Carrying on from Cheers, Sir Walter! (Part 1)
So, across the Irish Sea we go, to land at Youghal, a seaside resort at the mouth of the River Blackwater in Ireland’s County Cork.
It’s where Raleigh made his home for short periods during the 17 years in which he held land in Ireland.
The habour in modern day Youghal
Image credit: Will McGoldrick - McGoldrick Art & Photography
He was elected Mayor of Youghal in 1588 and 1589 and features prominently on the town’s website http://youghal.ie
Indeed they go so far as to say that his name is synonymous with Youghal, and they actually have what they call a Raleigh Quarter.
A smoking Sir Walter and that bucket of water could well feature, since it seems that the story told at The Virginia Ash pub in Henstridge - mentioned in my previous post - is also told in Ireland.
Myrtle Grove, Raleigh's home in Ireland. Always interested in plants and herbs, he is reputed to have introduced myrtle into England from Spain Image credit: Will McGoldrick - McGoldrick Art & Photography
The monument commemorating the Smerwick Harbour massacre Monument at the Field of the Heads (Gort na gCrann) near Dun an Oir commemorating the massacre of around 600 Irish, Spanish and Italian men and women by English troops commanded by Lord Grey of Wilton in 1580. It is said that the victims were decapitated and their heads buried here. The monument dates from 1980; the seaward side bears a cross and a Gaelic inscription 'igcuimhne dhun an oir samhain 1580'
The Walter Raleigh Hotel https://walterraleighhotel.com/ in Youghal, pictured above, seems nonetheless equally proud of its link with our great Devonian. The website includes his biography and one of its three restaurants is called ‘The Walter’. But they might well raise an eyebrow at being included in my humble pub crawl.
Oliver Cromwell, a portrait by Samuel Cooper (d.1672) in the National Portrait Gallery: NPG 514.
And maybe the Walter Raleigh Hotel is acknowledging in its name the supposed republican sentiments which Raleigh had expressed in his 1614 edition of the History of the World. They would impress important later17th century people like the poet John Milton and the revolutionary Oliver Cromwell.
Both Cromwell and Milton were 'deeply influenced by the accounts of the consequences of tyranny in Ralegh's History of the World' as Dr Robert Lawson-Peebles wrote in a 1998 History Today article. According to historian Christopher Hill The History of the World is the only book known to have been recommended by Cromwell.
A model of the USS Raleigh in the U.S. Navy Museum
Image credit: Sturmvogel66
In 1776, a year after the start of the Revolutionary War when 13 colonies declared independence as the United States of America, the Americans even named one of their warships after him. I imagine the Royal Navy felt a bit miffed about this. The USS Raleigh had a full-length figure of Sir Walter as figurehead.
Image credit: https://greenbelt2012.wordpress.com
In the American state of Maryland, north of Virginia, I found the Sir Walter Raleigh Inn, seen above, and described as an old fashioned restaurant known for its prime rib and salad bar. Serving the Washington County area since 1970, it’s located in Berwyn Heights, across Greenbelt Road from Greenbelt Middle School. It has a website at http://sirwalterraleigh.com,
Image credit: https://greenbelt2012.wordpress.com
Now only the Greenbelt location remains, but it offers a range of food and beverages to suit any taste. No mention of any favourite dish or drink of Sir Walter however. I emailed owner Jerry Cosker, shown above, to offer some suggestions!
In West Virginia I was excited to find Sir Walter’s Tavern, just below The Raleigh Playhouse http://theraleighwv.com/the-raleigh-playhouse-and-theatre-in-beckley-wv/
Beckley's Raleigh Playhouse itself is described as ‘an arthouse cinema’ which hosts play productions and musical performances as well as films. ‘Our desire is to showcase the films you always wanted to see on the big screen, along with indie films we think you’ll love, including those of West Virginia filmmakers,’ reads the website. ‘We are always on the lookout for up-and-coming local playwrights, and our intimate stage setting allows you to immerse yourself in the stories we work so hard to tell you.’
The statue of Sir Walter Raleigh at the Raleigh Convention Center in North Carolina Image credit: Alexisrael
Interior of The Velvet Cloak Hotel. You can just make out what looks like a portrait of Sir Walter with a Molyneux globe, similar to the one at Petworth.
Rod Stewart, one of The Velvet Cloak Hotel's many celebrated guests, performing at a concert in 1976
Image credit: Helge Øverås
Sadly the legend is over. The Velvet Cloak has been demolished, to be replaced by student accommodation, much to the disgust of many who have fond memories of the place in its heyday. ‘The city of Raleigh is going through a growth spurt unlike anything we've seen before,’ so I’m told by the very helpful North Carolina Real Estate Agent David O’Docherty http://searchclaytonncrealestate.com/
Both were planned in the early 20th century. The Hayes Barton district was designed by the landscape architect Earle Sumner Draper (1893-1994) – echoes here of Budleigh Salterton’s own William Hatchard-Smith (1887-1987), recently honoured with a blue plaque in his home town. – Clearly Earle had the ‘old country’ in mind.
The Hayes Barton Dessertery at 2000 Fairview Road in an area of Raleigh NC called Five Points has a great choice of food and drink including wines and cocktails, and is renowned for its cakes. But there are no Elizabethan dishes on the menu and no mention of a Sir Walter bar.
An image of Virginia Dare on a commemorative stamp of 1937, published by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing: U.S. Post Office; Smithsonian National Postal Museum
The settlers included Ananias Dare and his wife Eleanor White, the daughter of John White, the artist and expedition’s mapmaker who was appointed by Raleigh as the colony’s governor. Eleanor would give birth on 18 August 1587 to Virginia Dare, the first English child born in a New World English overseas possession.
Do we have anything like this in South West England?
'The Baptism of Virginia Dare', a 19th century lithograph by Henry Howe, in William A. Crafts (1876) Pioneers in the settlement of America: from Florida in 1510 to California in 1849. Published by Samuel Walker and Company, Boston
Initially, the team thought that the plot would be based on the story of Virginia Dare. According to legend, she had fallen in love with the son of Chief Manteo, head of the local tribe of Native American Croatan Indians who had befriended the English, and had given birth to a new race that has since vanished.