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Fine contemporary portrait of Sir. Walter Raleigh, from his History of the World.

Sir Walter Ralegh (1552-1618) is perhaps most famous for organizing and financing a number of expeditions to North America, including several unsuccessful attempts to find gold in South America. Ralegh was accused of plotting against James I, and spent much of James' reign in the Tower. He was executed for treason in 1618.

Simon De Passe (1595-1647) was the son of prominent Dutch engraver and publisher Crispijn Van De Passe the Elder. His father was the founder of a distinguished publishing house in Cologne that produced portraits of European nobility and religious and other prints. The family were forced to leave Cologne because of their Anabaptist faith. They moved to Utrecht, and in 1616 Simon settled in London where he established for himself a successful portrait engraving practice. In 1624, he moved to Copenhagen as royal engraver to the king of Denmark, a post he held for the rest of his life.