SCYLLA & CHARYBDIS
"Sir Walter Raleigh, when they arrested him, had half a million francs on his back including a pair of fancy stays." (U9.628)
Sir Walter Raleigh (c. 1552-1618), was an English writer, courtier and explorer, born to a Protestant family in Devon. Little is known of his early life. He spent some time in Ireland (Co. Westmeath), taking part in the suppression of rebellions, later becoming a landlord of lands confiscated from the Irish. He rose rapidly in Queen Elizabeth's favour and was knighted in 1585. He was involved in the early English colonization of the New World in Virginia under a royal patent. In 1594 Raleigh heard of a "golden city" in South America and sailed to find it, publishing an exaggerated account of his experiences that contributed to the legend of El Dorado, and in 1616 led a second in search of El Dorado. This was unsuccessful and the Spanish outpost at San Thomé was ransacked by men under his command. After his return to England he was arrested and after a show trial, was beheaded at the Tower of London.