|[London: Printed for Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange; and Sherwood, Neely, & Jones, Paternoster Row, 1819]
|Image 53 x 43 mm, Sheet 240 x 148 mm
A miniature portrait of Walter Raleigh, from "The Biographical Magazine; Containing Portraits of Eminent and Ingenious Persons of every age and nation, with their lives and characters".
William Holl (1807- 1871) was an English artist, portrait and figure engraver.
Sir Walter Raleigh (c. 1554 –1618) was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy, and explorer. He studied at Oriel College in Oxford in 1572 and shortly thereafter at Middle Temple law college. Raleigh fought on the side of the French Protestants in the Wars of religion in 1569, and was later noticed by Queen Elisabeth for his criticism of English policies implemented in Ireland when he fought the Irish rebels at Munster in 1580. He soon became a favourite of the queen, who granted him influential positions at court him and helped him greatly improved his financial situation. Raleigh was knighted in 1587, but fell from grace in 1592 when the queen discovered that he had secretly started a family. Elisabeth imprisoned Raleigh and his wife in the Tower of London, from which he could soon buy his freedom, but he was unable to regain favor. His extravagant appearance, spending habits and bold opinions made him unpopular with the court. He was accused of conspiring against King James I in 1603 and once again imprisoned at the Tower. Raleigh had always been very interested in the sciences, mainly mathematics and navigation, and had tried to establish a colony near Roanake Island in present day North Carolina between 1584 and 1589. He never travelled there himself, but went on expeditions to Cadiz in Spain, the Azores and journeyed to what is now known as Venezuela. He searched for the legendary city of El Dorado in South America, but only found some small gold mines. Raleigh convinced King James to release him from prison in 1616 and finance on a second expedition to find gold in Venezuela, but after Raleigh returned with nothing to show, the king lifted up the suspended death sentence and had Raleigh executed.
Condition: Miniature oval portrait on full sheet. Biography of Walter Raleigh underneath the image. Minor overall time toning, mainly to the edges of the sheet.