Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/886

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869
RALEIGH, SIR WALTER

majority of the Magyar gentry, while from Louis XIV. Rákóczy only got 100,000 thalers, the Golden Fleece, and a promise (never kept) that the Hungarians should be included in the general peace. But into a direct alliance with Rákóczy the French king would not enter, and Laszló Vetési, Rákóczy's envoy at Versailles, in 1708 advised his master to place no further reliance on the French court. Shortly afterwards, at Trencsen (Aug 3, 1708), Rákóczy's army was scattered to the winds. The rout of Trencsen was followed by a general abandonment. The remnant of the host, too, was now thoroughly demoralized and dared not face the imperialists. A fresh attempt to renew the war in 1710 was speedily ruined by the disaster of Romhány (Jan. 22), and a desperate effort to secure the help of Peter the Great also failing, Rákóczy gave up everything for lost, and on the 21st of February 1711 quitted his country for ever, refusing to accept the general amnesty conceded after the peace of Szatmár (see Hungary, History). He lived for a time in France on the bounty of Louis XIV., finally entering the Carmelite Order. In 1717, with forty comrades, he volunteered to assist the Turks against the Austrians, but on arriving at Constantinople discovered there was nothing for him to do. He lived for the rest of his life at the little town of Rodostó, where he died on the 8th of April 1735. His remains were solemnly transferred to Hungary in 1907 at the expense of the state.

See Autobiography of Prince Francis Rákóczy (Hung.) (Miskolcz, 1903); E. Jurkovieh, The Liberation Wars of Prince Francis Rákóczy (Hung.) (Beszterczebánya, 1903); S. Endrödi, Kurucz Notes, 1700-1720 (Hung.) (Budapest, 1897).

(R. N. B.)

RALEIGH, SIR WALTER (c. 1552-1618), British explorer, poet and historian, was born probably in 1552, though the date is not quite certain. His father, Walter Raleigh of Fardell, in the parish of Cornwood, near Plymouth, was a country gentleman of old family, but of reduced estate. Walter Raleigh the elder was three times married. His famous son was the child of his third marriage with Catherine, daughter of Sir Philip Champernown of Modbury, and widow of Otho Gilbert of Compton. By her first marriage she had three sons, John, Humphrey and Adrian Gilbert. Mr. Raleigh had been compelled to give up living in his own house of Fardell. His son was born at the farmhouse of Hayes near the head of Budleigh Salterton Bay, on the coast of Devonshire between Exmouth and Sidmouth. The name is written with a diversity exceptional even in that age. Sir Walter, his father, and a half-brother used different forms. The spelling Raleigh was adopted by Sir Walter's widow, and has been commonly used, though there has been a tendency to prefer “Ralegh” in recent times. It was almost certainly pronounced “Rawley.”

In 1568 he was entered as a commoner of Oriel College, Oxford, but he took no degree, and his residence was brief. In 1569 he followed his cousin Henry Champernown, who took over a body of English volunteers to serve with the French Huguenots. From a reference in his History of the World it has been supposed that he was present at the battle of Jarnac (13th of March 1569), and it has been asserted that he was in Paris during the Massacre of St Bartholomew in 1572. Nothing, however, is known with certainty of his life till February 1575, when he was resident in the Temple. During his trial in 1603 he declared that he had never studied the law, but that his breeding had been “wholly gentleman, wholly soldier.” In June 1578 his half-brother Sir Humphrey Gilbert obtained a patent for six years authorizing him to take possession of “any remote barbarous and heathen lands not possessed by any Christian prince or people.” The gentry of Devon had been much engaged in maritime adventure of a privateering or even piratical character since the reign of Henry VIII. In the reign of Elizabeth they were the leaders in colonial enterprises in conflict with the Spaniards in America. During 1578 Humphrey Gilbert led an expedition which was a piratical venture against the Spaniards, and was driven back after an action with them and the loss of a ship in the Atlantic. Raleigh accompanied his half-brother as captain of the “Falcon,” and was perhaps with him in an equally unsuccessful voyage of the following year. Gilbert was impoverished by his ventures, and Raleigh had to seek his fortune about the court. In the course of 1580 he was twice arrested for duels, and he attached himself to the queen's favourite, the earl of Leicester, and to the earl of Oxford, son-in-law of Burghley, for whom he carried a challenge to Sir Philip Sidney. By the end of 1580 he was serving as captain of a company of foot in Munster. He took an active part in suppressing the rebellion of the Desmonds, and in the massacre of the Spanish and Italian adventurers at Smerwick in November. His letters prove that he was the advocate of a ruthless policy against the Irish, and did not hesitate to recommend assassination as a means of getting rid of their leaders.

In December 1581 he was sent home with dispatches, as his company had been disbanded on the suppression of the Desmonds. His great fortune dates from his arrival at court where he was already not unknown. Raleigh had been in correspondence with Walsingham for some time. The romantic stories told by Sir Robert Naunton in the Fragmenta Regalia, and by Fuller in his Worthies, represent at least the mythical truth as to his rise into favour. It is quite possible that Raleigh, at a time when his court clothes represented “a considerable part of his estate,” did (as the old story says) throw his mantle on the ground to help the queen to walk dry-shod over a puddle, and that he scribbled verses with a diamond on a pane of glass to attract her attention, though we only have the gossip of a later generation for our authority. It is certain that his tall and handsome person, his caressing manners and his quick wit pleased the queen. The rewards showered on him were out of all proportion to his services in Ireland, which had not been more distinguished than those of many others. In March 1582 he was granted a reward of £100, and the command of a company, nominally that he might be exercised in the wars, but in reality as a form of pension, since he was allowed to discharge his office by deputy and remained at court. In February 1583 he was included in the escort sent to accompany the duke of Anjou from England to Flanders. In 1583 the queen made him a grant of Durham House in the Strand (London), the property of the see of Durham, which had however been used of late as a royal guest-house. In the same year the queen's influence secured him two beneficial leases from All Souls, Oxford, which he sold to his advantage, and a patent to grant licences to “vintners,”—that is, tavern keepers. This he subleased, and when his agent, one Browne, cheated him, he got the grant revoked, and reissued on terms which allowed him to make £2000 a year. In 1584 he had a licence for exporting woollen cloths, a lucrative monopoly which made him very unpopular with the merchants. He was knighted in 1584. In 1585 he succeeded the earl of Bedford as Warden of the Stannaries. Raleigh made a good use of the great powers which the wardenship gave him in the mining districts of the west. He reduced the old customs to order, and showed himself fair to the workers. In 1586 he received a grant of 40,000 acres of the forfeited lands of the Desmonds, on the Blackwater in Ireland. He was to plant English settlers, which he endeavoured to do, and he introduced the cultivation of the potato and of tobacco. In 1587 he received a grant in England of part of the forfeited land of the conspirator Babington.

During these years Raleigh was at the height of his favour. It was the policy of Queen Elizabeth to have several favourites at once, lest any one might be supposed to have exclusive influence with her. Raleigh was predominant during the period between the predominance of Leicester and the rise of the earl of Essex, who came to court in 1587. It is to be noted that Elizabeth treated Raleigh exclusively as a court favourite, to be enriched by monopolies and grants at the expense of her subjects, but that she never gave him any great office, nor did she admit him to the council. Even his post of captain of the Guard, given in 1587, though honourable, and, to a man who would take gifts for the use of his influence, lucrative, was mainly ornamental. His many offices and estates did not monopolize the activity of Raleigh. The patent given to his half-brother Sir Humphrey Gilbert was to run out in 1584. To