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**  A second window aside called by the In Brief: Biography page, entitled
“Sir Walter Ralegh (1552–1618)”  **

First Published:  August 2014
Revised (substantive):  2 July 2021

W I T H   C O M P L E T E   T E X T   O F   A L L

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F O R   C A L L I N G   P A G E

#1 (of 6)

misattributed to Federico Zuccaro (c.1540–1609) — This is one more in a “reckless profusion” of British portraits which have been attributed to Zuccaro (aka Zuccari). Zuccaro was resident in London for only a short period, from March through August 1575, well before Molyneux’s English globes first appeared in London. “The assumed purpose of his visit was to paint the portraits of Leicester and the queen. While no such image of Elizabeth survives, it is thought that the portrait of Leicester was executed and that it was destroyed during the Second World War. Both sitters are rendered in autograph red and black chalk studies by Zuccaro in the collection of the British Museum. Owing to a misunderstanding of how long he was actually in residence Zuccaro has traditionally been credited with stimulating the revival in full-length portraits in England. Given his brief presence there, however, and a number of full-length English portraits that predate 1575, it is doubtful that this is the case. Apart from the surviving drawings of Dudley and Elizabeth, only two drawings unquestionably from his English sojourn survive. These are chalk copies in Berlin after Hans Holbein's lost paintings for the Steelyard Guild in London. Zuccaro, however, made many sketches after works of art during his travels and some additional works with English provenance might still be identified." (J. Mundy, ODNB entry for “Zuccaro, Federico (1539/40–1609), painter,” n. pag.) ::

#2 (of 6)

Lord Warden of the Stanneries — This was a lucrative office, since its holder obtained the customs and privileges attaching to the tin mines and smelting works of Cornwall and Devon (the Stannaries). Thomas Hariot also emphasized this plum position (the appointment was made in 1585) among the many honors bestowed on Ralegh by Queen Elizabeth I, referring to his patron as “the Honourable Sir Walter Raleigh Knight, Lord Warden of the stanneries” on the title-page of the little quarto volume privately printed in February 1589 N.S., entitled A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia. Hariot’s Report was rushed into print in order to defend Ralegh’s Virginia enterprise from slanders circulated at court by men who “had little understanding, lesse discretion, and more tongue then was needful or requisite.” The Assignment of Ralegh’s Virginia Charter was set to expire by the limitation of six years on 24 March 1590 if no colonists had been shipped or plantation attempted. ::

#3 (of 6)

only the 1st part of which was ever published — In the 5 books of Part I, Ralegh took “the history of the world from the Creation up to the Roman conquest of Macedonia in 133 BC. With immense scholarship and erudition, Ralegh chronicles the rise and fall of empires and dynasties, in Persia, in Babylon, in Egypt, Greece, Macedonia, Carthage and Rome. In stately, leisurely (and occasionally in Books I and II somewhat tedious) detail, Ralegh tells how one people subjugated others and was itself enslaved, of how one ruler seized power and was himself deposed and ruined. He ranges freely from ancient to modern, from epic to domestic, from the fall and sack of Troy to the capture by a trick of the Channel Island of Sark. He traces out the wars and wanderings of the Ten Tribes of Israel, the campaigns of Alexander the Great, the rise to power of the Roman Empire.” (J. Winton, Sir Walter Ralegh, 287) ::

#4 (of 6)

soon found its audience — Interspersed with his historical narrative are personal interpolations in which Ralegh “makes comparisons or draws morals from his own service, for example, in France or in the Islands Voyage, or from Norris’s expedition to Lisbon in 1589. He interrupts a discussion on Roman naval tactics to expound his views about Howard’s defeat of the Armada and to give a short dissertation on naval warfare in general. He praises the courage of the Roman and Macedonian soldiers but, in a celebrated passage, prefers the ‘golden metal’ of the incomparable English soldier, quoting from the French historian John de Serres that ‘the English come with a conquering bravery, as he, that was accustomed to gain everywhere, without any stay: he forceth our guard, placed upon the bridge, to keep the passage.’” (J. Winton, Sir Walter Ralegh, 288)
   It was this sort of comparative analysis that made Ralegh’s History so valuable to succeeding generations of military strategists and reformers. For example, at the end of the 17th century, Pepys cited Ralegh and his History of the World many times in the notes for his projected History of the Navy. ::

#5 (of 6)

LOVE AND POWER — The word virtute in Ralegh’s motto aroused a different array of feelings in 16th- and 17th-century contemporaries than the English word power connotes today. Virtute evoked a manly chivalric ideal, in which power is inseparable from strength of character, especially the show of courage expected of the nobleman in battle and in politics. Virtute was thus about charisma, and presence, and the exercise of personal (rather than state, or corporate, or even tribal) power. In effect, heraldic taglines such as AMORE ET VIRTUTE worked to naturalize plutocracy by symbolically associating the courtier’s privileges and advancements (e.g., riches, dignities, and oligarchic position) with merit (heroic virtue and excellence of character). ::

#6 (of 6)

English waggoners — The term waggoner referred to a book of nautical charts, and was a corruption of the name of Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer, whose Spiegel der Zeevaert was Englished by Anthony Ashley as The Mariners Mirrour in 1588. The Dutch chart books by Waghenaer, Blaeu, Van Loon, Goos, Lootsman, and others set the bar very high, as English chart and map sellers would quickly discover.
   According to Pepys, “the Dutch Waggener has been continually kept in print and sold under many names over all the world in diverse languages, and continually preferred and used by us ... Nay, so much is the reputation of the Dutch better than ours for sea-maps, and even among ourselves too, that the Dutch have thought it worth their while, even at this very time, to copy out Seller’s own map in English, which they are too good husbands to do if they could not sell them unto us. And Mr. Gascoyne [i.e., “Gascoin the plat-maker”] observes that they have done it with so much exactness that in one of them they have printed the very advertisement inserted by Seller of the maps and platts, etc., which are sold by him.” (S. Pepys, MS. notes, in Samuel Pepys’s Naval Minutes, ed. J. R. Tanner, 19). ::