Sir Walter Raleigh
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Sir Walter Raleigh

 Sir Walter Raleigh was born in Devon around 1552 and took part in English military campaigns in France and Ireland before later organising explorotary expeditions to the Americas. Known as a favourite of Queen Elizabeth's, Sir Walter Raleigh was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1584. 

Since Sir Walter Raleigh had helped in the suppression of the Earl of Desmond's revolt in 1579, he benefited greatly from the distribution of the Earl's confiscated lands. Receiving around 40,000 acres including the towns of Lismore and Youghal, he became one of the principal landowners in Ireland. He also served as Mayor of Youghal in 1588 and 1589. He was less successful than Boyle however in populating his lands with English settlers during the Munster plantations as was required by the conditions of his land grant.

Owing to his expeditions to the New World, Raleigh is credited with introducing the potato and tobacco to Ireland. Raleigh's good fortunes began to decline in the 1590's forcing him to sell his Irish land holdings in 1602, ending his involvement with the plantation of Munster.

Worse was to befall Raleigh however, as he subsequently fell out of favour with the Royal Court of James I after Queen Elizabeth's death and spent from 1603 to 1616 in prison for treason. A final expedition to the Americas ended in failure and he was beheaded upon his return in 1618 for alleged conspiracy against James I.

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