Walter Raleigh (1586 - 1646)

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Nicknames: "Ralegh"
Death: Died
Cause of death: wounds from mistreatment by Parliamantarians
Occupation: Clergyman; Dean of Wells Cathedra
Managed by: Carole (Erickson) Pomeroy, Vol. Curator
Last Updated:

About Walter Raleigh

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ralegh,_Walter_(1552%3F-1618)_(DNB00)

RALEGH, Sir WALTER (1552?–1618), military and naval commander and author, was born about 1552 at Hayes or Hayes Barton, near Budleigh Salterton, South Devonshire (for description of birthplace see Trans. of Devonshire Association, xxi. 312–20). His father, Walter Ralegh (1496?–1581), a country gentleman, was originally settled at Fardell, near Plymouth, where he owned property at his death; he removed about 1520 to Hayes, where he leased an estate, and spent the last years of his long life at Exeter. He narrowly escaped death in the western rebellion of 1549, was churchwarden of East Budleigh in 1561, and is perhaps the ‘Walter Rawley’ who represented Wareham in the parliament of 1558. He was buried in the church of St. Mary Major, Exeter, on 23 Feb. 1580–1. He married thrice: first, about 1518, Joan, daughter of John Drake of Exmouth, and probably first cousin of Sir Francis Drake; secondly, a daughter of Darrell of London; and, thirdly, after 1548, Katharine, daughter of Sir Philip Champernowne of Modbury, and widow of Otho Gilbert (d. 18 Feb. 1547) of Compton, near Dartmouth.

By his first wife the elder Ralegh had two sons: George, who is said to have furnished a ship to meet the Spanish armada in 1588, and was buried at Withycombe Ralegh on 12 March 1596–7, leaving issue believed to be illegitimate; and John, who succeeded to the family property at Fardell, and died at a great age in 1629. Mary, the only child of the second marriage, was wife of Hugh Snedale. By his third wife, Katharine (d. 1594), whose will, dated 11 May 1594, is in the probate registry at Exeter, the elder Ralegh had, together with a daughter Margaret and Walter, the subject of this notice,

Sir Carew Ralegh (1550?–1625?), Sir Walter's elder brother of the whole blood. Carew engaged in 1578 in the expedition of his half-brother, Sir Humphrey Gilbert [q. v.], and figured with Sir Walter and his two elder half-brothers, George and John, on the list of sea-captains drawn up in consequence of rumours of a Spanish invasion in January 1585–6. He sat in parliament as member for Wiltshire in 1586, for Ludgershall in 1589, for Downton both in 1603–4 and in 1621, and he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1601 at Basing House. For some time he was gentleman of the horse to John Thynne of Longleat, and on Thynne's death he married his widow, Dorothy, daughter of Sir William Wroughton of Broad Heighton, Wiltshire. On his marriage he sold his property in Devonshire, and settled at Downton House, near Salisbury. Until 1625 he was lieutenant of the Isle of Portland (cf. Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1608–25). Aubrey says of him that he ‘had a delicate clear voice, and played skilfully on the olpharion’ (Letters, ii. 510). His second son, Walter [q. v.] (1586–1646), is separately noticed.

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