is half declaiming, half whispering, in the ear of the Queen, whose beating heart forgets to remind her that she might be the mother of one of her lovers and the grandmother of the other. Essex writes:

I told her that what she did was only to please that knave Raleigh, for whose sake I saw she would both grieve me and my love, and disgrace me in the eye of the world. From thence she came to speak of Raleigh; and it seemed[Pg 36] she could not well endure anything to be spoken against him; and taking hold of my word 'disdain,' she said there was 'no such cause why I should disdain him.' This speech did trouble me so much that, as near as I could, I did describe unto her what he had been, and what he was.... I then did let her know, whether I had cause to disdain his competition of love, or whether I could have comfort to give myself over to the service of a mistress which was in awe of such a man. I spake, with grief and choler, as much against him as I could; and I think he, standing at the door, might very well hear the worst that I spoke of himself. In that end, I saw she was resolved to defend him, and to cross me.

It was probably about this time, and owing to the instigation of Essex, that Tarleton, the comedian, laid himself open to banishment from Court for calling out, while Raleigh was playing cards with Elizabeth, 'See how the Knave commands the Queen!' Elizabeth supported her old favourite, but there is no doubt that these attacks made their impression on her irritable temperament. Meanwhile Raleigh, engaged in a dozen different enterprises, and eager to post hither and thither over land and sea, was probably not ill disposed to see his royal mistress diverted from a too-absorbing attention to himself.

On May 8, 1587, Raleigh sent forth from Plymouth his fourth Virginian expedition, under Captain John White. It was found that the second colony, the handful of men left behind by Sir Richard Grenville, had perished. With 150 men, White landed at Hatorask, and proposed to found a town of Raleigh in the new country. Every species of disaster attended this third colony, and in the midst of the excitement caused the following year by the Spanish Armada, a fifth[Pg 37] expedition, fitted out under Sir Richard Grenville, was stopped by the Government at Bideford. Raleigh was not easily daunted, however, and in the midst of the preparations for the great struggle he contrived to send out two pinnaces from Bideford, on April 22, 1588, for the succour of his unfortunate Virginians; but these little vessels were ignominiously stripped off Madeira by privateers from La Rochelle, and sent helpless back to England. Raleigh had now spent more than forty thousand pounds upon the barren colony of Virginia, and, finding that no one at Court supported his hopes in that direction, he began to withdraw a little from a contest in which he was so heavily handicapped. In the next chapter we shall touch upon the modification of his American policy. He had failed hitherto, and yet, in failing, he had already secured for his own name the highest place in the early history of Colonial America.

We now reach that famous incident in English history over which every biographer of Raleigh is tempted to linger, the ruin of Philip's Felicissima Armada. Within the limits of the present life of Sir Walter it is impossible to tell over again a story which is among the most thrilling in the chronicles of the world, but in which Raleigh's part was not a foremost one. We possess no letter of 1588 in which he refers to the fight.

On March 31, he had been one of the nine commissioners who met to consider the best means of resisting invasion. In the same body of men sat two of Raleigh's captains, Grenville and Ralph Lane, as well as his old opponent, Lord Grey. Three months before this, Raleigh had reported to the Queen on[Pg 38] the state of the counties under his charge, and his counsel on the subject had been taken. That he was profoundly excited at the crisis in English affairs is proved by the many allusions he makes to the Armada in the History of the World. It is on the whole surprising that he was not called to take a more prominent part in the event.[3]

It is believed that he was in Ireland when the storm actually broke, that he hastened into the West of England, to raise levies of Cornish and Devonian miners, and that he then proceeded to Portland, of which, among his many offices, he was now governor, in order that he might revise and complete the defences of that fortress. Either by land or sea, according to conflicting accounts, he then hurried back to Plymouth, and joined the main body of the fleet on July 23. There is a very early tradition that his advice was asked by the Admiral, Howard of Effingham, on the question whether it would be wise to try to board the Spanish galleons. The Admiral thought not, but was almost over-persuaded by younger men, eager for distinction, when Raleigh came to his aid[Pg 39] with counsel that tallied with the Admiral's judgment. In the History of the World Raleigh remarks:

To clap ships together without any consideration belongs rather to a madman than to a man of war. By such an ignorant bravery was Peter Strozzi lost at the Azores, when he fought against the Marquis of Santa Cruz. In like sort had Lord Charles Howard, Admiral of England, been lost in the year 1588, if he had not been better advised than a great many malignant fools were that found fault with his demeanour. The Spaniards had an army aboard them, and he had none. They had more ships than he had, and of higher building and charging; so that, had he entangled himself with those great and powerful vessels, he had greatly endangered this kingdom of England.

Raleigh's impression of the whole comedy of the Armada is summed up in an admirable sentence in his Report of the Fight in the Azores, to which the reader must here merely be referred. His ship was one of those which pursued the lumbering Spanish galleons furthest in their wild flight towards the Danish waters. He was back in England, however, in time to receive orders on August 28 to prepare a fleet for Ireland. Whether that fleet ever started or no is doubtful, and the latest incident of Raleigh's connection with the Armada is that on September 5, 1588, he and Sir Francis Drake received an equal number of wealthy Spanish prisoners, whose ransoms were to be the reward of Drake's and of Raleigh's achievements. More important to the latter was the fact that his skill in naval tactics, and his genius for rapid action, had very favourably impressed the Lord Admiral, who henceforward publicly treated him as a recognised authority in these matters.

[Pg 40]

CHAPTER III.

IN DISGRACE.

For one year after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, Raleigh resisted with success, or overlooked with equanimity, the determined attacks which Essex made upon his position at Court. He was busy with great schemes in all quarters of the kingdom, engaged in Devonshire, in Ireland, in Virginia, in the north-western seas, and to his virile activity the jealousy of Essex must have seemed like the buzzing of a persistent gnat. The insect could sting, however, and in the early part of December 1588, Raleigh's attention was forcibly concentrated on his rival by the fact that 'my Lord of Essex' had sent him a challenge. No duel was fought, and the Council did its best to bury the incident 'in silence, that it might not be known to her Majesty, lest it might injure the Earl,' from which it will appear that Raleigh's hold upon her favour was still assured.

A week later than this we get a glance for a moment at one or two of the leash of privateering enterprises, all of them a little under the rose, in which Sir Walter Raleigh was in these years engaged. An English ship, the 'Angel Gabriel,' complained of being captured and sacked of her wines by Raleigh's men on the high seas,[Pg 41] and he retorts by insinuating that she, 'as it is probable, has served the King of Spain in his Armada,' and is therefore fair game. So, too, with the four butts of sack of one Artson, and the sugar and mace said to be taken out of a Hamburg vessel, their capture by Raleigh's factors is comfortably excused on the ground that these acts were only reprisals against the villainous Spaniard. It was well that these more or less commercial undertakings should be successful, for it became more and more plain to Raleigh that the most grandiose of all his enterprises, his determined effort to colonise Virginia, could but be a drain upon his fortune. After Captain White's final disastrous voyage, Raleigh suspended his efforts in this direction for a while. He leased his patent in Virginia to a company of merchants, on March 7, 1589, merely reserving to himself a nominal privilege, namely the possession of one fifth of such gold and silver ore as should be raised in the colony. This was the end of the first act of Raleigh's American adventures. It may not be needless to contradict here a statement repeated in most rapid sketches of his life. It is not true that at any time Raleigh himself set foot in Virginia.

In the Portugal expedition of 1589 Raleigh does not seem to have taken at all a prominent part. He was absent, however, with Drake's fleet from April 18 to July 2, and he marched with the rest up to the walls of Lisbon. This enterprise was an attempt on the part of Elizabeth to place Antonio again on the throne of Portugal, from which he had been ousted by Philip of Spain in 1580. The aim of the expedition was not reached, but a great deal of booty fell into the hands of[Pg 42] the English, and Raleigh in particular received 4,000l. His contingent, however, had been a little too zealous, and he received a rather sharp reprimand for capturing two barks from Cherbourg belonging to the friendly power of France. It must be understood that Raleigh at this time maintained at his own expense a small personal fleet for commercial and privateering ends, and that he lent or leased these vessels, with his own services, to the government when additional naval contributions were required. In the Domestic Correspondence we meet with the names of the chief of these vessels, 'The Revenge,' soon afterwards so famous, 'The Crane,' and 'The Garland.' These ships were merchantmen or men-of-war at will, and their exploits were winked at or frowned upon at Court as circumstances dictated. Sometimes the hawk's eye of Elizabeth would sound the holds of these pirates with incredible acumen, as on that occasion when it is recorded that 'a waistcoat of carnation colour, curiously embroidered,' which was being brought home to adorn the person of the adventurer, was seized by order of the Queen to form a stomacher for his royal mistress. It would be difficult to say which of the illustrious pair was the more solicitous of fine raiment. At other times the whole prize had to be disgorged; as in the case of that bark of Olonne, laden with barley, which Raleigh had to restore to the Treasury on July 21, 1589, after he had concluded a very lucrative sale of the same.

In August 1589 Sir Francis Allen wrote to Anthony Bacon: 'My Lord of Essex hath chased Mr. Raleigh from the Court, and hath confined him to Ireland.' It is true that Raleigh himself, five months later, being[Pg 43] once more restored to favour, speaks of 'that nearness to her Majesty which I still enjoy,' and directly contradicts the rumour of his disgrace. This, however, is not in accordance with the statement made by Spenser in his poem of Colin Clout's come home again, in which he says that all Raleigh's speech at this time was

Of great unkindness and of usage hard
Of Cynthia, the Lady of the Sea,
Which from her presence faultless him debarred,

and this may probably be considered as final evidence. At all events, this exile from Court, whether it was enforced or voluntary, brought about perhaps the most pleasing and stimulating episode in the whole of Raleigh's career, his association with the great poet whose lines have just been quoted.

We have already seen that, eight years before this, Spenser and Raleigh had met under Lord Grey in the expedition that found its crisis at Smerwick. We have no evidence of the point of intimacy which they reached in 1582, nor of their further acquaintance before 1589. It has been thought that Raleigh's picturesque and vivid personality immediately and directly influenced Spenser's imagination. Dean Church has noticed that to read Hooker's account of 'Raleigh's adventures with the Irish chieftains, his challenges and single combats, his escapes at fords and woods, is like reading bits of the Faery Queen in prose.' The two men, in many respects the most remarkable Englishmen of imagination then before the notice of their country, did not, however, really come into mutual relation until the time we have now reached.[Pg 44]

In 1586 Edmund Spenser had been rewarded for his arduous services as Clerk of the Council of Munster by the gift of a manor and ruined castle of the Desmonds, Kilcolman, near the Galtee hills. This little peel-tower, with its tiny rooms, overlooked a county that is desolate enough now, but which then was finely wooded, and watered by the river Awbeg, to which the poet gave the softer name of Mulla. Here, in the midst of terrors by night and day, at the edge of the dreadful Wood, where 'outlaws fell affray the forest ranger,' Spenser had been settled for three years, describing the adventures of knights and ladies in a wild world of faery that was but too like Munster, when the Shepherd of the Ocean came over to Ireland to be his neighbour. Raleigh settled himself in his own house at Youghal, and found society in visiting his cousin, Sir George Carew, at Lismore, and Spenser at Kilcolman. Of the latter association we possess a most interesting record. In 1591, reviewing the life of two years before, Spenser says:

One day I sat, (as was my trade),
Under the foot of Mole, that mountain hoar,
Keeping my sheep among the cooly shade
Of the green alders, by the Mulla's shore;
There a strange shepherd chanced to find me out;
Whether allurèd with my pipe's delight,
Whose pleasing sound yshrilled far about,

(the secret of the authorship of the Shepherd's Calender having by this time oozed out in the praises of Webbe in 1586 and of Puttenham in 1589,)

Or thither led by chance, I know not right,[Pg 45]
Whom, when I askèd from what place he came
And how he hight, himself he did ycleepe
The Shepherd of the Ocëan by name,
And said he came far from the main-sea deep;
He, sitting me beside in that same shade,
Provokèd me to play some pleasant fit,

(that is to say, to read the MS. of the Faery Queen, now approaching completion,)

And, when he heard the music which I made,
He found himself full greatly pleased at it;
Yet æmuling my pipe, he took in hond
My pipe,—before that, æmulèd of many,—
And played thereon (for well that skill he conned),
Himself as skilful in that art as any.

Among the other poems thus read by Raleigh to Spenser at Kilcolman was the 'lamentable lay' to which reference had just been made—the piece in praise of Elizabeth which bore the name of Cynthia. In Spenser's pastoral, the speaker is persuaded by Thestylis (Lodovick Bryskett) to explain what ditty that was that the Shepherd of the Ocean sang, and he explains very distinctly, but in terms which are scarcely critical, that Raleigh's poem was written in love and praise, but also in pathetic complaint, of Elizabeth, that

great Shepherdess, that Cynthia hight,
His Liege, his Lady, and his life's Regent.

This is most valuable evidence of the existence in 1589 of a poem or series of poems by Sir Walter Raleigh, set by Spenser on a level with the best work of the age in verse. This poem was, until quite lately,[Pg 46] supposed to have vanished entirely and beyond all hope of recovery. Until now, no one seems to have been aware that we hold in our hands a fragment of Raleigh's magnum opus of 1589 quite considerable enough to give us an idea of the extent and character of the rest.[4]

In 1870 Archdeacon Hannah printed what he described as a 'continuation of the lost poem, Cynthia,' from fragments in Sir Walter's own hand among the Hatfield MSS. Dr. Hannah, however, misled by the character of the handwriting, by some vague allusions, in one of the fragments, to a prison captivity, and most of all, probably, by a difficulty in dates which we can now for the first time explain, attributed these pieces to 1603-1618, that is to say to Raleigh's imprisonment in the Tower. The second fragment, beginning 'My body in the walls captived,' belongs, no doubt, to the later date. It is in a totally distinct metre from the rest and has nothing to do with Cynthia. The first fragment bears the stamp of much earlier date, but this also can be no part of Raleigh's epic. The long passage then following, on the contrary, is, I think, beyond question, a canto, almost complete, of the lost epic of 1589. It is written in the four-line heroic stanza adopted ten years later by Sir John Davies for his Nosce teipsum, and most familiar to us all in Gray's Churchyard Elegy. Moreover, it is headed 'the Twenty-first and Last Book of The Ocean to Cynthia.' Another note, in Raleigh's handwriting, styles the poem The Ocean's Love to Cynthia, and this was probably the full name of it. Spenser's name for Raleigh, the Shepherd, or[Pg 47] pastoral hero, of the Ocean, is therefore for the first time explained. This twenty-first book suffers from the fact that stanzas, but apparently not very many, have dropped out, in four places. With these losses, the canto still contains 130 stanzas, or 526 lines. Supposing the average length of the twenty preceding books to have been the same, The Ocean's Love to Cynthia must have contained at least ten thousand lines. Spenser, therefore, was not exaggerating, or using the language of flattery towards a few elegies or a group of sonnets, when he spoke of Cynthia as a poem of great importance. As a matter of fact, no poem of the like ambition had been written in England for a century past, and if it had been published, it would perhaps have taken a place only second to its immediate contemporary, The Faery Queen.

At this very time, and in the midst of his poetical holiday, Raleigh was actively engaged in defending the rights of the merchants of Waterford and Wexford to carry on their trade in pipe-staves for casks. Raleigh himself encouraged and took part in this exportation, having two ships regularly engaged between Waterford and the Canaries. Traces of his peaceful work in Munster still remain. Sir John Pope Hennessy says:

The richly perfumed yellow wallflowers that he brought to Ireland from the Azores, and the Affane cherry, are still found where he first planted them by the Blackwater. Some cedars he brought to Cork are to this day growing, according to the local historian, Mr. J. G. MacCarthy, at a place called Tivoli. The four venerable yew-trees, whose branches have grown and intermingled into a sort of summer-house thatch, are pointed out as having sheltered[Pg 48] Raleigh when he first smoked tobacco in his Youghal garden. In that garden he also planted tobacco.... A few steps further on, where the town-wall of the thirteenth century bounds the garden of the Warden's house, is the famous spot where the first Irish potato was planted by him. In that garden he gave the tubers to the ancestor of the present Lord Southwell, by whom they were spread throughout the province of Munster.

These were boons to mankind which the zeal of Raleigh's agents had brought back from across the western seas, gifts of more account in the end than could be contained in all the palaces of Manoa, and all the emerald mines of Trinidad, if only this great man could have followed his better instinct and believed it.

Raleigh's habitual difficulty in serving under other men showed itself this autumn in his dispute with the Irish Deputy, Sir William Fitzwilliam, and led, perhaps, to his return early in the winter. We do not know what circumstances led to his being taken back into Elizabeth's favour again, but it was probably in November that he returned to England, and took Spenser with him. Of this interesting passage in his life we find again an account in Colin Clout's come home again. Spencer says:

When thus our pipes we both had wearied well,
... and each an end of singing made,
He [Raleigh] gan to cast great liking to my lore,
And great disliking to my luckless lot;

and advised him to come to Court and be presented to 'Cynthia,'

Whose grace was great and bounty most rewardful.
[Pg 49]

He then devotes no less than ninety-five lines to a description of the voyage, which was a very rough one, and at last he is brought by Raleigh into the Queen's presence:

The shepherd of the ocean ...
Unto that goddess' grace me first enhanced,
And to my oaten pipe inclined her ear,
That she thenceforth therein gan take delight,
And it desired at timely hours to hear,

finally commanding the publication of it. On December 1, 1589, the Faery Queen was registered, and a pension of 50l. secured for the poet. The supplementary letter and sonnets to Raleigh express Spenser's generous recognition of the services his friend had performed for him, and appeal to Raleigh, as 'the Summer's Nightingale, thy sovereign goddess's most dear delight,' not to delay in publishing his own great poem, the Cynthia. The first of the eulogistic pieces prefixed by friends to the Faery Queen was that noble and justly celebrated sonnet signed W. R. which alone would justify Raleigh in taking a place among the English poets.

Raleigh's position was once more secure in the sunlight. He could hold Sir William Fitzwilliam informed, on December 29, that 'I take myself far his better by the honourable office I hold, as well as by that nearness to her Majesty which still I enjoy, and never more.' The next two years were a sort of breathing space in Raleigh's career; he had reached the table-land of his fortunes, and neither rose nor fell in favour. The violent crisis of the Spanish Armada had marked the close of an epoch at Court. In September 1588 Leicester died, in April 1590 Walsingham, in[Pg 50] September 1591 Sir Christopher Hatton, three men in whose presence, however apt Raleigh might be to vaunt his influence, he could never have felt absolutely master. New men were coming on, but for the moment the most violent and aggressive of his rivals, Essex, was disposed to wave a flag of truce. Both Raleigh and Essex saw one thing more clearly than the Queen herself, namely, that the loyalty of the Puritans, whom Elizabeth disliked, was the great safeguard of the nation against Catholic encroachment, and they united their forces in trying to protect the interests of men like John Udall against the Queen's turbulent prejudices. In March 1591 we find it absolutely recorded that the Earl of Essex and Raleigh have joined 'as instruments from the Puritans to the Queen upon any particular occasion of relieving them.' With Essex, some sort of genuine Protestant fervour seems to have acted; Raleigh, according to all evidence, was a man without religious interests, but far before his age in tolerance for the opinions of others, and he was swayed, no doubt, in this as in other cases, by his dislike of persecution on the one hand, and his implacable enmity to Spain on the other.

In May 1591, Raleigh was hurriedly sent down the Channel in a pinnace to warn Lord Thomas Howard that Spanish ships had been seen near the Scilly Islands. There was a project for sending a fleet of twenty ships to Spain, and Raleigh was to be second in command, but the scheme was altered. In November 1591 he first came before the public as an author with a tract in which he celebrated the prowess of one of his best friends and truest servants, Sir Richard Grenville, in a[Pg 51] contest with the Spaniard which is one of the most famous in English history. Raleigh's little volume is entitled: A Report of the Truth of the Fight about the Iles of the Açores this last Sommer betwixt the 'Reuenge' and an Armada of the King of Spaine. The fight had taken place on the preceding 10th of September; the odds against the 'Revenge' were so excessive that Grenville was freely blamed for needless foolhardiness, in facing 15,000 Spaniards with only 100 men. Raleigh wrote his Report to justify the memory of his friend, and doubtless hastened its publication that it might be received as evidence before Sir R. Beville's commission, which was to meet a month later to inquire into the circumstances of Grenville's death. Posterity has taken Raleigh's view, and all Englishmen, from Lord Bacon to Lord Tennyson, have united in praising this fight as one 'memorable even beyond credit, and to the height of some heroical fable.'

The Report of 1591 was anonymous, and it was Hakluyt first who, in reprinting it in 1599, was permitted to state that it was 'penned by the honourable Sir Walter Ralegh, knight.' Long entirely neglected, it has of late become the best known of all its author's productions. It is written in a sane and manly style, and marks the highest level reached by English narrative prose as it existed before the waters were troubled by the fashion of Euphues. Not issued with Raleigh's name, it was yet no doubt at once recognised as his work, and it cannot have been without influence in determining the policy of the country with Spain. The author's enmity to the Spaniard is inveterate, and he is careful in an eloquent introduction to prove that[Pg 52] he is not actuated by resentment on account of this one act of cruel cowardice, but by a divine anger, justified by the events of years, 'against the ambitious and bloody pretences of the Spaniard, who, seeking to devour all nations, shall be themselves devoured.' The tract closes with a passionate appeal to the loyalty of the English Catholics, who are warned by the sufferings of Portugal that 'the obedience even of the Turk is easy and a liberty, in respect of the slavery and tyranny of Spain,' and who will never be so safe as when they are trusting in the clemency of her Majesty. All this is in the highest degree characteristic of Raleigh, whose central idea in life was not prejudice against the Catholic religion, for he was singularly broad in this respect, but, in his own words, 'hatred of the tyrannous prosperity of Spain.' This ran like a red strand through his whole career from Smerwick to the block, and this was at once the measure of his greatness and the secret of his fall.

It was formerly supposed that Raleigh came into possession of Sherborne, his favourite country residence, in 1594, that is to say after the Throckmorton incident. It is, however, in the highest degree improbable that such an estate would be given to him after his fatal offence, and in fact it is now certain that the lease was extended to him much earlier, probably in October 1591. There is a pleasant legend that Raleigh and one of his half-brothers were riding up to town from Plymouth, when Raleigh's horse stumbled and threw him within the precincts of a beautiful Dorsetshire estate, then in possession of the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury, and that Raleigh, choosing to consider that he had thus[Pg 53] taken seisin of the soil, asked the Queen for Sherborne Castle when he arrived at Court. It may have been on this occasion that Elizabeth asked him when he would cease to be a beggar, and received the reply, 'When your Majesty ceases to be a benefactor!' His first lease included a payment of 260l. a year to the Bishop of Salisbury, who asserted a claim to the property. In January 1592, after the payment of a quarter's rent, Raleigh was confirmed in possession, and began to improve and enjoy the property. It consisted of the manor of Sherborne, with a large park, a castle which had to be repaired, and several farms and hamlets, together with a street in the borough of Sherborne itself. It is a curious fact that Raleigh had to present the Queen with a jewel worth 250l. to induce her 'to make the Bishop,' that is to say, to appoint to the see of Salisbury, now vacant, a man who would consent to the alienation of such rich Church lands as the manors of Sherborne and Yetminster. John Meeres, afterwards so determined and exasperating an enemy of Raleigh's, was now[5] appointed his bailiff, and Adrian Gilbert a sort of general overseer of the works.

Raleigh had been but two months settled in possession of Sherborne, with his ninety-nine years' lease clearly made out, when he passed suddenly out of the sunlight into the deepest shadow of approaching disfavour. The year opened with promise of greater activity and higher public honours than Raleigh had yet displayed and enjoyed. An expedition was to be sent[Pg 54] to capture the rich fleet of plate-ships, known as the Indian Carracks, and then to push on to storm the pearl treasuries of Panama. For the first time, Elizabeth had shown herself willing to trust her favourite in person on the perilous western seas. Raleigh was to command the fleet of fifteen ships, and under him was to serve the morose hero of Cathay, the dreadful Sir Martin Frobisher. Raleigh was not only to be admiral of the expedition, but its chief adventurer also, and in order to bear this expense he had collected his available fortune from various quarters, stripping himself of all immediate resources. To help him, the Queen had bought The Ark Raleigh, his largest ship, for 5,000l.; and in February 1592 he was ready to sail. When the moment for parting came, however, the Queen found it impossible to spare him, and Sir John Burrough was appointed admiral.

It is exceedingly difficult to move with confidence in this obscure part of our narrative. On March 10, 1592, we find Raleigh at Chatham, busy about the wages of the sailors, and trying to persuade them to serve under Frobisher, whose reputation for severity made him very unpopular. He writes on that day to Sir Robert Cecil, and uses these ambiguous expressions with regard to a rumour of which we now hear for the first time:

I mean not to come away, as they say I will, for fear of a marriage, and I know not what. If any such thing were, I would have imparted it to yourself, before any man living; and therefore, I pray, believe it not, and I beseech you to suppress, what you can, any such malicious report. For I protest before God, there is none, on the face of the earth, that I would be fastened unto.

[Pg 55]

Raleigh was now in a desperate embarrassment. There was that concealed in his private life which could only be condoned by absence; he had seen before him an unexpected chance of escape from England, and now the Queen's tedious fondness had closed it again. The desperate fault which he had committed was that he had loved too well and not at all wisely a beautiful orphan, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, a maid of honour to the Queen. It is supposed that she was two or three and twenty at the time. Whether he seduced her, and married her after his imprisonment in the Tower, or whether in the early months of 1592 there was a private marriage, has been doubted. The biographers of Raleigh have preferred to believe the latter, but it is to be feared that his fair fame in this matter cannot be maintained unsullied. Among Sir Walter Raleigh's children one daughter appears to have been illegitimate, 'my poor daughter, to whom I have given nothing, for his sake who will be cruel to himself to preserve thee,' as he says to Lady Raleigh in 1603, and it may be that it was the birth of this child which brought down the vengeance of Queen Elizabeth upon their heads.

His clandestine relations with Elizabeth Throckmorton were not in themselves without excuse. To be the favourite of Elizabeth, who had now herself attained the sixtieth summer of her immortal charms, was tantamount to a condemnation to celibacy. The vanity of Belphœbe would admit no rival among high or low, and the least divergence from the devotion justly due to her own imperial loveliness was a mortal sin. What is less easy to forgive in Raleigh than that at the age of[Pg 56] forty he should have rebelled at last against this tyranny, is that he seems, in the crisis of his embarrassment, to have abandoned the woman to whom he could write long afterwards, 'I chose you and I loved you in my happiest times.' After this brief dereliction, however, he returned to his duty, and for the rest of his life was eminently faithful to the wife whom he had taken under such painful circumstances.

There is a lacuna in the evidence as to what actually happened early in 1592; the late Mr. J. P. Collier filled up this gap with a convenient letter, which has found its way into the histories of Raleigh, but the original of which has never been seen by other eyes than the transcriber's. What is certain is that Raleigh contrived to conceal the state of things from the Queen, and to steal away to sea on the pretext that he was merely accompanying Sir Martin Frobisher to the mouth of the Channel. He says himself that on May 13, 1592, he was 'about forty leagues off the Cape Finisterre.' It was reported that the Queen sent a ship after him to insist on his return, but such a messenger would have had little chance of finding him when once he had reached the latitude of Portugal, and it is more reasonable to suppose that after straying away as far as he dared, he came back again of his own accord. On June 8 he was still living unmolested in Durham House, and dealing, as a person in authority, with certain questions of international navigation. Three weeks later the Queen seems to have discovered, what everyone about her knew already, the nature of Raleigh's relations with Elizabeth Throckmorton. On July 28 Sir Edward Stafford wrote to Anthony Bacon:[Pg 57] 'If you have anything to do with Sir Walter Raleigh, or any love to make to Mrs. Throckmorton, at the Tower to-morrow you may speak with them.' It was four years before Raleigh was admitted again to the presence of his enraged Belphœbe.

Needless prominence has been given to this imprisonment of Raleigh's, which lasted something less than two months. He was exceedingly restive under constraint, however, and filled the air with the picturesque clamour of his distress. His first idea was to soften the Queen's heart by outrageous protestations of anxious devotion to her person. The following passage from a letter to Sir Robert Cecil is remarkable in many ways, curious as an example of affected passion in a soldier of forty for a maiden of sixty, curious as a piece of carefully modulated Euphuistic prose in the fashion of the hour, most curious as the language of a man from whom the one woman that he really loved was divided by the damp wall of a prison:

My heart was never broken till this day, that I hear the Queen goes away so far off, whom I have followed so many years with so great love and desire, in so many journeys, and am now left behind her, in a dark prison all alone. While she was yet nigher at hand, that I might hear of her once in two or three days, my sorrows were the less; but even now my heart is cast into the depth of all misery. I that was wont to behold her riding like Alexander, hunting like Diana, walking like Venus, the gentle wind blowing her fair hair about her pure cheeks, like a nymph; sometime sitting in the shade like a goddess; sometime singing like an angel; sometime playing like Orpheus. Behold the sorrow of this world! Once amiss, hath bereaved me of all. O Glory, that only shineth in misfortune, what is become of[Pg 58] thy assurance? All wounds have scars, but that of fantasy; all affections their relenting, but that of womankind. Who is the judge of friendship, but adversity? or when is grace witnessed, but in offences? There were no divinity, but by reason of compassion for revenges are brutish and mortal. All those times past, the loves, the sights, the sorrows, the desires, can they not weigh down one frail misfortune? Cannot one drop of salt be hidden in so great heaps of sweetness? I may then conclude, Spes et fortuna, valete! She is gone in whom I trusted, and of me hath not one thought of mercy, nor any respect of that that was. Do with me now, therefore, what you list. I am more weary of life than they are desirous I should perish.

He kept up this comedy of passion with wonderful energy. One day, when the royal barge, passing down to Gravesend, crossed below his window, he raved and stormed, swearing that his enemies had brought the Queen thither 'to break his gall in sunder with Tantalus' torment.' Another time he protested that he must disguise himself as a boatman, and just catch a sight of the Queen, or else his heart would break. He drew his dagger on his keeper, Sir George Carew, and broke the knuckles of Sir Arthur Gorges, because he said they were restraining him from the sight of his Mistress. He proposed to Lord Howard of Effingham at the close of a business letter, that he should be thrown to feed the lions, 'to save labour,' as the Queen was still so cruel. Sir Arthur Gorges was in despair; he thought that Raleigh was going mad. 'He will shortly grow,' he said, 'to be Orlando Furioso, if the bright Angelica persevere against him a little longer.'

It was all a farce, of course, but underneath the fantastic affectation there was a very real sentiment, that[Pg 59] of the intolerable tedium of captivity. Raleigh had been living a life of exaggerated activity, never a month at rest, now at sea, now in Devonshire, now at Court, hurrying hither and thither, his horse and he one veritable centaur. Among the Euphuistic 'tears of fancy' which he sent from the Tower, there occurs this little sentence, breathing the most complete sincerity: 'I live to trouble you at this time, being become like a fish cast on dry land, gasping for breath, with lame legs and lamer lungs.' There was no man then in England whom it was more cruel to shut up in a cage. This reference to his lungs is the first announcement of the failure of his health. Raleigh's constitution was tough, but he had a variety of ailments, and a tendency to rheumatism and to consumption was among them. In later years we shall find that the damp cells of the Tower filled his joints with pain, and reduced him with a weakening cough. But long before his main imprisonment his joints and his lungs were troublesome to him.

Meanwhile the great privateering expedition in which Raleigh had launched his fortune was proceeding to its destination in the Azores. No such enterprise had been as yet undertaken by English adventurers. It was a strictly private effort, but the Queen in her personal capacity had contributed two ships and 1,800l., and the citizens of London 6,000l., but Raleigh retained by far the largest share. Raleigh had been a week in the Tower, when Admiral Sir John Burrough, who had divided the fleet and had left Frobisher on the coast of Spain, joined to his contingent two London ships, the 'Golden Dragon' and the 'Prudence,' and lay in wait[Pg 60] under Flores for the great line of approaching carracks. The largest of these, the 'Madre de Dios,' was the most famous plate-ship of the day, carrying what in those days seemed almost incredible, no less than 1,800 tons. Her cargo, brought through Indian seas from the coast of Malabar, was valued when she started at 500,000l. She was lined with glowing woven carpets, sarcenet quilts, and lengths of white silk and cyprus; she carried in chests of sandalwood and ebony such store of rubies and pearls, such porcelain and ivory and rock crystal, such great pots of musk and planks of cinnamon, as had never been seen on all the stalls of London. Her hold smelt like a garden of spices for all the benjamin and cloves, the nutmegs and the civet, the ambergris and frankincense. There was a fight before Raleigh's ship the 'Roebuck' could seize this enormous prize, yet somewhat a passive one on the part of the lumbering carrack, such a fight as may ensue between a great rabbit and the little stoat that sucks its life out. When she was entered, it was found that pilferings had gone on already at every port at which she had called; and the English sailors had done their share before Burrough could arrive on board; the jewels and the lighter spices were badly tampered with, but in the general rejoicing over so vast a prize this was not much regarded. Through seas so tempestuous that it seemed at one time likely that she would sink in the Atlantic, the 'Madre de Dios' was at last safely brought into Dartmouth, on September 8.

The arrival of the 'Madre de Dios' on the Queen's birthday had something like the importance of a national event. No prize of such value had ever been[Pg 61] captured before. When all deduction had been made for treasure lost or pilfered or squandered, there yet remained a total value of 141,000l. in the money of that day. The fact that all this wealth was lying in Dartmouth harbour was more than the tradesmen of London could bear. Before the Queen's commissioners could assemble, half the usurers and shopkeepers in the City had hurried down into Devonshire to try and gather up a few of the golden crumbs. Raleigh, meanwhile, was ready to burst his heart with fretting in the Tower, until it suddenly appeared that this very concourse and rabble at Dartmouth would render his release imperative. No one but he could cope with Devonshire in its excitement, and Lord Burghley determined on sending him to Dartmouth. Robert Cecil, writing from Exeter to his father on September 19, reported that for seven miles everybody he met on the London road smelt of amber or of musk, and that you could not open a bag without finding seed-pearls in it. 'My Lord!' he says, 'there never was such spoil.' Raleigh's presence was absolutely necessary, for Cecil could do nothing with the desperate and obstinate merchants and sailors.

On September 21, Raleigh arrived at Dartmouth with his keeper, Blount. Cecil was amazed to find the disgraced favourite so popular in Devonshire. 'I assure you,' he says, 'his poor servants to the number of one hundred and forty, goodly men, and all the mariners, came to him with such shouts and joy as I never saw a man more troubled to quiet them in my life. But his heart is broken, for he is extremely pensive longer than he is busied, in which he can toil terribly, but if you did hear him rage at the spoils, finding all the short[Pg 62] wares utterly devoured, you would laugh as I do, which I cannot choose. The meeting between him and Sir John Gilbert was with tears on Sir John's part; and he belike finding it known he had a keeper, wherever he is saluted with congratulation for liberty, he doth answer, "No, I am still the Queen of England's poor captive." I wished him to conceal it, because here it doth diminish his credit, which I do vow to you before God is greater among the mariners than I thought for. I do grace him as much as I may, for I find him marvellously greedy to do anything to recover the conceit of his brutish offence.'

Raleigh broke into rage at finding so many of his treasures lost, and he gave out that if he met with any London jewellers or goldsmiths in Devonshire, were it on the wildest heath in all the county, he would strip them as naked as when they were born. He raved against the commissioners and the captains, against Cecil and against Cross. As was his wont, he showed no tact or consideration towards those who were engaged with or just above him; but about the end of September business cooled his wrath, and he settled down to a division of the prize. On September 27, the Commissioners of Inquiry sent in to Burghley and Howard a report of their proceedings with respect to the 'Madre de Dios'; this report is signed by Cecil, Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, and three other persons. They had carried on their search for stolen treasure so rigorously that even the Admiral's chests were examined against his will. They confess their disappointment at finding in them nothing more tempting than some taffetas embroidered with Chinese gold, and a bunch of seed-pearl.[Pg 63]

Sir Walter Raleigh now married or acknowledged Elizabeth Throckmorton, and in February 1593 Sir Robert Cecil procured some sort of surly recognition of the marriage from the Queen. For this Lady Raleigh thanks him in a strange flowery letter[6] of the 8th of that month, in which she excuses her husband for his denial of her—'if faith were broken with me, I was yet far away'—and shows an affectionate solicitude for his future. It seems that Raleigh's first idea on finding himself free was to depart on an expedition to America, and this Lady Raleigh strongly objects to. In her alembicated style she says to Cecil, 'I hope for my sake you will rather draw for Walter towards the east than help him forward toward the sunset, if any respect to me or love to him be not forgotten. But every month hath his flower and every season his contentment, and you great councillors are so full of new councils, as you are steady in nothing, but we poor souls that have bought sorrow at a high price, desire, and can be pleased with, the same misfortune we hold, fearing alterations will but multiply misery, of which we have already felt sufficient.' The poor woman had her way for the present, and for two full years her husband contented himself with a quiet and obscure life among the woods of Sherborne.

For the next year we get scanty traces of Raleigh's movements from his own letters. In May 1593 his health, shaken by his imprisonment, gave him some uneasiness, and he went to Bath to drink the waters, but without advantage. In August of that year we[Pg 64] find him busy in Gillingham Forest, and he gives Sir Robert Cecil a roan gelding in exchange for a rare Indian falcon. In the autumn he is engaged on the south coast in arranging quarrels between English and French fishermen. In April 1594 he captures a live Jesuit, 'a notable stout villain,' with all 'his copes and bulls,' in Lady Stourton's house, which was a very warren of dangerous recusants. But he soon gets tired of these small activities. The sea at Weymouth and at Plymouth put out its arms to him and wooed him. To hunt 'notable Jesuit knaves' and to sit on the granite judgment-seat of the Stannaries were well, but life offered more than this to Raleigh. In June 1594 he tells Cecil that he will serve the Queen as a poor private mariner or soldier if he may only be allowed to be stirring abroad, and the following month there is a still more urgent appeal for permission to go with the Lord Admiral to Brittany. He has a quarrel meanwhile with the Dean and Chapter of Sarum, who have let his Sherborne farms over his head to one Fitzjames, and 'who could not deal with me worse withal if I were a Turk.' But a month later release has come. The plague has broken up his home, his wife and son are sent in opposite directions, and he himself has leave to be free at last; with God's favour and the Queen's he will sail into 'the sunset' that Lady Raleigh had feared so much, and will conquer for England the fabulous golden cities of Guiana.

[Pg 65]

CHAPTER IV.

GUIANA.

The vast tract in the north-east of the southern continent of America which is now divided between Venezuela and three European powers, was known in the sixteenth century by the name of Guiana. Of this district the three territories now styled English, Dutch, and French Guiana respectively form but an insignificant coast-line, actually lying outside the vague eastern limit of the traditional empire of Guiana. As early as 1539 a brother of the great Pizarro had returned to Peru with a legend of a prince of Guiana whose body was smeared with turpentine and then blown upon with gold dust, so that he strode naked among his people like a majestic golden statue. This prince was El Dorado, the Gilded One. But as time went on this title was transferred from the monarch to his kingdom, or rather to a central lake hemmed in by golden mountains in the heart of Guiana. Spanish and German adventurers made effort after effort to reach this laguna, starting now from Peru, now from Quito, now from Trinidad, but they never found it: little advance was made in knowledge or authority, nor did Spain raise any definite pretensions to Guiana, although her provinces hemmed it in upon three sides.[Pg 66]

There is no doubt that Raleigh, who followed with the closest attention the nascent geographical literature of his time, read the successive accounts which the Spaniards and Germans gave of their explorations in South America. But it was not until 1594 that he seems to have been specially attracted to Guiana. At every part of his career it was 'hatred of the tyrannous prosperity' of Spain which excited him to action. Early in 1594 Captain George Popham, sailing apparently in one of Raleigh's vessels, captured at sea and brought to the latter certain letters sent home to the King of Spain announcing that on April 23, 1593, at a place called Warismero, on the Orinoco, Antonio de Berreo, the Governor of Trinidad, had annexed Guiana to the dominions of his Catholic Majesty, under the name of El Nuevo Dorado. In these same letters various reports of the country and its inhabitants were repeated, that the chiefs danced with their naked bodies gleaming with gold dust, and with golden eagles dangling from their breasts and great pearls from their ears, that there were rich mines of diamonds and of gold, that the innocent people were longing to exchange their jewels for jews-harps. Raleigh was aroused at once, less by the splendours of the description than by the fact that this unknown country, with its mysterious possibilities, had been impudently added to the plunder of Spain. He immediately fitted out a ship, and sent Captain Jacob Whiddon, an old servant of his, to act as a pioneer, and get what knowledge he could of Guiana. Whiddon went to Trinidad, saw Berreo, was put off by him with various treacherous excuses, and returned to England in the winter of 1594 with but a scanty stock[Pg 67] of fresh information. It was enough, however, to encourage Raleigh to start for Guiana without delay.

On December 26 he writes: 'This wind breaks my heart. That which should carry me hence now stays me here, and holds seven ships in the river of Thames. As soon as God sends them hither I will not lose one hour of time.' On January 2, 1595, he is still at Sherborne, 'only gazing for a wind to carry me to my destiny.' At last, on February 6 he sailed away from Plymouth, not with seven, but with five ships, together with small craft for ascending rivers. What the number of his crew was, he nowhere states. The section of them which he took up to the Orinoco he describes as 'a handful of men, being in all about a hundred gentlemen; soldiers, rowers, boat-keepers, boys, and all sorts.' Sir Robert Cecil was to have adventured his own ship, the 'Lion's Whelp,' and for her Raleigh waited seven or eight days among the Canaries, but she did not arrive. On the 17th they captured at Fuerteventura two ships, Spanish and Flemish, and stocked their own vessels with wine from the latter.

They then sailed on into the west, and on March 22 arrived on the south side of Trinidad, casting anchor on the north shore of the Serpent's Mouth. Raleigh personally explored the southern and western coasts of the island in a small boat, while the ships kept to the channel. He was amazed to find oysters in the brackish creeks hanging to the branches of the mangrove trees at low water, and he examined also the now famous liquid pitch of Trinidad. Twenty years afterwards, in writing The History of the World, we find his memory still dwelling on these natural wonders. At the first settlement the[Pg 68] English fleet came to, Port of Spain, they traded with the Spanish colonists, and Raleigh endeavoured to find out what he could, which was but little, about Guiana. He pretended that he was asking merely out of curiosity, and was on his way to his own colony of Virginia.

While Raleigh was anchored off Port of Spain, he found that Berreo, the Governor, had privately sent for reinforcements to Marguerita and Cumana, meaning to attack him suddenly. At the same time the Indians came secretly aboard the English ships with terrible complaints of Spanish cruelty. Berreo was keeping the ancient chiefs of the island in prison, and had the singular foible of amusing himself at intervals by basting their bare limbs with broiling bacon. These considerations determined Raleigh to take the initiative. That same evening he marched his men up the country to the new capital of the island, St. Joseph, which they easily stormed, and in it they captured Berreo. Raleigh found five poor roasted chieftains hanging in irons at the point of death, and at their instance he set St. Joseph on fire. That very day two more English ships, the 'Lion's Whelp' and the 'Galleys,' arrived at Port of Spain, and Raleigh was easily master of the situation.

Berreo seems to have submitted with considerable tact. He insinuated himself into Raleigh's confidence, and, like the familiar poet in Shakespeare's sonnet, 'nightly gulled him with intelligence.' His original idea probably was that by inflaming Raleigh's imagination with the wonders of Guiana, he would be the more likely to plunge to his own destruction into the fatal swamps of the Orinoco. It is curious to find[Pg 69] even Raleigh, who was eminently humane in his own dealings with the Indians, speaking in these terms of such a cruel scoundrel as Berreo, 'a gentleman well descended, very valiant and liberal, and a gentleman of great assuredness, and of a great heart: I used him according to his estate and worth in all things I could, according to the small means I had.' Berreo showed him a copy he held of a journal kept by a certain Juan Martinez, who professed to have penetrated as far as Manoa, the capital of Guiana. This narrative was very shortly afterwards exposed as 'an invention of the fat friars of Puerto Rico,' but Raleigh believed it, and it greatly encouraged him. When Berreo realised that he certainly meant to attempt the expedition, his tone altered, and he 'was stricken into a great melancholy and sadness, using all the arguments he could to dissuade me, and also assuring the gentlemen of my company that it would be labour lost,' but all in vain.

The first thing to be done was to cross the Serpent's Mouth, and to ascend one of the streams of the great delta. Raleigh sent Captain Whiddon to explore the southern coast, and determined from his report to take the Capuri, or, as it is now called, the Macareo branch, which lies directly under the western extremity of Trinidad. After an unsuccessful effort here, he started farther west, on the Caño Manamo, which he calls the River of the Red Cross. He found it exceedingly difficult to enter, owing to the sudden rise and fall of the flood in the river, and the violence of the current. At last they started, passing up the river on the tide, and anchoring in the ebb, and in this way went slowly[Pg 70] onward. The vessels which carried them were little fitted for such a task. Raleigh had had an old galley furnished with benches to row upon, and so far cut down that she drew but five feet of water; he had also a barge, two wherries, and a ship's boat, and in this miserable fleet, leaving his large vessels behind him in the Gulf of Paria, he accomplished his perilous and painful voyage to the Orinoco and back, with one hundred persons and their provisions. Of the misery of these four hundred miles he gives a graphic account:

We were all driven to lie in the rain and weather, in the open air, in the burning sun, and upon the hard boards, and to dress our meat, and to carry all manner of furniture, wherewith [the boats] were so pestered and unsavoury, that what with victuals being most fish, with the wet clothes of so many men thrust together, and the heat of the sun, I will undertake there was never any prison in England that could be found more unsavoury and loathsome, especially to myself, who had for many years before been dieted and cared for in a sort far different.

On the third day, as they were ascending the river, the galley stuck so fast that they thought their expedition would have ended there; but after casting out all her ballast, and after much tugging and hauling to and fro, they got off in twelve hours. When they had ascended beyond the limit of the tide, the violence of the current became a very serious difficulty, and at the end of the seventh day the crews began to despair, the temperature being extremely hot, and the thick foliage of the Ita-palms on either side of the river excluding every breath of air. Day by day the Indian pilots assured them that the next night should be the last.[Pg 71] Raleigh had to harangue his men to prevent mutiny, for now their provisions also were exhausted. He told them that if they returned through that deadly swamp they must die of starvation, and that the world would laugh their memory to scorn.

GUIANA. GUIANA.

Presently things grew a little better. They found wholesome fruits on the banks, and now that the streams were purer they caught fish. Not knowing what they saw, they marvelled at the 'birds of all colours, some carnation, orange tawny,' which was Raleigh's own colour, 'purple, green, watchet and of all other sorts both simple and mixed, as it was unto us a great good passing of the time to behold them, besides the relief we found by killing some store of them with our fowling pieces.' These savannahs are full of birds, and the brilliant macaws which excited Raleigh's admiration make an excellent stew, with the flavour, according to Sir Robert Schomburgk, of hare soup. Their pilot now persuaded them to anchor the galley in the main river, and come with him up a creek, on the right hand, which would bring them to a town. On this wild-goose chase they ascended the side-stream for forty miles; it was probably the Cucuina, which was simply winding back with them towards the Gulf of Paria. They felt that the Indian was tricking them, but about midnight, while they were talking of hanging him, they saw a light and heard the baying of dogs. They had found an Indian village, and here they rested well, and had plenty of food and drink. Upon this new river they were charmed to see the deer come feeding down to the water's brink, and Raleigh describes the scene as though it reminded him of his own park at Sherborne.[Pg 72] They were alarmed at the crowds of alligators, and one handsome young negro, who leaped into the river from the galley, was instantly devoured in Raleigh's sight.

Next day they regained the great river, and their anxious comrades in the 'Lion's Whelp.' They passed on together, and were fortunate enough to meet with four Indian canoes laden with excellent bread. The Indians ran away and left their possessions, and Raleigh's dreams of mineral wealth were excited by the discovery of what he took to be a 'refiner's basket, for I found in it his quicksilver, saltpetre, and divers things for the trial of metals, and also the dust of such ore as he had refined.' He was minded to stay here and dig for gold, but was prevented by a phenomenon which he mentions incidentally, but which has done much to prove the reality of his narrative. He says that all the little creeks which ran towards the Orinoco 'were raised with such speed, as if we waded them over the shoes in the morning outward, we were covered to the shoulders homeward the very same day.' Sir R. Schomburgk found exactly the same to be the case when he explored Guiana in 1843.

They pushed on therefore along the dreary river, and on the fifteenth day had the joy of seeing straight before them far away the peaks of Peluca and Paisapa, the summits of the Imataca mountains which divide the Orinoco from the Essequibo. The same evening, favoured by a strong northerly wind, they came in sight of the great Orinoco itself, and anchored in it a little to the east of the present settlement of San Rafael de Barrancas. Their spirits were high again. They feasted[Pg 73] on the eggs of the freshwater turtles which they found in thousands on the sandy islands, and they gazed with rapture on the mountains to the south of them which rose out of the very heart of Guiana. A friendly chieftain carried them off to his village, where, to preserve the delightful spelling of the age, 'some of our captaines garoused of his wine till they were reasonable pleasant,' this wine being probably the cassivi or fermented juice of the sweet potato. It redounds to Raleigh's especial credit that in an age when great license was customary in dealing with savages, he strictly prohibited his men, under threat of punishment by death, from insulting the Indian women. His just admiration of the fair Caribs, however, was quite enthusiastic:

The casique that was a stranger had his wife staying at the port where we anchored, and in all my life I have seldom seen a better-favoured woman. She was of good stature, with black eyes, fat of body, of an excellent countenance, and taking great pride therein. I have seen a lady in England so like her, as but for the difference of colour I would have sworn might have been the same.

They started to ascend the Orinoco, having so little just understanding of the geography of South America that they thought if they could only sail far enough up the river they would come out on the other side of the continent at Quito. It has been noticed that Raleigh passed close to the Spanish settlement of Guayana Vieja, which Berreo had founded four years before. Perhaps it was by this time deserted, and Raleigh may really have gone by it without seeing it. More probably, however, its existence interfered with[Pg 74] his theory that all this territory was untouched by Europeans, and therefore open to be annexed in the name of her English Majesty. Passing up the Orinoco, he came at last to what he calls 'the port of Morequito,' where he made some stay, and enjoyed the luxury of pine-apples, which he styles 'the princess of fruits.' He was also introduced to that pleasing beast the armadillo, whose powers and functions he a little misunderstood, for he says of it, 'it seemeth to be all barred over with small plates like to a rhinoceros, with a white horn growing in his hinder parts, like unto a hunting horn, which they use to wind instead of a trumpet.' What Raleigh mistook for a hunting-horn was the stiff tail of the armadillo. Raleigh warned the peaceful and friendly inhabitants of Morequito against the villanies of Spain, and recommended England to them as a safe protector. He then pursued his westerly course to an island which he calls Caiama, and which is now named Fajardo, which was the farthest point he reached upon the Orinoco. This island lies at the mouth of the Caroni, the great southern artery of the watershed, and Raleigh's final expedition was made up this stream. He reached the foot of the great cataract, now named Salto Caroni, and his description of this noble natural wonder may be quoted as a favourable instance of his style, and as the crown of his geographical enterprise:

When we ran to the tops of the first hills of the plains adjoining to the river, we behold that wonderful breach of waters, which ran down Caroli [Caroni]; and might from that mountain see the river how it ran in three parts, above twenty miles off, and there appeared some ten or twelve overfalls in sight, every one as high over the other as a[Pg 75] church tower, which fell with that fury that the rebound of waters made it seem as if it had been all covered over with a great shower of rain; and in some places we took it at the first for a smoke that had risen over some great town. For mine own part, I was well persuaded from thence to have returned, being a very ill footman, but the rest were all so desirous to go near the said strange thunder of waters, that they drew me on by little and little, till we came into the next valley, where we might better discern the same. I never saw a more beautiful country, nor more lively prospects, hills so raised here and there over the valleys, the river winding into divers branches, the plains adjoining without bush or stubble, all fair green grass, the ground of hard sand easy to march on either for horse or foot, the deer crossing in every path, the birds towards the evening singing on every tree with a thousand several tunes, cranes and herons of white, crimson, and carnation perching on the river's side, the air fresh with a gentle easterly wind, and every stone that we stooped to take up promised either gold or silver by his complexion.

The last touch spoils an exquisite picture. It is at once dispiriting to find so intrepid a geographer and so acute a merchant befooled by the madness of gold, and pathetic to know that his hopes in this direction were absolutely unfounded. The white quartz of Guiana, the 'hard white spar' which Raleigh describes, confessedly contains gold, although, as far as is at present known, in quantities so small as not to reward working. Humboldt says that his examination of Guiana gold led him to believe that, 'like tin, it is sometimes disseminated in an almost imperceptible manner in the mass of granite rocks itself, without our being able to admit that there is a ramification and an interlacing of[Pg 76] small veins.' It is plain that Raleigh got hold of unusually rich specimens of the sparse auriferous quartz. He was accused on his return of having brought his specimens from Africa, but no one suggested that they did not contain gold. No doubt much of the sparkling dust he saw in the rocks was simply iron pyrites, or some other of the minerals which to this day are known to the wise in California as 'fool's gold.' His expedition had come to America unprovided with tools of any kind, and Raleigh confesses that such specimens of ore as they did not buy from the Indians, they had to tear out with their daggers or with their fingers.

It has been customary of late, in reaction against the defamation of Raleigh in the eighteenth century, to protest that gold was not his chief aim in the Guiana enterprise, but that his main wish, under cover of the search for gold, was to form a South American colony for England, and to open out the west to general commerce. With every wish to hold this view, I am unable to do so in the face of the existing evidence. More humane, more intelligent than any of the adventurers who had preceded him, it yet does not seem that Raleigh was less insanely bitten with the gold fever than any of them. He saw the fleets of Spain return to Europe year after year laden with precious metals from Mexico, and he exaggerated, as all men of his age did, the power of this tide of gold. He conceived that no one would stem the dangerous influence of Spain until the stream of wealth was diverted or divided. He says in the most direct language that it is not the trade of Spain, her exports of wines and Seville oranges and other legitimate produce, that[Pg 77] threatens shipwreck to us all; 'it is his Indian gold that endangereth and disturbeth all the nations of Europe; it purchased intelligence, creepeth into councils, and setteth bound loyalty at liberty in the greatest monarchies of Europe.' In Raleigh's exploration of Guiana, his steadfast hope, the hope which led him patiently through so many hardships, was that he might secure for Elizabeth a vast auriferous colony, the proceeds of which might rival the revenues of Mexico and Peru. But we must not make the mistake of supposing him to have been so wise before his time as to perceive that the real wealth which might paralyse a selfish power like that of Spain would consist in the cereals and other products which such a colony might learn to export.

Resting among the friendly Indians in the heart of the strange country to which he had penetrated, Raleigh became in many ways the victim of his ignorance and his pardonable credulity. Not only was he gulled with diamonds and sapphires that were really rock-crystals, but he was made to believe that there existed west of the Orinoco a tribe of Indians whose eyes were in their shoulders, and their mouths in the middle of their breasts. He does not pretend that he saw such folks, however, or that he enjoyed the advantage of conversing with any of the Ewaipanoma, or men without heads, or of that other tribe, 'who have eminent heads like dogs, and live all the day-time in the sea, and speak the Carib language.' Of all these he speaks from modest hearsay, and less confidently than Othello did to Desdemona. It is true that he relates marvellous and fabulous things, but it is no less than just to distinguish very carefully between what he repeats and what he[Pg 78] reports. For the former we have to take the evidence of his interpreters, who but dimly understood what the Indians told them, and Raleigh cannot be held personally responsible; for the latter, the testimony of all later explorers, especially Humboldt and Schomburgk, is that Raleigh's narrative, where he does not fall into obvious and easily intelligible error, is remarkably clear and simple, and full of internal evidence of its genuineness.

They had now been absent from their ships for nearly a month, and Raleigh began to give up all hope of being able on this occasion to reach the city of Manoa. The fury of the Orinoco began to alarm them; they did not know what might happen in a country subject to such sudden and phenomenal floods. Tropical rains fell with terrific violence, and the men would get wetted to the skin ten times a day. It was cold, it was windy, and to push on farther seemed perfectly hopeless. Raleigh therefore determined to return, and they glided down the vast river at a rapid pace, without need of sail or oar. At Morequito, Raleigh sent for the old Indian chief, Topiawari, who had been so friendly to him before, and had a solemn interview with him. He took him into his tent, and shutting out all other persons but the interpreter, he told him that Spain was the enemy of Guiana, and urged him to become the ally of England. He promised to aid him against the Epuremi, a native race which had oppressed him, if Topiawari would in his turn act in Guiana for the Queen of England. To this the old man and his followers warmly assented, urging Raleigh to push on, if not for Manoa, at least for Macureguarai, a rich city full of statues of gold, that was but four days' journey farther on. This, Raleigh, in con[Pg 79]sideration of the sufferings of his followers, declined to do, but he consented to an odd exchange of hostages, and promised the following year to make a better equipped expedition to Manoa. He carried off with him the son of Topiawari, and he left behind at Morequito a boy called Hugh Goodwin. To keep this boy company, a young man named Francis Sparrey volunteered to stay also; he was a person of some education, who had served with Captain Gifford. Goodwin had a fancy for learning the Indian language, and when Raleigh found him at Caliana twenty-two years later, he had almost forgotten his English. He was at last devoured by a jaguar. Sparrey, who 'could describe a country with his pen,' was captured by the Spaniards, taken to Spain, and after long sufferings escaped to England, where he published an account of Guiana in 1602. Sparrey is chiefly remembered by his own account of how he purchased eight young women, the eldest but eighteen years of age, for a red-hafted knife, which in England had cost him but a halfpenny. This was not the sort of trade which Raleigh left him behind to encourage.

As they passed down the Orinoco, they visited a lake where Raleigh saw that extraordinary creature the manatee, half cow, half whale; and a little lower they saw the column of white spray, rising like the tower of a church, over the huge cascades of the crystal mountains of Roraima. At the village of a chieftain within earshot of those thundering waters, they witnessed one of the wild drinking feasts of the Indians, who were 'all as drunk as beggars, the pots walking from one to another without rest.' Next day, the contingent led by Captain Keymis found them, and to celebrate the[Pg 80] meeting of friends, they passed over to the island of Assapana, now called Yayo, in the middle of the Orinoco, and they enjoyed a feast of the flesh of armadillos. On the following day, increased cold and violent thunderstorms reminded them that the autumn was far spent, and they determined to return as quickly as possible to the sea. Their pilots told them, however, that it was out of the question to try to descend the River of the Red Cross, which they had ascended, as the current would baffle them; and therefore they attempted what is now called the Macareo channel, farther east. Raleigh names this stream the Capuri.

They had no further adventures until they reached the sea; but as they emerged into the Serpent's Mouth, a great storm attacked them. They ran before night close under shore with their small boats, and brought the galley as near as they could. The latter, however, very nearly sank, and Raleigh was puzzled what to do. A bar of sand ran across the mouth of the river, covered by only six feet of water, and the galley drew five. The longer he hesitated, the worse the weather grew, and therefore he finally took Captain Gifford into his own barge, and thrust out to sea, leaving the galley anchored by the shore. 'So being all very sober and melancholy, one faintly cheering another to show courage, it pleased God that the next day, about nine of the clock, we descried the island of Trinidad, and steering for the nearest part of it, we kept the shore till we came to Curiapan, where we found our ships at anchor, than which there was never to us a more joyful sight.'

In spite of the hardships of the journey, the constant wettings, the bad water and insufficient food, the lodging[Pg 81] in the open air every night, he had only lost a single man, the young negro who was snapped up by the alligator at the mouth of the Cucuina. At the coast there are dangerous miasmata which often prove fatal to Europeans, but the interior of this part of South America is reported by later travellers to be no less wholesome than Raleigh found it.

During Raleigh's absence his fleet had not lain idle at Trinidad. Captain Amyas Preston, whom he had left in charge, determined to take the initiative against the Spanish forces which Berreo had summoned to his help. With four ships Preston began to harry the coast of Venezuela. On May 21 he appeared before the important town of Cumana, but was persuaded to spare it from sack upon payment of a large sum by the inhabitants. Captain Preston landed part of his crew here, and they crossed the country westward to Caracas, which they plundered and burned. The fleet proceeded to Coro, in New Granada, which they treated in the same way. When they returned is uncertain, but Raleigh found them at Curiapan when he came back to Trinidad, and with them he coasted once more the northern shore of South America. He burned Cumana, but was disappointed in his hopes of plunder, for he says, 'In the port towns of the province of Vensuello [Venezuela] we found not the value of one real of plate.' The fact was that the repeated voyages of the English captains—and Drake was immediately to follow in Raleigh's steps—had made the inhabitants of these northern cities exceedingly wary. The precious products were either stored in the hills, or shipped off to Spain without loss of time.[Pg 82]

Raleigh's return to England was performed without any publicity. He stole home so quietly that some people declared that he had been all the time snug in some Cornish haven. His biographers, including Mr. Edwards, have dated his return in August, being led away by a statement of Davis's, manifestly inaccurately dated, that Raleigh and Preston were sailing off the coast of Cuba in July. This is incompatible with Raleigh's fear of the rapid approach of winter while he was still in Guiana. It would also be difficult to account for the entire absence of reference to him in England before the winter. It is more likely that he found his way back into Falmouth or Dartmouth towards the end of October 1595. On November 10, he wrote to Cecil, plainly smarting under the neglect which he had received. He thought that coming from the west, with an empire in his hand as a gift for Elizabeth, the Queen would take him into favour again, but he was mistaken. He writes to Cecil nominally to offer his services against a rumoured fleet of Spain, but really to feel the ground about Guiana, and the interest which the Government might take in it. 'What becomes of Guiana I much desire to hear, whether it pass for a history or a fable. I hear Mr. Dudley [Sir Robert Dudley] and others are sending thither; if it be so, farewell all good from thence. For although myself, like a cockscomb, did rather prefer the future in respect of others, and rather sought to win the kings to her Majesty's service than to sack them, I know what others will do when those kings shall come singly into their hands.'

Meanwhile he had been writing an account of his travels, and on November 13, 1595, he sent a copy of[Pg 83] this in manuscript to Cecil, no doubt in hope that it might be shown to Elizabeth. In the interesting letter which accompanied this manuscript he inclosed a map of Guiana, long supposed to have been lost, which was found by Mr. St. John in the archives of Simancas, signed with Raleigh's name, and in perfect condition. It is evident that Raleigh could hardly endure the disappointment of repulse. He says, 'I know the like fortune was never offered to any Christian prince,' and losing his balance altogether in his extravagant pertinacity, he declares to Cecil that the city of Manoa contains stores of golden statues, not one of which can be worth less than 100,000l. If the English Government will not prosecute the enterprise that he has sketched out, Spain and France will shortly do so, and Raleigh, in the face of such apathy, 'concludes that we are cursed of God.' Amid all this excitement, it is pleasant to find him remembering to be humane, and begging Cecil to impress the Queen with the need of 'not soiling this enterprise' with cruelty; nor permitting any to proceed to Guiana whose object shall only be to plunder the Indians. He sends Cecil an amethyst 'with a strange blush of carnation,' and another stone, which 'if it be no diamond, yet exceeds any diamond in beauty.'

Raleigh now determined to appeal to the public at large, and towards Christmas 1595 he published his famous volume, which bears the date 1596, and is entitled, after the leisurely fashion of the age, The Discovery of the large, rich, and beautiful Empire of Guiana, with a Relation of the Great and Golden City of Manoa, which the Spaniards call El Dorado, and the Provinces of Emeria, Arromaia, Amapaia, and other Countries, with[Pg 84] their Rivers, adjoining. Of this volume two editions appeared in 1596, it was presently translated into Latin and published in Germany, and in short gained a reputation throughout Europe. There can be no doubt that Raleigh's outspoken hatred of Spain, expressed in this printed form, from which there could be no escape on the ground of mere hearsay, was the final word of his challenge to that Power. From this time forth Raleigh was an enemy which Spain could not even pretend to ignore.

The Discovery of Guiana was dedicated to the Lord Admiral Howard and to Sir Robert Cecil, with a reference to the support which the author had found in their love 'in the darkest shadow of adversity.' There was probably some courtly exaggeration, mingled with self-interest, in the gratitude expressed to Cecil. Already the relation of this cold-blooded statesman to the impulsive Raleigh becomes a crux to the biographers of the latter. Cecil's letters to his father from Devonshire on the matter of the Indian carracks in 1592 are incompatible with Raleigh's outspoken thanks to Cecil for the trial of his love when Raleigh was bereft of all but malice and revenge, unless we suppose that these letters represented what Burghley would like to hear rather than what Robert Cecil actually felt. In 1596 Burghley, in extreme old age, was a factor no longer to be taken into much consideration. Moreover, Lady Raleigh had some hold of relationship or old friendship on Cecil, the exact nature of which it is not easy to understand. At all events, as long as Raleigh could hold the favour of Cecil, the ear of her Majesty was not absolutely closed to him.

The Discovery possesses a value which is neither[Pg 85] biographical nor geographical. It holds a very prominent place in the prose literature of the age. During the five years which had elapsed since Raleigh's last publication, English literature had been undergoing a marvellous development, and he who read everything and sympathised with every intellectual movement could not but be influenced by what had been written. During those five years, Marlowe's wonderful career had been wound up like a melodrama. Shakespeare had come forward as a poet. A new epoch in sound English prose had been inaugurated by Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity. Bacon was circulating the earliest of his Essays. What these giants of our language were doing for their own departments of prose and verse, Raleigh did for the literature of travel. Among the volumes of navigations, voyages, and discoveries, which were poured out so freely in this part of the reign of Elizabeth, most of them now only remembered because they were reprinted in the collections of Hakluyt and Purchas, this book of Raleigh's takes easily the foremost position. In comparison with the bluff and dull narratives of the other discoverers, whose chief charm is their naïveté, the Discovery of Guiana has all the grace and fullness of deliberate composition, of fine literary art, and as it was the first excellent piece of sustained travellers' prose, so it remained long without a second in our literature. The brief examples which it has alone been possible to give in this biography, may be enough to attract readers to its harmonious and glowing pages.

Among the many allusions found to this book in contemporary records, perhaps the most curious is an epic poem on Guiana, published almost immediately by[Pg 86] George Chapman, who gave his enthusiastic approval to Raleigh's scheme. It is the misfortune of Chapman's style that in his grotesque arrogance he disdained to be lucid, and this poem is full of tantalising hints, which the biographer of Raleigh longs to use, but dares not, from their obscurity. These stately verses are plain enough, but show that Chapman was not familiar with the counsels of Elizabeth:

Then in the Thespiads' bright prophetic font,
Methinks I see our Liege rise from her throne,
Her ears and thoughts in steep amaze erect,
At the most rare endeavour of her power;
And now she blesses with her wonted graces
The industrious knight, the soul of this exploit,
Dismissing him to convoy of his stars:

Chapman was quite misinformed; and to what event he now proceeds to refer, it would be hard to say:

And now for love and honour of his wrath,
Our twice-born nobles bring him, bridegroom like,
That is espoused for virtue to his love,
With feasts and music ravishing the air,
To his Argolian fleet; where round about
His bating colours English valour swarms
In haste, as if Guianian Orenoque
With his full waters fell upon our shore.

Early in 1596, Raleigh sent Captain Lawrence Keymis, who had been with him the year before, on a second voyage to Guiana. He did not come home rich, but he did the special thing he was enjoined to do—that is to say, he explored the coast of South America from the mouth of the Orinoco to that of the Amazon.[Pg 87] About the same time Raleigh drew up the very remarkable paper, not printed until 1843, entitled Of the Voyage for Guiana. In this essay he first makes use of those copious quotations from Scripture which later on became so characteristic of his writing. His hopes of interesting the English Government in Guiana were finally frustrated by the excitement of the Cadiz expedition, and by the melancholy fate of Sir Francis Drake. It is said that during this winter he lived in great magnificence at Durham House, but this statement seems improbable. All the letters of Raleigh's now in existence, belonging to this period, are dated from Sherborne.

[Pg 88]

CHAPTER V.

CADIZ.

The defeat of the Spanish Armada had inflicted a wound upon the prestige of Spain which was terrible but by no means beyond remedy. In the eight years which had elapsed since 1588, Spain had been gradually recovering her forces, and endangering the political existence of Protestant Europe more and more. Again and again the irresolution of Elizabeth had been called upon to complete the work of repression, to crush the snake that had been scotched, to strike a blow in Spanish waters from which Spain never would recover. In 1587, and in 1589, schemes for a naval expedition of this kind had been brought before Council, and rejected. In 1596, Charles Lord Howard of Effingham, with the support of Cecil, forced the Government to consent to fit out an armament for the attack of Cadiz. The Queen, however, was scarcely to be persuaded that the expenditure required for this purpose could be spared from the Treasury. On April 9, levies of men were ordered from all parts of England, and on the 10th these levies were countermanded, so that the messengers sent on Friday from the Lords to Raleigh's deputies in the West, were pursued on Saturday by other messengers with contrary orders.[Pg 89]

The change of purpose, however, was itself promptly altered, and the original policy reverted to. The Earl of Essex was joined in commission with the Lord Admiral Howard, and as a council of war to act with these personages were named Sir Walter Raleigh and Lord Thomas Howard. The Dutch were to contribute a fleet to act with England. It is an interesting fact that now for the first time the experience and naval skill of Raleigh received their full recognition. From the very first he was treated with the highest consideration. Howard wrote to Cecil on April 16—and Essex on the 28th used exactly the same words—'I pray you, hasten away Sir Walter Raleigh.' They fretted to be gone, and Raleigh was not to be found; malignant spirits were not wanting to accuse him of design in his absence, of a wish to prove himself indispensable. But fortunately we possess his letters, and we see that he was well and appropriately occupied. In the previous November he had sent in to the Lords of the Council a very interesting report on the defences of Cornwall and Devon, which he had reason to suppose that Spain meant to attack. He considered that three hundred soldiers successfully landed at Plymouth would be 'sufficient to endanger and destroy the whole shire,' and he discussed the possibility of levying troops from the two counties to be a mutual protection. It was doubtless his vigour and ability in performing this sort of work which led to his being selected as the chief purveyor of levies for the Cadiz expedition, and this was what he was doing in the spring of 1596, when the creatures of Essex whispered to one another that he was malingering.[Pg 90]

On May 3, he wrote to Cecil: 'I am not able to live, to row up and down every tide from Gravesend to London, and he that lies here at Ratcliff can easily judge when the rest, and how the rest, of the ships may sail down.' And again, from a lower point of the Thames, at Blackwall, he is still waiting for men and ships that will not come, and is 'more grieved than ever I was, at anything in this world, for this cross weather.'

Through the month of May, we may trace Raleigh hard at work, recruiting for the Cadiz expedition round the southern coast, of England. On the 4th he is at Northfleet, disgusted to find how little her Majesty's authority is respected, for 'as fast as we press men one day, they come away another, and say they will not serve. I cannot write to our generals at this time, for the Pursuevant found me at a country village, a mile from Gravesend, hunting after runaway mariners, and dragging in the mire from alehouse to alehouse, and could get no paper.' On the 6th he was at Queenborough, on the 13th at Dover, whence he reports disaster by a storm on Goodwin Sands, and finally on the 21st he arrived at Plymouth. His last letters are full of recommendations of personal friends to appointments in the gift or at the command of Sir Robert Cecil. He brought with him to Plymouth two of Bacon's cousins, the Cookes, and his own wife's brother, Arthur Throckmorton. Unfortunately, just as the fleet was starting, the last-mentioned, 'a hot-headed youth,' in presence not only of the four generals, but of the commanders of the Dutch contingent also, took Raleigh's side in some dispute at table so intemperately and loudly that he was dismissed from the service. This must[Pg 91] have been singularly annoying to Raleigh, who nevertheless persuaded his colleagues, no doubt on receipt of due apology, to restore the young man to his rank, and allow him to proceed. At Cadiz, Throckmorton fought so well that Essex himself knighted him.

The generals had other troubles at Plymouth. The men that Raleigh had pressed along the coast hated their duty, and some of them had to be tried for desertion and mutiny. Before the fleet got under way, two men were publicly hanged, to encourage the others, 'on a very fair and pleasant green, called the Hoe.' At last, on June 1, the squadrons put to sea. Contrary winds kept them within Plymouth Sound until the 3rd. On the 20th they anchored in the bay of St. Sebastian, half a league to the westward of Cadiz. The four English divisions of the fleet contained in all ninety-three vessels, and the Dutch squadron consisted of twenty-four more. There were about 15,500 men, that is to say 2,600 Dutchmen, and the rest equally divided between English soldiers and sailors.

The events of the next few days were not merely a crucial and final test of the relative strength of Spain and England, closing in a brilliant triumph for the latter, but to Raleigh in particular they were the climax of his life, the summit of his personal prosperity and glory. The records of the battle of Cadiz are exceedingly numerous, and were drawn up not by English witnesses only, but by Dutch and Spanish historians also. Mr. Edwards has patiently collected them all, and he gives a very minute and lucid account of their various divergencies. Of them all the most full and direct is that given by Raleigh himself, in his[Pg 92] Relation of the Action in Cadiz Harbour, first published in 1699. In a biography of Raleigh it seems but reasonable to view such an event as this from Raleigh's own standpoint, and the description which now follows is mainly taken from the Relation. The joint fleet paused where the Atlantic beats upon the walls of Cadiz, and the Spanish President wrote to Philip II. that they seemed afraid to enter. He added that it formed la mas hermosa armada que se ha visto, the most beautiful fleet that ever was seen; and that it was French as well as English and Dutch, which was a mistake.

Raleigh's squadron was not part of the fleet that excited the admiration of Gutierrez Flores. On the 19th he had been detached, in the words of his instructions, 'with the ships under his charge, and the Dutch squadron, to anchor near the entrance of the harbour, to take care that the ships riding near Cadiz do not escape,' and he took up a position that commanded St. Lucar as well as Cadiz. He was 'not to fight, except in self-defence,' without express instructions. At the mouth of St. Lucar he found some great ships, but they lay so near shore that he could not approach them, and finally they escaped in a mist, Raleigh very nearly running his own vessel aground. Meanwhile Essex and Charles Howard, a little in front of him, came to the conclusion in his absence that it would be best to land the soldiers and assault the town, without attempting the Spanish fleet.

Two hours after this determination had been arrived at, much to the dismay of many distinguished persons in the fleet whose position did not permit them to expostulate, Raleigh arrived to find Essex in the very act of dis[Pg 93]embarking his soldiers. There was a great sea on from the south, and some of the boats actually sank in the waves, but Essex nevertheless persisted, and was about to effect a landing west of the city. Raleigh came on board the 'Repulse,' 'and in the presence of all the colonels protested against the resolution,' showing Essex from his own superior knowledge and experience that by acting in this way he was running a risk of overthrowing 'the whole armies, their own lives, and her Majesty's future safety.' Essex excused himself, and laid the responsibility on the Lord Admiral.

Raleigh having once dared to oppose the generals, he received instant moral support. All the other commanders and gentlemen present clustered round him and entreated him to persist. Essex now declared himself convinced, and begged Raleigh to repeat his arguments to the Lord Admiral. Raleigh passed on to Howard's ship, 'The Ark Royal,' and by the evening the Admiral also was persuaded. Returning in his boat, as he passed the 'Repulse' Raleigh shouted up to Essex 'Intramus,' and the impetuous Earl, now as eager for a fight by sea as he had been a few hours before for a fight by land, flung his hat into the sea for joy, and prepared at that late hour to weigh anchor at once.

It took a good deal of time to get the soldiers out of the boats, and back into their respective ships. Essex, whom Raleigh seems to hint at under the cautious word 'many,' 'seeming desperately valiant, thought it a fault of mine to put off [the attack] till the morning; albeit we had neither agreed in what manner to fight, nor appointed who should lead, and who should second, whether by boarding or otherwise.' Raleigh, in his[Pg 94] element when rapid action was requisite, passed to and fro between the generals, and at last from his own ship wrote a hasty letter to the Lord Admiral, giving his opinion as to the best way to arrange the order of battle, and requesting him to supply a couple of great fly-boats to attack each of the Spanish galleons, so that the latter might be captured before they were set on fire.

Essex and Howard were completely carried away by Raleigh's vehement counsels. The Lord Admiral had always shown deference to Raleigh's nautical science, and the Earl was captivated by the qualities he could best admire, courage and spirit and rapidity. Raleigh's old faults of stubbornness and want of tact abandoned him at this happy moment. His graceful courtesy to Essex, his delicacy in crossing dangerous ground, won praise even from his worst enemies, the satellites of Essex. It was Raleigh's blossoming hour, and all the splendid gifts and vigorous charms of his brain and character expanded in the sunrise of victory. Late in the busy evening of the 20th, the four leaders held a final council of war, amiably wrangling among themselves for the post of danger. At last the others gave way to what Raleigh calls his 'humble suit,' and it was decided that he should lead the van. Essex, Lord Howard of Effingham, and the Vice-Admiral, Lord Thomas Howard, were to lead the body of the fleet; but it appeared next morning that the Vice-Admiral had but seemed to give way, and that his ambition was still to be ahead of Raleigh himself. As Raleigh returned to sleep on board the 'War Sprite,' the town of Cadiz was all ablaze with lamps, tapers, and tar barrels, while there came faintly out to the ears of the English sailors a murmur of wild festal music.[Pg 95]

Next day was the 21st of June. As Mr. St. John pleasantly says, 'that St. Barnabas' Day, so often the brightest in the year, was likewise the brightest of Raleigh's life.' At break of day, the amazed inhabitants of Cadiz, and the sailors who had caroused all night on shore and now hurried on board the galleons, watched the magnificent squadron sweep into the harbour of their city. First came the 'War Sprite' itself; next the 'Mary Rose,' commanded by Sir George Carew; then Sir Francis Vere in the 'Rainbow,' carrying a sullen heart of envy with him; then Sir Robert Southwell in the 'Lion,' Sir Conyers Clifford in the 'Dreadnought,' and lastly, as Raleigh supposed, Robert Dudley (afterwards Duke of Northumberland, and a distinguished author on naval tactics) in the 'Nonparilla.' As a matter of fact, the Vice-Admiral, hoping to contrive to push in front, had persuaded Dudley to change ships with him. These six vessels were well in advance of all the rest of the fleet. In front of them, ranged under the wall of Cadiz, were seventeen galleys lying with their prows to flank the English entrance, as Raleigh ploughed on towards the galleons. The fortress of St. Philip and other forts along the wall began to scour the channel, and with the galleys concentrated their fire upon the 'War Sprite.' But Raleigh disdained to do more than salute the one and then the other with a contemptuous blare of trumpets. 'The "St. Philip,"' he says, 'the great and famous Admiral of Spain, was the mark I shot at, esteeming those galleys but as wasps in respect of the powerfulness of the others.'

The 'St. Philip' had a special attraction for him. It was six years since his dear friend and cousin, Sir[Pg 96] Richard Grenville, under the lee of the Azores, with one little ship, the 'Revenge,' had been hemmed in and crushed by the vast fleet of Spain, and it was the 'St. Philip' and the 'St. Andrew' that had been foremost in that act of murder. Now before Raleigh there rose the same lumbering monsters of the deep, that very 'St. Philip' and 'St. Andrew' which had looked down and watched Sir Richard Grenville die, 'as a true soldier ought to do, fighting for his country, queen, religion, and honour.' It seems almost fabulous that the hour of pure poetical justice should strike so soon, and that Raleigh of all living Englishmen should thus come face to face with those of all the Spanish tyrants of the deep. As he swung forward into the harbour and saw them there before him, the death of his kinsman in the Azores was solemnly present to his memory, 'and being resolved to be revenged for the "Revenge," or to second her with his own life,' as he says, he came to anchor close to the galleons, and for three hours the battle with them proceeded.

It began by the 'War Sprite' being in the centre and a little to the front; on the one side, the 'Nonparilla,' in which Raleigh now perceived Lord Thomas Howard, and the 'Lion;' on the other the 'Mary Rose' and the 'Dreadnought;' these, with the 'Rainbow' a little farther off, kept up the fight alone until ten o'clock in the morning; waiting for the fly-boats, which were to board the galleons, and which, for some reason or other, did not arrive. Meanwhile, Essex, excited beyond all restraint by the volleys of culverin and cannon, slipped anchor, and passing from the body of the fleet, lay close up to the 'War Sprite,' pushing[Pg 97] the 'Dreadnought' on one side. Raleigh, seeing him coming, went to meet him in his skiff, and begged him to see that the fly-boats were sent, as the battery was beginning to be more than his ships could bear. The Lord Admiral was following Essex, and Raleigh passed on to him with the same entreaty. This parley between the three commanders occupied about a quarter of an hour.

Meanwhile, the men second in command had taken an unfair advantage of Raleigh's absence. He hurried back to find that the Vice-Admiral had pushed the 'Nonparilla' ahead, and that Sir Francis Vere, too, in the 'Rainbow,' had passed the 'War Sprite.' Finding himself, 'from being the first to be but the third,' Raleigh skilfully thrust in between these two ships, and threw himself in front of them broadside to the channel, so that, as he says, 'I was sure no one should outstart me again, for that day.' Finally, Essex and Lord Thomas Howard took the next places. Sir Francis Vere, the marshal, who seems to have been mad for precedence, 'while we had no leisure to look behind us, secretly fastened a rope on my ship's side toward him, to draw himself up equally with me; but some of my company advertising me thereof, I caused it to be cut off, and so he fell back into his place, whom I guarded, all but his very prow, from the sight of the enemy.' In his Commentaries Vere has his revenge, and carefully disparages Raleigh on every occasion.

For some reason or other, the fly-boats continued to delay, and Raleigh began to despair of them. What he now determined to do, and what revenge he took for Sir Richard Grenville, may best be told in his own vigorous language:[Pg 98]

Having no hope of my fly-boats to board, and the Earl and my Lord Thomas having both promised to second me, I laid out a warp by the side of the 'Philip' to shake hands with her—for with the wind we could not get aboard; which when she and the rest perceived, finding also that the 'Repulse,' seeing mine, began to do the like, and the rear-admiral my Lord Thomas, they all let slip, and ran aground, tumbling into the sea heaps of soldiers, as thick as if coals had been poured out of a sack in many ports at once, some drowned and some sticking in the mud. The 'Philip' and the 'St. Thomas' burned themselves; the 'St. Matthew' and the 'St. Andrew' were recovered by our boats ere they could get out to fire them. The spectacle was very lamentable on their side, for many drowned themselves, many, half-burned, leaped into the water; very many hanging by the ropes' end, by the ships' side, under the water even to the lips; many swimming with grievous wounds, stricken under water, and put out of their pain; and withal so huge a fire, and such tearing of the ordnance in the great 'Philip' and the rest, when the fire came to them, as, if a man had a desire to see Hell itself, it was there most lively figured. Ourselves spared the lives of all, after the victory, but the Flemings, who did little or nothing in the fight, used merciless slaughter, till they were by myself, and afterwards by my Lord Admiral, beaten off.

The official report of the Duke of Medina Sidonia to Philip II. does not greatly differ from this, except that he says that the English set fire to the 'St. Philip.' Before the fight was over Raleigh received a very serious flesh wound in the leg, 'interlaced and deformed with splinters,' which made it impossible for him to get on horseback. He was, therefore, to his great disappointment, unable to take part in Essex's land-attack on the[Pg 99] town. He could not, however, bear to be left behind, and in a litter he was carried into Cadiz. He could only stay an hour on shore, however, for the agony in his leg was intolerable, and in the tumultuous disorder of the soldiers, who were sacking the town, there was danger of his being rudely pushed and shouldered. He went back to the 'War Sprite' to have his wound dressed and to sleep, and found that in the general rush on shore his presence in the fleet was highly desirable.

Early next morning, feeling eased by a night's rest, he sent on shore to ask leave to follow the fleet of forty carracks bound for the Indies, which had escaped down the Puerto Real river; this navy was said to be worth twelve millions. In the confusion, however, there came back no answer from Essex or Howard. A ransom of two millions had meanwhile been offered for them, but this also, in the absence of his chiefs, Raleigh had no power to accept. While he was thus uncertain, the Duke of Medina Sidonia solved the difficulty on June 23, by setting the whole flock of helpless and treasure-laden carracks on fire. From the deck of the 'War Sprite' Raleigh had the mortification of seeing the smoke of this priceless argosy go up to heaven. The waste had been great, for of all the galleons, carracks, and frigates of which the great Spanish navy had consisted, only the 'St. Matthew' and the 'St. Andrew' had come intact into the hands of the English. The Dutch sailors, who held back until the fight was decided, sprang upon the blazing 'St. Philip,' and saved a great part of her famous store of ordnance; while, as Raleigh pleasantly puts it, 'the two Apostles aforesaid' were[Pg 100] richly furnished, and made an agreeable prize to bring back to England.

The English generals, engaged in sacking the palaces and razing the fortifications of Cadiz, were strangely indifferent to the anxieties of their friends at home. In England the wildest rumours passed from mouth to mouth, but it was a fortnight before anyone on the spot thought it necessary to communicate with the Home Government. It is said that Raleigh's letter to Cecil, written ten leagues to the west of Cadiz, on July 7, and carried to England by Sir Anthony Ashley, contained the first intimation of the victory. In this letter Raleigh is careful to do himself justice with the Queen, and to claim a complete pardon on the score of services so signal, for it was already patent to him that on a field where every man that would be helped must help himself, his wounded leg had shut him out of all hope of plunder. The cause of his standing so far as ten leagues away from shore was that an epidemic had broken out on board his ship. It proved impossible to cope with this disease, and so it was determined that on August 1 the 'War Sprite' should return to England, in company with the 'Roebuck' and the 'John and Francis.' On the sixth day they arrived in Plymouth, and Raleigh found that, although seven weeks had elapsed since the victory, no authentic account of it had hitherto reached the Council. He was not well, and instead of posting up to London, where he easily perceived he would not be welcome, he asked pardon for staying with his ship. On August 12 he landed at Weymouth, and passed home to Sherborne. The rest of the fleet came back later in the autumn, and Essex, as he passed[Pg 101] the coast of Portugal, swooped down upon the famous library of the Bishop of Algarve, which he presented on his return to Sir Thomas Bodley. The Bodleian Library at Oxford is now the chief existing memorial of that glorious expedition to Cadiz which shattered the naval strength of Spain.

As to prize-money, there proved to be very little of it for the captors. It was understood that the Lord Admiral was to have 5,000l., Essex as much, and Raleigh 3,000l.; but Essex, in his proud way, waived his claim in favour of the Queen, just in time to escape spoliation, for Elizabeth claimed everything. Her scandalous avarice had grown upon her year by year, and now in her old age her finer and more generous qualities were sapped by her greed for money. Even her political acumen had failed her; she was unable to see, in her vexation at the loss of the Indian carracks, that the blow to Spain had been one which relieved her of a constant and immense anxiety. She determined that no one should be the richer or the nobler for a victory which had resulted in the destruction of so much treasure which might have flowed into her coffers. Deeply disappointed at the Queen's surly ingratitude, Raleigh, whom she still refused to see, retired for the next nine months into absolute seclusion at Sherborne.

In his retirement Raleigh continued to remember that his function was, as Oldys put it, 'by his extraordinary undertakings to raise a grove of laurels, in a manner out of the seas, that should overspread our island with glory.' In October 1596 he was preparing for his third expedition to Guiana, which he[Pg 102] placed under the command of Captain Leonard Berrie. This navigator was absent until the summer of the following year, when he returned, not having penetrated to Manoa, but confirming with an almost obsequious report Raleigh's most golden dreams. It is at this time, after his return from Cadiz, that we find Sir Walter Raleigh's name mentioned most lavishly by the literary classes in their dedications and eulogistic addresses. Whether his popularity was at the same time high with the general public is more easily asserted than proved, but there is no doubt that the victory at Cadiz was highly appreciated by the mass of Englishmen, and it is not possible but that Raleigh's prominent share in it should be generally recognised.

On January 24, 1597, Raleigh wrote from Sherborne a letter of sympathy to Sir Robert Cecil, on the death of his wife. It is interesting as displaying Raleigh's intimacy with the members of a family which was henceforth to hold a prominent place in the chronicle of his life, since it was Henry Brooke, Lady Cecil's brother, who became, two months later, at the death of his father, Lord Cobham. It was he and his brother George Brooke who in 1603 became notorious as the conspirators for Arabella Stuart, and who dragged Raleigh down with them. We do not know when Raleigh began to be intimate with the Brookes, and it is just at this time, when his fortunes had reached their climacteric, and when it would be of the highest importance to us to follow them closely, that his personal history suddenly becomes vague. If Cecil's letters to him had been preserved we should know more. As it is we can but record certain isolated facts, and make as[Pg 103] much use of them as we can venture to do. In May 1597, nearly five years after his expulsion, we find him received again at Court. Rowland White says, 'Sir Walter Raleigh is daily in Court, and a hope is had that he shall be admitted to the execution of his office as Captain of the Guard, before he goes to sea.'

Cecil and Howard of Effingham had obtained this return to favour for their friend, and Essex, although his momentary liking for Raleigh had long subsided, did not oppose it. He could not, however, be present when Timias was taken back into the arms of his pardoning Belphœbe. On June 1, the Earl of Essex rode down to Chatham, and during his absence Sir Walter Raleigh was conducted by Cecil into the presence of the Queen. She received him very graciously, and immediately authorised him to resume his office of Captain of the Guard. Without loss of time, Raleigh filled up the vacancies in the Guard that very day, and spent the evening riding with her Majesty. Next morning he made his appearance in the Privy Chamber as he had been wont to do, and his return to favour was complete. Essex showed, and apparently felt, no very acute chagrin. He was busy in planning another expedition against Spain, and he needed Raleigh's help in arranging for the victualling of the land forces. In July all jealousies seemed laid aside, and the gossips of the Court reported, 'None but Cecil and Raleigh enjoy the Earl of Essex, they carry him away as they list.'

It lies far beyond the scope of the present biography to discuss the obscure question of 'the conceit of Richard the Second' with which these three amused themselves just before the Islands Voyage began. The bare facts are these.[Pg 104] On July 6, 1597, Raleigh wrote to Cecil from Weymouth about the preparations for the expedition, and added: 'I acquainted the Lord General [Essex] with your letter to me, and your kind acceptance of your entertainment; he was also wonderful merry at your conceit of Richard the Second. I hope it shall never alter, and whereof I shall be most glad of, as the true way to all our good, quiet, and advancement, and most of all for His sake whose affairs shall thereby find better progression.' From this it would seem as though Cecil had offered a dramatic entertainment to Essex and Raleigh on their leaving town. This entertainment evidently consisted of Shakespeare's new tragedy, then being performed at the Globe Theatre and to be entered for publication just a month later. When this play was printed it did not contain what is called the 'Deposition Scene,' but it would appear that this was given on the boards at the time when Raleigh refers to it. It will be remembered that in 1601 the lawyers accused Essex of having feasted his eyes beforehand with a show of the dethronement of his liege; but Raleigh's words do not suggest any direct disloyalty.

Raleigh was in a state of considerable excitement at the prospect of the new expedition. Cecil wrote, 'Good Mr. Raleigh wonders at his own diligence, as if diligence and he were not familiars;' and the fact that Raleigh would sometimes write twice and thrice to him in one day, and on a single occasion at least, four times, proves that Cecil had a right to use this mild sarcasm. Several months before, Raleigh had attempted by his manifesto entitled The Spanish Alarum to stir up the Government to be in full readiness to guard against a[Pg 105] revengeful invasion of England by her old enemy. He had thought out the whole situation, he had planned the defences of England by land and sea, and his new favour at Court had enabled him to put pressure on the royal parsimony, and to insist that things should be done as he saw fit. He was perfectly right in thinking that Philip II. would rather suffer complete ruin than not try once more to recover his position in Europe, but he saw that the late losses at Cadiz would force the Catholic king to delay his incursion, and he counselled a rapid and direct second attack on Spain. As soon as ever he was restored to power, he began to victual a fleet of ten men-of-war with biscuit, beef, bacon, and salt fish, and to call for volunteers. As the scheme seized the popular mind, however, it gathered in extent, and it was finally decided to fit up three large squadrons, with a Dutch contingent of twelve ships. These vessels met in Plymouth Sound.

On the night of Sunday, July 10, the fleet left Plymouth, and kept together for twenty-four hours. On the morning of the 12th, after a night of terrific storm, Raleigh found his squadron of four ships parted from the rest, and in the course of the next day only one vessel beside his own was in sight. This tempest was immortalised in his earliest known poem by John Donne, who was in the expedition, and was described by Raleigh as follows:

The storm on Wednesday grew more forcible, and the seas grew very exceeding lofty, so that myself and the Bonaventure had labour enough to beat it up. But the night following, the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the storm so increased, the ships were weighty, the ordnance[Pg 106] great, and the billows so raised and enraged, that we could carry out no sail which to our judgment would not have been rent off the yards by the wind; and yet our ships rolled so vehemently, and so disjointed themselves, that we were driven either to force it again with our courses, or to sink. In my ship it hath shaken all her beams, knees, and stanchions well nigh asunder, in so much on Saturday night last we made account to have yielded ourselves up to God. For we had no way to work, either by trying, hauling, or driving, that promised better hope, our men being worsted with labour and watchings, and our ship so open everywhere, all her bulkheads rent, and her very cook-room of brick shaken down into powder.

Such were the miseries of navigation in the palmy days of English adventure by sea. The end of it was that about thirty vessels crept back to Falmouth and Tor Bay, some were lost altogether, and Raleigh, with the remainder, found harbour on July 18 at Plymouth. For a month they lay there, recovering their forces, and Essex, whose own ship was at Falmouth, came over to Plymouth and was Raleigh's guest on the 'War Sprite.' Raleigh writes to Cecil: 'I should have taken it unkindly if my Lord had taken up any other lodging till the "Lion" come: and now her Majesty may be sure his Lordship shall sleep somewhat the sounder, though he fare the worse, by being with me, for I am an excellent watchman at sea.' In this same letter, dated July 26, 1597, the fatal name of Cobham first appears in the correspondence of Raleigh: 'I pray vouchsafe,' he says, 'to remember me in all affection to my Lord Cobham.'

On August 18, in the face of a westerly wind, the fleet put out once more from Plymouth. In the Bay of[Pg 107] Biscay the 'St. Andrew' and the 'St. Matthew' were disabled, and had to be left behind at La Rochelle. Off the coast of Portugal, Raleigh himself had a serious accident, for his mainyard snapped across, and he had to put in for help by the Rock of Lisbon, in company with the 'Dreadnought.' Essex left a letter saying that Raleigh must follow him as fast as he could to the Azores, and on September 8 the 'War Sprite' came in view of Terçeira. On the 15th Raleigh's squadron joined the main fleet under Essex at Flores.

The distress of the voyage and its separations had told upon the temper of Essex, while he was surrounded by those who were eager to poison his mind with suspicion of Raleigh. When the latter dined with Essex in the 'Repulse' on the 15th, the Earl with his usual impulsiveness made a clean breast of his 'conjectures and surmises,' letting Raleigh know the very names of those scandalous and cankered persons who had ventured to accuse him, and assuring him that he rejected their counsel. On this day or the next a pinnace from India brought the news that the yearly fleet was changing its usual course, and would arrive farther south in the Azores. A council of war was held in the 'Repulse,' and it was resolved to divide the archipelago among the commanders. Fayal was to be taken by Essex and Raleigh, Graciosa by Howard and Vere, San Miguel by Mountjoy and Blount, while Pico, with its famous wines, was left for the Dutchmen. Essex sailed first, and left Raleigh taking in provisions at Flores, where he dined in a small inland town with his old acquaintance Lord Grey, and others, including Sir Arthur Gorges, the minute historian of the expedition. About midnight,[Pg 108] when they were safe in their ships again, Captain Arthur Champernowne, Raleigh's kinsman, arrived with a letter from Essex desiring Raleigh to come over to Fayal at once, and complete his supplies there. With his usual promptitude, he started instantly, and soon outstripped Essex.

When Raleigh arrived in the great harbour of Fayal, the peaceful look of everything assured him in a moment that Essex had not yet been heard of. But no sooner did the inhabitants perceive the 'War Sprite' and the 'Dreadnought,' than they began to throw up defences and remove their valuables into the interior. It was in the highest degree irksome to Raleigh to wait thus inactive, while this handsome Spanish colony was slipping from his clutch, but he had been forbidden to move without orders. After three days' waiting for Essex, a council of war was held on board the 'War Sprite.' On the fourth Raleigh leaped into his barge at the head of a landing company, refusing the help of the Flemings who were with him, and stormed the cliffs. It was comparatively easy to get his troops on shore, but the Spaniards contested the road to the town inch by inch. At last Raleigh and his four hundred and fifty men routed their opponents and entered Fayal, a town 'full of fine gardens, orchards, and wells of delicate waters, with fair streets, and one very fair church;' and allowed his men to plunder it. The English soldiers slept that night in Fayal, and when they woke next morning they saw the tardy squadron of Essex come warping into the harbour at last. Sir Gilly Meyrick, the bitterest of the parasites of Essex, slipped into a boat and was on board the 'Repulse' as soon as she anchored, reporting Raleigh's conduct to the Earl.[Pg 109]

Raleigh must have known that Essex was not the man to be pleased at a feat which took all the credit of the Islands Voyage out of his hands; but he feigned unconsciousness. In his barge he came out from Fayal to greet the Earl, and entered the General's cabin. After a faint welcome, Essex began to reproach him with 'a breach of Orders and Articles,' and to point out to him that in capturing Fayal without authority he had made himself liable to the punishment of death. Raleigh replied that he was exempt from such orders, being, in succession to Essex and Lord Howard, himself commander of the whole fleet by the Queen's letters patent. After a dispute of half an hour, Essex seemed satisfied, and accepted an invitation to sup with Raleigh on shore. But another malcontent, Sir Christopher Blount, obtained his ear, and set his resentment blazing once more. Essex told Raleigh he should not sup at all that night. Raleigh left the 'Repulse,' and prepared to separate his squadron from the fleet, lest an attempt should be made to force him to undergo the indignity of a court-martial. Howard finally made peace between the two commanders, and Raleigh was induced to give some sort of apology for his action.

The fleet proceeded to St. Miguel, when Raleigh was left to watch the roadstead, while Essex pushed inland. While Raleigh lay here, a great Indian carrack of sixteen hundred tons, laden with spices, knowing nothing of the English invasion, blundered into the middle of what she took to be a friendly Spanish fleet. She perceived her mistake just in time to run herself ashore, and disembark her crew. Raleigh at the head of a party of boats attempted to seize her, but her[Pg 110] commander set her on fire, and when the Englishmen came close to her she was one dangerous splendour of flaming perfumes and roaring cannon. Raleigh was more fortunate in securing another carrack laden with cochineal from Cuba. The rest of the Islands Voyage was uneventful and ill-managed. For some time nothing was heard of the fleet in England, and Lady Raleigh 'skrebbled,' as she spelt it, hasty notes to Cecil begging for news of her husband. Early in October he came back to England, seriously enfeebled in health. The only one of the commanders who gained any advantage from the Islands Voyage was the one who had undertaken least, Lord Howard of Effingham, who was raised to the earldom of Nottingham.

[Pg 111]

CHAPTER VI.

LAST DAYS OF ELIZABETH.

A slight anecdote, which is connected with the month of January 1598, must not be omitted here. It gives us an impression of the personal habits of Raleigh at this stage of his career. It was the custom of the Queen to go to bed early, and one winter's evening the Earl of Southampton, Raleigh, and a man named Parker were playing the game of primero in the Presence Chamber, after her Majesty had retired. They laughed and talked rather loudly, upon which Ambrose Willoughby, the Esquire of the Body, came out and desired them not to make so much noise. Raleigh pocketed his money, and went off, but Southampton resented the interference, and in the scuffle that ensued Willoughby pulled out a handful of those marjoram-coloured curls that Shakespeare praised.

It is not easy to see why it was, that in the obscure year 1598, while the star of Essex was setting, that of his natural rival did not burn more brightly. But although now, and for the brief remainder of Elizabeth's life, Raleigh was nominally in favour, the saturnine old woman had no longer any tenderness for her Captain of the Guard. Her old love, her old friendship, had quite passed away. There was no longer any excuse for[Pg 112] excluding from her presence so valuable a soldier and so wise a courtier, but her pulses had ceased to thrill at his coming. If Essex had been half so courteous, half so assiduous as Raleigh, she would have opened her arms to him, but she had offended Essex past forgiveness, and his tongue held no parley with her. It must have been in Raleigh's presence—for he it is who has recorded it in the grave pages of his Prerogative of Parliament—that Essex told the Queen 'that her conditions were as crooked as her carcass,' a terrible speech which, as Raleigh says, 'cost him his head.' This was perhaps a little later, in 1600. In 1598 these cruel squabbles were already making life at Court a misery. The Queen kept Raleigh by her, but would give him nothing. In January he applied for the post of Vice-chamberlain, but without success. The new earl, Lord Nottingham, could theatrically wipe the dust from Raleigh's shoes with his cloak, but when Raleigh himself desired to be made a peer, in the spring of 1598, he was met with a direct refusal. He would fain have been Lord Deputy in Ireland, but the Queen declined to spare him. On the last day of August he was in the very act of being sworn on the Privy Council, but at the final moment Cecil frustrated this by saying that if he were made a councillor, he must resign his Captainship of the Guard to Sir George Carew. This was, as Cecil was aware, too great a sacrifice to be thought of, and the hero of Cadiz and Fayal, foiled on every hand, had to submit to remain plain Sir Walter Raleigh, Knight.

As the breach grew between Essex and the Queen, the temper of the former grew more surly. He dropped[Pg 113] the semblance of civility to Raleigh. In his Apothegms, Lord Bacon has preserved an amusing anecdote of November 17, 1598. On this day, which was the Queen's sixty-fifth birthday, the leading courtiers, as usual, tilted in the ring in honour of their Liege; the custom of this piece of mock chivalry demanded that each knight should be disguised. It was, however, known that Sir Walter Raleigh would ride in his own uniform of orange tawny medley, trimmed with black budge of lamb's wool. Essex, to vex him, came to the lists with a body-guard of two thousand retainers all dressed in orange tawny, so that Raleigh and his men should seem a fragment of the great Essex following. The story goes on to show that Essex digged a pit and fell into it himself; but enough has been said to prove his malignant intention. We have little else but anecdotes with which to fill up the gap in Raleigh's career between December 1597 and March 1600. This was an exceedingly quiet period in his life, during which we have to fancy him growing more and more at enmity with Essex, and more and more intimate with Cobham.

In September 1598, an unexpected ally, the Duke of Finland, urged Raleigh to undertake once more his attempt to colonise Guiana, and offered twelve ships as his own contingent. Two months later we find that the hint has been taken, and that Sir John Gilbert is 'preparing with all speed to make a voyage to Guiana.' It is said, moreover, that 'he intendeth to inhabit it with English people.' He never started, however, and Raleigh, referring long afterwards to the events of these years, said that though Cecil seemed to encourage him in his West Indian projects, yet that when it came to[Pg 114] the point he always, as Raleigh quaintly put it, retired into his back-shop. Meanwhile, the interest felt in Raleigh's narrative was increasing, and in 1599 the well-known geographer Levinus Hulsius brought out in Nuremburg a Latin translation of the Discovery, with five curious plates, including one of the city of Manoa, and another of the Ewaipanoma, or men without heads. The German version of the book and its English reprint in Hakluyt's Navigations belong to the same year. Also in 1599, the Discovery was reproduced in Latin, German, and French by De Bry in the eighth part of his celebrated Collectiones Peregrinationum. This year, then, in which we hardly hear otherwise of Raleigh, marked the height of his success as a geographical writer. So absolutely is the veil drawn over his personal history at this time that the only facts we possess are, that on November 4 Raleigh was lying sick of an ague, and that on December 13 he was still ill.

In the middle of March 1600 Sir Walter and Lady Raleigh left Durham House for Sherborne, taking with them, as a playmate for their son Walter, Sir Robert Cecil's eldest son, William, afterwards the second Earl of Salisbury. On the way down to Dorsetshire, they stopped at Sion House as the guests of the 'Wizard' Earl of Northumberland, a life-long friend of Raleigh's, and presently to be his most intelligent fellow-prisoner in the Tower. From Sherborne, Raleigh wrote on the 6th of April saying frankly that if her Majesty persisted in excluding him from every sort of preferment, 'I must begin to keep sheep betime.' He hinted in the same letter that he would accept the Governorship of Jersey, which was expected to fall vacant. The friendship with[Pg 115] Lord Cobham has now become quite ardent, and Lady Raleigh vies with her husband in urging him to pay Sherborne a visit. Later on in April the Raleighs went to Bath apparently for no other reason than to meet Cobham there. Here is a curious note from Raleigh to the most dangerous of his associates, written from Bath on April 29, 1600:

Here we attend you and have done this sevennight, and we still mourn your absence, the rather because we fear that your mind is changed. I pray let us hear from you at least, for if you come not we will go hereby home, and make but short tarrying here. My wife will despair ever to see you in these parts, if your Lordship come not now. We can but long for you and wish you as our own lives whatsoever.

Your Lordship's everest faithful, to honour you most,

W. Ralegh.

Raleigh's absence from Court was so lengthy, that it was whispered in the early summer that he was in disgrace, that the Queen had called him 'something worse than cat or dog,' namely, 'fox.' The absurdity of this was proved early in July by his being hurriedly called to town to accompany Cobham and Northumberland on their brief and fruitless visit to Ostend. The friends started from Sandwich on July 11, and were received in the Low Countries by Lord Grey; they were entertained at Ostend with extraordinary respect, but they gained nothing of political or diplomatic value. Affairs in Ireland, connected with the Spanish invasion, occupied Raleigh's mind and pen during this autumn, but he paid no visit to his Munster estates. There were plots and counterplots developing in various parts of these islands in the autumn of 1600, but with none of[Pg 116] these subterranean activities is Raleigh for the present to be identified.

When Sir Anthony Paulet died, on August 26, 1600, Raleigh had the satisfaction of succeeding him in the Governorship of Jersey. He had asked for the reversion of this post, and none could be found more appropriate to his powers or circumstances. It gave him once more the opportunity to cultivate his restless energy, to fly hither and thither by sea and land, and to harry the English Channel for Spaniards as a terrier watches a haystack for rats. Weymouth, which was the English postal port for Jersey, was also the natural harbour of Sherborne, and Raleigh had been accustomed, as it was, to keep more than one vessel there. The appointment in Jersey was combined with a gift of the manor of St. Germain in that island, but the Queen thought it right, in consideration of this present, to strike off three hundred pounds from the Governor's salary. Cecil was Raleigh's guest at Sherborne when the appointment was made, and Raleigh waited until he left before starting for his new charge; all this time young William Cecil continued at Sherborne for his health. At last, late in September, Sir Walter and Lady Raleigh went down to Weymouth, and took with them their little son Walter, now about six years old. The day was very fine, and the mother and son saw the new Governor on board his ship. He was kept at sea forty-eight hours by contrary winds, but reached Jersey at last on an October morning.

Raleigh wrote home to his wife that he never saw a pleasanter island than Jersey, but protested that it was not in value the very third part of what had been reported.[Pg 117] One of his first visits was to the castle of Mont Orgueil, which had been rebuilt seven years before. His intention had been to destroy it, but he was so much struck with its stately architecture and commanding position that he determined to spare it, and in fact he told off a detachment of his men then and there to guard it. Raleigh's work in Jersey was considerable. While he remained governor, he established a trade between the island and Newfoundland, undertook to register real property according to a definite system, abolished the unpopular compulsory service of the Corps de Garde, and lightened in many directions the fiscal burdens which previous governors had laid on the population. Raleigh's beneficent rule in Jersey lasted just three years.

While he was absent on this his first visit to the island, Lady Raleigh at Sherborne received news from Cecil of the partial destruction of Durham House by a fire, which had broken out in the old stables. None of the Raleigh valuables were injured, but Lady Raleigh suggests that it is high time something were definitely settled about property in this 'rotten house,' which Sir Walter was constantly repairing and improving without possessing any proper lease of it. As a matter of fact, when the crash came, Durham House was the first of his losses. Early in November 1600, Raleigh was in Cornwall, improving the condition of the tin-workers, and going through his duties in the Stannaries Court of Lostwithiel. We find him protecting private enterprise on Roborough Down against the borough of Plymouth, which desired to stop the tin-works, and the year closes with his activities on behalf of the 'establishment of good laws among tinners.'[Pg 118]

The first two months of 1601 were occupied with the picturesque tragedy of Essex's trial and execution. It seems that Raleigh was at last provoked into open enmity by the taunts and threats of the Lord Marshal. Among the strange acts of Essex, none had been more strange than his extraordinary way of complaining, like a child, of anyone who might displease him. In his letter to the Queen on June 25, 1599, he openly named Raleigh and Cobham as his enemies and the enemies of England; not reflecting that both of these personages were in the Queen's confidence, and that he was out of it. We may presume that it was more than Raleigh could bear to be shown a letter addressed to the Queen in which Essex deliberately accused him of 'wishing the ill success of your Majesty's most important action, the decay of your greatest strength, and the destruction of your faithfullest servants.' There were some things Raleigh could not forgive, and the accusation that he favoured Spain was one of these. Shut up among his creatures in his house in the Strand, and refused all communication with Elizabeth, Essex thought no accusation too libellous to spread against the trio who held the royal ear, against Raleigh, Cecil, and Cobham, whose daggers, he said, were thirsting for his blood.

It was probably in the summer of 1600 that Raleigh wrote the curious letter of advice to Cecil which forms the only evidence we possess that he had definitely come to the decision that Essex must die. His language admits of no doubt of his intention. He says:

If you take it for a good counsel to relent towards this tyrant, you will repent it when it shall be too late. His malice is fixed, and will not evaporate by any of your mild[Pg 119] courses. For he will ascribe the alteration to her Majesty's pusillanimity and not to your good nature, knowing that you work but upon her humour, and not out of any love towards him. The less you make him, the less he shall be able to harm you and yours; and if her Majesty's favour fail him, he will again decline to a common person. For after-revenges, fear them not, for your own father was esteemed to be the contriver of Norfolk's ruin, yet his son followeth your father's son and loveth him.

This advice has been stigmatised as worse than ungenerous. It was, at all events, extremely to the point, and it may be suggested that for Raleigh and Cecil the time for showing generosity to Essex was past. They took no overt steps, however, but it is plain that they kept themselves informed of the mad meetings that went on in Essex House. On the morning before the insurrection was to break out, February 18, 1601, Raleigh sent a note to his kinsman, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, who was one of Essex's men, to come down to Durham House to speak with him. Gorges, startled at the message, consulted Essex, who advised him to say that he would meet Raleigh, not at Durham House, but half-way, on the river. Raleigh assented to this, and came alone, while Gorges, with two other gentlemen, met him. Raleigh told his cousin that a warrant was out to seize him, and advised him to leave London at once for Plymouth. Gorges said it was too late, and a long conversation ensued, in the course of which a boat was seen to glide away from Essex stairs and to approach them. Upon this Gorges pushed Raleigh's boat away, and bid him hasten home. As he rowed off towards Durham House, four shots from the second boat missed him; it[Pg 120] had been manned by Sir Christopher Blount, who, with three or four servants of Essex, had come out to capture or else kill Raleigh.

For this treason Blount asked and obtained Raleigh's pardon a few days later, on the scaffold. At the last moment of his life, Essex also had desired to speak with Raleigh, having already solemnly retracted the accusations he had made against him; but it is said that this message of peace was not conveyed to Raleigh until it was too late. According to Raleigh's own account, he had been standing near the scaffold, on purpose to see whether Essex would address him, and had retired because he was not spoken to. His words in 1618 were these:

It is said I was a persecutor of my Lord of Essex; that I puffed out tobacco in disdain when he was on the scaffold. But I take God to witness I shed tears for him when he died. I confess I was of a contrary faction, but I knew he was a noble gentleman. Those that set me up against him, did afterwards set themselves against me.

Raleigh was accused of barbarity by the adherents of Essex, but there is nothing to rebut the testimony of one of his own greatest enemies, Blount, who confessed, a few minutes before he died, that he did not believe Sir Walter Raleigh intended to assassinate the Earl, nor that Essex himself feared it, 'only it was a word cast out to colour other matters.' We are told that Raleigh suffered from a profound melancholy as he was rowed back from the Tower to Durham House after the execution of Essex, and that it was afterwards believed that he was visited at that time by a presentiment of his own dreadful end.

During the summer of 1601, Raleigh became in[Pg 121]volved in a vexatious quarrel between certain of his own Dorsetshire servants. The man Meeres, whom he had appointed as bailiff of the Sherborne estates nine years before, after doing trusty service to his master, had gradually become aggressive and mutinous. He disliked the presence of Adrian Gilbert, Raleigh's brother, who had been made Constable of Sherborne Castle, and who overlooked Meeres on all occasions. There began to be constant petty quarrels between the bailiff of the manor and the constable of the castle, and when Raleigh at last dismissed the former bailiff and appointed another, Meeres put himself under the protection of an old enemy of Raleigh's, Lord Thomas Howard, now Lord Howard of Bindon, and refused to quit. In the month of August, Meeres audaciously arrested the rival bailiff, whereupon Raleigh had Meeres himself put in the stocks in the market-place of Sherborne. The town took Raleigh's side, and when Meeres was released, the people riotously accompanied him to his house, with derisive cries. When Raleigh was afterward attainted, Meeres took all the revenge he could, and succeeded in making himself not a little offensive to Lady Raleigh. Sir Walter Raleigh's letters testify to the great annoyance this man gave him. It appears that Meeres' wife, 'a broken piece, but too good for such a knave,' was a kinswoman of Lady Essex, and the most curious point is that Raleigh thought that Meeres was trained to forge his handwriting. He tells Cecil:

The Earl did not make show to like Meeres, nor admit him to his presence, but it was thought that secretly he meant to have used him for some mischief against me; and, if Essex had prevailed, he had been used as the counterfeiter,[Pg 122] for he writes my hand so perfectly that I cannot any way discern the difference.[7]

Meeres was ready in the law, and during the month of September sent twenty-six subpœnas down to Sherborne. But on October 3 he was subdued for the time being, and wrote to Cecil from his prison in the Gatehouse that he was very sorry for what he had said so 'furiously and foolishly' about Sir Walter Raleigh, and begged for a merciful consideration of it. He was pardoned, but he proved a troublesome scoundrel then and afterwards.

Early in September 1601, Raleigh came up on business from Bath to London, meaning to return at once, but found himself unexpectedly called upon to stay and fulfil a graceful duty. Henry IV. of France, being at Calais, had sent the Duc de Biron, with a retinue of three hundred persons, to pay a visit of compliment to Elizabeth. It was important that the French favourite should be well received in England, but no one expected him in London, and the Queen was travelling. Sir Arthur Savage and Sir Arthur Gorges were the Duke's very insufficient escort, until Raleigh fortunately made his appearance and did the honours of London in better style. He took the French envoys to Westminster Abbey, and, to their greater satisfaction, to the Bear Garden. The Queen was now staying, as the guest of the Marquis of Winchester, at Basing, and so, on September 9, Raleigh took the Duke and his suite down to the Vine, a house in[Pg 123] Hampshire, where he was royally entertained. The Queen visited them here, and on the 12th they all came over to stay with her at Basing Park. By the Queen's desire, Raleigh wrote to Cobham, who had stayed at Bath, to come over to Basing and help to entertain the Frenchmen; he added, that in three or four days the visit would be over, and he and Cobham could go back to Bath together. The letters of Raleigh display an intimate friendship between Lord Cobham and himself which is not to be overlooked in the light of coming events. The French were all dressed in black, a colour Raleigh did not possess in his copious wardrobe, so that he had to order the making of a black taffeta suit in a hurry, to fetch which from London he started back late on Saturday night after bringing the Duke safe down to Basing. It was on the next day, if the French ambassador said true, that he had the astounding conversation with Elizabeth about Essex, at the end of which, after railing against her dead favourite, she opened a casket and produced the very skull of Essex. The subject of the fall of favourites was one in which Biron should have taken the keenest interest. Ten months later he himself, abandoned by his king, came to that frantic death in front of the Bastille which Chapman presented to English readers in the most majestic of his tragedies. The visit to Elizabeth occupies the third act of Byron's Conspiracy, which, published in 1608, contains of course no reference to Raleigh's part on that occasion.

It may be that in the autumn of 1601, James of Scotland first became actively cognisant of Raleigh's existence. Spain was once more giving Elizabeth[Pg 124] anxiety, and threatening an invasion which actually took place on September 21, at Kinsale. By means of the spies which he kept in the Channel, Raleigh saw the Spanish fleet advancing, and warned the Government, though his warnings were a little too positive in pointing out Cork and Limerick as the points of attack. Meanwhile, he wrote out for the Queen's perusal a State paper on The Dangers of a Spanish Faction in Scotland. This paper has not been preserved, but the rumour of its contents is supposed to have frightened James in his correspondence with Rome, and to have made him judge it prudent to offer Elizabeth three thousand Scotch troops against the invader. Raleigh's casual remarks with regard to Irish affairs at this critical time, as we find them in his letters to Cecil, are not sympathetic or even humane, and there is at least one passage which looks very much like a licensing of assassination; yet it is certain that Raleigh, surveying from his remote Sherborne that Munster which he knew so well, took in the salient features of the position with extraordinary success. In almost every particular he showed himself a true prophet with regard to the Irish rising of 1601.

In November the Duke of Lennox came somewhat hastily to London from Paris, entrusted with a very delicate diplomatic commission from James of Scotland to Elizabeth. It is certain that he saw Raleigh and Cobham, and that he discussed with them the thorny question of the succession to the English throne. It moreover appears that he found their intentions 'traitorous to the King,' that is to say unfavourable to the candidature of James. The whole incident is exceedingly dark, and the particulars of it rest mainly on a[Pg 125] tainted authority, that of Lord Henry Howard. It may be conjectured that what really happened was that the Duke of Lennox, learning that Raleigh was in town, desired Sir Arthur Savage to introduce him; that he then suggested a private conference, which was first refused, then granted, in Cobham's presence, at Durham House; that Raleigh refused King James's offers, and went and told Cecil that he had done so. Cecil, however, chose to believe that Raleigh was keeping something back from him, and his attitude from this moment grows sensibly colder to Raleigh, and he speaks of Raleigh's 'ingratitude,' though it is not plain what he should have been grateful for to Cecil.

It was now thirteen years since Raleigh had abandoned the hope of colonising Virginia, though his thoughts had often reverted to that savage country, of which he was the nominal liege lord. In 1602 he made a final effort to assert his authority there. He sent out a certain Samuel Mace, of whose expedition we know little; and about the same time his nephew, Bartholomew Gilbert, with an experienced mariner, Captain Gosnoll, went to look for the lost colony and city of Raleigh. These latter started in a small barque on March 26, but though they enjoyed an interesting voyage, they never touched Virginia at all. They discovered and named Martha's Vineyard, and some other of the islands in the same group; then, after a pleasant sojourn, they came back to England, and landed at Exmouth on July 23. It was left for another than Raleigh, while he was impoverished and a prisoner in the Tower, to carry out the dream of Virginian settlement. Perhaps the most fortunate thing that could have happened to Raleigh[Pg 126] would have been for him to have personally conducted to the West this expedition of 1602. To have been out of England when the Queen died might have saved him from the calumny of treason.

It has been supposed that Raleigh was a complete loser by these vain expeditions. But a passage in a letter of August 21, 1602, shows us that this was not the fact. He says: 'Neither of them spake with the people,' that is, with the lost Virginian colonists, 'but I do send both the barques away again, having saved the charge in sassafras wood.' From the same letter we find that Gilbert and Gosnoll went off without Raleigh's leave, though in his ship and at his expense, and the latter therefore prays that his nephew may be stripped of his rich store of sassafras and cedar wood, partly in chastisement, but more for fear of overstocking the London market. He throws Gilbert over, and speaks angrily of him not as a kinsman, but as 'my Lord Cobham's man;' then relents in a postscript—'all is confiscate, but he shall have his part again.'

Raleigh was feeble in health and irritable in temper all this time. Lady Raleigh, with a woman's instinct, tried to curb his ambition, and tie him down to Sherborne. 'My wife says that every day this place amends, and London, to her, grows worse and worse.' Meanwhile, there is really not an atom of evidence to show that Raleigh was engaged in any political intrigue. He spent the summer and autumn of 1602, when he was not at Sherborne, in going through the round of his duties. All the month of July he spent in Jersey, 'walking in the wilderness,' as he says, hearing from no one, and troubled in mind by vague rumours, blown[Pg 127] over to him from Normandy, of the disgrace of the Duc de Biron. He is also 'much pestered with the coming of many Norman gentlemen, but cannot prevent it.' On August 9, he left Jersey, in his ship the 'Antelope,' fearing if he stayed any longer to exhaust her English stores, and get no more 'in this poor island.' On landing at Weymouth on the 12th, he wrote inviting Cecil and Northumberland to meet him at Bath. He was justly exasperated to find that during his absence Lord Howard of Bindon had once more taken up the wicked steward, Meeres, and persuaded Sir William Peryam, the Chief Baron of the Exchequer, to try the suit again. Raleigh complains to Cecil:

I never busied myself with the Lord Viscount's [Lord Bindon's] wealth, nor of his extortions, nor poisoning of his wife, as is here avowed, have I spoken. I have foreborne ... but I will not endure wrong at so peevish a fool's hands any longer. I will rather lose my life, and I think that my Lord Puritan Peryam doth think that the Queen shall have more use of rogues and villains than of men, or else he would not, at Bindon's instances, have yielded to try actions against me being out of the land.

The vexation was a real one, but this is the language of a petulant invalid, of a man to whom the grasshopper has become a burden. We are therefore not surprised to find him at Bath on September 15, so ill that he can barely write a note to Cecil warning him of the approach of a Spanish fleet, the news of which has just reached him from Jersey. He grew little better at Bath, and in October we find him again at Sherborne, in very low spirits, sending by Cobham to the Queen a stone which Bartholomew Gilbert had brought from[Pg 128] America, and which Raleigh took to be a diamond. Immediately after this, he set out on what he calls his 'miserable journey into Cornwall,' no other than his customary autumn circuit through the Stannary Courts. Once he had enjoyed these bracing rides over the moors, but his animal spirits were subdued, and the cold mosses, the streams to be forded, the dripping October woods, and the chilly granite judgment-seat itself, had lost their attraction for his aching joints. In November, however, he is back at Sherborne, restored to health, and intending to linger in Dorsetshire as long as he can, 'except there be cause to hasten me up.'

Meanwhile he had paid a brief visit to London, and had spoken with the Queen, as it would appear, for the last time. Cecil, who was also present, has recorded in a letter of November 4 this interview, which took place the previous day. On this last occasion Elizabeth sought Raleigh's advice on her Irish policy. The President of Munster had reported that he had seen fit to 'kill and hang divers poor men, women, and children appertaining' to Cormac MacDermod McCarthy, Lord of Muskerry, and to burn all his castles and villages from Carrigrohan to Inchigeelagh. Cecil was inclined to think that severity had been pushed too far, and that the wretched Cormac might be left in peace. But Elizabeth had long been accustomed to turn to Raleigh for advice on her Irish policy. He gave, as usual, his unflinching constant counsel for drastic severity. He 'very earnestly moved her Majesty of all others to reject Cormac MacDermod, first, because his country was worth her keeping, secondly, because he lived so under the eye of the State that, whensoever she would, it was in her power to[Pg 129] suppress him.' This last, one would think, might have been an argument for mercy. The Queen instructed Cecil to tell Sir George Carew, that whatever pardon was extended to others, none might be shown to Cormac.

It was in the same spirit of rigour that Raleigh had for two years past advised the retention of the gentle and learned Florence MacCarthy in the Tower, as 'a man reconciled to the Pope, dangerous to the present State, beloved of such as seek the ruin of the realm;' and this at the very time when MacCarthy, trusting in his twenty years' acquaintance with Raleigh, was praying Cecil to let him be his judge. Raleigh little thought that the doors which detained Florence MacCarthy would soon open for a moment to inclose himself, and that in two neighbouring cells through long years of captivity the History of the World would grow beside the growing History of the Early Ages of Ireland.

In this year, 1602, Raleigh parted with his vast Irish estates to Richard Boyle, afterwards Earl of Cork, and placed the purchase-money in privateering enterprises. It is known that Cecil had an interest in this fleet of merchantmen, and as late as January 1603 he writes about a cruiser in which Raleigh and he were partners, begging Raleigh, from prudential reasons, to conceal the fact that Cecil was in the adventure. There was no abatement whatever in the friendliness of Cecil's tone to Raleigh, although in his own crafty mind he had decided that the death of the Queen should set the term to Raleigh's prosperity. On March 30, 1603, Elizabeth died, and with her last breath the fortune and even the personal safety of Raleigh expired.

We may pause here a moment to consider what was[Pg 130] Raleigh's condition and fame at this critical point in his life. He was over fifty years of age, but in health and spirits much older than his time of life suggested; his energy had shown signs of abatement, and for five years he had done nothing that had drawn public attention strongly to his gifts. If he had died in 1603, unattainted, in peace at Sherborne, it is a question whether he would have attracted the notice of posterity in any very general degree. To close students of the reign of Elizabeth he would still be, as Mr. Gardiner says, 'the man who had more genius than all the Privy Council put together.' But he would not be to us all the embodiment of the spirit of England in the great age of Elizabeth, the foremost man of his time, the figure which takes the same place in the field of action which Shakespeare takes in that of imagination and Bacon in that of thought. For this something more was needed, the long torture of imprisonment, the final crown of judicial martyrdom. The slow tragedy closing on Tower Hill is the necessary complement to his greatness.

All this it is easy to see, but it is more difficult to understand what circumstances brought about a condition of things in which such a tragedy became possible. We must realise that Raleigh was a man of severe speech and reserved manner, not easily moved to be gracious, constantly reproving the sluggish by his rapidity, and galling the dull by his wit. All through his career we find him hard to get on with, proud to his inferiors, still more crabbed to those above him. If policy required that he should use the arts of a diplomatist, he overplayed his part, and stung his rivals to the quick by an obsequiousness in speech to which his eyes and shoulders[Pg 131] gave the lie. With all his wealth and influence, he missed the crowning points of his ambition; he never sat in the House of Peers, he never pushed his way to the council board, he never held quite the highest rank in any naval expedition, he never ruled with only the Queen above him even in Ireland. He who of all men hated most and deserved least to be an underling, was forced to play the subordinate all through the most brilliant part of his variegated life of adventure. It was only for a moment, at Cadiz or Fayal, that by a doubtful breach of prerogative he struggled to the surface, to sink again directly the achievement was accomplished. This soured and would probably have paralysed him, but for the noble stimulant of misfortune; and to the temper which this continued disappointment produced, we must look for the cause of his unpopularity.

It is difficult, as we have said, to understand how it was that he had the opportunity to become unpopular. From one of his latest letters in Elizabeth's reign we gather that the tavern-keepers throughout the country considered Raleigh at fault for a tax which was really insisted on by the Queen's rapacity. He prays Cecil to induce Elizabeth to remit it, for, he says, 'I cannot live, nor show my face out of my doors, without it, nor dare ride through the towns where these taverners dwell.' This is the only passage which I can find in his published correspondence which accounts in any degree for the fact that we presently find Raleigh beyond question the best-hated man in England.[8]

[Pg 132]

CHAPTER VII.

THE TRIAL AT WINCHESTER.

Raleigh was in the west when the Queen died, and he had no opportunity of making the rush for the north which emptied London of its nobility in the beginning of April. King James had reached Burghley before Raleigh, in company with his old comrade Sir Robert Crosse, met him on his southward journey. It was necessary that he should ask the new monarch for a continuation of his appointments in Devon and Cornwall; his posts at Court he had probably made up his mind to lose. One of the blank forms which the King had sent up to be signed by Cecil, nominally excusing the recipient from coming to meet James, had been sent to Raleigh, and this was of evil omen. The King received him ungraciously, and Raleigh did not make the situation better by explaining the cause of his disobedience. James, it is said, admitted in a blunt pun that he had been prejudiced against the late Queen's favourite; 'on my soul, man,' he said, 'I have heard but rawly of thee.' Raleigh was promised letters of continuance for the Stannaries, but was warned to take no measures with regard to the woods and parks of the Duchy of Cornwall until further orders. After the first rough greeting,[Pg 133] James was fairly civil, but on April 25 privately desired Sir Thomas Lake to settle Raleigh's business speedily, and send him off.

In the first week of May, Sir Walter Raleigh was informed by the Council that the King had chosen Sir Thomas Erskine to be Captain of the Guard. It was the most natural thing in the world that James should select an old friend and a Scotchman for this confidential post, and Raleigh, as the Council Book records, 'in a very humble manner did submit himself.' To show that no injury to his fortunes was intended, the King was pleased to remit the tax of 300l. a year which Elizabeth had charged on Raleigh's salary as Governor of Jersey. There does not seem to be any evidence that Raleigh was led into any imprudent action by all these changes. Mr. Gardiner appears to put some faith in a despatch of Beaumont's to Villeroi, on May 2, according to which Raleigh was in such a rage at the loss of one of his offices, that he rushed into the King's presence, and poured out accusations of treason against Cecil. I cannot but disbelieve this story; the evidence all goes to prove that he still regarded Cecil, among the crowd of his enemies, as at least half his friend. On May 13, Cecil was raised to the peerage, as a sign of royal favour.

Lady Raleigh had always regretted the carelessness with which her husband expended money upon Durham House, his town mansion, without ever securing a proper lease of it. Her prognostications of evil were soon fulfilled. James I. was hardly safe on his throne before the Bishop of Durham demanded the restitution of the ancient town palace of his see. On May 31, 1603, a royal warrant announced that Durham House was to[Pg 134] be restored to the Bishop—'the said dwellers in it having no right to the same'—and Sir Walter Raleigh was warned to give quiet possession of the house to such as the Bishop might appoint. Raleigh, much incommoded at so sudden notice to quit, begged to be allowed to stay until Michaelmas. The Bishop considered this very unreasonable, and would grant him no later date than June 23. In this dilemma Raleigh appealed to the Lords Commissioners, saying that he had spent 2,000l. on the house, and that 'the poorest artificer in London hath a quarter's warning given him by his landlord.' It is interesting to us, as giving us a notion of Raleigh's customary retinue, that he says he has already laid in provision for his London household of forty persons and nearly twenty horses. 'Now to cast out my hay and oats into the streets at an hour's warning,' for the Bishop wanted to occupy the stables at once, 'and to remove my family and stuff in fourteen days after, is such a severe expulsion as hath not been offered to any man before this day.' What became of his chattels, and what lodging he found for his family, is uncertain; he gained no civility by his appeal. That he was disturbed by the Bishop, and busily engaged in changing houses all through June, is not unimportant in connection with the accusation, at the trial, that he had spent so much of this month plotting with Cobham and Aremberg at Durham House.

It was plain that he was not judicious in his behaviour to James. At all times he had been an advocate of war rather than peace, even when peace was obviously needful. Spain, too, was written upon his heart, as Calais had been on Mary's, and even at this[Pg 135] untoward juncture he must needs thrust his enmity on unwilling ears. It is hardly conceivable that he should not know that James was deeply involved with promises to the Catholics; and though the King had said, in the face of his welcome to England, that he should not need them now, he had no intention of exasperating them. As to Spain, the King was simply waiting for overtures from Madrid. Raleigh, who was never a politician, saw nothing of all this, and merely used every opportunity he had of gaining the King's ear to urge his distasteful projects of a war. On the last occasion when, so far as we know, Raleigh had an interview with James, they were both the guests of Raleigh's uncle, Sir Nicholas Carew, at Bedingfield Park. It would seem that he had already placed in the royal hands the manuscript of his Discourse touching War with Spain, and of the Protecting of the Netherlands, and he offered to raise two thousand men at his own expense, and to lead them in person against Spain. James I. must have found this persistence, especially from a man against whom he had formed a prejudice, exceedingly galling. No doubt, too, long familiarity with Queen Elizabeth in the decline of her powers, had given Raleigh a manner in approaching royalty which was not to James's liking.

In July the King's Catholic troubles reached a head. Watson's plot, involving Copley and the young Lord Grey de Wilton, occupied the Privy Council during that month, and it was discovered that George Brooke, a younger brother of Lord Cobham's, was concerned in it. The Brookes, it will be remembered, were the brothers-in-law of Cecil himself, but by this time completely[Pg 136] estranged from him. It is more interesting to us to note that Cobham himself was the only intimate friend left to Raleigh. With extraordinary rapidity Raleigh himself was drawn into the net of Watson's misdoings. Copley was arrested on the 6th, and first examined on July 12. He incriminated George Brooke, who was arrested on the 14th. Cobham, who was busy on his duties as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, was brought up for examination on the 15th or 16th; and on the 17th,[9] Sir Walter Raleigh, who, it is said, had given information regarding Cobham, was himself arrested at Windsor.

Raleigh was walking to and fro on the great terrace at Windsor on the morning of July 17, 1603, waiting to ride with the King, when Cecil came to him and requested his presence in the Council Chamber. What happened there is unknown, but it is plain amid the chaos of conflicting testimony that Cecil argued that what George Brooke knew Cobham must know, and that Raleigh was privy to all Cobham's designs. What form the accusation finally took, we shall presently see. When it was over Raleigh wrote a letter to the Council, in which he made certain random statements with regard to offers made to Cobham about June 9 by a certain attendant of Count Aremberg, the ambassador of the Archduke Albert. From the windows of Durham House he had seen, he said, Cobham's boat cross over to the Austrian's lodgings in St. Saviour's. He probably felt himself forced to state this from finding that the Council already knew something of Cobham's relations[Pg 137] with Aremberg. Still, in the light of later events, the writing of this letter may seem to us a grave mistake. It was instantly shown, on the very next day, to Cobham, and doctored in such a way as to make the latter suppose that Raleigh had gratuitously betrayed him.

On the day that Raleigh was arrested, July 17, George Brooke said in examination that 'the conspirators among themselves thought Sir Walter Raleigh a fit man to be of the action.' This did not amount to much, but Brooke soon became more copious and protested a fuller tale day by day. Nothing, however, that could touch Raleigh was obtained from any witness until, on the 20th, Lord Cobham, who had been thoroughly frightened by daily cross-examination, was shown the letter, or part of the letter, from Raleigh to Cecil to which reference has just been made. He then broke out with, 'O traitor! O villain! now will I tell you all the truth!' and proceeded at once to say that 'he had never entered into those courses but by Raleigh's instigation, and that he would never let him alone!' This accusation he entirely retracted nine days later, in consequence of some expostulation from Raleigh which had found its way from one prisoner to the other, for Raleigh was by this time safe in the Tower of London.

It is most probable that he was taken thither on July 18, immediately after his arrest. On the 20th, after Cobham's formal accusation, he was evidently more strictly confined, and it must have been immediately after receiving news of this charge that he attempted to commit suicide. He would be told of Cobham's words, in all likelihood, on the morning of the 21st; he would write the letter to his wife after[Pg 138] meditating on the results of his position, and then would follow the scene that Cecil describes in a letter dated fifteen days later:

Although lodged and attended as well as in his own house, yet one afternoon, while divers of us were in the Tower, examining these prisoners, Sir Walter Raleigh attempted to have murdered himself. Whereof when we were advertised, we came to him, and found him in some agony, seeming to be unable to endure his misfortunes, and protesting innocency, with carelessness of life. In that way, he had wounded himself under the right pap, but no way mortally.

There is no reason whatever for supposing that this was not a genuine attempt at suicide. We can have no difficulty in entering into the mood of Raleigh's mind. Roused to fresh energy by misfortune, his brain and will had of late once more become active, and he was planning adventures by land and sea. If James did oust him from his posts about the Court in favour of leal Scotchmen, Raleigh would brace himself by some fresh expedition against Cadiz, some new settlement of Virginia or Guiana. In the midst of such schemes, the blow of his unexpected arrest would come upon him out of the blue. He could bear poverty, neglect, hardships, even death itself; but imprisonment, with a disgraceful execution as the only end of it, that he was not at first prepared to endure. He had tasted captivity in the Tower once before; he knew the intolerable tedium and fret of it; and the very prospect maddened him. Nor would his thoughts be only or mainly of himself. He would reflect that if he were once condemned, nothing but financial ruin and social obloquy would[Pg 139] attend his wife and children; and this it was which inspired the passionate and pathetic letter which he addressed to Lady Raleigh just before he stabbed himself. This letter seems to close the real life of Raleigh. He was to breathe, indeed, for fifteen years more, but only in a sort of living death. He begins thus distractedly:

Receive from thy unfortunate husband these his last lines: these the last words that ever thou shalt receive from him. That I can live never to see thee and my child more! I cannot! I have desired God and disputed with my reason, but nature and compassion hath the victory. That I can live to think how you are both left a spoil to my enemies, and that my name shall be a dishonour to my child! I cannot! I cannot endure the memory thereof. Unfortunate woman, unfortunate child, comfort yourselves, trust God, and be contented with your poor estate. I would have bettered it, if I had enjoyed a few years.

He goes on to tell his wife that she is still young, and should marry again; and then falls into a tumult of distress over his own accusation. Presently he grows calmer, after a wild denunciation of Cobham, and bids his wife forgive, as he does:

Live humble, for thou hast but a time also. God forgive my Lord Harry [Howard], for he was my heavy enemy. And for my Lord Cecil, I thought he would never forsake me in extremity. I would not have done it him, God knows. But do not thou know it, for he must be master of thy child, and may have compassion of him. Be not dismayed, that I died in despair of God's mercies. Strive not to dispute, but assure thyself that God has not left me, nor Satan tempted me. Hope and despair live not together.[Pg 140] I know it is forbidden to destroy ourselves, but I trust it is forbidden in this sort—that we destroy not ourselves despairing of God's mercy.

After an impassioned prayer, he speaks of his estate. His debts, he confesses, are many, and as the latest of them he mentions what he owes to an expedition to Virginia then on the return voyage, the expedition in which Cecil had a share. Then his shame and anger break out again:

What will my poor servants think, at their return, when they hear I am accused to be Spanish who sent them, at my great charge, to plant and discover upon his territory! O intolerable infamy! O God! I cannot resist these thoughts. I cannot live to think how I am divided, to think of the expectation of my enemies, the scorns I shall receive, the cruel words of lawyers, the infamous taunts and despites, to be made a wonder and a spectacle!... I commend unto you my poor brother Adrian Gilbert. The lease of Sandridge is his, and none of mine. Let him have it, for God's cause. He knows what is due to me upon it. And be good to Keymis, for he is a perfect honest man, and hath much wrong for my sake. For the rest I commend me to thee, and thee to God, and the Lord knows my sorrow to part from thee and my poor child. But part I must.... I bless my poor child; and let him know his father was no traitor. Be bold of my innocence, for God—to whom I offer life and soul—knows it.... And the Lord for ever keep thee, and give thee comfort in both worlds.

There are few documents of the period more affecting than this, but he suffered no return of this mood. The pain of his wound and the weakness it produced quieted him at first, and then hope began to take the place of this agony of despair. Meanwhile his treason was[Pg 141] taken for granted, and he was stripped of his appointments. He had been forced to resign the Wardenship of the Stannaries to Sir Francis Godolphin, and the wine patent was given to the Earl of Nottingham, who behaved with scant courtesy to his old friend and comrade. Sir John Peyton, after guarding Raleigh for ten days at the Tower, was released from the post of Lieutenant, and was given the Governorship of Jersey, of which Raleigh was deprived. On the next day, August 1, Sir George Harvey took Peyton's place as Lieutenant of the Tower, the last report from the outgoing officer being that 'Sir Walter Raleigh's hurt is doing very well.' It was evidently not at all severe, for on the 4th he was pronounced cured, 'both in body and mind.' On the 3rd, De Beaumont, the French ambassador, had written confidentially to Henry IV. that Raleigh gave out that this attempt at suicide 'was formed in order that his fate might not serve as a triumph to his enemies, whose power to put him to death, despite his innocence, he well knows.'

On August 10 there had still been made no definite accusation linking Raleigh or even Cobham with Watson's plot. All that could be said was that Raleigh and Cobham were intimate with the plotters, and that they had mutually accused each other, vaguely, of entering into certain possibly treasonable negotiations with Austria. On that day De Beaumont was inclined to think that both would be acquitted. It does not seem that James was anxious to push matters to an extremity; but the Government, instigated by Suffolk, insisted on severity. On August 13, Raleigh was again examined in the Tower, and this time more rigorously.[Pg 142] A distinct statement was now gained from him, to the effect that Cobham had offered him 10,000 crowns to further a peace between Spain and England; Raleigh had answered, '"When I see the money I will make you an answer," for I thought it one of his ordinary idle conceits.' He insisted, however, that this conversation had nothing to do with Aremberg. All through the month of September the plague was raging in London. In spite of all precautions, it found its way into the outlying posts of the Tower. Sir George Harvey sent away his family, and Wood, who was in special charge of the State prisoners, abandoned them to the Lieutenant. On September 7 we find Harvey sending Raleigh's private letters by a man of the name of Mellersh, who had been Cobham's steward and was now his secretary. Raleigh and Cobham had become convinced that, whatever was their innocence or guilt, it was absolutely necessary that each should have some idea what the other was confessing.

On September 21, Raleigh, Cobham, and George Brooke were indicted at Staines. The indictment shows us for the first time what the Government had determined to accuse Raleigh of plotting. It is plainly put that he is charged with 'exciting rebellion against the King, and raising one Arabella Stuart to the Crown of England.' Without going into vexed questions of the claim of this unhappy woman, we may remind ourselves that Arabella Stuart was James I.'s first cousin, the daughter of Charles Stuart, fifth Earl of Lennox, Darnley's elder brother. Her father had died in 1576, soon after her birth. About 1588 she had come up to London to be presented to Elizabeth, and on that occasion[Pg 143] had amused Raleigh with her gay accomplishments. The legal quibble on which her claim was founded was the fact that she was born in England, whereas James as a Scotchman was supposed to be excluded. Arabella was no pretender; her descent from Margaret, the sister of Henry VIII., was complete, and if James had died childless and she had survived him, it is difficult to see how her claim could have been avoided in favour of the Suffolk line. Meantime she had no real claim, and no party in the country. But Elizabeth, in one of her fantastic moods, had presented Arabella to the wife of a French ambassador, as 'she that will sometime be Lady Mistress here, even as I am.' Before the Queen's death Arabella's very name had become hateful to her, but this was the slender ground upon which Cobham's, but scarcely Raleigh's, hopes were based.

The jury was well packed with adverse names. The precept is signed by Raleigh's old and bitter enemy, Lord Howard of Bindon, now Earl of Suffolk. The trial, probably on account of the terror caused by the ravages of the plague, was adjourned for nearly two months, which Raleigh spent in the Tower. Almost the only remnant of all his great wealth which was not by this time forfeited, was his cluster of estates at Sherborne. He attempted to tie these up to his son, and his brother, Adrian Gilbert, and Cecil appears to have been a friend to Lady Raleigh in this matter. It was so generally taken for granted that Raleigh would be condemned, that no mock modesty prevented the King's Scotch favourites from asking for his estates. In October Cecil informed Sir James Elphinstone that he was at least the twelfth person who had already applied for the[Pg 144] gift of Sherborne. Fortunately Raleigh, as late as the summer of 1602, had desired the judge, Sir John Doddridge, to draw up a conveyance of Sherborne to his son, and then to his brother, with a rent-charge of 200l. a year for life to Lady Raleigh. For the present Cecil firmly refused to allow anyone to tamper with this conveyance, and Sherborne was the raft upon which the Raleighs sailed through the worst tempest of the trial. Cecil undoubtedly retained a certain tenderness towards his old friend Lady Raleigh, and for her sake, rather than her husband's, he extended a sort of protection to them in their misfortune. She appealed to him in touching language to 'pity the name of your ancient friend on his poor little creature, which may live to honour you, that we may all lift up our hands and hearts in prayer for you and yours. If you truly knew, you would pity your poor unfortunate friend, which relieth wholly on your honourable and wonted favour.' Cecil listened, and almost relented.

At first Cobham was not confined in the Tower, and before he came there Raleigh was advised by some of his friends to try to communicate with him. According to Raleigh's account, he wrote first of all, 'You or I must go to trial. If I first, then your accusation is the only evidence against me.' Cobham's reply was not satisfactory, and Raleigh wrote again, and Cobham then sent what Raleigh thought 'a very good letter.' The person who undertook to carry on this secret correspondence was no other than young Sir John Peyton, whom James had just knighted, the son of the late Lieutenant of the Tower. Sir George Harvey seems to have suspected, without wishing to be disagreeable,[Pg 145] for Raleigh had to hint to Cobham that the Lieutenant might be blamed if it were discovered that letters were passing. Cobham shifted from hour to hour, and changed colour like a moral chameleon; Raleigh could not depend on him, nor even influence him. Meanwhile Cobham was transferred to the Tower, and now communication between the prisoners seemed almost impossible. However, the servant who was waiting upon Raleigh, a man named Cotterell, undertook to speak to Cobham, and desired him to leave his window in the Wardrobe Tower ajar on a certain night. Raleigh had prepared a letter, entreating Cobham to clear him at all costs. This letter Cotterell tied round an apple, and at eight o'clock at night threw it dexterously into Cobham's room; half an hour afterwards a second letter, of still more complete retractation, was pushed by Cobham under his door. This Raleigh hid in his pocket and showed to no one.

Thus October passed, and during these ten weeks the popular fury against the accused had arisen to a tumultuous pitch. On November 5, Sir W. Waad was instructed to bring Raleigh out of the Tower, and prepare him for his trial. As has been said, the plague was in London, and the prisoner was therefore taken down to Winchester, to be tried in Wolvesey Castle. So terrible was the popular hatred of Raleigh, that the conveyance of him was attended with difficulty, and had to be constantly delayed. 'It was hob or nob whether he should have been brought alive through such multitudes of unruly people as did exclaim against him;' and to escape Lynch law a whole week had to be given to the transit. 'The fury and tumult of the people[Pg 146] was so great' that Waad had to set watches, and hasten his prisoner by a stage at a time, when the mob was not expecting him. The wretched people seemed to forget all about the plague for the moment, so eager were they to tear Raleigh to pieces. When he had reached Winchester, it was thought well to wait five days more, to give the popular fury time to quiet down a little. A Court of King's Bench was fitted up in the castle, an old Episcopal palace, not well suited for that purpose.

On Thursday, November 17, 1603, Raleigh's trial began. In the centre of the upper part of the court, under a canopy of brocade, sat the Lord Chief Justice of England, Popham, and on either side of him, as special commissioners, Cecil, Waad, the Earls of Suffolk and Devonshire, with the judges, Anderson, Gawdy, and Warburton, and other persons of distinction. Opposite Popham sat the Attorney-General, Sir Edward Coke, who conducted the trial. It was actually opened, however, by Hale, the Serjeant, who attempted, as soon as Raleigh had pleaded 'not guilty' to the indictment, to raise an unseemly laugh by saying that Lady Arabella 'hath no more title to the Crown than I have, which, before God, I utterly renounce.' Raleigh was noticed to smile at this, and we can imagine that his irony would be roused by such buffoonery on an occasion so serious. There was no more jesting of this kind, but the whole trial has remained a type of what was uncouth and undesirable in the conduct of criminal trials through the beginning of the seventeenth century. The nation so rapidly increased in sensitiveness and in a perception of legal decency, that one of the very judges who con[Pg 147]ducted Raleigh's trial, Gawdy, lived to look back upon it with horror, and to say, when he himself lay upon his death-bed, that such a mode of procedure 'injured and degraded the justice of England.'

When Hale had ceased his fooling, Coke began in earnest. He was a man a little older than Raleigh, and of a conceited and violent nature, owing not a little of his exaggerated reputation to the dread that he inspired. He was never more rude and brutal than in his treatment of Sir Walter Raleigh upon this famous occasion, and even in a court packed with enemies, in which the proud poet and navigator might glance round without meeting one look more friendly than that in the cold eyes of Cecil, the needless insolence of Coke went too far, and caused a revulsion in Raleigh's favour. Coke began by praising the clemency of the King, who had forbidden the use of torture, and proceeded to charge Sir Walter Raleigh with what he called 'treason of the Main,' to distinguish it from that of George Brooke and his fellows, which was 'of the Bye.' He described this latter, and tried to point out that the former was closely cognate to it. In order to mask the difficulty, nay, the impossibility, of doing this successfully on the evidence which he possessed, he wandered off into a long and wordy disquisition on treasonable plots in general, ending abruptly with that of Edmund de la Pole. Then, for the first time, Coke faced the chief difficulty of the Government, namely, that there was but one witness against Raleigh. He did not allow, as indeed he could not be expected to do, that Cobham had shifted like a Reuben, and was now adhering, for the moment, to an eighth several confession of what he and[Pg 148] Raleigh had actually done or meant to do. It was enough for Coke to insist that Cobham's evidence, that is to say, whichever of the eight conflicting statements suited the prosecution best, was as valuable, in a case of this kind, as 'the inquest of twelve men.'

Having thus, as he thought, shut Raleigh's mouth with regard to this one great difficulty, he continued to declaim against 'those traitors,' obstinately persisting in mixing up Raleigh's 'Main' with the 'Bye,' in spite of the distinction which he himself had drawn. Raleigh appealed against this once or twice, and at last showed signs of impatience. Coke then suddenly turned upon him, and cried out, 'To whom, Sir Walter, did you bear malice? To the royal children?' In the altercation that followed, Coke lost his temper in earnest, and allowed himself to call Raleigh 'a monster with an English face, but a Spanish heart.' He then proceeded to state what the accusation of Sir Walter really amounted to, and in the midst of the inexplicable chaos of this whole affair it may be well to stand for a moment on this scrap of solid ground. Coke's words were:

You would have stirred England and Scotland both. You incited the Lord Cobham, as soon as Count Aremberg came into England, to go to him. The night he went, you supped with the Lord Cobham, and he brought you after supper to Durham House; and then the same night by a back-way went with La Renzi to Count Aremberg, and got from him a promise for the money. After this it was arranged that the Lord Cobham should go to Spain and return by Jersey, where you were to meet him about the distribution of the money; because Cobham had not so much policy or wickedness as you. Your intent was to set up the Lady Arabella as[Pg 149] a titular Queen, and to depose our present rightful King, the lineal descendant of Edward IV. You pretend that this money was to forward the Peace with Spain. Your jargon was 'peace,' which meant Spanish invasion and Scottish subversion.

This was plain language, at least; this was the case for the prosecution, stripped of all pedantic juggling; and Raleigh now drew himself together to confute these charges as best he might. 'Let me answer,' he said; 'it concerns my life;' and from this point onwards, as Mr. Edwards remarks, the trial becomes a long and impassioned dialogue. Coke refused to let Raleigh speak, and in this was supported by Popham, a very old man, who owed his position in that court more to his age than his talents, and who was solicitous to be on friendly terms with the Attorney. Coke then proceeded to argue that Raleigh's relations with Cobham had been notoriously so intimate that there was nothing surprising or improbable in the accusation that he shared his guilt. He then nimbly went on to expatiate with regard to the circumstances of Cobham's treason, and was deft enough to bring these forward in such a way as to leave on the mind of his hearers the impression that these were things proved against Raleigh. To this practice, which deserved the very phrases which Coke used against the prisoner's dealings, 'devilish and machiavelian policy,' Raleigh protested again and again that he ought not to be subjected, until Coke lost his temper once more, and cried, 'I thou thee, thou traitor, and I will prove thee the rankest traitor in all England.' A sort of hubbub now ensued, and the Lord Chief Justice[Pg 150] again interfered to silence Raleigh, with a poor show of impartiality.

Coke, however, had well nigh exhausted the slender stock of evidence with which he had started. For a few minutes longer he tried by sheer bluster to conceal the poverty of the case, and last of all he handed one of Cobham's confessions to the Clerk of the Crown to be read in court. It entered into no particulars, which Cobham said their lordships must not expect from him, for he was so confounded that he had lost his memory, but it vaguely asserted that he would never have entered into 'these courses' but for Raleigh's instigation. The reading being over, Coke at last sat down. Raleigh began to address the jury, very quietly at first. He pointed out that this solitary accusation, by the most wavering of mortals, uttered in a moment of anger, was absolutely all the evidence that could be brought against him. He admitted that he suspected Cobham of secret communications with Count Aremberg, but he declared that he knew no details, and that whatever he discovered, Cecil also was privy to. He had hitherto spoken softly; he now suddenly raised his voice, and electrified the court by turning upon Sir Edward Coke, and pouring forth the eloquent and indignant protest which must now be given in his own words.

Master Attorney, whether to favour or to disable my Lord Cobham you speak as you will of him, yet he is not such a babe as you make him. He hath dispositions of such violence, which his best friends could never temper. But it is very strange that I, at this time, should be thought to plot with the Lord Cobham, knowing him a man that hath neither love nor following; and, myself, at this time having[Pg 151] resigned a place of my best command in an office I had in Cornwall. I was not so bare of sense but I saw that, if ever this State was strong, it was now that we have the Kingdom of Scotland united, whence we were wont to fear all our troubles—Ireland quieted, where our forces were wont to be divided—Denmark assured, whom before we were always wont to have in jealousy—the Low Countries our nearest neighbour. And, instead of a Lady whom time had surprised, we had now an active King, who would be present at his own businesses. For me, at this time, to make myself a Robin Hood, a Wat Tyler [in the inadvertence of the moment he seems to have said 'a Tom Tailor,' by mistake], a Kett, or a Jack Cade! I was not so mad! I knew the state of Spain well, his weakness, his poorness, his humbleness at this time. I knew that six times we had repulsed his forces—thrice in Ireland, thrice at sea, once upon our coast and twice upon his own. Thrice had I served against him myself at sea—wherein, for my country's sake, I had expended of my own property forty thousand marks. I knew that where beforetime he was wont to have forty great sails, at the least, in his ports, now he hath not past six or seven. And for sending to his Indies, he was driven to have strange vessels, a thing contrary to the institutions of his ancestors, who straitly forbade that, even in case of necessity, they should make their necessity known to strangers. I knew that of twenty-five millions which he had from the Indies, he had scarce any left. Nay, I knew his poorness to be such at this time that the Jesuits, his imps, begged at his church doors; his pride so abated that, notwithstanding his former high terms, he was become glad to congratulate his Majesty, and to send creeping unto him for peace.

In these fiery words the audience was reminded of the consistent hatred which Raleigh had always shown[Pg 152] to Spain, and of the services which he himself, now a prisoner at the bar, had performed for the liberties of England. The sympathies of the spectators began to be moved; those who had execrated Raleigh most felt that they had been deceived, and that so noble an Englishman, however indiscreet he might have been, could not by any possibility have intrigued with the worst enemies of England.

But the prisoner had more to do than to rouse the irresponsible part of his audience by his patriotic eloquence. The countenances of his judges remained as cold to him as ever, and he turned to the serious business of his defence. His quick intelligence saw that the telling point in Coke's diatribe had been the emphasis he had laid on Raleigh's intimate friendship with Cobham. He began to try and explain away this intimacy, stating what we now know was not exactly true, namely that his 'privateness' with Cobham only concerned business, in which the latter sought to make use of his experience. He dwelt on Cobham's wealth, and argued that so rich a man would not venture to conspire. All this part of the defence seems to me injudicious. Raleigh was on safer ground in making another sudden appeal to the sentiment of the court: 'As for my knowing that he had conspired all these things against Spain, for Arabella, and against the King, I protest before Almighty God I am as clear as whosoever here is freest.'

After a futile discussion as to the value of Cobham's evidence, the foreman of the jury asked a plain question: 'I desire to understand the time of Sir Walter Raleigh's first letter, and of the Lord Cobham's accusation.' Upon this Cecil spoke for the first time, spinning out a[Pg 153] long and completely unintelligible sentence which was to serve the foreman as an answer. Before the jury could recover from their bewilderment, this extraordinary trial, which proceeded like an Adventure in Wonderland, was begun once more by Coke, who started afresh with voluble denunciation of the defendant, for whom, he said, it would have been better 'to have stayed in Guiana than to be so well acquainted with the state of Spain.' Coke was still pouring out a torrent of mere abuse, when Raleigh suddenly interrupted him, and addressing the judges, claimed that Cobham should then and there be brought face to face with him. Since he had been in the Tower he had been studying the law, and he brought forward statutes of Edwards III. and IV. to support his contention that he could not be convicted on Cobham's bare accusation. The long speech he made at this point was a masterpiece of persuasive eloquence, and it is worth noting that Dudley Carleton, who was in court, wrote to a friend that though when the trial began he would have gone a hundred miles to see Raleigh hanged, when it had reached this stage he would have gone a thousand to save his life.

The judges, however, and Popham in particular, were not so moved, and Raleigh's objection to the evidence of Cobham was overruled. Coke was so far influenced by it that he now attempted to show that there was other proof against the prisoner, and tried, very awkwardly, to make the confessions of Watson and George Brooke in the 'Bye' tell against Raleigh in the 'Main.' Raleigh's unlucky statement, made at Windsor, to the effect that Cobham had offered him 10,000 crowns, and an examination in which Raleigh's friend Captain[Pg 154] Keymis admitted a private interview between Cobham and Raleigh during Count Aremberg's stay in London, were then read. In the discussion on these documents the court and the prisoner fell to actual wrangling; in the buzz of voices it was hard to tell what was said, until a certain impression was at last made by Coke, who screamed out that Raleigh 'had a Spanish heart and was a spider of hell.' This produced a lull, and thereupon followed an irrelevant dispute as to whether or no Raleigh had once had in his possession a book containing treasonable allusions to the claims of the King of Scotland. Raleigh admitted the possession of this volume, and said that Cecil gave him leave to take it out of Lord Burghley's library. He added that no book was published towards the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign that did not pass through his hands. It would be interesting to know whether he meant that he exercised a private censorship of the press, or that he bought everything that appeared. At all events, the point was allowed to drop.

Raleigh now gave his attention to the evidence which Keymis had given under threat of the rack. That this torture had been threatened, in express disobedience to the King's order, staggered some of the commissioners, and covered Sir William Waad with confusion. The eliciting of this fact seems to have brought over to Raleigh's side the most valuable and unexpected help, for, in the discussion that ensued, Cecil suddenly pleaded that Raleigh should be allowed fair play. The Attorney then brought forward the case of Arabella Stuart, and a fresh sensation was presented to the audience, who, after listening to Cecil, were sud[Pg 155]denly thrilled to hear a voice at the back of the court shout, 'The Lady doth here protest, upon her salvation, that she never dealt in any of these things.' It was the voice of the Earl of Nottingham, who had entered unperceived, and who was standing there with Arabella Stuart on his arm. Their apparition was no surprise to the judges; it had been carefully prearranged.

The trial dragged on with irrelevant production of evidence by Coke, occasional bullying by the Lord Chief Justice, and repeated appeals for fairness from Cecil, who cautiously said that 'but for his fault,' he was still Raleigh's friend. Posterity has laughed at one piece of the Attorney's evidence:

There is one Dyer, a pilot, that being in Lisbon met with a Portugal gentleman, which asked him if the King of England was crowned yet. To whom he answered, 'I think not yet, but he shall be shortly.' 'Nay,' said the Portugal, 'that shall he never be, for his throat will be cut by Don Raleigh and Don Cobham before he be crowned.'

A prosecution that calls for evidence such as this has simply broken down. The whole report of the trial is so puerile, that it can only be understood by bearing in mind that, as Mr. Gardiner says, the Government were in possession of a good deal of evidence which they could not produce in court. The King wished to spare Arabella, and to accept Aremberg's protestations with the courtesy due to an ambassador. It was therefore impossible to bring forward a letter which Cecil possessed from Cobham to Arabella, and two from Aremberg to Cobham. The difficulty was not to prove Cobham's guilt, however, but to connect Raleigh closely enough[Pg 156] with Cobham, and this Coke went on labouring to do. At last he laid a trap for Raleigh. He induced him to argue on the subject, and then Coke triumphantly drew from his pocket a long letter Cobham had written to the commissioners the day before, a letter in which Cobham disclosed all the secret correspondence Raleigh had had with him since his imprisonment, and even the picturesque story of the letter that was bound round the apple and thrown into Cobham's window in the Tower.

At the production of this document, Sir Walter Raleigh fairly lost his self-possession. He had no idea that any of these facts were in the hands of the Government. His bewilderment and dejection soon, however, left him sufficiently for him to recollect the other letter of Cobham's which he possessed. He drew it from his pocket, and, Cobham's writing being very bad, he could not, from his agitation, read it; Coke desired that it should not be produced, but Cecil interposed once more, and volunteered to read it aloud. This letter was Raleigh's last effort. He said, when Cecil had finished, 'Now, my masters, you have heard both. That showed against me is but a voluntary confession. This is under oath, and the deepest protestations a Christian man can make. Therefore believe which of these hath more force.' The jury then retired; and in a quarter of an hour returned with the verdict 'Guilty.' Raleigh had, in fact, confessed that Cobham had mentioned the plot to him, though nothing would induce him to admit that he had asked Cobham for a sum of money, or consented to take any active part. Still this was enough; and in the face of his unfortunate prevarication about the interview with Renzi, the jury could hardly act[Pg 157] otherwise. For a summing up of both sides of the vexed question what shadow of truth there was in the general accusation, the reader may be recommended to Mr. Gardiner's brilliant pages.

Raleigh had defended himself with great courage and intelligence, and the crowd in court were by no means in sympathy with the brutal and violent address in which Popham gave judgment. On the very day on which Raleigh was condemned, there began that reaction in his favour which has been proceeding ever since. When the Lord Chief Justice called the noble prisoner a traitor and an atheist, the bystanders, who after all were Englishmen, though they had met prepared to tear Raleigh limb from limb, could bear it no longer, and they hissed the judge, as a little before they had hooted Coke. To complete the strangeness of this strange trial, when sentence had been passed, Raleigh advanced quickly up the court, unprevented, and spoke to Cecil and one or two other commissioners, asking, as a favour, that the King would permit Cobham to die first. Before he was secured by the officers, he had found time for this last protest: 'Cobham is a false and cowardly accuser. He can face neither me nor death without acknowledging his falsehood.' He was then led away to gaol.

For a month Raleigh was retained at Winchester. He found a friend, almost the only one who dared to speak for him, in Lady Pembroke, the saintly sister of Sir Philip Sidney, who showed veteris vestigia flammæ, the embers of the old love Raleigh had met with from her brother's family, and sent her son, Lord Pembroke, to the King. She did little good, and Raleigh did[Pg 158] still less by a letter he now wrote to James, the first personal appeal he had made to his Majesty. It was a humble entreaty for life, begging the King to listen to the charitable advice which the English law, 'knowing her own cruelty, doth give to her superior,' to be pitiful more than just. This letter has been thought obsequious and unmanly; but it abates no jot of the author's asseverations that he was innocent of all offence, and, surely, in the very face of death a man may be excused for writing humbly to a despot. Lady Raleigh, meanwhile, was clinging about the knees of Cecil, whose demeanour during the trial had given her fresh hopes. But neither the King nor Cecil gave any sign, and in the gathering reaction in favour of Raleigh remained apparently firm for punishment. The whole body of the accused were by this time convicted, Watson and all his companions on the 16th, Raleigh on the 17th, Cobham and Gray on the 18th. On the 29th Watson and Clarke, the other priest, were executed. Next day, the Spanish ambassador pleaded for Raleigh's life, but was repulsed. The King desired the clergy who attended the surviving prisoners to prepare them rigorously for death, and the Bishop of Winchester gave Raleigh no hope. On December 6, George Brooke was executed. And now James seems to have thought that enough blood had been spilt. He would find out the truth by collecting dying confessions from culprits who, after all, should not die.

The next week was occupied with the performance of the curious burlesque which James had invented. The day after George Brooke was beheaded, the King drew up a warrant to the Sheriff of Hampshire for stay[Pg 159] of all the other executions. With this document in his bosom, he signed death-warrants for Markham, Gray, and Cobham to be beheaded on the 10th, and Raleigh on the 13th. The King told nobody of his intention, except a Scotch boy, John Gibb, who was his page at the moment. On December 10, at ten o'clock in the morning, Sir Walter Raleigh was desired to come to the window of his cell in Wolvesey Castle. The night before, he had written an affecting letter of farewell to his wife, and—such, at least, is my personal conviction from the internal evidence—the most extraordinary and most brilliant of his poems, The Pilgrimage. By this time he was sorry that he had bemeaned himself in his first paroxysm of despair, and he entreated Lady Raleigh to try to get back the letters in which he sued for his life, 'for,' he said, 'I disdain myself for begging it.' He went on:

Know it, dear wife, that your son is the child of a true man, and who, in his own respect, despiseth Death, and all his misshapen and ugly forms. I cannot write much. God knows how hardly I stole this time, when all sleep; and it is time to separate my thoughts from the world. Beg my dead body, which living was denied you; and either lay it at Sherborne, if the land continue [yours], or in Exeter Church, by my father and mother. I can write no more. Time and Death call me away.

From his window overlooking the Castle Green, Raleigh saw Markham, a very monument of melancholy, led through the steady rain to the scaffold. He saw the Sheriff presently called away, but could not see the Scotch lad who called him, who was Gibb riding in with the reprieve. He could see Markham standing[Pg 160] before the block, he could see the Sheriff return, speak in a low voice to Markham, and lead him away into Arthur's Hall and lock him up there. He could then see Grey led out, he could see his face light up with a gleam of hope, as he stealthily stirred the wet straw with his foot and perceived there was no blood there. He could see, though he could not hear, Grey's lips move in the prayer in which he made his protestation of innocence, and as he stood ready at the block, he could see the Sheriff speak to him also, and lead him away, and lock him up with Markham in Arthur's Hall. Then Raleigh, wondering more and more, so violently curious that the crowd below noticed his eager expression, could see Cobham brought out, weeping and muttering, in a lamentable disorder; he could see him praying, and when the prayer was over, he could see the Sheriff leave him to stand alone, trembling, on the scaffold, while he went to fetch Grey and Markham from their prison. Then he could see the trio, with an odd expression of hope in their faces, stand side by side a moment, to be harangued by the Sheriff, and then suddenly on his bewildered ears rang out the plaudits of the assembled crowd, all Winchester clapping its hands because the King had mercifully saved the lives of the prisoners. And still the steady rain kept falling as the Castle Green grew empty, and Raleigh at his window was left alone with his bewilderment. He was very soon told that he also was spared, and on December 16, 1603, he was taken back to the Tower of London. Such was James's curious but not altogether inhuman sketch for a burlesque.

[Pg 161]

CHAPTER VIII.

IN THE TOWER.

It is no longer possible for us to follow the personal life of Raleigh as we have hitherto been doing, step by step. In the deep monotony of confinement, twelve years passed over him without leaving any marks of months or days upon his chronicle of patience. A hopeless prisoner ceases to take any interest in the passage of time, and Raleigh's few letters from the Tower are almost all of them undated. His comfort had its vicissitudes; he was now tormented, now indulged. A whisper from the outer world would now give him back a gleam of hope, now a harsh answer would complete again the darkness of his hopelessness. He was vexed with ill-health, and yet from the age of fifty-one to that of sixty-three the inherent vigour of his constitution, and his invincible desire to live, were unabated. From all his pains and sorrows he took refuge, as so many have done before him, in the one unfailing Nepenthe, the consolatory self-forgetfulness of literature. It was in the Tower that the main bulk of his voluminous writings were produced.

He was confined in the upper story of what was called the Garden Tower, now the Bloody Tower, and not, as is so often said, in the White Tower, so that the[Pg 162] little cell with a dim arched light, the Chapel Crypt off Queen Elizabeth's Armoury, which used to be pointed out to visitors as the dungeon in which Raleigh wrote The History of the World, never, in all probability, heard the sound of his footsteps. It is a myth that he was confined at all in such a dungeon as this. According to Mr. Loftie, his apartments were those immediately above the principal gate to the Inner Ward, and had, besides a window looking westward out of the Tower, an entrance to themselves at a higher level, the level of the Lieutenant's and Constable's lodgings. They probably opened directly into a garden which has since been partly built over.

Raleigh was comfortably lodged; it was Sir William Waad's complaint that the rooms were too spacious. Lady Raleigh and her son shared them with him for a considerable time, and Sir Walter was never without three personal servants. He was poor, in comparison with his former opulent estate, but he was never in want. Sherborne just sufficed for six years to supply such needs as presented themselves to a prisoner. His personal expenses in the Tower slightly exceeded 200l., or 1,000l. of our money; there was left a narrow margin for Lady Raleigh. The months of January and February 1604 were spent in trying to make the best terms possible for his wife and son. In a letter to the Lords of the Council, Raleigh mentions that he has lost 3,000l. (or 15,000l. in Victorian money) a year by being deprived of his five main sources of income, namely the Governorship of Jersey, the Patent of the Wine Office, the Wardenship of the Stannaries, the Rangership of Gillingham Forest, and the Lieutenancy of Portland[Pg 163] Castle. He besought that he might not be reduced to utter beggary, and he did his best to retain the Duchy of Cornwall and his estates at Sherborne. The former, as he might have supposed, could not be left in the charge of a prisoner. It was given to a friend, to the Earl of Pembroke, and Raleigh showed a dangerous obstinacy in refusing to give up the Seal of the Duchy direct to the Earl; he was presently induced to resign it into Cecil's hands, and then nothing but Sherborne remained. His debts were 3,000l. His rich collections of plate and tapestry had been confiscated or stolen. If the King permitted Sherborne also to be taken, it would be impossible to meet the exorbitant charges of the Lieutenant, and under these circumstances it is only too probable that Raleigh might have been obliged to crouch in the traditional dungeon ten feet by eight feet. The retention of Sherborne, then, meant comfort and the status of a gentleman. It is therefore of the highest interest to us to see what had become of Sherborne.

We have seen that up to the date of the trial Cecil held at bay the Scottish jackals who went prowling round the rich Dorsetshire manor; and when the trial was over, Cecil, as Lady Raleigh said, 'hath been our only comfort in our lamentable misfortune.' As soon as Raleigh was condemned, commissioners hastened down to Sherborne and began to prepare the division of the prize. They sold the cattle, and began to root up the copses. They made considerable progress in dismantling the house itself. Raleigh appealed to the Lords of the Council, and Cecil sent down two trustees, who, in February 1604, put a sudden stop to all this havoc, and sent the commissioners about their business.[Pg 164] Of the latter, one was the infamous Meeres, Raleigh's former bailiff, and this fact was particularly galling to Raleigh. On July 30 in the same year, Sherborne Castle and the surrounding manors were conveyed to Sir Alexander Brett and others in trust for Lady Raleigh and her son Walter, Sir Walter nominally forfeiting the life interest in the estates which he had reserved to himself in the conveyance of 1602. On the moneys collected by these trustees Lady Raleigh supported herself and her husband also. She was not turned out of the castle at first. Twice at least in 1605 we find her there, on the second occasion causing all the armour to be scoured. Some persons afterwards considered that this act was connected with Gunpowder Plot, others maintained that it was merely due to the fact that the armour was rusty. The great point is that she was still mistress of Sherborne. Lord Justice Popham, however, as early as 1604, pronounced Raleigh's act of conveyance invalid, and in 1608 negotiations began for a 'purchase,' or rather a confiscation of Sherborne to the King. To this we shall presently return. In the meanwhile Captain Keymis acted as warden of Sherborne Castle.

As soon as the warm weather closed in, in the summer of 1604, the malaria in the Tower began to affect Raleigh's health. As he tells Cecil, now Lord Cranborne, in a most dolorous letter, he was withering in body and mind. The plague had come close to him, his son having lain a fortnight with only a paper wall between him and a woman whose child was dying of that terrible complaint. Lady Raleigh, at last, had been able to bear the terror of infection no longer, and had[Pg 165] departed with little Walter. Raleigh thereupon, in a fit of extreme dejection, 'presumed to tell their Lordships of his miserable estate, daily in danger of death by the palsy, nightly of suffocation by wasted and obstructed lungs.' He entreated to be removed to more wholesome lodgings. His prayer was not answered. Earlier in the year he had indeed enjoyed a short excursion from the Tower. At Easter the King had come to attend a bull-baiting on Tower Hill, and Raleigh was hastily removed to the Fleet prison beforehand, lest the etiquette of such occasions should oblige James, against his inclination, to give obnoxious prisoners their liberty. Raleigh was one of five persons so hurried to the Fleet on March 25: on the next day the King came, and 'caused all the prisons of the Tower to be opened, and all the persons then within them to be released.' After the bull-baiting was over, the excepted prisoners were quietly brought back again. This little change was all the variety that Raleigh enjoyed until he left for Guiana in 1617.

When it transpired in 1605 that through, as it appears, the negligence of the copying clerk, the conveyance by which Raleigh thought that he had secured Sherborne to his son was null and void, he had to suffer from a vindictive attack from his wife herself. She, poor woman, had now for nearly two years bustled hither and thither, intriguing in not always the most judicious manner for her family, but never resting, never leaving a stone unturned which might lead to their restitution. The sudden discovery that the lawyers had found a flaw in the conveyance was more than her overstrung nerves could endure, and in a fit of temper she attacked her husband, and rushed about the[Pg 166] town denouncing him. Raleigh, in deepest depression of mind and body, wrote to Cecil, who had now taken another upward step in the hierarchy of James's protean House of Lords, and who was Earl of Salisbury henceforward:

Of the true cause of my importunities, one is, that I am every second or third night in danger either of sudden death, or of the loss of my limbs or sense, being sometimes two hours without feeling or motion of my hand and whole arm. I complain not of it. I know it vain, for there is none that hath compassion thereof. The other, that I shall be made more than weary of my life by her crying and bewailing, who will return in post when she hears of your Lordship's departure, and nothing done. She hath already brought her eldest son in one hand, and her sucking child [Carew Raleigh, born in the winter of 1604] in another, crying out of her and their destruction; charging me with unnatural negligence, and that having provided for my own life, I am without sense and compassion of theirs. These torments, added to my desolate life—receiving nothing but torments, and where I should look for some comfort, together with the consideration of my cruel destiny, my days and times worn out in trouble and imprisonment—is sufficient either utterly to distract me, or to make me curse the time that ever I was born into the world, and had a being.

Things were not commonly in so bad a way as this, we may be sure. Raleigh, who did nothing by halves, was not accustomed to underrate his own misfortunes. His health was uncertain, indeed, and it was still worse in 1606; but his condition otherwise was not so deplorable as this letter would tend to prove. Poor Lady Raleigh soon recovered her equanimity, and the Lieu[Pg 167]tenant of the Tower, Sir George Harvey, indulged Raleigh in a variety of ways. He frequently invited him to his table; and finding that the prisoner was engaged in various chemical experiments, he lent him his private garden to set up his still in. In one of Raleigh's few letters of this period, we get a delightful little vignette. Raleigh is busy working in the garden, and, the pale being down, the charming young Lady Effingham, his old friend Nottingham's daughter, strolls by along the terrace on the arm of the Countess of Beaumont. The ladies lean over the paling, and watch the picturesque old magician poring over his crucibles, his face lighted up with the flames from his furnace. They fall a chatting with him, and Lady Effingham coaxes him to spare her a little of that famous balsam which he brought back from Guiana. He tells her that he has none prepared, but that he will send her some by their common friend Captain Whitlock, and presently he does so. A captivity which admitted such communications with the outer world as this, could not but have had its alleviations.

The letter quoted on the last page evidently belongs to the summer of 1605, when, for a few months, Raleigh was undoubtedly in great discomfort. On August 15, Sir George Harvey was succeeded by Sir William Waad, who had shown Raleigh great severity before his trial. He, however, although not well disposed, shrank from actually ill-treating his noble prisoner. He hinted to Lord Salisbury that he wanted the garden for his own use, and that he thought the paling an insufficient barrier between Raleigh and the world. Meanwhile Salisbury did not take the hint, and the brick wall[Pg 168] Waad wished built up was not begun. Waad evidently looked upon the chemical experiments with suspicion. 'Sir Walter Raleigh,' he wrote, 'hath converted a little hen-house in the garden into a still, where he doth spend his time all the day in his distillations.' Some of the remedies which the prisoner invented became exceedingly popular. His 'lesser cordial' of strawberry water was extensively used by ladies, and his 'great cordial,' which was understand to contain 'whatever is most choice and sovereign in the animal, vegetable, and mineral world,' continued to be a favourite panacea until the close of the century.

When, in November, Gunpowder Plot was discovered, Sir Walter Raleigh was for a moment suspected. No evidence was found inculpating him in the slightest degree; but his life was, for the moment at least, made distinctly harder. When he returned from examination, the wall which Waad had desired to put between the prisoner and the public was in course of construction. When finished it was not very formidable, for Waad complains that Raleigh was in the habit of standing upon it, in the sight of passers-by. The increased confinement in the spring of 1606 brought his ill-health to a climax. He thought he was about to suffer an apoplectic seizure, and he was allowed to take medical advice. The doctor's certificate, dated March 26, 1606, is still in existence; it describes his paralytic symptoms, and recommends that Sir Walter Raleigh should be removed from the cold lodging which he was occupying to the 'little room he hath built in the garden, and joining his still-house,' which would be warmer. This seems to have been done, and Raleigh's health improved.[Pg 169]

During the year 1606 various attempts were made to persuade the King to release Raleigh, but in vain. The Queen had made his acquaintance, and had become his friend, and there was a general hope that when her father, the King of Denmark, came over to see James in the summer, he would plead for Raleigh. There is reason to believe that if he had done so with success, he would have invited Raleigh to return with him, and to become Admiral of the Danish fleet. But matters never got so far as this. James I. had an inkling of what was coming, and he took an early opportunity of saying to Christian IV., 'Promise me that you will be no man's solicitor.' In spite of this, before he left England, Christian did ask for Raleigh's pardon, and was refused. When he had left England, and all hope was over, in September, Lady Raleigh made her way to Hampton Court, and, pushing her way into the King's presence, fell on her knees at his feet. James went by, and neither spoke nor looked at her. It must have been about this time, or a little later, that Queen Anne brought her unfortunate eldest son Henry to visit Raleigh at the Tower. Prince Henry, born in 1594, was now only twelve years of age. His intimacy with Sir Walter Raleigh belongs rather to the years 1610 to 1612.

In February 1607, Raleigh was exposed to some annoyance from Edward Cotterell, the servant who in 1603 had carried his injudicious correspondence with Lord Cobham to and fro. This man had remained in Lady Raleigh's service, and attended on her in her little house, opposite her husband's rooms, on Tower Hill. He professed to be able to give evidence against his master, but in examination before the Lord Chief[Pg 170] Justice nothing intelligible could be extracted from him. About the same time we find Raleigh, encouraged, it would appear, by the Queen, proposing to Lord Salisbury that he should be allowed to go to Guiana on an expedition for gold. It is pathetic to read the earnest phrases in which he tries to wheedle out of the cold Minister permission to set out westward once more across the ocean that he loved so much. He offers, lest he should be looked upon as a runagate, to leave his wife and children behind him as hostages; and the Queen and Lord Salisbury may have the treasure he brings back, if only he may go. He pleads how rich the land is, and how no one knows the way to it as he does. We seem to hear the very accents of another weary King of the Sea:

'Tis not too late to seek a newer world;
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars until I die.

Such was Raleigh's purpose; but it was not that of James and of Salisbury. On the contrary, he was kept a faster prisoner. In July 1607, fresh regulations came into force in the Tower, by which at 5 p.m. Raleigh and his servants had to retire to their own apartments, and Lady Raleigh go back to her house, nor were guests any longer to be admitted in the evening. Lady Raleigh had particularly offended Sir William Waad by driving into the Tower in her coach. She was informed that she must do so no more. It was probably these long quiet evenings which specially predisposed Raleigh[Pg 171] to literary composition. He borrowed books, mainly of an historical character, in all directions. A letter to Sir Robert Cotton is extant in which he desires the loan of no less than thirteen obscure and bulky historians, and we may imagine his silent evenings spent in poring over the precious manuscripts of the Annals of Tewkesbury and the Chronicle of Evesham. In this year young Walter Raleigh, now fourteen years of age, proceeded to Oxford, and matriculated at Corpus on October 30, 1607. His tutors were a certain Hooker, and the brilliant young theologian, Dr. Daniel Featley, afterwards to be famous as a controversial divine. Throughout the year 1608, Raleigh, buried in his History, makes no sign to us.

Early in 1609, the uncertain tenure of Sherborne, which had vexed Raleigh so much that he declared himself ready to part with the estate in exchange for the pleasure of never hearing of it again, once more came definitely before the notice of the Government. A proposition had been made to Raleigh to sell his right in it to the King, but he had refused; he said that it belonged to his wife and child, and that 'those that never had a fee-simple could not grant a fee-simple.' About Christmas 1608 Lady Raleigh brought the matter up again, and leading her sons by the hand she appeared in the Presence Chamber, and besought James to give them a new conveyance, with no flaw in it. But the King had determined to seize Sherborne, and he told her, 'I maun hae the lond, I maun hae it for Carr.' It is said that, losing all patience, Elizabeth Raleigh started to her feet, and implored God to punish this robbery of her household. Sir Walter was more[Pg 172] politic, and on January 2, 1609, he wrote a letter to the favourite, imploring him not to covet Sherborne. It is to be regretted that Raleigh, whose opinion of James's minions was not on private occasions concealed, should write to Carr of all people in England as 'one whom I know not, but by an honourable fame;' and that the eloquence of his appeal should be thrown away on such a recipient. 'For yourself, Sir,' he says, 'seeing your day is but now in the dawn, and mine come to the evening, your own virtues and the King's grace assuring you of many good fortunes and much honour, I beseech you not to begin your first building upon the ruins of the innocent; and that their griefs and sorrows do not attend your first plantation.' Carr, of course, took no notice whatever, and on the 10th of the same month the estates at Sherborne were bestowed on him. At Prince Henry's request the King presently purchased them back again, and gave them to his son, who soon after died. Mr. Edwards has discovered that Sherborne passed through eight successive changes of ownership before 1617. To Lady Raleigh and her children the King gave 8,000l. as purchase-money of the life security in Sherborne. The interest on this sum was very irregularly paid, and the Guiana voyage in 1617 swallowed up most of the principal. Thus the vast and princely fortune of Raleigh melted away like a drift of snow.

In the summer of 1611, Raleigh came into collision with Lord Salisbury and Lord Northampton on some matter at present obscure. Northampton writes: 'We had afterwards a bout with Sir Walter Raleigh, in whom we find no change, but the same blindness, pride,[Pg 173] and passion that heretofore hath wrought more violently, but never expressed itself in a stranger fashion.' In consequence of their interview with Raleigh and other prisoners, the Lords recommended that 'the lawless liberty' of the Tower should no longer be allowed to cocker and foster exorbitant hopes in the braver sort of captives. Raleigh was immediately placed under closer restraint, not even being allowed to take his customary walk with his keeper up the hill within the Tower. His private garden and gallery were taken from him, and his wife was almost entirely excluded from his company. The final months of Salisbury's life were unfavourable to Raleigh, and there was no quickening of the old friendship at the last. When Lord Salisbury died on May 24, 1612, Raleigh wrote this epigram:

Here lies Hobinall our pastor whilere,
That once in a quarter our fleeces did sheer;
To please us, his cur he kept under clog,
And was ever after both shepherd and dog;
For oblation to Pan, his custom was thus,
He first gave a trifle, then offered up us;
And through his false worship such power he did gain,
As kept him on the mountain, and us on the plain.

When these lines were shown to James I. he said he hoped that the man who wrote them would die before he did.

The death of Salisbury encouraged Raleigh once more. His intimacy with the generous and promising Prince of Wales had quickened his hopes. During the last months of his life, Henry continually appealed to Raleigh for advice. The Prince was exceedingly interested in all matters of navigation and shipbuilding,[Pg 174] and there exists a letter to him from Raleigh giving him elaborate counsel on the building of a man-of-war, from which we may learn that in the opinion of that practised hand six things were chiefly required in a well-conditioned ship of the period: '1, that she be strong built; 2, swift in sail; 3, stout-sided; 4, that her ports be so laid, as she may carry out her guns all weathers; 5, that she hull and try well; 6, that she stay well, when boarding or turning on a wind is required.' Secure in the interest of the Prince of Wales, and hoping to persuade the Queen to be an adventurer, Raleigh seized the opportunity of the death of Salisbury to communicate his plans for an expedition to Guiana to the Lords of the Council. He thought he had induced them to promise that Captain Keymis should go, and that if so much as half a ton of gold was brought back, that should buy Raleigh his liberty. But the negotiations fell through, and Keymis stayed at home.

In September 1612, Raleigh was writing the second of his Marriage Discourses, that dealing with the prospects of his best and youngest friend. A month later that friend fell a victim to his extreme rashness in the neglect of his health. The illness of the Prince of Wales filled the whole of England with dismay, and when, on November 6, he sank under the attack of typhoid fever, it was felt to be a national misfortune. On the very morning of his death the Queen sent to Raleigh for his famous cordial, and it was forwarded, with the message that if it was not poison that the Prince was dying of, it must save him. The Queen herself believed that Raleigh's cordial had once saved her life; on the other hand, in the preceding August[Pg 175] his medicines were vulgarly supposed to have hastened the death of Sir Philip Sidney's daughter, the Countess of Rutland. The cordial soothed the Prince's last agony, and that was all. Henry had with great difficulty obtained from his father the promise that, as a personal favour to himself, Raleigh should be set at liberty at Christmas 1612. He died six weeks too soon, and the King contrived to forget his promise. The feeling of the Prince of Wales towards Raleigh was expressed in a phrase that was often repeated, 'No man but my father would keep such a bird in a cage.'

We learn from Izaak Walton that Ben Jonson was recommended to Raleigh while he was in the Tower, by Camden. That he helped him in obtaining and arranging material for the History of the World is certain. In 1613 young Walter Raleigh, having returned to London, and having, in the month of April, killed his man in a duel, went abroad under the charge of Jonson. They took letters for Prince Maurice of Nassau, and they proceeded to Paris, but we know no more. It was probably before they started that young Walter wheeled the corpulent poet of the Alchemist into his father's presence in a barrow, Ben Jonson being utterly overwhelmed with a beaker of that famed canary that he loved too well. Jonson, on his return from abroad, seems to have superintended the publication of the History of the World in 1614. A fine copy of verses, printed opposite the frontispiece of that volume, was reprinted among the pieces called Underwoods in the 1641 folio of Ben Jonson's Works. These lines have, therefore, ever since been attributed to that poet, but, as it appears to me, rashly. In the[Pg 176] first place, this volume was posthumous; in the second, for no less than twenty-three years Ben Jonson allowed the verses to appear as Raleigh's without protest; in the third, where they differ from the earlier version it is always to their poetical disadvantage. They were found, as the editor of 1641 says, amongst Jonson's papers, and I would suggest, as a new hypothesis, that the less polished draft in the Underwoods is entirely Raleigh's, having been copied by Jonson verbatim when he was preparing the History of the World for the press, and that the improved expressions in the latter were adopted by Raleigh on suggestion from the superior judgment of Jonson. The character of the verse is peculiarly that of Raleigh.

It was in 1607, as I have conjectured, that Raleigh first began seriously to collect and arrange materials for the History of the World; in 1614 he presented the first and only volume of this gigantic enterprise to the public. It was a folio of 1,354 pages, printed very closely, and if reprinted now would fill about thirty-five such volumes as are devised for an ordinary modern novel. Yet it brought the history of the world no lower down than the conquest of Macedon by Rome, and it is hard to conceive how soon, at this rate of production, Raleigh would have reached his own generation. He is said to have anticipated that his book would need to consist of not less than four such folios. In the opening lines he expresses some consciousness of the fact that it was late in life for him, a prisoner of State condemned to death at the King's pleasure, to undertake so vast a literary adventure. 'Had it been begotten,' he confesses, 'with my first dawn of day, when the light of common know[Pg 177]ledge began to open itself to my younger years, and before any wound received either from fortune or time, I might yet well have doubted that the darkness of age and death would have covered over both it and me, long before the performance.' It is greatly to be desired that Raleigh could have been as well advised as his contemporary and possible friend, the Huguenot poet-soldier, Agrippa d'Aubigné, who at the close of a chequered career also prepared a Histoire Universelle, in which he simply told the story of his own political party in France through those stormy years in which he himself had been an actor. We would gladly exchange all these chronicles of Semiramis and Jehoshaphat for a plain statement of what Raleigh witnessed in the England of Elizabeth.

The student of Raleigh does not, therefore, rise from an examination of his author's chief contribution to literature without a severe sense of disappointment. The book is brilliant almost without a rival in its best passages, but these are comparatively few, and they are divided from one another by tracts of pathless desert. The narrative sometimes descends into a mere slough of barbarous names, a marish of fabulous genealogy, in which the lightest attention must take wings to be supported at all. For instance, the geographical and historical account of the Ten Tribes occupies a space equivalent to a modern octavo volume of at least four hundred pages, through which, if the conscientious reader would pass 'treading the crude consistence' of the matter, 'behoves him now both sail and oar.' It is not fair to dwell upon the eminent beauties of the History of the World without at the same time acknow[Pg 178]ledging that the book almost wilfully deprives itself of legitimate value and true human interest by the remoteness of the period which it describes, and by the tiresome pedantry of its method. It is leisurely to the last excess. The first chapter, of seven long sections, takes us but to the close of the Creation. We cannot proceed without knowing what it is that Tostatus affirms of the empyrean heavens, and whether, with Strabo, we may dare assume that they are filled with angels. To hasten onwards would be impossible, so long as one of the errors of Steuchius Eugubinus remains unconfuted; and even then it is well to pause until we know the opinions of Orpheus and Zoroaster on the matter in hand. One whole chapter of four sections is dedicated to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the arguments of Goropius Becanus are minutely tested and found wanting. Goropius Becanus, whom Raleigh is never tired of shaking between his critical teeth, was a learned Jesuit of Antwerp, who proved that Adam and Eve spoke Dutch in Paradise. It is not until he reaches the Patriarchs that it begins to occur to the historian that at his present rate of progress it will need forty folio volumes, and not four, to complete his labours. From this point he hastens a little, as the compilers of encyclopædias do when they have passed the letter B.

With all this, the History of the World is a charming and delightful miscellany, if we do not accept it too seriously. Often for a score of pages there will be something brilliant, something memorable on every leaf, and there is not a chapter, however arid, without its fine things somewhere. It is impossible to tell where Raleigh's pen will take fire. He is most exquisite and[Pg 179] fanciful where his subject is most unhopeful, and, on the other hand, he is likely to disappoint us where we take for granted that he will be fine. For example, the series of sections on the Terrestrial Paradise are singularly crabbed and dusty in their display of Rabbinical pedantry, and the little touch in praise of Guiana is almost the only one that redeems the general dryness. It is not mirth, or beauty, or luxury that fires the historian, but death. Of mortality he has always some rich sententious thing to say, praising 'the workmanship of death, that finishes the sorrowful business of a wretched life.' So the most celebrated passages of the whole book, and perhaps the finest, are the address to God which opens the History, and the prose hymn in praise of death which closes it. The entire absence of humour is characteristic, and adds to the difficulty of reading the book straight on. The story of Periander's burning the clothes of the women closes with a jest; there is, perhaps, no other occasion on which the solemn historian is detected with a smile upon his lips.

By far the most interesting and readable, part of the History of the World is its preface. This is a book in itself, and one in which the author condescends to a lively human interest. We cheerfully pass from Elihu the Buzite, and the conjectures of Adricomius respecting the family of Ram, to the actualities of English and Continental history in the generation immediately preceding that in which Raleigh was writing. When we consider the position in which the author stood towards James I. and turn to the pages of his Preface, we refuse to believe that it was without design that he expressed himself in language so extraordinary. It would have[Pg 180] been mere levity for a friendless prisoner, ready for the block, to publish this terrible arraignment of the crimes of tyrant kings, unless he had some reason for believing that he could shelter himself successfully under a powerful sympathy. This sympathy, in the case of Sir Walter Raleigh, could be none other than that of Prince Henry; and it may well have been in the summer of 1612, when, as we know, he was particularly intimate with the Prince and busied in his affairs, that he wrote the Preface. With long isolation from the world, he had lost touch of public affairs, as The Prerogative of Parliament would alone be sufficient to show. It is probable that he exaggerated the influence of the young Prince, and estimated too highly the promise of liberty which he had wrung from his father.

It took James some time to discover that this grave Rabbinical miscellany, inspired by Siracides and Goropius Becanus, was not wholesome reading for his subjects. On January 5, 1615, after the book had been selling slowly, the King gave an order commanding the suppression of the remainder of the edition, giving as his reason that 'it is too saucy in censuring the acts of kings.' It is said that some favoured person at Court pushed inquiry further, and extracted from James the explanation that the censure of Henry VIII. was the real cause of the suppression. Contemporary anecdote, however, has reported that the defamation of the Tudors in the Preface to the History of the World might have passed without reproof, if the King had not discovered in the very body of the book several passages so ambiguously worded that he could not but suspect the writer of intentional satire. According to this story, he[Pg 181] was startled at Raleigh's account of Naboth's Vineyard, and scandalised at the description of the impeachment of the Admiral of France; but what finally drew him up, and made him decide that the book must perish, was the character of King Ninias, son of Queen Semiramis. This passage, then, may serve us as an example of the History of the World:

Ninus being the first whom the madness of boundless dominion transported, invaded his neighbour princes, and became victorious over them; a man violent, insolent, and cruel. Semiramis taking the opportunity, and being more proud, adventurous, and ambitious than her paramour, enlarged the Babylonian empire, and beautified many places therein with buildings unexampled. But her son having changed nature and condition with his mother, proved no less feminine than she was masculine. And as wounds and wrongs, by their continual smart, put the patient in mind how to cure the one and revenge the other, so those kings adjoining (whose subjection and calamities incident were but new, and therefore the more grievous) could not sleep, when the advantage was offered by such a successor. For in regno Babylonico hic parum resplenduit: 'This king shined little,' saith Nauclerus of Ninias, 'in the Babylonian kingdom.' And likely it is, that the necks of mortal men having been never before galled with the yoke of foreign dominion, nor having ever had experience of that most miserable and detested condition of living in slavery; no long descent having as yet invested the Assyrian with a right, nor any other title being for him pretended than a strong hand; the foolish and effeminate son of a tyrannous and hated mother could very ill hold so many great princes and nations his vassals, with a power less mastering, and a mind less industrious, than his father and mother had used before him.

[Pg 182]

It is in passages like this, where we read the satire between the lines, and in those occasional fragments of autobiography to which we have already referred in the course of this narrative, that the secondary charm of the History of the World resides. It is to these that we turn when we have exhausted our first surprise and delight at the great bursts of poetic eloquence, the long sonorous sentences which break like waves on the shore, when the spirit of the historian is roused by some occasional tempest of reflection. In either case, the book is essentially one to glean from, not to read with consecutive patience. Real historical philosophy is absolutely wanting. The author strives to seem impartial by introducing, in the midst of an account of the slaughter of the Amalekites, a chapter on 'The Instauration of Civility in Europe, and of Prometheus and Atlas;' but his general notions of history are found to be as rude as his comparative mythology. He scarcely attempts to sift evidence, and next to Inspiration he knows no guide more trustworthy than Pintus or Haytonus, a Talmudic rabbi or a Jesuit father. In the midst of his disquisitions, the reward of the continuous reader is to come suddenly upon an unexpected 'as I myself have seen in America,' or 'as once befell me also in Ireland.'

Another historical work, the Breviary of the History of England, has been claimed for Sir Walter Raleigh. This book was first published in 1692, from a manuscript in the possession of Archbishop Sancroft, and, as it would appear, in Raleigh's handwriting. Before its publication, however, the Archbishop had noted that 'Samuel Daniel hath inserted into his History of England [1618], almost word for word, both the Introduction and[Pg 183] the Life; whence it is that you have sometimes in the margin of my copy a various reading with "D" after it.' Daniel, a gentle and subservient creature, was the friend of Camden, and a paid servant of Queen Anne, during Raleigh's imprisonment. He died a few months after Raleigh's execution. It is very likely that he was useful to Raleigh in collecting notes and other material. It may even have been his work for the interesting prisoner in the Tower that caused Jonson's jealous dislike of Daniel. The younger poet's own account, as Mr. Edwards pointed out, by no means precludes the supposition that he used material put together by another hand. At the same time Sancroft's authority cannot be considered final as regards Raleigh's authorship of the Breviary, for the manuscript did not come into his hands until nineteen years after Raleigh's death.

No such doubt attaches to the very curious and interesting volume published nominally at Middelburg in 1628, and entitled The Prerogative of Parliament. This takes the form of a dialogue between a Counsellor of State and a Justice of the Peace. The dramatic propriety is but poorly sustained, and presently the Justice becomes Raleigh, speaking in his own person. The book was written in the summer of 1615, a few months after the suppression of the History of the World, and by a curious misconstruction of motive was intended to remove from the King's mind the unpleasant impression caused by those parables of Ahab and of Ninias. It had, however, as we shall see, the very opposite result. The preface to the King expresses an almost servile desire to please: 'it would be more dog-[Pg 184]like than man-like to bite the stone that struck me, to wit the borrowed authority of my sovereign misinformed.' But Raleigh was curiously misinformed himself regarding the ways and wishes of James. His dialogue takes for its starting-point the trial of Oliver St. John, who had been Raleigh's fellow-prisoner in the Tower since April for having with unreasonable brutality protested against the enforced payment of what was called the Benevolence, a supposed free-will offering to the purse of the King. So ignorant was Raleigh of what was going on in England, that he fancied James to be unaware of the tricks of his ministers; and the argument of The Prerogative of Parliament is to encourage the King to cast aside his evil counsellors, and come face to face with his loyal people. The student of Mr. Gardiner's account of the Benevolence will smile to think of the rage with which the King must have received Raleigh's proffered good advice, and of Raleigh's stupefaction at learning that his well-meant volume was forbidden to be printed. His manuscript, prepared for the press, still remains among the State Papers, and it was not until ten years after his death that it was first timidly issued under the imprints of Middelburg and of Hamburg.

Not the least of Raleigh's chagrins in the Tower must have been the composition of works which he was unable to publish. It is probable that several of these are still unknown to the world; many were certainly destroyed, some may still be in existence. During the thirty years which succeeded his execution, there was a considerable demand for scraps of Raleigh's writing on the part of men who were leaning to the Liberal side.[Pg 185] John Hampden was a collector of Raleigh's manuscripts, and he is possibly the friend who bequeathed to Milton the manuscript of The Cabinet Council, an important political work of Raleigh's which the great Puritan poet gave to the world in 1658. At that time Milton had had the treatise 'many years in my hands, and finding it lately by chance among other books and papers, upon reading thereof I thought it a kind of injury to withhold longer the work of so eminent an author from the public.' The Cabinet Council is a study in the manner of Macchiavelli. It treats of the arts of empire and mysteries of State-craft, mainly with regard to the duties of monarchy. It is remarkable for the extraordinary richness of allusive extracts from the Roman classics, almost every maxim being immediately followed by an apt Latin example. At the end of the twenty-fourth chapter the author wakes up to the tedious character of this manner of instruction, and the rest of the book is illustrated by historical instances in the English tongue. The book closes with an exhortation to the reader, who could be no other than Prince Henry, to emulate the conduct of Amurath, King of Turbay, who abandoned worldly glory to embrace a retired life of contemplation. The Cabinet Council must be regarded as a text-book of State-craft, intended in usum Delphini.

Probably earlier in date, and certainly more elegant in literary form, is the treatise entitled A Discourse of War. This may be recommended to the modern reader as the most generally pleasing of Raleigh's prose compositions, and the one in which, owing to its modest limits, the peculiarities of his style may be most[Pg 186] conveniently studied. The last passage of the little book forms one of the most charming pages of the literature of that time, and closes with a pathetic and dignified statement of Raleigh's own attitude towards war. 'It would be an unspeakable advantage, both to the public and private, if men would consider that great truth, that no man is wise or safe but he that is honest. All I have designed is peace to my country; and may England enjoy that blessing when I shall have no more proportion in it than what my ashes make.' There is no reason to doubt the sincerity of these words; yet we must not forget that this pacific light was not that in which Raleigh's character had presented itself to Robert Cecil or to Elizabeth.

None of Raleigh's biographers have suggested any employment for his leisure during the year which followed his release from the Tower. Yet the expressions he used in the preface to his Observations on Trade and Commerce show that it must have been prepared during the year 1616 or 1617: 'about fourteen or fifteen years past,' that is to say in 1602, 'I presented you,' he says to the King, 'a book of extraordinary importance.' He complains that this earlier book was suppressed, and hopes for better luck; but the same misfortune, as usual with Raleigh, attended the Observations. That treatise was an impassioned plea, based upon a survey of the commercial condition of the world, in favour of free trade. Raleigh looked with grave suspicion on the various duties which were levied, in increasing amount, on foreign goods entering this country, and he entreated James I. to allow him to nominate commissioners to examine into the causes of[Pg 187] the depression of trade, and to revise the tariffs on a liberal basis. It must have seemed to the King that Raleigh wilfully opposed every royal scheme which he examined. James had been a protectionist all through his reign, and at this very moment was busy in attempting to force the native industries to flourish in spite of foreign competition. Raleigh's treatise must have been put into the King's hands much about the time at which his violent protectionism was threatening to draw England into war with Holland. Raleigh's advice seems to us wise and pointed, but to James it can only have appeared wilfully wrong-headed. The Observations upon Trade disappeared as so many of Raleigh's manuscripts had disappeared before it, and was only first published in the Remains[10] of 1651.

Of the last three years of Raleigh's imprisonment in the Tower we know scarcely anything. On September 27, 1615, a fellow-prisoner in whom Raleigh could not fail to take an interest, Lady Arabella Stuart, died in the Tower. In December, Raleigh was deprived, by an order in Council, of Arabella's rich collection of pearls, but how they had come into his possession we cannot guess. Nor can we date the stroke of apoplexy from which Raleigh suffered about this time. But relief was now briefly coming. Two of Raleigh's worst enemies, Northampton and Somerset, were removed, and in their successors, Winwood and Villiers, Raleigh found listeners more favourable to his projects. It has been said that he owed his release to bribery, but Mr. Gardiner thinks it needless to suppose this. Winwood was as cordial a[Pg 188] hater of Spain as Raleigh himself; and Villiers, in his political animus against the Somerset faction, would need no bribery. Sir William St. John was active in bringing Raleigh's claims before the Court, and the Queen, as ever, used what slender influence she possessed. Urged on so many sides, James gave way, and on January 30, 1616, signed a warrant for Raleigh's release from the Tower. He was to live in his own house, but, with a keeper; he was not to presume to visit the Court, or the Queen's apartments, nor go to any public assemblies whatever, and his whole attention was to be given to making due preparations for the intended voyage to Guiana. This warrant, although Raleigh used it to leave his confinement, was only provisional; and was confirmed by a minute of the Privy Council on March 19. Raleigh took a house in Broad Street, where he spent fourteen months in discreet retirement, and then sailed on his last voyage.

[Pg 189]

CHAPTER IX.

THE SECOND VOYAGE TO GUIANA.

Raleigh had been released from the Tower expressly on the understanding that he should make direct preparations for a voyage to Guiana. The object of this voyage was to enrich King James with the produce of a mine close to the banks of the Orinoco. In the reign of Elizabeth, Raleigh had stoutly contended that the natives of Guiana had ceded all sovereignty in that country to England in 1595, and that English colonists therefore had no one's leave to ask there. But times had changed, and he now no longer pretended that he had a right to the Orinoco; he was careful to insist that his expedition would infringe no privileges of Spain. He was anxious by every diplomatic subtlety to avoid failure, and for the first few months he kept extremely quiet. He had called in the 8,000l. which had been lying at interest ever since he had received it as part of the compensation for the Sherborne estates. Lady Raleigh had raised 2,500l. by the sale of some lands at Mitcham.[11] 5000l. more were brought together by various expedients, some being borrowed in Amsterdam through the famous[Pg 190] merchant, Pieter Vanlore,' and 15,000l. were contributed by Raleigh's friends, who looked upon his enterprise much as men at the present day would regard a promising but rather hazardous investment.

His first business was to build one large ship of 440 tons in the Thames. This he named the 'Destiny,' and he received no check in fitting her up to his desire; the King paid 700 crowns, as the usual statutable bounty on shipbuilding, without objection. At the same time Raleigh built or collected six other smaller vessels, and furnished them all with ordnance. The preparation of such a fleet in the Thames could not pass unobserved by the representatives of the foreign courts, and during the last six months of 1616 Raleigh's name became the centre of a tangle of diplomatic intrigue, and one which frequently occurs in the correspondence of Sarmiento, better known afterwards as Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, and in that of Des Marêts, the French ambassador. Mr. Edwards has remarked, with complete justice, that the last two years of Raleigh's life were simply 'a protracted death-struggle between him and Gondomar.' The latter had been in England since 1613, and had acquired a singular art in dealing with the purposes of James I. At the English Court during 1616 we find Spain watching France, and Venice watching Savoy, all of them intent on Raleigh's movements in the river. For the unravelment of these intrigues in detail, the reader must be referred to Mr. Gardiner's masterly pages.

On August 26, a royal commission was issued, by which Raleigh was made the commander of an expedition to Guiana, under express orders, more stringently[Pg 191] expressed than usual, not to visit the dominions of any Christian prince. This was to allay the alarm of the Spanish ambassador, who from the first rumour of Raleigh's voyage had not ceased to declare that its real object was piracy, and probably the capture of the Mexican plate fleet. At the same time James I. allowed Gondomar to obtain possession of copies of certain documents which Raleigh had drawn out at the royal command describing his intended route, and these were at once forwarded to Madrid, together with such information as Gondomar had been able to glean in conversation with Raleigh. Spain instantly replied by offering him an escort to his gold mine and back, but of course Raleigh declined the proposition. He continued to assert that he had no piratical intention, and that any man might peacefully enter Guiana without asking leave of Spain.

It is doubtful whether the anecdote is true which records that Raleigh at this time applied to Bacon to know whether the terms of his commission were tantamount to a free pardon, and was told that they were. But it rests on much better testimony that Bacon asked him what he would do if the Guiana mine proved a deception. Raleigh admitted that he would then look out for the Mexican plate fleet. 'But then you will be pirates,' said Bacon; and Raleigh answered, 'Ah, who ever heard of men being pirates for millions?' There was no exaggeration in this; the Mexican fleet of that year was valued at two millions and a half. The astute Gondomar was at least half certain that this was Raleigh's real intention, and by October 12 he had persuaded James to give him still more full security that[Pg 192] no injury should be done, at the peril of Raleigh's life, to any subject or property of the King of Spain.

The building of the 'Destiny' meanwhile proceeded, and Raleigh received many important visitors on board her. He was protected by the cordial favour of the Secretary, Sir Ralph Winwood; and if the King disliked him as much as ever, no animosity was shown. In the first days of 1617, Raleigh ventured upon a daring act of intrigue. He determined to work upon the growing sympathy of the English Court with Savoy and its tension with Spain, to strike a blow against the rich enemy of the one and ally of the other, Genoa. He proposed to Scarnafissi, the Savoyard envoy in London, that James I. should be induced to allow the Guiana expedition to steal into the Mediterranean, and seize Genoa for Savoy. Scarnafissi laid the proposal before James, and on January 12 it was discussed in the presence of Winwood. There was talk of increasing Raleigh's fleet for this purpose by the addition of a squadron of sixteen ships from the royal navy. For a fortnight the idea was discussed in secret; but on the 26th, Scarnafissi was told that the King had determined not to adopt it. Four days later Raleigh was released from the personal attendance of a keeper, and though still not pardoned, was pronounced free. On February 10, the Venetian envoy, who had been taken into Scarnafissi's counsel, announced to his Government that the King had finally determined to keep Raleigh to his original intention.

Raleigh was next assailed by secret propositions from France. Through the month of February various Frenchmen visited him on the 'Destiny,' besides the ambassador, Des Marêts. He was nearly persuaded, in[Pg 193] defiance of James, to support the projected Huguenot rebellion by capturing St. Valéry. To find out the truth regarding his intention, Des Marêts paid at least one visit to the 'Destiny,' and on March 7 gave his Government an account of a conversation with Raleigh, in which the latter had spoken bitterly of James, and had asserted his affection for France, and desire to serve her. It is in the correspondence of Des Marêts that the names of Raleigh and Richelieu become for a moment connected; it was in February 1617 that the future Cardinal described his English contemporary as 'Ouastre Raly, grand marinier et mauvais capitaine.' In March the English Government, to allay fresh apprehensions on the part of Spain, forwarded by Gondomar most implicit assertions that Raleigh's expedition should be in no way injurious to Spain. And so it finally started after all, not bound for Mexico, or Genoa, or St. Valéry, but for the Orinoco. Up to the last, Gondomar protested, and his protestations were only put aside after a special council of March 28. Next day Raleigh rode down to Dover to go on board the 'Destiny,' which had left the Thames on the 26th.

His fleet of seven vessels was not well manned. His own account of the crews is thus worded in the Apology: 'A company of volunteers who for the most part had neither seen the sea nor the wars; who, some forty gentlemen excepted, were the very scum of the world, drunkards, blasphemers, and such others as their fathers, brothers, and friends thought it an exceeding good gain to be discharged of, with the hazard of some thirty, forty, or fifty pound.' He was himself Admiral, with his son Walter as captain of the 'Destiny;' Sir[Pg 194] William Sentleger was on the 'Thunder;' a certain John Bailey commanded the 'Husband.' The remaining vessels were the 'Jason,' the 'Encounter,' the 'Flying Joan,' and the 'Page.' The master of the 'Destiny' was John Burwick, 'a hypocritical thief.' Various tiresome delays occurred. They waited for the 'Thunder' at the Isle of Wight; and when the rest went on to Plymouth, the 'Jason' stayed behind ignominiously in Portsmouth because her captain had no ready money to pay a distraining baker. The 'Husband' was in the same plight for twelve days more. The squadron was, however, increased by seven additional vessels, one of them commanded by Keymis, through the enforced waiting at Plymouth, where, on May 3, Raleigh issued his famous Orders to the Fleet. On June 12 the fleet sailed at last out of Plymouth Sound.

West of Scilly they fell in with a terrific storm, which scattered the ships in various directions. Some put back into Falmouth, but the 'Flying Joan' sank altogether, and the fly-boat was driven up the Bristol Channel. After nearly a fortnight of anxiety and distress, the fleet collected again in Cork Harbour, where they lay repairing and waiting for a favourable wind for more than six weeks. From the Lismore Papers, just published (Jan. 1886), we learn that Raleigh occupied this enforced leisure in getting rid of his remaining Irish leases, and in collecting as much money as he could. Sir Richard Boyle records that on July 1 Raleigh came to his house, and borrowed 100l. On August 19 the last Journal begins, and on the 20th the fleet left Cork, Raleigh having taken a share in a mine at Balligara on the morning of the same day. Nothing[Pg 195] happened until the 31st, when, being off Cape St. Vincent, the English fleet fell in with four French vessels laden with fish and train oil for Seville. In order that they might not give notice that Raleigh was in those waters, where he certainly had no business to be, he took these vessels with him a thousand leagues to the southward, and then dismissed them with payment. His conduct towards these French boats was suspicious, and he afterwards tried to prove that they were pirates who had harried the Grand Canary. It was also Raleigh's contention, that the enmity presently shown him by Captain Bailey, of the 'Husband,' arose from Raleigh's refusal to let him make one of these French ships his prize.

On Sunday morning, September 7, the English fleet anchored off the shore of Lanzarote, the most easterly of the Canaries, having hitherto crept down the coast of Africa. These Atlantic islands were particularly open to the attacks of Algerine corsairs, and a fleet of 'Turks' had just ravaged the towns of the Madeiras. The people of Lanzarote, waking up one morning to find their roadstead full of strange vessels, took for granted that these were pirates from Algiers. One English merchant vessel was lying there at anchor, and by means of this interpreter Raleigh endeavoured to explain his peaceful intention, but without success. He had a meeting on shore with the governor of the island, 'our troops staying at equal distance with us,' and was asked the pertinent question, 'what I sought for from that miserable and barren island, peopled in effect all with Moriscos.' Raleigh asserted that all he wanted was fresh meat and wine for his crews, and these he offered to pay for.

On the 11th, finding that no provisions came, and[Pg 196] that the inhabitants were carrying their goods up into the hills, the captains begged Raleigh to march inland and take the town; 'but,' he says, 'besides that I knew it would offend his Majesty, I am sure the poor English merchant should have been ruined, whose goods he had in his hands, and the way being mountainous and most extreme stony, I knew that I must have lost twenty good men in taking a town not worth two groats.' The Governor of Lanzarote continued to be in a craven state of anxiety, and would not hear of trading. We cannot blame him, especially when we find that less than eight months later his island was invaded by genuine Algerine bandits, his town utterly sacked, and 900 Christians taken off into Moslem slavery. After three Englishmen had been killed by the islanders, yet without taking any reprisals, Raleigh sailed away from these sandy and inhospitable shores. But in the night before he left, one of his ships, the 'Husband,' had disappeared. Captain Bailey, who is believed to have been in the pay of Gondomar, had hurried back to England to give report of Raleigh's piratical attack on an island belonging to the dominion of Spain. As the great Englishman went sailing westward through the lustrous waters of the Canary archipelago, his doom was sealed, and he would have felt his execution to be a certainty, had he but known what was happening in England.

He called at Grand Canary, to complain of the Lanzarote people to the governor-general of the islands, but, for some reason which he does not state, did not land at the town of Palmas, but at a desert part, far from any village, probably west of the northern extremity of the island. The governor-general gave him no answer;[Pg 197] but the men found a little water, and they sailed away, leaving Teneriffe to the north. On September 18 they put into the excellent port of the island of Gomera, 'the best,' he says, 'in all the Canaries, the town and castle standing on the very breach of the sea, but the billows do so tumble and overfall that it is impossible to land upon any part of the strand but by swimming, saving in a cove under steep rocks, where they can pass towards the town but one after the other.' Here, as at Lanzarote, they were taken for Algerines, and the guns on the rocks began to fire at them. Raleigh, however, immediately sent a messenger on shore to explain that they were not come to sack their town and burn their churches, as the Dutch had done in 1599, but that they were in great need of water. They presently came to an agreement that the islanders should quit their trenches round the landing-place, and that Raleigh should promise on the faith of a Christian not to land more than thirty unarmed sailors, to fill their casks at springs within pistol-shot of the wash of the sea, none of these sailors being permitted to enter any house or garden. Raleigh, therefore, sent six of his seamen, and turned his ships broadside to the town, ready to batter it with culverin if he saw one sign of treachery.

It turned out that when the Governor of Gomera knew who his visitors were, he was as pleased as possible to see them. His wife's mother had been a Stafford, and when Raleigh knew that, he sent his countrywoman a present of six embroidered handkerchiefs and six pairs of gloves, with a very handsome message. To this the lady rejoined that she regretted that her barren island contained nothing worth Raleigh's acceptance, yet sent[Pg 198] him 'four very great loaves of sugar,' with baskets of lemons, oranges, pomegranates, figs, and most delicate grapes. During the three days that they rode off Gomera, the Governor and his English lady wrote daily to Sir Walter. In return for the fruit, deeming himself much in her debt, he sent on shore a very courteous letter, and with it two ounces of ambergriece, an ounce of the essence of amber, a great glass of fine rose-water, an excellent picture of Mary Magdalen, and a cut-work ruff. Here he expected courtesies to stay, but the lady must positively have the last word, and as the English ships were starting her servants came on board with yet a letter, accompanying a basket of delicate white manchett bread, more clusters of fruits, and twenty-four fat hens. Meanwhile, in the friendliest way, the sailors had been going to and fro, and had drawn 240 pipes of water. So cordial, indeed, was their reception, that, as a last favour, Raleigh asked the Governor for a letter to Sarmiento [Gondomar], which he got, setting forth 'how nobly we had behaved ourselves, and how justly we had dealt with the inhabitants of the islands.' Before leaving Gomera, Raleigh discharged a native barque which one of his pinnaces had captured, and paid at the valuation of the master for any prejudice that had been done him. On September 21 they sailed away from the Canaries, having much sickness on board; and that very day their first important loss occurred, in the death of the Provost Marshal of the fleet, a man called Stead.

On the 26th they reached St. Antonio, the outermost of the Cape Verde Islands, but did not land there. For eight wretched days they wandered aimlessly about[Pg 199] in this unfriendly archipelago, trying to make up their minds to land now on Brava, now on St. Jago. Some of the ships grated on the rocks, all lost anchors and cables; one pinnace, her crew being asleep and no one on the watch, drove under the bowsprit of the 'Destiny,' struck her and sank. When they did effect a landing on Brava, they were soaked by the tropical autumnal rains of early October. Men were dying fast in all the ships. In deep dejection Raleigh gave the order to steer away for Guiana. Meanwhile Bailey had arrived in England, had seen Gondomar, and had openly given out that he left Raleigh because the admiral had been guilty of piratical acts against Spain. It does not seem that Winwood or the King took any notice of these declarations until the end of the year.

The ocean voyage was marked by an extraordinary number of deaths, among others that of Mr. Fowler, the principal refiner, whose presence at the gold mine would have been of the greatest importance. On October 13, John Talbot, who had been for eleven years Raleigh's secretary in the Tower, passed away. The log preserved in the Second Voyage is of great interest, but we dare not allow its observations to detain us. On the last of October, Raleigh was struck down by fever himself, and for twenty days lay unable to eat anything more solid than a stewed prune. He was in bed, on November 11, when they sighted Cape Orange, now the most northerly point belonging to the Empire of Brazil. On the 14th they anchored at the mouth of the Cayenne river, and Raleigh was carried from his noisome cabin into his barge; the 'Destiny' got across the bar, which was lower then than it now is, on the[Pg 200] 17th. At Cayenne, after a day or two, Raleigh's old servant Harry turned up; he had almost forgotten his English in twenty-two years. Raleigh began to pick up strength a little on pine-apples and plantains, and presently he began to venture even upon roast peccary. He proceeded to spend the next fortnight on the Cayenne river, refreshing his weary crews, and repairing his vessels. An interesting letter to his wife that he sent home from this place, which he called 'Caliana,' confirms the Second Voyage, and adds some details. He says to Lady Raleigh: 'To tell you I might be here King of the Indians were a vanity; but my name hath still lived among them. Here they feed me with fresh meat and all that the country yields; all offer to obey me. Commend me to poor Carew my son.' His eldest son, Walter, it will be remembered, was with him.

In December the fleet coasted along South America westward, till on the 15th they stood under Trinidad. Meanwhile Raleigh had sent forward, by way of Surinam and Essequibo, the expedition which was to search for the gold mine on the Orinoco. His own health prevented his attempting this journey, but he sent Captain Keymis as commander in his stead, and with him was George Raleigh, the Admiral's nephew; young Walter also accompanied the party. On New Year's Eve Raleigh landed at a village in Trinidad, close to Port of Spain, and there he waited, on the borders of the land of pitch, all through January 1618. On the last of that month he returned to Punto Gallo on the mainland, being very anxious for news from the Orinoco. The log of the Second Voyage closes on February 13, and it is supposed that it was on the evening of that day that[Pg 201] Captain Keymis' disastrous letter, written on January 8, reached Raleigh and informed him of the death of his son Walter. 'To a broken mind, a sick body, and weak eyes, it is a torment to write letters,' and we know he felt, as he also said, that now 'all the respects of this world had taken end in him.' Keymis had acted in keeping with what he must have supposed to be Raleigh's private wish; he had attacked the new Spanish settlement of San Thomé. In the fight young Walter Raleigh had been struck down as he was shouting 'Come on, my men! This is the only mine you will ever find.' Keymis had to announce this fact to the father, and a few days afterwards, with only a remnant of his troop, he himself fled in panic to the sea, believing that a Spanish army was upon him. The whole adventure was a miserable and ignominious failure.

The meeting between Raleigh and Keymis could not fail to be an embarrassing one. Raleigh could not but feel that all his own mistakes and faults might have been condoned if Keymis had brought one basket of ore from the fabulous mine, and he could not refrain from reproaching him. He told him he 'should be forced to leave him to his arguments, with the which if he could satisfy his Majesty and the State, I should be glad of it, though for my part he must excuse me to justify it.' After this first interview Keymis left him in great dejection, and a day or two later appeared in the Admiral's cabin with a letter which he had written to the Earl of Arundel, excusing himself. He begged Raleigh to forgive him and to read this letter. What followed, Sir Walter must tell in his own grave words:[Pg 202]

I told him he had undone me by his obstinacy, and that I would not favour or colour in any sort his former folly. He then asked me, whether that were my resolution? I answered, that it was. He then replied in these words, 'I know then, sir, what course to take,' and went out of my cabin into his own, in which he was no sooner entered than I heard a pistol go off. I sent up, not suspecting any such thing as the killing of himself, to know who shot a pistol. Keymis himself made answer, lying on his bed, that he had shot it off, because it had long been charged; with which I was satisfied. Some half-hour after this, his boy, going into the cabin, found him dead, having a long knife thrust under his left pap into his heart, and his pistol lying by him, with which it appeared he had shot himself; but the bullet lighting upon a rib, had but broken the rib, and went no further.

Such was the wretched manner in which Raleigh and his old faithful servant parted. In his despair, the Admiral's first notion was to plunge himself into the mazes of the Orinoco, and to find the gold mine, or die in the search for it. But his men were mutinous; they openly declared that in their belief no such mine existed, and that the Spaniards were bearing down on them by land and sea. They would not go; and Raleigh, strangely weakened and humbled, asked them if they wished him to lead them against the Mexican plate fleet. He told them that he had a commission from France, and that they would be pardoned in England if they came home laden with treasure.

What exactly happened no one knows. The mutiny grew worse and worse, and on March 21, when Raleigh wrote a long letter to prepare the mind of Winwood, he was lying off St. Christopher's on his homeward voyage;[Pg 203] not knowing of course that his best English friend had already been dead five months. Next day, he made up his mind that he dared not return to England to face his enemies, and he wrote to tell his wife that he was off to Newfoundland, 'where I mean to make clean my ships, and revictual; for I have tobacco enough to pay for it.' But he was powerless, as he confesses, to govern his crew, and no one knows how the heartbroken old man spent the next two dreadful months. His ships slunk back piecemeal to English havens, and on May 23, Captain North, who had commanded the 'Chudleigh,' had audience of the King, and told him the whole miserable story. On May 26,[12] Raleigh made his appearance, with the 'Destiny,' in the harbour of Kinsale, and on June 21 he arrived in Plymouth, penniless and dejected, for the first time in his life utterly unnerved and irresolute. On June 16 he had written an apologetic letter to the King. By some curious slip Mr. Edwards dated this letter three months too late, and its significance has therefore been overlooked. It is important as showing that Raleigh was eager to conciliate James.

[Pg 204]

CHAPTER X.

THE END.

Gondomar had not been idle during Raleigh's absence, but so long as Winwood was alive he had not been able to attack the absent Admiral with much success. As soon as Bailey brought him the news of the supposed attack on Lanzarote, he communicated with his Government, and urged that an embargo should be laid on the goods of the English merchant colony at Seville. This angry despatch, the result of a vain attempt to reach James, is dated October 22; and on October 27 the sudden death of Winwood removed Gondomar's principal obstacle to the ruin of Raleigh. At first, however, Bailey's story received no credence, and if, as Howel somewhat apocryphally relates, Gondomar had been forbidden to say two words about Raleigh in the King's presence, and therefore entered with uplifted hands shouting 'Pirates!' till James was weary, he did not seem to gain much ground. Moreover, while Bailey's story was being discussed, the little English merchant vessel which had been lying in Lanzarote during Raleigh's visit returned to London, and gave evidence which brought Bailey to gaol in the Gate House.

On January 11, 1618, before any news had been received from Guiana, a large gathering was held in[Pg 205] the Council Chamber at Westminster, to try Bailey for false accusation. The Council contained many men favourable to Raleigh, but the Spanish ambassador brought influence to bear on the King; and late in February, Bailey was released with a reprimand, although he had accused Raleigh not of piracy only, but of high treason. The news of the ill-starred attack on San Thomé reached Madrid on May 3, and London on the 8th. This must have given exquisite pleasure to the baffled Gondomar, and he lost no time in pressing James for revenge. He gave the King the alternative of punishing Raleigh in England or sending him as a prisoner to Spain. The King wavered for a month. Meanwhile vessel after vessel brought more conclusive news of the piratical expedition in which Keymis had failed, and Gondomar became daily more importunate. It began to be thought that Raleigh had taken flight for Paris.

At, last, on June 11, James I. issued a proclamation inviting all who had a claim against Raleigh to present it to the Council. Lord Nottingham at the same time outlawed the 'Destiny' in whatever English port she might appear. It does not seem that the King was unduly hasty in condemning Raleigh. He had given Spain every solemn pledge that Raleigh should not injure Spain, and yet the Admiral's only act had been to fall on an unsuspecting Spanish settlement; notwithstanding this, James argued as long as he could that San Thomé lay outside the agreement. The arrival of the 'Destiny,' however, seems to have clinched Gondomar's arguments. Three days after Raleigh arrived in Plymouth, the King assured Spain that 'not all[Pg 206] those who have given security for Raleigh can save him from the gallows.' For the particulars of the curious intrigues of these summer months the reader must be referred, once more, to Mr. Gardiner's dispassionate pages.

On June 21, Raleigh moored the 'Destiny' in Plymouth harbour, and sent her sails ashore. Lady Raleigh hastened down to meet him, and they stayed in Plymouth a fortnight. His wife and he, with Samuel King, one of his captains, then set out for London, but were met just outside Ashburton by Sir Lewis Stukely, a cousin of Raleigh's, now Vice-Admiral of Devonshire. This man announced that he had the King's orders to arrest Sir Walter Raleigh; but these were only verbal orders, and he took his prisoner back to Plymouth to await the Council warrant. Raleigh was lodged for nine or ten days in the house of Sir Christopher Harris, Stukely being mainly occupied in securing the 'Destiny' and her contents. Raleigh pretended to be ill, or was really indisposed with anxiety and weariness. While Stukely was thinking of other things, Raleigh commissioned Captain King to hire a barque to slip over to La Rochelle, and one night Raleigh and King made their escape towards this vessel in a little boat. But Raleigh probably reflected that without money or influence he would be no safer in France than in England, and before the boat reached the vessel, he turned back and went home. He ordered the barque to be in readiness the next night, but although no one watched him, he made no second effort to escape.

On July 23 the Privy Council ordered Stukely, 'all delays set apart,' to bring the body of Sir Walter Raleigh speedily to London. Two days later, Stukely[Pg 207] and his prisoner started from Plymouth. A French quack, called Mannourie, in whose chemical pretensions Raleigh had shown some interest, was encouraged by Stukely to attend him, and to worm himself into his confidence. As Walter and Elizabeth Raleigh passed the beautiful Sherborne which had once been theirs, the former could not refrain from saying, 'All this was mine, and it was taken from me unjustly.' They travelled quickly, sleeping at Sherborne on the 26th, and next night at Salisbury. Raleigh lost all confidence as he found himself so hastily being taken up to London. As they went from Wilton into Salisbury, Raleigh asked Mannourie to give him a vomit; 'by its means I shall gain time to work my friends, and order my affairs; perhaps even to pacify his Majesty. Otherwise, as soon as ever I come to London, they will have me to the Tower, and cut off my head.'

That same evening, while being conducted to his rooms, Raleigh struck his head against a post. It was supposed to show that he was dizzy; and next morning he sent Lady Raleigh and her retinue on to London, saying that he himself was not well enough to move. At the same time, King went on to prepare a ship to be ready in the Thames in case of another emergency. When they had started, Raleigh was discovered in his bedroom, on all fours, in his shirt, gnawing the rushes on the floor. Stukely was completely taken in; the French quack had given Raleigh, not an emetic only, but some ointment which caused his skin to break out in dark purple pustules. Stukely rushed off to the Bishop of Ely, who happened to be in Salisbury, and acted on his advice to wait for Raleigh's recovery.[Pg 208] Unless Stukely also was mountebanking, the spy Mannourie for the present kept Raleigh's counsel. Raleigh was treated as an invalid, and during the four days' retirement contrived to write his Apology for the Voyage to Guiana. On August 1, James I. and all his Court entered Salisbury, and on the morning of the same day Stukely hurried his prisoner away lest he should meet the King. Some pity, however, was shown to Raleigh's supposed dying state, and permission was granted him to go straight to his own London house. His hopes revived, and he very rashly bribed both Mannourie and Stukely to let him escape. So confident was he, that he refused the offers of a French envoy, who met him at Brentford with proposals of a secret passage over to France, and a welcome in Paris. He was broken altogether; he had no dignity, no judgment left.

Raleigh arrived at his house in Broad Street on August 7. On the 9th the French repeated their invitation. Again it was refused, for King had seen Raleigh and had told him that a vessel was lying at Tilbury ready to carry him over to France. Her captain, Hart, was an old boatswain of King's; before Raleigh received the information, this man had already reported the whole scheme to the Government. The poor adventurer was surrounded by spies, from Stukely downwards, and the toils were gathering round him on every side. On the evening of the same August 9, Raleigh, accompanied by Captain King, Stukely, Hart, and a page, embarked from the river-side in two wherries, and was rowed down towards Tilbury. Raleigh presently noticed that a larger boat was following them; at Greenwich, Stukely threw off the mask of friendship and arrested King, who was[Pg 209] thrown then and there into the Tower. What became of Raleigh that night does not appear; he was put into the Tower next day. When he was arrested his pockets were found full of jewels and golden ornaments, the diamond ring Queen Elizabeth had given him, a loadstone in a scarlet purse, an ounce of ambergriece, and fifty pounds in gold; these fell into the hands of the traitor 'Sir Judas' Stukely.

Outside the Tower the process of Raleigh's legal condemnation now pursued its course. A commission was appointed to consider the charges brought against the prisoner, and evidence was collected on all sides. Raleigh was obliged to sit with folded hands. He could only hope that the eloquence and patriotism of his Apology might possibly appeal to the sympathy of James. As so often before, he merely showed that he was ignorant of the King's character, for James read the Apology without any other feeling than one of triumph that it amounted to a confession of guilt. The only friend that Raleigh could now appeal to was Anne of Denmark, and to her he forwarded, about August 15, a long petition in verse:

Cold walls, to you I speak, but you are senseless!
Celestial Powers, you hear, but have determined,
And shall determine, to my greatest happiness.
Then unto whom shall I unfold my wrong,
Cast down my tears, or hold up folded hands?—
To Her to whom remorse doth most belong;
To Her, who is the first, and may alone
Be justly called, the Empress of the Britons.
Who should have mercy if a Queen have none?
[Pg 210]

Queen Anne responded as she had always done to Raleigh's appeals. If his life had lain in her hands, it would have been a long and a happy one. She immediately wrote to Buckingham, knowing that his influence was far greater than her own with the King, and her letter exists for the wonder of posterity. She writes to her husband's favourite: 'My kind Dog,' for so the poor lady stoops to address him, 'if I have any power or credit with you, I pray you let me have a trial of it, at this time, in dealing sincerely and earnestly with the King that Sir Walter Raleigh's life may not be called in question.' Buckingham, however, was already pledged to aid the Spanish alliance, and the Queen's letter was unavailing.

On August 17 and on two subsequent occasions Raleigh was examined before the Commissioners, the charge being formally drawn up by Yelverton, the Attorney-General. He was accused of having abused the King's confidence by setting out to find gold in a mine which never existed, with instituting a piratical attack on a peaceful Spanish settlement, with attempting to capture the Mexican plate fleet, although he had been specially warned that he would take his life in his hands if he committed any one of these three faults. It is hard to understand how Mr. Edwards persuaded himself to brand each of these charges as 'a distinct falsehood.' The sympathy we must feel for Raleigh's misfortunes, and the enthusiasm with which we read the Apology, should not, surely, blind us to the fact that in neither of these three matters was his action true or honest. We have no particular account of his examinations, but it is almost certain that they wrung from[Pg 211] him admissions of a most damaging character. He had tried to make James a catspaw in revenging himself on Spain, and he had to take the consequences.

It was of great importance to the Government to understand why France had meddled in the matter. The Council, therefore, summoned La Chesnée, the envoy who had made propositions to Raleigh at Brentford and at Broad Street; but he denied the whole story, and said he never suggested flight to Raleigh. So little information had been gained by the middle of September, that it was determined to employ a professional spy. The person selected for this engaging office was Sir Thomas Wilson, one of the band of English pensioners in the pay of Spain. The most favourable thing that has ever been said of Stukely is that he was not quite such a scoundrel as Wilson. On September 9 this person, who had known Raleigh from Elizabeth's days, and was now Keeper of the State Papers, was supplied with 'convenient lodging within or near unto the chambers of Sir Walter Raleigh.' At the same time Sir Allen Apsley, the Lieutenant, who had guarded the prisoner hitherto, was relieved.

Wilson's first act was not one of conciliation. He demanded that Raleigh should be turned out of his comfortable quarters in the Wardrobe Tower to make room for Wilson, who desired that the prisoner should have the smaller rooms above. To this, and other demands, Apsley would not accede. Wilson then began to do his best to insinuate himself into Raleigh's confidence, and after about a fortnight seems to have succeeded. We have a very full report of his conversations with Raleigh, but they add little to our knowledge, even if[Pg 212] Wilson's evidence could be taken as gospel. Raleigh admitted La Chesnée's offer of a French passage, and his own proposal to seize the Mexican fleet; but both these points were already known to the Council.

Towards the end of September two events occurred which brought matters more to a crisis. On the 24th Raleigh wrote a confession to the King, in which he said that the French Government had given him a commission, that La Chesnée had three times offered him escape, and that he himself was in possession of important State secrets, of which he would make a clean breast if the King would pardon him. This important document was found at Simancas, and first published in 1868 by Mr. St. John. On the same day Philip III. sent a despatch to James I. desiring him in peremptory terms to save him the trouble of hanging Raleigh at Madrid by executing him promptly in London. As soon as this ultimatum arrived, James applied to the Commissioners to know how it would be best to deal with the prisoner judicially. Several lawyers assured him that Raleigh was under sentence of death, and that therefore no trial was necessary; but James shrank from the scandal of apparent murder. The Commissioners were so fully satisfied of Raleigh's guilt that they advised the King to give him a public trial, under somewhat unusual forms. He was to be tried before the Council and the judges, a few persons of rank being admitted as spectators; the conduct of the trial to be the same as though it were proceeding in Westminster Hall. On receipt of the despatch from Madrid, that is to say on October 3, Lady Raleigh, whose presence was no longer required, was released from the Tower.[Pg 213]

The trial before the Commissioners began on October 22. Mr. Gardiner has printed in the Camden Miscellany such notes of cross-examination as were preserved by Sir Julius Cæsar, but they are very slight. Raleigh seems to have denied any intention to stir up war between England and Spain, and declared that he had confidently believed in the existence of the mine. But he made no attempt to deny that in case the mine failed he had proposed the taking of the Mexican fleet. At the close of the examination, Bacon,[13] in the name of the Commissioners, told Raleigh that he was guilty of abusing the confidence of King James and of injuring the subjects of Spain, and that he must prepare to die, being 'already civilly dead.' Raleigh was then taken back to the Tower, where he was left in suspense for ten days. Meanwhile the Justices of the King's Bench were desired to award execution upon the old Winchester sentence of 1603. It is thought that James hoped to keep Raleigh from appearing again in public, but the judges said that he must be brought face to face with them. On October 28, therefore, Raleigh was roused from his bed, where he was suffering from a severe attack of the ague, and was brought out of the Tower, which he never entered again. He was taken so hastily that he had no time for his toilet, and his barber called out that his master had not combed his head. 'Let them kem that are to have it,' was Raleigh's answer; and he continued, 'Dost thou know, Peter, any plaister that will set a man's head on again, when it is off?'[Pg 214]

When he came before Yelverton, he attempted to argue that the Guiana commission had wiped out all the past, including the sentence of 1603. He began to discuss anew his late voyage; but the Chief Justice, interrupting him, told him that he was to be executed for the old treason, not for this new one. Raleigh then threw himself on the King's mercy, being every way trapped and fettered; without referring to this appeal, the Chief Justice proceeded to award execution. Raleigh was to be beheaded early next morning in Old Palace Yard. He entreated for a few days' respite, that he might finish some writings, but the King had purposely left town that no petitions for delay might reach him. Bacon produced the warrant, which he had drawn up, and which bore the King's signature and the Great Seal.

Raleigh was taken from Westminster Hall to the Gate House. He was in high spirits, and meeting his old friend Sir Hugh Beeston, he urged him to secure a good place at the show next morning. He himself, he said, was sure of one. He was so gay and chatty, that his cousin Francis Thynne begged him to be more grave lest his enemies should report his levity. Raleigh answered, 'It is my last mirth in this world; do not grudge it to me.' Dr. Tounson, Dean of Westminster, to whom Raleigh was a stranger, then attended him; and was somewhat scandalised at this flow of mercurial spirits. 'When I began,' says the Dean, 'to encourage him against the fear of death, he seemed to make so light of it that I wondered at him. When I told him that the dear servants of God, in better causes than his, had shrunk back and trembled a little, he denied it not. But yet he gave God thanks that he had never feared[Pg 215] death.' The good Dean was puzzled; but his final reflection was all to Raleigh's honour. After the execution he reported that 'he was the most fearless of death that ever was known, and the most resolute and confident; yet with reverence and conscience.'

It was late on Thursday evening, the 28th, that Lady Raleigh learned the position of affairs. She had not dreamed that the case was so hopeless. She hastened to the Gate House, and until midnight husband and wife were closeted together in conversation, she being consoled and strengthened by his calm. Her last word was that she had obtained permission to dispose of his body. 'It is well, Bess,' he said, 'that thou mayst dispose of that dead, which thou hadst not always the disposing of when alive.' And so, with a smile, they parted. When his wife had left him, Raleigh sat down to write his last verses:

Even such is time, that takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with earth and dust;
Who in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wandered all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days;
But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
My God shall raise me up, I trust.

At the same hour Lady Raleigh was preparing for the horrors of the morrow. She sent off this note to her brother, Sir Nicholas Carew:

I desire, good brother, that you will be pleased to let me bury the worthy body of my noble husband, Sir Walter Raleigh, in your church at Beddington, where I desire to be buried. The Lords have given me his dead body, though[Pg 216] they denied me his life. This night he shall be brought you with two or three of my men. Let me hear presently. God hold me in my wits.

There was probably some difficulty in the way, for Raleigh's body was not brought that night to Beddington.

In the morning the Dean of Westminster entered the Gate House again. Raleigh, who had perhaps not gone to bed all night, had just finished a testamentary paper of defence. Dr. Tounson found him still very cheerful and merry, and administered the Communion to him. After the Eucharist, Raleigh talked very freely to the Dean, defending himself, and going back in his reminiscences to the reign of Elizabeth. He declared that the world would yet be persuaded of his innocence, and he once more scandalised the Dean by his truculent cheerfulness. He ate a hearty breakfast, and smoked a pipe of tobacco. It was now time to leave the Gate House; but before he did so, a cup of sack was brought to him. The servant asked if the wine was to his liking, and Raleigh replied, 'I will answer you as did the fellow who drank of St. Giles' bowl as he went to Tyburn, "It is good drink, if a man might stay by it."'

This excitement lasted without reaction until he reached the scaffold, whither he was led by the sheriffs, still attended by Dr. Tounson. As they passed through the vast throng of persons who had come to see the spectacle, Raleigh observed a very old man bareheaded in the crowd, and snatching off the rich night-cap of cut lace which he himself was wearing, he threw it to him, saying, 'Friend, you need this more than I do.' Raleigh was dressed in a black embroidered velvet night-gown over a hare-coloured satin doublet and a black embroi[Pg 217]dered waistcoat. He wore a ruff-band, a pair of black cut taffetas breeches, and ash-coloured silk stockings, thus combining his taste for magnificence with a decent regard for the occasion. The multitude so pressed upon him, and he had walked with such an animated step, that when he ascended the scaffold, erect and smiling, he was observed to be quite out of breath.

There are many contemporary reports of Sir Walter Raleigh's deportment at this final moment of his life. In the place of these hackneyed narratives, we may perhaps quote the less-known words of another bystander, the republican Sir John Elyot, who was at that time a young man of twenty-eight. In his Monarchy of Man, which remained in manuscript until 1879, Elyot says:

Take an example in that else unmatched fortitude of our Raleigh, the magnanimity of his sufferings, that large chronicle of fortitude. All the preparations that are terrible presented to his eye, guards and officers about him, fetters and chains upon him, the scaffold and executioner before him, and then the axe, and more cruel expectation of his enemies, and what did all that work on the resolution of that worthy? Made it an impression of weak fear, or a distraction of his reason? Nothing so little did that great soul suffer, but gathered more strength and advantage upon either. His mind became the clearer, as if already it had been freed from the cloud and oppression of the body, and that trial gave an illustration to his courage, so that it changed the affection of his enemies, and turned their joy into sorrow, and all men else it filled with admiration, leaving no doubt but this, whether death was more acceptable to him, or he more welcome unto death.

At the windows of Sir Randolph Carew, which were[Pg 218] opposite to the scaffold, Raleigh observed a cluster of gentlemen and noblemen, and in particular several of those who had been adventurers with him for the mine on the Orinoco. He perceived, amongst others, the Earls of Arundel, Oxford, and Northampton. That these old friends should hear distinctly what he had to say was his main object, and he therefore addressed them with an apology for the weakness of his voice, and asked them to come down to him. Arundel at once assented, and all the company at Carew's left the balcony, and came on to the scaffold, where those who had been intimate with Raleigh solemnly embraced him. He then began his celebrated speech, of which he had left a brief draft signed in the Gate House. There are extant several versions of this address, besides the one he signed. In the excitement of the scene, he seems to have said more, and to have put it more ingeniously, than in the solitude of the previous night. His old love of publicity, of the open air, appeared in the first sentence:

I thank God that He has sent me to die in the light, and not in darkness. I likewise thank God that He has suffered me to die before such an assembly of honourable witnesses, and not obscurely in the Tower, where for the space of thirteen years together I have been oppressed with many miseries. And I return Him thanks, that my fever [the ague] hath not taken me at this time, as I prayed to Him that it might not, that I might clear myself of such accusations unjustly laid to my charge, and leave behind me the testimony of a true heart both to my king and country.

He was justly elated. He knew that his resources were exhausted, his energies abated, and that pardon[Pg 219] would now merely mean a relegation to oblivion. He took his public execution with delight, as if it were a martyrdom, and had the greatness of soul to perceive that nothing could possibly commend his career and character to posterity so much as to leave this mortal stage with a telling soliloquy. His powers were drawn together to their height; his intellect, which had lately seemed to be growing dim, had never flashed more brilliantly, and the biographer can recall but one occasion in Raleigh's life, and that the morning of St. Barnaby at Cadiz, when his bearing was of quite so gallant a magnificence. As he stood on the scaffold in the cold morning air, he foiled James and Philip at one thrust, and conquered the esteem of all posterity. It is only now, after two centuries and a half, that history is beginning to hint that there was not a little special pleading and some excusable equivocation in this great apology which rang through monarchical England like the blast of a clarion, and which echoed in secret places till the oppressed rose up and claimed their liberty.

He spoke for about five-and-twenty minutes. His speech was excessively ingenious, as well as eloquent, and directed to move the sympathy of his hearers as much as possible, without any deviation from literal truth. He said that it was true that he had tried to escape to France, but that his motive was not treasonable; he knew the King to be justly incensed, and thought that from La Rochelle he might negotiate his pardon. What he said about the commission from France is so ingeniously worded, as to leave us absolutely without evidence from this quarter. After speaking about La Chesnée's visits, he proceeded to denounce[Pg 220] the base Mannourie and his miserable master Sir Lewis Stukely, yet without a word of unseemly invective. He then defended his actions in the Guiana voyage, and turning brusquely to the Earl of Arundel, appealed to him for evidence that the last words spoken between them as the 'Destiny' left the Thames were of Raleigh's return to England. This was to rebut the accusation that Raleigh had been overpowered by his mutinous crew, and brought to Kinsale against his will. Arundel answered, 'And so you did!' The Sheriff presently showing some impatience, Raleigh asked pardon, and begged to say but a few words more. He had been vexed to find that the Dean of Westminster believed a story which was in general circulation to the effect that Raleigh behaved insolently at the execution of Essex, 'puffing out tobacco in disdain of him;' this he solemnly denied. He then closed as follows:

And now I entreat that you will all join me in prayer to the Great God of Heaven, whom I have grievously offended, being a man full of all vanity, who has lived a sinful life in such callings as have been most inducing to it; for I have been a soldier, a sailor, and a courtier, which are courses of wickedness and vice; that His almighty goodness will forgive me; that He will cast away my sins from me; and that He will receive me into everlasting life.—So I take my leave of you all, making my peace with God.

Proclamation was then made that all visitors should quit the scaffold. In parting with his friends, Raleigh besought them, and Arundel in particular, to beg the King to guard his memory against scurrilous pamphleteers. The noblemen lingered so long, that it was Raleigh himself who gently dismissed them. 'I have a long[Pg 221] journey to go,' he said, and smiled, 'therefore I must take my leave of you.' When the friends had retired he addressed himself to prayer, having first announced that he died in the faith of the Church of England. When his prayer was done, he took off his night-gown and doublet, and called to the headsman to show him the axe. The man hesitated, and Raleigh cried, 'I prithee, let me see it. Dost thou think that I am afraid of it?' Having passed his finger along the edge, he gave it back, and turning to the Sheriff, smiled, and said, ''Tis a sharp medicine, but one that will cure me of all my diseases.' The executioner, overcome with emotion, kneeled before him for pardon. Raleigh put his two hands upon his shoulders, and said he forgave him with all his heart. He added, 'When I stretch forth my hands, despatch me.' He then rose erect, and bowed ceremoniously to the spectators to the right and then to the left, and said aloud, 'Give me heartily your prayers.' The Sheriff then asked him which way he would lay himself on the block. Raleigh answered, 'So the heart be right, it matters not which way the head lies,' but he chose to lie facing the east. The headsman hastened to place his own cloak beneath him, so displaying the axe. Raleigh then lay down, and the company was hushed while he remained awhile in silent prayer. He was then seen to stretch out his hands, but the headsman was absolutely unnerved and could not stir. Raleigh repeated the action, but again without result. The rich Devonshire voice was then heard again, and for the last time. 'What dost thou fear? Strike, man, strike!' His body neither twitched nor trembled; only his lips were seen still moving in prayer. At last[Pg 222] the headsman summoned his resolution, and though he struck twice, the first blow was fatal.

Sir Walter Raleigh was probably well advanced in his sixty-seventh year, but grief and travel had made him look much older. He was still vigorous, however, and the effusion from his body was so extraordinary, that many of the spectators shared the wonder of Lady Macbeth, that the old man had so much blood in him. The head was shown to the spectators, on both sides of the scaffold, and was then dropped into a red bag. The body was wrapt in the velvet night-gown, and both were carried to Lady Raleigh. By this time, perhaps, she had heard from her brother that he could not receive the body at Beddington, for she presently had it interred in the chancel of St. Margaret's, Westminster. The head she caused to be embalmed, and kept it with her all her life, permitting favoured friends, like Bishop Goodman, to see and even to kiss it. After her death, Carew Raleigh preserved it with a like piety. It is supposed now to rest in West Horsley church in Surrey. Lady Raleigh lived on until 1647, thus witnessing the ruin of the dynasty which had destroyed her own happiness.

No success befell the wretches who had enriched themselves by Raleigh's ruin. Sir Judas Stukely, for so he was now commonly styled, was shunned by all classes of society. It was discovered very soon after the execution, that Stukely had for years past been a clipper of coin of the realm. He did not get his blood-money until Christmas 1618, and in January 1619 he was caught with his guilty fingers at work on some of the very gold pieces for which he had sold his master. The[Pg 223] meaner rascal, Mannourie, fell with him. The populace clamoured for Stukely's death on the gallows, but the King allowed him to escape. Wherever he met human beings, however, they taunted him with the memory of Sir Walter Raleigh, and at last he fled to the desolate island of Lundy, where his brain gave way under the weight of remorse and solitude. He died there, a maniac, in 1620. Another of Raleigh's enemies, though a less malignant one, scarcely survived him. Lord Cobham, who had been released from the Tower while Raleigh was in the Canaries, died of lingering paralysis on January 24, 1619. Of other persons who were closely associated with Raleigh, Queen Anne died in the same year, 1619; Camden in 1623; James I. in 1625; Nottingham, at the age of eighty-nine, in 1624; Bacon in 1629; Ben Jonson in 1637; while the Earl of Arundel lived on until 1646.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Mr. Edwards corrects the date to 1580 n.s., but this is manifestly wrong; on the 7th of February 1580 n.s. Raleigh was on the Atlantic making for Cork Harbour.

[2] Dr. Brushfield has found no mention of the elder Walter Raleigh later than April 11, 1578. As he was born in 1497, he must then have been over eighty years of age.

[3] Mr. J. Cordy Jeaffreson has communicated to me the following interesting discovery, which he has made in examining the Assembly Books of the borough of King's Lynn, in Norfolk. It appears that the Mayor was paid ten pounds 'in respecte he did in the yere of his maioraltie [between Michaelmas 1587 and Michaelmas 1588] entertayn Sir Walter Rawlye knight and his companye in resortinge hether about the Queanes affayrs;' the occasion being, it would seem, the furnishing and setting forth of a ship of war and a pinnace as the contingent from Lynn towards defence against the Armada. This is an important fact, for it is the only definite record that has hitherto reached us of Raleigh's activity in guarding the coast against invasion.

[4] In the first two numbers of the Athenæum for 1886, I gave in full detail the facts and arguments which are here given in summary.

[5] Raleigh says that he appointed this man, 'taking him out of prison, because he had all the ancient records of Sherborne, his father having been the Bishop's officer.'—De la Warr MSS.

[6] Mr. Edwards has evidently dated this important letter a year too late (vol. ii. 397-8).

[7] In a letter Raleigh goes still further, and says that he found Meeres, 'coming suddenly upon him, counterfeiting my hand above a hundred times upon an oiled paper.'

[8] Among Sir A. Malet's MSS., for instance, we find Raleigh spoken of, so early as April 1600, as 'the hellish Atheist and Traitor,' and we look in vain for the cause of such violence.

[9] This date, till lately uncertain, is proved from the journal of Cecil's secretary.

[10] This was really the first edition of the Remains, although that title does not appear until the third edition of 1657.

[11] More exactly, a house at the corner of Wykford Lane, with a small estate at the back of it, an appendage to Lady Raleigh's brother's seat at Beddington.

[12] I gather this date, hitherto entirety unknown, from the fact that in the recently published Lismore Papers Sir Richard Boyle notes on May 27 that he receives letters from Raleigh announcing his arrival at Kinsale.

[13] Among the Bute MSS. is a letter from Raleigh to Bacon beseeching him 'to spend some few words to the putting of false fame to flight;' but Bacon's enmity was unalterable.

[Pg 225]

INDEX.

Note.Read Raleigh for R.

Adricomius, 179

Albert, Aremberg, the Envoy of Archduke, 136

Alençon's contrast to R. at Court, 18;

pageant at Antwerp for, 18

Algarve, Bishop of, library captured by Essex and nucleus of Bodleian, 101

Algerine corsairs, 193;

sack Lanzarote, 194

Allen, Sir Francis, 42

America, its debt, to Sir H. Gilbert, 25;

Gilbert's last expedition to, 27;

R. renews Gilbert's charter, 28;

R.'s costly expeditions to, 29, 37

Amidas, a captain in R.'s American fleet, 28;

discovers Virginia, 29

Amurath, King of Turbay, 185

Anderson, one of R.'s Winchester judges, 146

'Angel Gabriel,' capture of ship, 40

Annales by Camden, 3

Anne of Denmark. See Queen

Annesley, R. takes up his command, 19

Antonio of Portugal, 41

Apology for the Voyage to Guiana by R., 193, 208-10

Apothegms, Bacon's, 113

Apsley, Sir Allen, Lieutenant of Tower, 211;

relieved of R.'s custody, 211

Aremberg, Count, plotter in Durham House, 134;

ambassador of Archduke Albert, 136;

relations with Cobham, 137, 155;

communications with R., 148;

James accepts his protestations, 155

'Ark Raleigh' fitted for Gilbert's expedition by R., 27;

purchased by Elizabeth, 54

'Ark Royal,' Lord Howard's ship, 93

Armada, account of, 37-39;

Lynn contributes to resistance of, 38;

R.'s advice for boarding ships, 39;

R. and Drake receive prisoners from, 39

Armadillo in Guiana, 74, 80

Artson, R. captures sack from one, 41

Arundel, Earl of, Keymis writes to, 201;

at R.'s execution as a friend 218;

R. appeals to him in justification, 220;

death of, 223

Ashley, Mrs. Catherine, R.'s aunt, 19

Ashley, Sir Anthony, notifies Cadiz victory, 100

Assapana Islands, 80

[Pg 226]Astrophel, Elegy by R. in, 34

d'Aubigné, Histoire Universelle by, 177

Aubrey at Oxford with R., 3

Awbeg, river in Munster, sung by Spenser, 44

Azores, piratical expedition to, 33;

Peter Strozzi lost at, 39;

R.'s Report of the Fight in the, ib.;

'Revenge' and Armada fight off, 51;

'Madre de Dios' captured off, 60;

second plate-ship expedition off, 107;

capture of its towns arranged, ib.;

R. takes Fayal, 108;

Essex attacks San Miguel, 109

Bacon, Anthony, 42, 56

Bacon, Lord Francis, with R. at Oxford, 3;

praise of Grenville's fight, 51;

issues his Essays, 85;

his Apothegms, 113;

his cousins the Cookes, 90;

asked if R.'s Guiana commission is equivalent to pardon, 191;

if R. fails in Guiana asks what is his alternative? ib.;

R. reveals his desire for Mexican plate fleet to, ib.;

tells R. he must prepare to die, 213;

asked by R. to protect his fame, 213;

death of, 223

Bailey, John, commands 'Husband' in Guiana fleet, 194;

prevented from seizing French ship, 195;

deserts R.'s expedition, 196;

returns and charges R. with piracy, 196, 204;

in pay of Gondomar, 196;

imprisoned and story discredited, 204;

released with reprimand, 205

Balligara, R.'s share in, 194

Barlow, a captain in R.'s American fleet, 28;

discovers Virginia, ib.

Barlow's reference to R., 7

Barry Court, Geraldine stronghold, 13;

source of quarrel between R. and Ormond, 14;

R. offers to rebuild, 16

Barry, David, Irish malcontent, 13

Barry, Lord, defeat at Cleve by R., 15

Basing House, Marquis of Winchester's, 122;

Queen Elizabeth and French envoys at, 123

Bath, R. visits, 63, 115, 122, 127

Bear Gardens, R. takes French envoys to, 122

Beauchamp, Lord, R.'s deputy in Cornwall, 32

Beaumont's story of R. and King James, 133

Beaumont, Countess of, 167

Becanus, Goropius, 178

Beddington, Lady R. sells land at, 189;

burial asked for R. at, 215

Bedford, Earl of, R. succeeds him in Stannaries, 32

Bedingfield Park, seat of Sir F. Carew, 135;

King James and R. entertained at, ib.

Beeston, Sir Hugh, and R.'s execution, 214

Benevolence tax, 184

Berreo, Antonio de, Spanish Governor of Trinidad, describes Guiana, 66;

his cruelty, 68;

captured by R. at St. Joseph, ib.;

attempts to lure R., ib.;

submission to R., 68-69;

founded Guayana Vieja, 73

Berrie, Captain Leonard, makes voyage to Guiana for R., 102

Beville, Sir R., inquires into Sir R. Grenville's death, 51

[Pg 227]Bideford, Grenville's Virginian expedition stopped at, 37;

R. sends ships to Virginia from, ib.

Bindon, Lord. See Howard

Biron, Duc de, special French Ambassador, 122-123;

disgrace, 127

Blount, Sir Christopher, R.'s keeper at Dartmouth, 61;

to make joint attack on San Miguel, 107;

excites Essex against R., 109;

tries to kill R., 120;

pardoned by R. before execution, ib.

Bodleian Library, Bishop of Algarve's books captured by Earl of Essex contained in, 101

'Bonaventure,' ship, 105

Boyle, Richard, afterwards Earl of Cork, buys R.'s Irish estates, 129;

lends R. 100l., 194;

R. announces his arrival at Kinsale to, 203

Brett, Sir Alex., trustee of Sherborne, 164

Breviary of the History of England by R., 182-3

Broad-cloths, R.'s licence to export woollen, 29, 30

Broad Street, R. resides in, 188, 208

Brooke, George, conspires for Arabella Stuart, 102, 142;

concerned in Watson's plot, 135;

relationship to Cobham and Cecil, ib.;

arrest, 136;

execution, 158

Brooke, Henry, brother to Lady Cecil. See Cobham, 102

Brushfield, Dr., R.'s bibliography, vi.;

researches, 2, 16

Bryskett, Lodovick, in Munster, 10;

'Thestylis' of Spenser, 45

Burghley, R. corresponds with, 8, 9;

his moderate Irish policy, 22;

joint author of The Opinion of Mr. Rawley, 22;

assails R.'s broad-cloth patent, 30;

references to, 31, 84;

sends R. to Dartmouth to save prizes, 61

Burrow, Sir John, commands Indian Carrack venture, 54;

successful attack of plate-ships, 59-60

Burwick, John, master of 'Destiny,' 194

Byron's Conspiracy by Chapman, 123

Cabinet Council by R., 186;

published by Milton, ib.

Cadiz expedition, 87, 88-102;

forced on by Lord Howard, 88;

Queen Elizabeth reluctantly permits, ib.;

Essex, Howard, and R. to consider, 89;

Dutch to co-operate, ib.;

R. to raise levies for, ib.;

recruiting for, 90;

strength of English and Dutch fleets, 91;

R.'s Relation of the Action, 92;

details of destruction of Spanish fleet, 92-98;

the town sacked, 99-100;

R. wounded in the leg, 98;

fleet of carracks escape but burnt by Spaniards, 99;

Queen Elizabeth claims the prize money, 101;

the victory popular in England, 102

Cæsar, Sir Julius, notes of R.'s second trial, 213

Caiama Island, 74

Camden with R. at Oxford, 3;

his Annales, 3;

recommends Jonson to R., 175;

friend of Samuel Daniel, 183;

his death, 223

Camden Miscellany, account of R.'s second trial in, 213

Canary Islands, R.'s Guiana fleet off, 195;

exposed to Algerine corsairs, 195;

[Pg 228]Lanzarote sacked, 196;

R. visits Gomera, 197

Cape Verde Islands, R.'s Guiana fleet off, 198;

R. lands at Brava, 199

Capuri river, 80

Caracas plundered and burnt, 81

Carews, connections of R., 1

Carew, Sir Francis, R.'s uncle, 135;

entertains King James and R., ib.

Carew, Sir George, at Lismore, 44;

keeper of R. at Tower, 58;

at Cadiz in 'Mary Rose,' 95;

and Cormac MacDermod, 129

Carew, Sir Nicholas, and R.'s burial, 215

Carew, Sir Randolph, and friends witness R.'s execution, 218

Carleton, Dudley, at R.'s trial, 153

Caroni, river, 74

Carr, Earl of Somerset, and Sherborne, 171, 172, 187

Cashel, Magrath Archbishop of, 34

Castle Bally-in-Harsh, its capture, 15

Cayenne, R. off river, 199, 200

Cecil, Sir Robert, and R.'s marriage, 54, 63;

R.'s letter of devotion for Queen sent to, 57;

fails to control Devon sailors, 61;

inquires into pillage of 'Madre de Dios,' 62;

barters with R., 64;

promises ship for Guiana expedition, 67;

R. asks how result of Guiana voyage is viewed, 82;

R. sends MS. account and presents from Guiana, 83;

Discovery of Guiana dedicated to, 84;

supports proposed attack on Cadiz, 88;

informed by R. of victory at Cadiz, 100;

death of his wife and R.'s sympathy, 102;

R.'s intimacy with his family, ib.;

obtains R.'s return to Court, 103;

told of R.'s goodwill to Essex, 106;

thwarts R. in being sworn of P. Council, 112;

doubtful support of Guiana voyage, 113-4;

son and young Walter R. playmates, 114;

at Sherborne, 116;

accused by Essex, 118;

advised by R. to show Essex no mercy, 118-9;

decline of friendship with R., 125;

invited to Bath by R., 127;

R. complains of Lord Bindon to, ib.;

craftiness towards R., 129;

created a peer by King James, 133;

estranged from the Brookes, 135;

describes R.'s attempted suicide, 138;

aids R. with Sherborne estate, 144;

sits on R.'s trial, 146, 157;

influence sought to save R., 158;

created Lord Cranborne, 164;

and Earl of Salisbury, 166;

R. writes of his condition to, ib.;

references to, 167, 170, 173, 186;

his death and epigram on, 173

Cecil, William. See Salisbury

Champernowne, Captain Arthur, in Azores, 108

Champernowne, Gawen, his career, 4

Champernowne, Henry, R.'s cousin, 4;

his Huguenot contingent, 4

Champernowne, Sir Philip, 1

Champernownes, connections of R., 1

Chapman, George, his epic poem on Guiana, 86;

his Byron's Conspiracy, 123

[Pg 229]Chatham, R. raising sailors at, 54

Chaunis Temotam, its fabulous ores, 30

Cherbourg, R. takes barks from, 42

Christian IV. of Denmark and R., 169

Church, Dean, compares R.'s exploits with passages in Faery Queen, 43

Clarke executed for Watson's plot, 158

Cleve, Lord Barry defeated by R. at, 15

Clifford, Sir Conyers, at Cadiz, 95

Cobham, Lord, Henry Brooke succeeds as, 102;

first mention by R. of, 106;

R.'s increased intimacy, 113;

invited to Sherborne and Bath, 115;

goes to Ostend with R. ib.;

called an enemy of England by Essex, 118;

attends at Basing to entertain French, 123;

plotting at Durham House, 134;

R. only intimate friend, 136;

Lord Warden of Cinque Ports, ib.;

and Watson's plot, ib.;

shown R.'s explanation, 137;

accuses R., but retracts, ib.;

communicates with R. by Mellersh, 142;

tried at Staines for Arabella Stuart plot, 142;

communications with R., 144;

vacillation, 145;

retracts to R, ib.;

R. asks that Cobham should die first, 157;

convicted of treason, 158;

led out for execution, but reprieved, 160;

death by paralysis, 223

Coke, Sir Edward, Attorney-General at R.'s Winchester trial, 146-7

Colin Clout, Spenser refers to R. in, 43, 48;

Queen Elizabeth commands its publication, 49

Collectiones Peregrinationum, by De Bry, 114

Collier, J. P., 56

Commentaries, by Sir F. Vere, 97

Commerce, R.'s Observations on Trade and, 186

Condé, Prince of, his death, 4

Cookes, the, R. takes to Cadiz, 90

Copley and Watson's plot, 135;

his arrest, 136

Corabby, R.'s courage at ford of, 14

Cordials made by R., 168

Cork, R. reinforces Sentleger at, 9;

Geraldine executed at, ib.;

R. governor of, 15;

land granted to R. in, 34;

cedars planted by R. still at, 47;

R.'s second Guiana fleet takes refuge at, 194

Cornwall, R. Lieutenant and Vice-Admiral of, 32;

R.'s deputy in, 32;

R. collects miners to resist Armada, 38;

its defences considered, 89;

R.'s efforts for tin-workers in, 117;

R. tries to retain office, but superseded by Earl of Pembroke, 163

Coro, burned, 81

Cotterell, messenger between R. and Cobham, 145, 169;

examined against R., 170

Cotton, Sir Robert, lends books to R., 171

Court, early record of R.'s admission to, 5, 6;

R. not a penniless adventurer at, 16;

recognised courtier, 17, 19;

R. inferior to Leicester, Walsingham, and Hatton at, 50;

reference to R. at, 103, 115;

R. excluded by James I., 188

Cranborne, Lord. See Cecil

'Crane,' the, R.'s ship, 42

[Pg 230]Creighton's, Mrs., Period of R., vi.

Cross, Captain, and plate ship prize, 62

Crosse, Sir Robert, with R. meets King James, 132

Cucuina, river, R. ascends, 71

Cumana, Venezuela, spared by ransom and subsequently burnt by R.'s ships, 81

Cynthia, R.'s supposed lost poem, 45-46;

fragments printed from Hatfield MS., 46;

style and importance, 46-47;

called The Ocean to, 46;

and The Ocean's Love to, ib.;

treated of in Athenæum, 1886, ib.;

publication urged by Spenser, 49

Dangers of a Spanish Faction in Scotland, by R., 124

Daniel, Samuel, and R, 182-3

Dartmouth, 'Madre de Dios' towed to, 60;

R. stops spoliation of, 61

Davies, Sir John, Nosce teipsum and R.'s Cynthia, 46

Davis, John, R.'s partner for discovery of N.-W. passage, 28;

refers to whereabouts of R., July 1595, 82

De Beaumont, French ambassador, refers to R., 133, 141

De Bry prints R.'s Discovery in his Collectiones, 114

'Destiny,' ship built by R. for Guiana expedition, 190;

Des Marêts visits the, 193;

commanded by young Walter R., ib.;

John Burwick the master, 194;

outlawed, 205;

arrives at Plymouth, 205, 206

Des Marêts, French ambassador, 190;

suspicious of R.'s Guiana voyage, ib.;

visits R.'s 'Destiny,' 193;

his correspondence, ib.

Desmond, Earl of, murder of his brother's guest, 8;

R. shares escheated lands of, 34

Devonshire Association, Transactions of, and R., 2;

accent strong in R., 21;

R.'s popularity in, 31;

Stannaries, R.'s report on, ib.;

R. Vice-Admiral of, 32;

Sir John Gilbert, R.'s deputy in, ib.;

R. member of Parliament for, ib.;

miners serve in Netherlands, ib.;

farmers settle in south of Ireland, 34;

miners raised by R. to repel Armada, 38;

R. considers its defences, 89

Devonshire, Earl of, on R.'s trial at Winchester, 146

Dingle, expedition from Ferrol lands at, 8

Discovery of Guiana, published by R., 83-84;

literary value, 85;

translations in Latin, German, and French, 114;

reprinted by Hakluyt, ib.

Doddridge, Sir John, 144

Domestic Correspondence refers to R.'s ships, 42

Donne, John, earliest known poem, 105

Dover, R. at, 90, 193

Drake, Sir Francis, receives prisoners from Armada, 39;

expedition to Portugal, 41-42;

and spoil of 'Madre de Dios,' 62;

his fate, 6, 87

'Dreadnought,' Sir C. Clifford's Cadiz ship, 95

Dudley, Robert, D. of Northumberland, at Cadiz, ib.

Duke, Richard, contemporary owner of R.'s birthplace, 1

Durham, Bishop of, demands Durham House, 133

Durham House leased by R., 31;

its site and history, ib.;

Queen Elizabeth there in 1592, 56;

references to, 87, 114, 120;

fire at, 117;

[Pg 231]Lady R. advises a proper lease for, ib.;

Bishop of Durham demands and King James directs R. to surrender, 133-4;

R. forced to remove from,134;

alleged plotting at, ib.

Dutch to assist in attack on Cadiz, 89, 99;

take part in capture of Azores, 107

Dyer's evidence at R.'s trial, 155

Edwards, Edward, life and letters of R., v.;

collected evidence of battle of Cadiz, 91;

references to, 82, 190, 210

Effingham, Lady, converse with R., 167

Effingham. See Howard

El Dorado, legendary prince of Guiana, 65;

supposed lake in heart of Guiana, ib.;

efforts of Spaniards and Germans to reach, ib.

Elizabeth, Queen, Duc d'Alençon her suitor, 17-18;

confers an Irish captaincy on R., 19;

R. first favourite with, 19-25;

gifts to R., 24, 25;

grants charter to R. for discovery of N.-W. passage, 28;

Virginia named in honour of, ib.;

leases Durham House to R., 31;

feelings towards Leicester, 32;

keeps R. from politics, 35;

R. supplanted by Essex, 35;

appropriates pirated fine raiment, 42;

R. restored to favour by, 43, 49;

praised in Cynthia, 45;

Spenser introduced to, 48;

commands publication of Colin Clout, 49;

happy retort of R. to, 53;

instals a pliable Bishop of Salisbury and receives fine from R., 53;

supports R. in Spanish plate-ship venture, 54, 59;

buys the 'Ark Raleigh,' 54;

vanity and resentment, 55;

recalls R. from Frobisher's fleet, 56;

discovers R.'s Throckmorton intrigue, ib.;

confines R. in Tower, 57;

R.'s letter of devotion to, ib.;

acknowledges R.'s marriage, 63;

works of travel published in her reign, 85;

irresolution to attack Spain after Armada, 88;

R. seeks reconciliation with, 100;

claims Cadiz prize-money, 101;

R.'s position with, 101, 103, 111, 115;

reconfers captaincy of the Guard on R., 103;

her custom to retire early to rest, 111;

festivities on her sixty-fifth birthday, 113;

sends R. to Ostend, 115;

confers Governorship of Jersey and Manor of St. Germain on R., 116;

Essex accuses R., Cecil, and Cobham to, 118;

refuses communication with Essex, ib.;

said to have shown skull of Essex, ib.;

R. sends her a supposed diamond, 128;

interviews R. on Irish policy, ib.;

R. advises as to MacDermod, ib.;

her death, 129;

reference to, 186

Elizabethan poets engaged in Ireland, 10

El Nuevo Dorado, or Guiana, 66

Elphinstone, Sir James, eager for R.'s estate, 143

Elyot, Sir John, his Monarchy of Man, 217;

describes R.'s end, ib.

England, Breviary of the History of, 182;

Archbishop Sancroft and MS. of, ib.;

Samuel Daniel's share in, 183;

[Pg 232]attributed to R., ib.

Epuremi tribe in Guiana, 78

Erskine, Sir Thomas, supplants R. in the Guard, 133;

his position with King James, 133

Essays, Bacon issues his, 85

Essex, Earl of, competes with R. for royal favour, 35;

demands R.'s sacrifice, 35, 36;

Court attacks on R., 40;

challenges R., ib.;

drives R. from Court, 42;

more friendly with R., 50;

perceives value of the Puritans, ib.;

his Protestantism, ib.;

to consider attack on Cadiz, 89;

his share in Cadiz expedition, 92-100;

captures library of Bishop of Algarve, 101;

presents it to Sir T. Bodley, ib.;

and Cadiz prize money, ib.;

at Chatham, 103;

planning fresh attack on Spain, ib.;

charged with disloyalty, 104;

R.'s guest at Plymouth, 106;

expedition to Azores and result, 107-109;

Royal influence on the wane, 111;

offended past forgiveness by Queen, 112;

uncompromising speech to Elizabeth, ib.;

surliness of temper, ib.;

adopts for his men tilting colours of R., 113;

increasing enmity with R., ib.;

complaints to Queen, 118;

Queen refuses communication with, ib.;

conspiracy, 119-120;

R. and the execution of, 120;

Elizabeth shows his skull to Duc de Biron, 123

Eugubinus, Steuchius, 178

Euphuistic prose, example in R.'s letter to Cecil, 57

Evesham, Chronicle of, 171

Ewaipanoma tribe, 77

Execution of R., 217, 218-219;

his speech, 218;

his gallant bearing, 29

Exeter, R.'s parents buried at, 3

Faery Queen, R.'s adventures compared with those in, 43;

its progress, 45;

registered, Spenser obtains pension by, 49;

R.'s sonnet appended to, ib.

Fajardo Isle, 74

Falmouth, expedition to Spain puts back into, 106

'Farm of Wines' granted by Q. Elizabeth to R., 24;

granted by King James to E. of Nottingham, 141

Fayal, Essex and R. arrange to capture, 107;

R. to meet Essex at, 108;

R. arrives before Essex, its attack and capture, ib.;

arrival of Essex, ib.;

dispute relative to capture, 109

Featley, Dr. Daniel, tutor to young Walter R., 171

Fenton, Geoffrey, in Munster, 10

Ferrol, Spanish expedition to Ireland from, 8

Finland, Duke of, offers assistance to R. in Guiana, 113

Fish tithes, in Sidmouth, leased to R.'s family, 2

Fisher, Jasper, 6

Fitzjames rents R.'s Sherborne farms, 64

Fitzwilliam, Sir William, Irish Deputy, dispute with R., 48;

reference to, 49

Fleet Prison, R. committed to, 7;

R. removed from Tower to, 165

Flemish ships captured off Fuerteventura, 67

Flores in Azores, R. joins fleet of Essex off, 107

[Pg 233]Flores, Gutierrez, Spanish President, opinion of the enemies' fleet off Cadiz, 92

Fort del Ore, Ireland, built by invaders, 6;

siege, capture and massacre at, 12

Fowler, R.'s gold refiner, death of, 199

France, R. aids Huguenot princes, 4;

Hakluyt in, ib.;

R.'s return from, 6;

Henry IV.'s compliment to Queen Elizabeth, 122;

invited to support Huguenots, 193;

Ambassador visits R., 190, 192;

R. offered escape by, 208

Free trade, R. an advocate of, 186-7

French Ambassadors: Duc de Biron, 122;

De Beaumont, 133, 141;

Des Marêts, 190, 192

French envoy, La Chesnée, offers R. means of escape, 208, 211, 212

French vessels detained by R., 195

Frobisher, Sir Martin, 26;

fleet for capturing Indian carracks, 54;

reputed severity, ib.;

R. with his fleet, 56;

off Spanish coast seeking plate ships, 59

Fuerteventura, R. captures ships off, 67

Fuller records R. at Oxford, 3;

story of R. making his cloak a mat for Queen, 21;

anecdotes, 22

Gamage, Barbara, marries Robert Sidney, 33;

grandmother of Waller's Sacharissa, ib.

Gardiner, S. R., estimate of R.'s genius, 130;

credits Beaumont's story of, 133;

account of R.'s trial, 157, 213;

account of the Benevolence, 184;

details of intrigues in K. James's Court, 190, 206

'Garland,' the, R.'s ship, 42

Gascoigne, protégé of R.'s half-brother, 5;

his Steel Glass, ib.;

death of, 5;

Lord Grey patron of, 10

Gate House, R. confined in, 214

Gawdy, one of R.'s Winchester judges, 146

Genoa, its seizure proposed, 192;

discussed before K. James and rejected, ib.

Geraldine Friary, Youghal, destroyed, 34

Geraldine, Sir James, trial and execution, 9

Geraldines rebel, 8

Gibb, John, page to James I., 159

Gifford, Captain, reference to, 79, 80

Gilbert, Adrian, R.'s half-brother, 1;

partner in N.-W. expeditions, 28;

holds office at Sherborne, 53;

obnoxious to R.'s bailiff Meeres, 121;

commended to Lady R., 140;

and R.'s Sherborne estates, 143

Gilbert, Bartholomew, his voyage to America, 125;

sails from Virginia with rich woods, 126;

carries supposed diamond from R. to Queen, 127-8

Gilbert, Katherine. See Raleigh, Mrs

Gilbert, Sir Humphrey, R.'s half-brother, 1;

R. companion of his voyages, 6, 7;

gained renown in Ireland, 8;

granted Charter to make settlements in America, 26;

lends ships to serve on Irish coast, 26;

[Pg 234]misfortunes and vicissitudes of expedition, 26-27;

his death at sea, 27

Gilbert, Sir John, half-brother to R., 62;

preparing to sail for Guiana, 113

Gilbert, Otto, 1

Gillingham Forest, R. in, 64

Glenmalure, R. meets Spenser at battle of, 10

Globe Theatre, Shakespeare's Richard the Second at, 104

Godolphin, Sir Francis, warden of Stannaries, 141

Gomera Islands, R. lands at, 197;

courtesy of governor and his lady to R., 197-198

Gondomar (Sarmiento), Spanish ambassador, 190;

suspicious of R., 190, 191;

pledged R.'s life against Spanish attack, 192;

protests against Guiana expedition, 193;

Captain Bailey in his pay, 196;

Bailey traduces R. to, 199;

activity for R.'s ruin, 204;

urges embargo on English at Seville, 204;

claims punishment of R., 205

Goodwin, Hugh, hostage with Topiawari, 79;

learns Indian language, ib.;

serves under Gifford, ib.;

meets R. after twenty-two years, 200

Googe, Barnabee, in Munster, 10

Gorges, Sir A., assaulted by R., 58;

believes R. mad, ib.;

historian of Azores expedition, 107;

and Duc de Biron, 122

Gorges, Sir F., and Essex conspiracy, 119

Gosnoll, Captain, American discoveries, 125;

sails from Virginia without R.'s leave, 126

Gray's Elegy and R.'s Cynthia, 46

Grenville, Sir Richard, and R.'s Virginian expeditions, 29, 37;

captures Spanish prize of 50,000l., 29;

and Armada, 37;

R.'s account of the fight in the 'Revenge' and his heroic death, 51, 96;

Sir R. Beville inquires into his death, 51;

praised by Tennyson and Bacon, 51;

R.'s cousin, 95;

R. revenges his death, 96, 98

Greville, Fulke, in Munster, 10

Grey, Lord de Wilton, in Dublin, 9;

dislikes R., 9;

patron of Gascoigne, 10;

hatred of Popery, 11;

treatment of Irish rebels, 13;

denounced by R. to Leicester, 14;

leniency in Ireland, 22;

and Armada, 37;

dines with R. at Flores, 107;

in Low Countries, 115

Grey, young Lord de Wilton, and Watson's plot, 135, 158, 160

Grosart's Lismore Papers, vi.

Guard, R. Captain of the, 35, 103;

Sir T. Erskine supplants R., 133

Guayana Vieja founded by Berreo, 73

Guiana, R.'s desire to conquer, 64;

its description, 65, 66;

capture of Spanish letters relative to, 66;

annexed by Berreo, governor of Trinidad, ib.;

Captain Whiddon visits for R., 66;

R. explores part of, 67;

supposed mineral wealth, 72, 75;

Humboldt on its gold yield, 75;

leaves two sailors at Morequito, 79;

health of R.'s expedition, 81;

R. asks effect of expedition on Court, 83;

R.'s Discovery of Guiana published, 83-84;

Chapman's poem on, 85-86;

Captain Keymis's voyage, 86;

R.'s Of the Voyage for Guiana, 87;

[Pg 235]Government interest not excited by R., ib.;

Captain L. Berrie's voyage, 102;

D. of Finland urges R. to colonise, 113;

Sir J. Gilbert preparing for, 113;

increased fame of Discovery, 114;

R. asks leave to revisit, 170;

R.'s funds for voyage, 172, 189-190;

R. released from Tower to go to, 189;

advantages promised King James, ib.;

preparations for, excite Spaniards, 190;

R.'s Royal commission, 190-191;

composition of R.'s fleet, 193-194;

its delays, 194;

fleet detains French traders, 195;

fleet off Canaries, ib.;

Captain Bailey deserts, 196;

courtesies with Governor of Gomera, 198;

R.'s log of Second Voyage, 199;

R. ill of fever in, 199-200;

R. meets Hugh Goodwin after twenty-two years, 200;

fleet at Trinidad, 200;

Keymis explores for gold, attacks San Thomé, 200-1;

R.'s son Walter killed, 201;

Keymis's failure and embarrassed meeting with R., 201;

Keymis commits suicide in, 202;

R.'s failure to find gold mines in, 202;

mutiny of fleet, 202;

R. sails to Newfoundland from, 203;

R.'s ignominious return from, ib.;

Apology for the Voyage to, 208

Gunpowder Plot and R., 168

Hakluyt, R.'s contemporary at Oxford, 3;

his Voyages and sojourn in France, 4;

reprints R.'s report of Grenville's fight, 51;

Discovery of Guiana, 114

Hale, the sergeant at R.'s Winchester trial, 146-7

Hamburg ship, R. takes sugar, &c., from a, 41

Hampden, John, collector of R.'s MSS., 185

Hannah, Archdeacon, printed R.'s Cynthia, 46

Harington, Sir John, 34

Hariot, Thomas, R.'s scientific agent in Virginia, 31

Harris, Sir C., R. lodged in his house, 206

Hart, Captain, betrays R., 208

Harvey, Sir G., Lieutenant of Tower, 141, 142;

suspects R.'s communications, 144;

indulges R., succeeded by Sir W. Waad, 167

Hatfield MSS. and R.'s Cynthia, 46

Hatton, Sir C., R. reconciles him to Queen Elizabeth, 23;

references to, and death, 32, 35, 50

Hawkins, his third voyage, 6;

character of his voyages, 7

Hayes relates R.'s expense in Gilbert's expedition, 27

Hayes Barton, R.'s birthplace, in Devon, 1, 3

Hennessy, Sir J. Pope, account of R. in Ireland, 47

Henri IV. of France, 122

Henry VIII. censured in R.'s History, 180

Henry, Prince, visits R. in Tower, 169;

seeks advice of R., 173, 174;

death agonies eased by R.'s cordial, 175;

efforts and sympathy for R., 175, 180;

opinion of his father's conduct, 175;

and R.'s Cabinet Council, 185

Histoire Universelle, by d'Aubigné, 177

[Pg 236]Historical MSS. Commission Reports, vi.

History of the World, by R.'s personal reference, 4, 5, 162, 171;

references to Armada, 38;

on boarding galleons, 39;

refers to Trinidad, 67;

R. aided by Ben Jonson, 175;

size and contents, 176;

critically examined, 176-182;

its preface, when written, 180;

suppressed by King James, and cause, 180-181

Hooker's Supply of the Irish Chronicles and references to R., 11, 43;

Ecclesiastical Polity, 85;

Oxford tutor of Walter R., jun., 171

Hornsey, R.'s servants disturb the peace at, 6

Howard of Bindon, Thomas Lord, R. to warn him if any Spaniards in Channel, 50;

and Cadiz expedition, 89, 96, 97, 98;

takes R.'s servant under his protection, 121;

persuades Sir W. Peryam to re-try Meere's suit, 127;

juror on R.'s trial, 143, 146

Howard, Lord Henry, and R., interview with Lennox, 124-125;

R. prays forgiveness for, 139

Howard of Effingham, Lord Charles, R.'s advice on boarding Armada, 38, 39;

high opinion of R., 39;

Discovery of Guiana dedicated to, 84;

forces expedition to Cadiz, 88;

on committee for attack on Cadiz, 89;

details of his action at Cadiz, 92-100;

ship 'Ark Royal,' 93;

obtains R.'s return to Court, 103;

to attempt capture of Graciosa, 107;

created E. of Nottingham, 110, 112;

granted R.'s wine patent, 141;

conducts Arabella Stewart to R.'s trial, 155;

outlaws R.'s ship 'Destiny,' 205;

death of, 223

Huguenots, R. offers to aid, 4;

Henry Champernowne's force aids, ib.;

mode of smoking out Catholics, 5

Hulsius, Levinus, Latin translation of the Discovery of Guiana, 114

Humboldt's examination of Guiana gold, 75;

testified to the genuineness of R.'s account of Guiana, 78

'Husband' ship, 194, 196

Imataca mountains seen by R., 72

Imokelly, R. escapes ambush by Seneschal of, 14

Income of R., references to, 16, 24, 25, 30, 34, 133, 162, 172

Indian carracks (plate-ships) scheme for R. to seize, 53-54;

Sir J. Burrows to attack them, 54;

their capture, 59-60;

fleet of in Cadiz harbour, 99;

burnt by Spaniards to avoid capture, ib.;

two destroyed by R. in Azores, 109

Ireland, History of the Early Ages in, MacCarthy's, 129

Ireland, R. in, 7;

Catholic invasion of, 7;

R.'s voyage to Cork, 8;

Lord Grey succeeds Pelham in, 9;

execution of Sir J. Geraldine, 10;

poets on service in, ib.;

massacre at Fort del Ore, 12;

R.'s severity towards rebels, 13;

rebels pardoned through Ormond, 13;

R.'s seizure of Barry Court, 14;

Castle Bally-in-Harsh taken by R.'s strategy, 15;

R.'s return from, 16;

R. paid for service in, 18;

R. assigned a Captaincy in, 19;

[Pg 237]The Opinion of Mr. Rawley on, 22;

Lord Grey deprived of Deputyship, 23;

R.'s residences in, 34;

estates in Cork, Waterford, and Tipperary settled by R., 34;

R.'s experience as a colonist in, 34;

R. leaves to fight Armada, 38;

Essex forces R.'s return to, 42;

R.'s efforts in developing his estates in, 47;

potato and tobacco introduced by R., 48;

Sir William Fitzwilliam, Deputy in, ib.;

R. refused Lord Deputyship, 112;

occupied with affairs of, 115;

invaded by Spain, 124;

R. on situation in, ib.;

MacCarthy's History of the Early Ages in, 129;

Boyle, Earl of Cork, buys R.'s estates in, 129;

R. sells remainder of his leases, 194

Irish Chronicles, Hooker's Supply of the, 11

Islands voyage. See Azores

Islington, R.'s residence in, 6

James I. first cognisant of R., 123;

offers Scotch troops to repel Spanish invasion, 124;

sends Lennox on mission to Elizabeth, ib.;

R. and Cobham reported unfavourable to, 124;

met by London nobility at death of Elizabeth, 132;

R. and Sir R. Crosse meet him at Burghley, ib.;

unfavourably received R., 132;

promises R. continuance of Stannaries, ib.;

displaces R. from the Guard, 133;

increases R.'s salary as Governor of Jersey, ib.;

deprives R. of Durham House on petition of Bishop of Durham, 133, 134;

involved in promises to Catholics, 135;

waiting Spanish overtures, ib.;

guest of Sir F. Carew, ib.;

given R.'s Discourse on Spanish War, &c., ib.;

R.'s projects distasteful to, ib.;

commits R. to Tower, 137;

R. begs his life of and refused hope by, 158;

prepares warrant for stay of R.'s execution, 158;

signs death-warrants for conspirators, 159;

intention to reprieve, ib.;

at bull-baiting on Tower Hill, 165;

and Christian IV. of Denmark, 169;

suppresses R.'s History of the World, 180;

R. hopes to propitiate him, 183;

forbids printing of R.'s Prerogative of Parliament, 184;

and the Benevolence, 184;

a Protectionist, 187;

releases R., 188;

to be enriched by R.'s second voyage to Guiana, 189;

submits R.'s proposed route to Madrid, 191;

ignores statements of Bailey, 199;

Captain North relates R.'s failure to, 203;

R.'s apologetic letter to, ib.;

Spain clamours for R.'s death, 205;

invites claims against R., ib.;

his arguments for R., ib.;

R. doomed by, 205, 206;

Apology for Guiana voyage of no effect on, 209;

R.'s attempted catspaw against Spain, 211;

R.'s confession to, 212;

advised to give R. public trial, 212;

R. throws himself on his mercy, 214;

quits London and signs R.'s death-warrant, ib.;

foiled by R.'s bearing at execution, 219;

R. begs his memory to be saved from scurrilous writers, 220;

[Pg 238]death of, 223

Jarnac, battle of, 4

Jeaffreson, J. Cordy, contribution by, vi.;

researches in Middlesex Records, 6, 20;

researches in Assembly Books of K. Lynn, 38

Jersey, R. seeks Governorship of, 114;

R. succeeds Sir A. Paulet as Governor, 116;

account of and effect of R.'s rule in, 116-117;

Norman gentry in, 127;

King James increased R.'s salary for, 133;

R. displaced for Sir J. Peyton, 141;

references to R. in, 126, 127

Jesuit captured by R., 64

Jewels, R.'s love of, 20;

value on his person when arrested, 20, 209

Jonson, Ben, referred by Camden to R., 175;

assists R. in History of the World, 175, 176;

goes with young Walter R. to Paris, 175;

his Works, 175;

jealous of Samuel Daniel, 183;

death of, 223

Keymis, Captain, with R. in Guiana, 80;

his second voyage to Guiana, 86;

commended to Lady R., 140;

gives evidence on R.'s trial under fear of torture, 154;

warden of Sherborne, 164;

and Guiana, 174;

joins R.'s fleet at Plymouth, 194;

commands Orinoco gold expedition without success, 200, 201;

attacks San Thomé, 201;

announces to R. death of his son Walter R., ib.;

dejection at R.'s reproach, asks forgiveness, ib.;

writes to Earl of Arundel, ib.;

commits suicide, 202

Kilcolman, Spenser's Irish seat, 44

King, Captain Samuel, attempts R.'s escape, 206-8;

his arrest, 208

King's Lynn entertains R., 38

Kinsale, Spanish landing at, 124;

R. returns from Guiana to, 203

La Chesnée, French envoy, offers escape to R., 208, 211, 212

Lake, Sir Thomas, to send R. from Court, 133

Lane, Ralph, leader of R.'s Virginian colony, 29;

considers defence against Armada, 37

Languedoc, Catholics smoked out at, 5

La Rienzi, reference to at R.'s trial, 148

Leicester, Earl of, R. writes from Lismore to, 17;

R. his protégé at Court, ib.;

goes to Netherlands with R. and Sir P. Sidney, 18;

Queen Elizabeth quarrels with, ib.;

reconciled to R.'s Royal favour, 23;

in Netherlands and in disgrace, R.'s sympathy, 32;

reference to, 35;

death of, 50

Lennox, Duke of, diplomatic visit to Elizabeth, 124;

believes R. and Cobham opposed King James, ib.

Limerick, victory of Sir N. Malby in woods of, 8

'Lion,' Sir R. Southwell's ship at Cadiz, 95

'Lion Whelp,' Cecil's ship, 67;

R. reinforced at Port of Spain by, 68

Lisbon, Drake and R. with expedition at, 41-42

Lismore, Elizabethan capital of Munster, 15

[Pg 239]Lismore Castle, R. rents from Archbishop of Cashel, 34

Lismore Papers and R.'s references, vi., 194, 203

Loftie, Rev. W. J., account of R.'s lodgings in Tower, 162

London citizens aid privateering against Spain, 59;

eagerness to share spoil, 61;

jewellers or goldsmiths and Spanish prize, 62;

plague in, 142

Lostwithiel, Stannaries Court of, 117

Macareo, R. tried to enter river, 69;

channel, 80

MacCarthy, Florence, R. advises his retention in Tower, 129;

asks Cecil to permit R. to judge him, ib.;

his History of the Early Ages in Ireland, 129

Mace, Samuel, commands a Virginian fleet for R., 125

MacDermod, Cormac, Lord of Muskerry, R.'s severity to, 128

Macureguarai, rich city of Guiana, 78

Madeira, R.'s Virginian ships stripped at, 37

'Madre de Dios,' plate-ship, value of its capture, 60;

inquiry as to disposal of treasure, 62

Magrath, Meiler, Archbishop of Cashel, 34

Malby, Sir Nicholas, defeats Irish rebels, 8

Malet, Sir A., MSS., R.'s unpopularity referred to in, 131

Manamo, R. enters the Orinoco by river, 69

Manatee seen by R. in Guiana, 79

Mannourie, French quack attendant and spy on R., 207;

gives R. a detrimental dose, ib.;

bribed by R., 208;

denounced by R., 220;

his disgrace, 223

Manoa, capital of Guiana, 69

Markham led out for execution but reprieved, 159, 160

Marlowe's career, 85

Marriage of R. to Elizabeth Throckmorton, 63

Martinez, Juan, journal of visit to Manoa, 69

'Mary Rose,' Sir G. Carew's Cadiz ship, 95

Maurice of Nassau, letters taken to Prince, 175

Medina Sidonia, Duke of, his report to Philip II. of English attack on Cadiz, 98;

burns fleet of carracks to avoid capture by English, 99

Meeres, John, R.'s bailiff at Sherborne, 53;

his dismissal and revenge, 121;

arrests R.'s new bailiff, 121;

brings civil action against R., 122, 127;

commissioner for despoiling Sherborne, 164

Mellersh, Cobham's secretary, 142

Mexican plate fleet, R.'s designs on, 191, 202, 210, 213

Mexico, Gulf of, R.'s early knowledge of, 7

Mexico, its revenue to Spain, 77

Meyrick, Sir Gilly, his conduct towards R., 108

Middle Temple, R. in, 5

Milton inherits and publishes R.'s The Cabinet Council, 185

Mitcham, Lady R. sells an estate at, 189

Monarchy of Man, by Sir J. Elyot, describes R.'s last moments, 217

Moncontour in France, R. at retreat of, 4

Montgomery, death of Huguenot chief, 4

[Pg 240]Mont Orgueil, Jersey, 117

Morequito, port on River Orinoco, 74;

its chief Topiawari, 78

Mulla. See Awbeg, 44

Munster, R. temporary governor of, succeeded by Zouch, 15;

Sentleger provost-marshal in, 9;

Spenser clerk of the council of, 44;

life in, ib.;

R.'s efforts to improve, 47;

severity of President against Cormac MacDermod, 128

Muskerry, Lord of, severity against, 128

Naunton's description of R., 20, 22

Navigation, R. considering international, 56

Netherlands, Earl of Leicester in, 28, 32;

Devon miners serve in, 32;

R.'s Discourse ... the Protecting of, 135

Newfoundland, R. in, 33, 203;

R. establishes trade with Jersey, 117

Ninias, R.'s account of King, 181

'Nonparilla,' R., Dudley's ship at Cadiz, 95

North, Captain, tells the King of R.'s Guiana failure, 203

North-West Passage, R.'s efforts, its discovery, 28;

and northern route to China, 28

Northampton, Lord, interviews R. in Tower, 172;

R.'s enemy removed, 187;

at R.'s execution, 218

Northumberland, Earl of, R. visits at Sion House, 114;

goes to Ostend with R., 115;

invited to Bath, 127

Nottingham, Earl of. See Howard

Old Palace Yard, R. executed at, 214

Oldys, William, Life of R., v.;

reference to, 101

Olonne, R. captures and forfeits to Treasury a bark of, 42

Orange, Prince of, Elizabeth sends R. to, 18;

Leicester accused of conspiracy with, ib.

Orinoco, R.'s expedition to river, 67, 69-81;

second expedition up, 200;

failure to find gold, 201

Ormond, governor of Munster, 10;

desire to treat with Irish, 11;

obtains pardon for the rebels, 13;

quarrels with R., 15;

denounced for leniency, 22

Ostend, R. and Northumberland visit, 115

Oxford, R. educated at, 3, 6

Oxford's, Lord, quarrel with Sir P. Sidney, 7;

at execution of R., 218

Panama pearl fisheries, 25;

R.'s scheme to seize, 54

Parliaments, Prerogative of, 112, 180

Paulet, Sir Anthony, governor of Jersey, death, 116

Paunsford, Richard, servant of R., 6

Pecora Campi. See Hatton

Pelham, Sir William, Irish command, 9, 10

Pembroke, Earl of, succeeds R. in Duchy of Cornwall, 163

Pembroke, Lady, R.'s friend in hour of trial, 157;

her son intercedes for R., ib.

Peryam, Sir William, Chief Baron of Exchequer, 127

Pew, Hugh, steals R.'s pearl hat-band, &c., 20

Peyton, Sir John, succeeds R. in Jersey, 141;[Pg 241]

Sir John the younger messenger between Cobham and R., 144

Philip of Spain's Armada, resistance to, 37;

expels Antonio from Portugal, 41;

desire to recover prestige, 105

Philip III. demands R.'s execution, 212;

foiled by R.'s conduct at execution, 219

Phœnix Nest, 34

Pilgrimage, R. writes The, 159

Piratical expedition by R. stopped, 7

Plymouth, 7, 27, 29, 36, 38, 67, 89, 90, 91, 100, 105, 106, 117, 194, 203

Popham, Lord Chief Justice, tries R. at Winchester, 146;

hissed at conclusion of R.'s trial, 157;

declares R.'s Sherborne conveyance invalid, 164

Popham, Captain George, captures Spanish letters, 66

Portland, R. as governor completes defences of, 38

Portugal, expedition to restore Antonio, 41;

R. serves under Drake at Lisbon, ib.

Potato introduced into Ireland by R., 48;

distributed by ancestor of Lord Southwell, ib.

Prerogative of Parliaments, by R., 112, 180;

its publication and intention, 183;

King James forbids its printing, 184;

issued posthumously, ib.;

MS. in Record Office, ib.

Preston, Captain Amyas, harries Venezuela, 81

Prest, Agnes, her martyrdom, 2;

indirect effect on R.'s religion, 3

'Prudence,' a London ship, 59

Puerto Rico friars, 69

Purchas, his collection of travels, 85

Puritans, Essex and R. their friends, 50

Puttenham's praise of Shepherd's Calender, 44

Queen of James I., R.'s friend, 169, 188;

her father, Christian IV., 169;

Samuel Daniel a servant of, 183;

R.'s rhyming petition to, 209;

exertions to save R., 210;

death of, 223

'Rainbow,' Sir F. Vere's ship at Cadiz, 95

Rakele, R. meets Spenser at, 10;

R.'s treatment of Irish kerns at, 11

Raleigh, Carew, son of Sir Walter, 166;

reference to, 200, 222

Raleigh, George, Sir Walter's nephew, 200

Raleigh née Gilbert, Mrs., Sir Walter's mother, 1;

her religion, 2

Raleigh town, Virginia, 36

Raleigh, Walter, the elder, his third marriage, 1;

diversity of spelling his name, 2;

family lease of fish tithes, 2;

latest mention of, his age, 16

Raleigh, Sir Walter, Lives of, v.;

correspondence of, v.;

bibliography by Dr. Brushfield, vi.;

love of birthplace, 1;

connections and parentage, 1;

earliest record of, 2;

education and career at Oxford, 3;

convicted of assault, 7;

goes to Ireland, 9;

with Spenser, 10, 43, 48, 49;

character whilst in Ireland, 14;

pecuniary position, 16, 30, 34, 42, 116, 126, 129, 133, 141, 162, 189, 190, 194;[Pg 242]

his person in 1582, 20;

mother wit and audacious alacrity, 22;

success as a courtier, 23;

Royal gifts to, 24, 25;

continues Sir H. Gilbert's efforts, 28;

and Virginia, 29, 37, 41, 125;

granted licence to export woollen broad-cloths, their nature and value, 29, 30;

resides at Durham House, 31;

receives knighthood, 31;

successful expedition to Azores, 33;

elegy on Sir Philip Sidney, ib.;

experience as an Irish colonist, 34;

zenith of personal success, 35;

part in fighting Armada, 37;

privateering expeditions, their excuse, 40, 41;

forced return to Ireland, 42;

his poem of Cynthia, 45;

developes his Irish estates, 47;

introduces the potato, 48;

and Puritans, his toleration, 50;

Report on Grenville's fight in the 'Revenge,' 51;

obtains Sherborne Castle, 52-53;

clandestine relations with Elizabeth Throckmorton, 55;

embroilment between Queen and Mrs. Throckmorton, 55-57;

confined in the Tower, 57;

failure in health, 59, 63, 110, 114, 168, 187, 199, 200;

released to quell disturbance in Devon, 61;

his popularity in Devon, 61;

marriage with E. Throckmorton, 63;

eagerness for service, 64;

attracted to Guiana, 66;

and Guiana gold, 75-77;

publishes Discovery of Guiana, 84;

merit as a writer of travel, 85;

his Of the Voyage for Guiana, 87;

naval skill first fully recognised, 89;

taking of Cadiz, brilliant triumph for, 91;

his Relation of the Action in Cadiz Harbour, 92;

details of his Cadiz command, 92-99;

wounded in the leg, 98;

preparation for third Guiana expedition, 101;

lauded by literary classes on return from Cadiz, 102;

intimacy with Cecil and Brooke family, 102;

exertions to provoke second attack on Spain, 105;

sails with fleet to attack Azores; success at Fayal, which provokes Essex, 105-109;

only nominally in Queen's favour, 111;

his Prerogative of Parliament, 112, 183-184;

seeks various dignities without success, ib.;

increasing enmity with Essex, and friendship with Cobham, 113;

height of fame as a geographer, 114;

his share in the execution of Essex, 118-121;

comes under notice of James of Scotland, 123;

his Dangers of the Spanish Faction in Scotland, 124;

his view of Irish affairs in 1601, ib.;

not a complete loser by his expeditions, 126;

severe action towards Cormac MacDermod, 128;

advises detention of F. MacCarthy in Tower, 129;

good fortune ceases with Elizabeth's death, ib.;

character, condition, and fame in 1603, 130-131;

ungraciously received by King James, 132;

sent from Court of James, 133;

not judicious towards James, 134;

Spanish schemes distasteful to King, 135;

arrested for complicity in Watson's plot, 136;

compromised by Cobham, 136, 137;[Pg 243]

committed to the Tower, 137;

attempts suicide, 137, 138, 141;

supposed farewell letter to his lady, 137-140;

stripped of his appointments, 141;

communications with Cobham, 141, 144, 145;

enmity of populace to, 145;

trial at Winchester, 146-157;

letter to K. James suing for life, 158, 159;

poem The Pilgrimage, 159;

reprieved at hour for execution, 160;

confinement in Tower, 160, 164, 167, 168;

efforts for his release, 169;

friendship with Queen and Prince Henry, 169;

asks permission to go to Guiana, 170, 174;

literary pursuits, 171;

consulted by P. Henry in shipbuilding, 173-4;

writing Marriage Discourses, 174;

History of World and Ben Jonson, 175, 176-182;

demands for his MS., 184;

his Cabinet Council; Discourse of War; and Observations on Trade and Commerce, 185, 186;

his release and conditions, 188, 189;

prepares second voyage to Guiana, 189-191;

intrigues for seizure of Genoa, 192;

leaves for Guiana—fleet vicissitudes, 193-194;

details of outward voyage, 195-200;

meets an old servant in Guiana, 200;

his son slain at San Thomé, 201;

fails to discover gold, 201;

his faithful Keymis commits suicide, 202;

mutiny of his fleet ib.;

ignominious return to England, 203, 205;

arrest and attempted escape, 206, 208;

writes Apology for the Voyage to Guiana, 208;

valuables found on his person, 209;

James uninfluenced by Apology, ib.;

rhyming petition to Queen; her exertions, 209, 210;

examined before Commissioners, 210, 212;

written confession to the King, 212;

if pardoned declares ability to reveal State secrets, ib.;

trial, defence, condemnation, 212, 213, 214;

bearing night before execution, 214-5;

last interview with his Lady, 215;

last verses, ib.;

proposed burial at Beddington, 215;

last moments, conduct on scaffold, 216-220;

reason for attempted escape to France, 219;

execution, 221;

body in St. Margaret's, Westminster, 222;

his head embalmed and preserved, ib.;

death roll of his friends, 223

Raleigh, Walter, the younger, 114, 116;

and Sherborne estates, 143;

at Oxford; his tutors, 171;

wins a fatal duel, 175;

and Ben Jonson, ib.;

Captain of the 'Destiny,' 193;

with Keymis in Orinoco gold expedition, 200;

killed at San Thomé, last words, 201

Raleigh, Lady, and see Throckmorton;

influence over Cecil, 84;

appeals to Cecil, 110, 144, 158;

and Durham House, 117, 133;

her husband's supposed farewell letter, 137-140;

shares rooms in Tower, 162;

and Sherborne Estates, 144, 164, 165, 171, 172;

pleads with James for R.'s pardon, 169;

sells an estate at Mitcham, 189;

letter from R. in Guiana, 200;

meets R. at Plymouth, 206;[Pg 244]

precedes R. to London, 207;

released from Tower, 212;

final interview with R., 215;

and burial of her husband, 215, 222;

her death, 222

Rebellion in Ireland, R.'s share in suppression, 9-16

Remains of R.'s writings, 187

'Repulse,' Essex's ship off Cadiz, 93;

off Azores, 107

Revenge, R.'s ship, 42

'Revenge,' A Report of the Truth of the Fight, etc., 51;

its style and anonymous issue, ib.

Richard the Second, Cecil entertains Essex and R. with Shakespeare, 103-104

Richelieu refers to R., 193

Rimenant, R. at battle of, 5

Roanoke, discovery of, 28;

settled by Ralph Lane, 29

Roche, Lord and Lady, captured by R., 15

Rochelle privateers strip R.'s ships, 37

'Roebuck,' R.'s ship captures 'Madre de Dios,' 60

Roraima, 79

Rutland, Countess of, Sir P. Sidney's sister, 175

Sacharissa, grand-daughter of R.'s cousin, 33

Saint Germain, R. receives manor of, 116

Salisbury, R. ill at, 207, 208;

K. James and Court at, 208

Salisbury, See of, and R.'s Sherborne estate, 52, 53, 64

Salisbury, Cecil created Earl of, 166

Salisbury, William, Second Earl of, playmate to young Walter R., 114;

at Sherborne, 116

Salto Caroni, cataract of, 74

San Juan de Ulloa, 6

San Miguel, its capture arranged, 107, 109

San Rafael de Barrancas settlement, 72

San Thomé, R.'s captain attacks, 201;

R.'s eldest son killed at, ib.;

news of attack reaches Spain and England, 205

Sancroft, Archbishop, attributes History of England to R., 182

Sandars, a legate, and Irish rebellion, 8

Sarmiento, Don Pedro, captured by R., 33

Sarmiento. See Gondomar

Savage, Sir Arthur, and Duc de Biron, 122;

reference to, 125

Savoy watched by Venice, 190

Scarnafissi, Savoyard Envoy, 192;

R. suggests to him seizure of Genoa, ib.;

lays R.'s scheme before King James; its rejection, ib.

Schomburgk, Sir Robert, corroborates R. in Guiana, 71, 72

Sentleger, Sir Warham, Irish command, 8;

Provost Marshal of Munster, 9

Sentleger, Sir William, command in Guiana fleet, 194

Shakespeare's advent, 85;

performance of his Richard the Second, 104

Shepherd of the Ocean, R. so named by Spenser, 44, 46-7

Shepherd's Calender by Spenser, 10, 44;

references to R. in, 45

Sherborne, R.'s favourite country abode, 52;

R.'s acquirement of, 52, 53;

R. at, 63, 67, 71, 87, 100, 114, 126, 127, 207;

Dean of Sarum lets farms over R.'s head, 64;[Pg 245]

remnant of R.'s fortune: tries to tie it to his son and Adrian Gilbert, 143;

Sir J. Elphinstone applies for, ib.;

R. conveys it to his son with rent charge to Lady R., 144;

supports R. six years in Tower, 162;

King's Commissioners spoiling, 163;

Cecil stays commissioners, ib.;

held on trust for Lady R. by Sir A. Brett, 164;

R.'s conveyance declared invalid, 164, 165;

Keymis warder of, 164;

Lady R. pleads for secure tenure of, 171;

James covets it for and bestows it on Carr, 171, 172;

repurchased for Prince Henry, 172;

Lady R. receives 8,000l. in lieu of, ib.;

R.'s last sojourn at, 207

Shipping, R.'s Invention of, 18

Sidmouth Church, earliest R. deed preserved at, 2

Sidney, Sir Philip, R.'s contemporary at Oxford, 3;

tennis court quarrel, 7;

handsome features, 20;

R.'s elegy on, 33

Sidney, Robert, marries R.'s cousin, 33

Simancas, R.'s map of Guiana found at, 83;

R.'s confession of French intrigues found at, 212

Sion House, R. visits Earl of Northumberland at, 114

Smerwick Bay, Spanish invasion at, 8

Southwell, Sir Robert, with Cadiz expedition, 95

Southwell, Lord, his ancestor distributes R.'s potatoes, 48

Southampton, Earl of, his amusement, 111

Spain and R., 25, 30, 32, 50, 51, 52, 84;

attack and capture of its plate ships, 59-60;

R. tries to stem flow of gold to, 76-77;

effect of Cadiz expedition on, 101;

R. counsels a second attack on, 105;

expedition to, and its accidents, 105, 106;

alters destiny for Azores, 107;

invades Ireland at Kinsale, 124;

King James waiting overtures from, 135;

R.'s Discourse touching War with, ib.;

R.'s offer to raise and lead troops against, ib.;

watching France, 190;

Guiana route submitted to, 191;

offers R. escort to Guiana gold mines, ib.;

promised security at peril of R.'s life, 192, 205;

asks punishment of R. for San Thomé attack, ib.;

Buckingham favourable to, 210;

James, the attempted catspaw of R. against, 211;

English pensioners in pay of, ib.

Spanish Alarum, The, by R., 104

Spanish Ambassador pleads for R.'s life, 158

Spanish Armada, 38-39, 88

Spanish Faction in Scotland, the Dangers of a, 124

Spanish invasion of England, R.'s advice against, 37-38

Sparrey, Francis, volunteers to stay in Guiana, 79;

captured by Spaniards; his account of Guiana, ib.

Spenser, Edmund, secretary to Lord Grey in Ireland, 10;

his Shepherd's Calender; first meets R., ib., 20;

Colin Clout, evidence of R.'s position with Queen, 43;

effect of R.'s friendship on, ib.;

his Faery Queen and R.'s adventures compared, ib.;

Clerk of Council of Munster, 44;

Irish estate, ib.;[Pg 246]

returns to England; at Court with R., 48;

secures a pension for Faery Queen, 49

'St. Andrew,' rich Spanish prize taken at Cadiz, 99

St. Bartholomew's, R. and massacre on, 4

St. John, J. A., Life of R., v.;

discovery of R.'s map of Guiana, 83;

prints R.'s confession, 212

St. John, Oliver, trial of, 184

St. John, Sir William, efforts for R.'s release, 188

St. Margaret's, Westminster, R.'s body buried in, 222

'St. Matthew,' valuable prize taken at Cadiz, 98, 99

'St. Philip,' R.'s contest at Cadiz with, 96, 98;

saved from total destruction by Dutch, 99

Stafford, Sir Edward, tells Bacon of R. in Tower, 57;

his kinswoman wife of Governor of Gomera, 197

Stannaries, R. Lord Warden of the, 32, 64, 128, 141

Stead, death of, 198

Steel Glass, Gascoigne's, 5;

verses prefixed by R. to, ib.

Stourton, Lady, R. arrests a Jesuit in house of, 64

Strozzi, Peter, lost at Azores, 39

Stuart, Arabella, conspirators for, 102;

her descent and relationship to James I., 142, 143;

protests her ignorance of plot at R.'s trial, 155;

James wishes to spare, ib.;

her death, R. deprived of her pearls, 187

Stukely, Sir Lewis, R.'s cousin, arrests R., 206;

hires French quack to inveigle R., 207;

bribed by and betrays R., 208;

valuables on R.'s person fall to, 209;

denounced by R., 220;

condemned for clipping coin, 222;

fled to Lundy and died a maniac, 223

Suffolk urges severity against R., 141

'Summer's Nightingale,' R. styled the, 49

Talbot, John, R.'s secretary in Tower, death of, 199

Tarleton, comedian, his remark against R. at Court, 36

Tax on tavern-keepers ascribed to R. but due to Queen, 131

Temple, Middle, R. in, 5

Tennyson, Lord, praise of Sir R. Grenville, 51

Tewkesbury, Annals of, 171

Throckmorton, Arthur, dispute and dismissal from fleet, 90;

restored by R.'s influence, 91;

gains distinction at Cadiz, 91

Throckmorton, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Nicholas, 55;

her love of R., 55;

private marriage with R., ib., 63;

confined in Tower, 57;

see R., Lady

Thynne, Francis, R.'s cousin, 214

'Tiger,' Sir R. Grenville's ship, 29

Tipperary, R. granted estates in, 34

Tonson, navigator, 6

Topiawari, friendly Guiana chief, 78, 79

Tounson, Dean of Westminster, R.'s spiritual adviser, 214;

describes R. in face of death, 214-215;

attends R.'s execution, 216

Tower, R. confined in, 57, 137, 138, 142, 145, 160, 161-188, 209;

R. attempts suicide in, 137;

plague in outlying posts of, 142;[Pg 247]

R.'s apartments in Garden or Bloody Tower, 162;

malaria in, 164;

Lady R. and son leaves, 165;

R.'s experiments in garden of, 168;

death of Arabella Stuart in, 187;

release of R., 188

Tower, Lieutenants of, in charge of R., Sir G. Harvey and Sir J. Peyton, 141;

Sir William Waad, 167;

Sir A. Apsley and Sir T. Wilson, 211

Trade and Commerce, R. on, 186;

a plea for free trade, 186-187;

when published, 187

Trinidad, A. de Berreo Governor of, 66;

visited by R.'s expedition, 67, 200;

its liquid pitch and oysters, 67;

R. returns from Guiana to, 80

Udall, John, protected by R. and Essex, 50

Underwoods, verses by R. attributed to Ben Jonson, 175

Vanlore, Pieter, R. borrows of, 190

Venezuela coast plundered by R.'s expedition, 81;

precautions against English, ib.

Venice watching Savoy, 190

Vere, Sir Francis, with Cadiz expedition, 95, 97;

to attempt with Howard capture of Graciosa, 107

Villiers, favourable to R., 187;

animus against Somerset, 188;

urged to intervene for R., 210;

pledged to Spanish alliance, ib.

Virginia, discovery of, 28;

failure of a second expedition to, 29;

its products attract R., 30;

collapse of R.'s colony, 33;

a fourth expedition fails, 36;

expenditure on abortive fifth expedition, 37;

R.'s relief vessels stripped by privateers, ib.;

drain on R.'s fortune; leases patent, 41;

never visited by R., ib.;

R.'s final effort to colonise, 125;

R. not a complete loser by expeditions to, 126;

expected return of an expedition by R., 40

Waad, Sir W., takes R. to Winchester for trial, 145;

special commissioner at R.'s trial, 146;

thinks R. too comfortable in Tower, 162;

succeeds as Lieutenant of Tower, 167;

suspicion of R.'s experiments, 168;

reference to, 170

Walsingham and R. in Paris on St. Bartholomew's eve, 4;

massacre of Fort del Ore reported to, 12;

reference to, 32;

death of, 50

Walton, Izaak, accounts of Ben Jonson and R., 175

War, R.'s A Discourse of, 185-6;

most pleasing of R.'s prose writings, 185

Warburton, judge at R.'s Winchester trial, 146

'War Sprite,' R.'s ship in Cadiz expedition, 94

Waterford, R. granted estates in, 34;

trade in pipe-staves encouraged by R., 47

Watson's plot, 135;

his conviction and execution, 158

Webbe's praise of Shepherd's Calender, 44

West Indies, Sir W. R.'s voyage to the, 7;

R.'s early visits to, ib.

[Pg 248]West Horsley Church, R.'s head rests in, 222

Wexford, its trade in pipe-staves encouraged by R., 47

Weymouth, R. at, 100, 104, 116, 127

Whiddon, Captain Jacob, visits Guiana for R., 66;

examines mouths of Orinoco, 69

White, Captain John, fourth Virginian expedition, 36;

lands at Hatorask. His failure, ib.

White, Roland, records R. at Court, 103

Whitlock, Captain, 167

Willoughby, Ambrose, Esquire of the body, 111

Wilson, Sir Thomas, spy on R., 211;

his acquaintance with Raleigh in Tower, ib.

Winchester, Marquis of, entertains Queen and French envoys at Basing House, 123

Winchester, R. tried at Wolvesey Castle, 145;

R. confined in, 157, 159;

R. removed from, 160

Winchester, Bishop of, attendant on, 158

Wines, farm of, R. granted, 24, 25;

King James transfers it to E. of Nottingham, 141

Winwood, Sir Ralph, favourable to R., 187, 204;

hater of Spain, 188;

visits R.'s ship 'Destiny,' 192;

ignores Bailey's charge against R., 199;

R. writes of his Guiana failure to, 202;

his death, 203, 204

Wither, George, prophecy of English supremacy in America, 25

Wokoken, discovery of, 28

Wood, Anthony à, records R. at Oxford, 3

Works by Ben Jonson, and R.'s verses, 175

Yelverton, Attorney-General, prosecutes R., 210, 214

Yetminster Manor given to R., 53

Youghal burned by Geraldines, 8;

destruction of Geraldine Friary, 34;

R.'s residence at, 34, 44;

yew tree contemporary with R. still at, 48;

potato first planted at, 48

Zouch, in trenches at Fort del Ore, 12;

at Lismore, 15

Spottiswoode & Co. Printers, New-street Square, London

TRANSCRIBERS' NOTES

General: corrections to punctuation have not been individually documented

General: references to page iii changed to page v

Page 19: life-time standardised to lifetime

Page 28: "'a delicate sweet smell' far out in ocean" as in original

Pages 148, 238: Discrepancy in the spelling of Renzi/Rienzi as in original

Page 160: Gray's standardised to Grey's in "could not hear, Grey's lips"

Page 226: "Madre de Dio" standardised to "Madre de Dios"

Beddingfield Park standardised to Bedingfield Park

Page 228: Gavan standardised to Gawen

Psge 233: N.W. standardised to N.-W.

Page 238: 206-7-8 standardised to 206-8

Page 239: Meere standardised to Meeres

Montcontour standardised to Moncontour

Page 240: hatband standardised to hat-band

Page 242: broadcloths standardised to broad-cloths

McDermod standardised to MacDermod

Page 246: Page number corrected from 24 to 64 in entry Stourton

Page 247: Page number corrected from 517 to 175 in entry Underwoods






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