RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 98
Datec 1615
Extent1 volume
TitleManuscript copy of Raleigh's 'Dialogue between a Councillor of State and a Justice of the Peace'
DescriptionThe document is a soft vellum-bound manuscript fair copy of the work first published in 1628 as 'The Prerogative of Parliaments in England: Proved in a Dialogue (pro & contra) betweene a Councellour of State and a Justice of Peace'. Written by the worthy (much lacked and lamented) Sir Walter Raleigh, Knight, deacesed. It carries the title 'A Dialogue betweene and Councellor of State & a Justice of Peace', and has the first line 'Nowe S[r] what thinke yo[w] of Mr St Johns tryall in the Starrechamber' referring to the trial of St John in April 1615. In addition there is a manuscript copy of the dedicatory letter to the king signed 'WR'.
Admin HistorySir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), military and naval commander, author, was born at Hayes Barton in Devon, the son of a local gentleman. After expeditions to the Azores and Ireland he found favour with Queen Elizabeth, and soon was granted many favours and monopolies. In 1585 he attempted to found England's first overseas colony at Roanoke, which proved eventually abortive with the loss of all the settlers. In the 1590s he continued to flatter the queen and convert her favour to financial advantage but fell foul of her when his relationship with Elizabeth Throgmorton was exposed. He was imprisoned and only released after allowing the queen to divest him of the major share of the spoils due to him from the capture of the Spanish carack Madre de Dios. He married Elizabeth Throgmorton and settled at Sherborne Castle. In 1593 he became MP for Michael, Cornwall, and took an active part in the proceedings of the House. He was a member of the Elizabethan Society of Antiquaries. Atheism attracted him, and so did the legend of Eldorado, which he pursued in 1595. The following year he took part in the seizure of Cadiz, and in 1597 was one of the commanders under the Earl of Essex of the expedition against the Spanish. He fell out with Essex, and was the victim of scandal-mongering by the earl which resulted in his being shot at by Sir Christopher Blount. Raleigh was chosen as MP for Dorset in 1597 and Cornwall in 1601. In 1600 he was made Governor of Jersey, but fell from favour and lost this office along with his monopolies on tin and sweet wine and his position as Captain of the Guard when James came to the throne. He was committed to the Tower, brought to trial, and sentenced to death, but this sentence was commuted to one of imprisonment in the Tower. In confinement he wrote many of his works, including his famous 'History of the World'. In March 1616 he was released to lead an adventure to the Orinocco, on which he had staked all the fortune he and his wife had left. His son died on the expedition, the men proved ineffective, and the Spanish ambassador in England succeeded in the none-too difficult task of persuading James to have Raleigh executed. He returned to England, and was beheaded on 18 October 1618.
Access StatusOpen
Related MaterialOriginal manuscripts of Sir Walter Raleigh are held at numerous repositories in the UK and USA, including the British Library. For further details, see The National Archives.
Access ConditionsUsual EUL arrangements apply.
Finding_AidsListed. See Description above.
Creator_NameRaleigh; Walter (1552-1618); military and naval commander and author
Mgt_GroupPolitical papers
Historical papers
Social science and law papers
DS/UK/88Raleigh; Walter (1552-1618); courtier, explorer1552-1618
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