Sep 7, 2017

History Of Wackemall, Part 71: Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh (1554-- 1618) English explorer, landed gentleman, writer, poet, soldier, politician, courtier, and spy. The man first sent to the new world by Queen Elizabeth I of England and well known for popularising tobacco there.

According to Wikipedia:

"In 1584, Queen Elizabeth granted Raleigh a royal charter authorising him to explore, colonise and rule any "remote, heathen and barbarous lands, countries and territories, not actually possessed of any Christian Prince or inhabited by Christian People," in return for one-fifth of all the gold and silver that might be mined there."

Raleigh, who never visited North America but for whom the capital of North Carolina is named, made several trips to South America said to be in search of the mythical "El Dorado" or "City of Gold" that was believed to exist there.

Raleigh wrote fictional accounts of his discoveries, exaggerating his findings, leading some to believe he was never searching for gold but perhaps for something even more elusive, for in an early draft of his poem The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd, researchers from Wackemall University discovered the following.

"But true love is a durable fire,
In the mind ever burning,
Never sick, never old, never dead,
From itself never turning.

If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be thy wackemall."


And in this recently discovered first draft of Sir Walter Raleigh's poem The Lie, he writes:

"Go, Soul, the body's guest,
Upon a thankless errand;
Fear not to touch the best;
The truth shall be thy wackemall:"


Could Wackemall have been the real reason Sir Walter Raleigh was twice imprisoned and later executed? At his execution he said the following to his executioner, "At this hour my ague comes upon me. I would not have my enemies think I quaked from fear." After he was allowed to see the axe that would be used to behead him, he mused: "This is a sharp Medicine, but it is a Physician for all diseases and miseries." Raleigh's last words were: "Strike, man, strike!"

In his cell was a pouch assumed to contain tobacco with rge following Latin inscription: Comes meus fuit in illo miserrimo tempore ("It was my companion at that most miserable time").

But nowhere in the historical record does it actually say the pouch held tobacco.

Please continue reading History Of Wackemall, Part 72: Georges Cuvier


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