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1618

James I

Off With His Head

When Raleigh returned from his last expedition to Guyana in 1616 his death sentence of 1603 was invoked by the King James I. At his execution on October 29, 1618 he asked to see the axe and said “This is a sharp Medicine, but it is a Physician for all Diseases”;

As was common at the time, his head was embalmed and presented to his wife. She is said to have carried it with her at all times until she died 29 years later at the age of 82.

The head was finally buried with the body of Sir Walter at St. Margaret's at Westminster.

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James I was the Scottish king before becoming King of England when Elizabeth I died in 1603. He did not like Sir Walter because of Raleigh's writings.

By Rebecca G. Huvard

Mrs. Harris 4th Grade
Timber Drive Elementary
Garner, North Carolina

November 1998