Sir Walter Raleigh, who has returned to England from his expedition
to Guiana, is beheaded at Whithall. When he was released from the
Tower of London to undertake an expedition in search of gold, James
I promised to the Spanish ambassador, Count Gondomar, that if he
was found to have attacked any Spanish possessions on his voyage,
Raleigh would become liable to the sentence passed on him in 1603.
While he was in Guiana his men attacked the Spanish settlement of
San Tome on the Orinoco river, and as a result Gondomar insisted on
his execution. He had been a popular national hero in his
Elizabethan heyday, and there was a widespread outcry at his death.
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Editors. "Sir Walter Raleigh is executed on his return to England". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 February 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=15821, accessed 23 January 2017.]