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British Explorers , Raleigh & Livingstone

Besides being an explorer, Sir Walter Raleigh was also known as a historian, poet, and soldier, who led expeditions to South and North America. With hopes of increasing trade with the New World, locating new settlements, and uncovering gold, Raleigh accomplished a lot before he was executed by King James I for treason. In this article, you will learn more about Raleigh, as well as fellow British explorer, David Livingstone.

Walter Raleigh (1554-1618)

Sir Walter Raleigh  is known for shipping colonists off to the east coast of North America in 1585. Later, Raleigh would name the region Virginia to pay homage to Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen. He is also given credit for introducing Britain to tobacco and potatoes, which came from the New World , however, it is believed that these items already existed before his entry.

4 Facts About Raleigh

1) Without receiving the Queen’s permission, Raleigh married one of her ladies-in-waiting (Elizabeth Throckmorton) in secret. This transgression landed him and his wife to the infamous Tower of London. When they were released, the two retired to his estate, located in Sherborne, Dorset.

2) In 1603, Raleigh found himself locked in the Tower once again , after Queen Elizabeth had passed away. It was suspected that he had a hand in a plot against the life of King James I.

3) Raleigh was released from the Tower in 1616 so that he could join a second expedition to locate El Dorado , better known as the ‘City of Gold.’ He was unsuccessful and to make matters worse , men under his command ransacked the Spanish outpost situated at San Thome. When he returned to England, he was arrested once again. A trial was held, but unfortunately turned out to be a spectacle at his expense. In the end, he was beheaded at Whitehall.

4) As a youth, Raleigh’s family became a target for the consequences of being on the wrong side of the religious line when it came to the Catholic Queen, Mary I of England. As strong Protestants, they often dodged many bullets, including one time when Raleigh’s father was forced to hide in a tower so that he could escape death.

David Livingstone (1813-1873)

When it comes to knowing the interior of Africa, it was British missionary and explorer, David Livingstone, who became an authority on the subject. In 1841, Livingstone arrived as a missionary in Africa, but it took him until 1853 to actually getting around to exploring the land. He spent two decades traveling all over the continent , walking and investigating the Zambezi River. One of the things that he showed great interest in was locating the source of the Nile River. As a result of his travels, Livingstone became the first European to lay eyes on the imposing Victoria Falls.

The explorer became so engrossed in all he had encountered in Africa that there was a point that deserters of some of his expeditions would report that Livingstone had died. To put an end to the rumors, an American reporter by the name of Henry M. Stanley was sent to Africa to locate the explorer. In 1872, he was found. After leaving food and medicine with Livingstone, he returned to the states so that he could relay his tale to his readers. However, Livingstone passed away one year later while still in Africa. While his body was sent to Westminster Abbey, London, England for burial, his heart literally stayed in Africa.