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Sir Richard Grenville

Picture of Sir Richard Grenville

Picture of Sir Richard Grenville

Short Biography of the life of Sir Richard Grenville - Explorer, Soldier and Privateer
The following biography information provides basic facts about the life Sir Richard Grenville:

  • Nationality - English
  • Lifespan - 1542 - 1591
  • Birthplace - Bideford in North Devon on the 15th June 1542

  • Family - cousin of both Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake
  • Education - Cambridge and the Inner Temple
  • Career - Explorer, Soldier and Privateer
  • His exploits were immortalised in Tennyson's poem “The Revenge.” Sir Richard Grenville made two voyages to Roanoke Island in 1585 and 1586.
  • Grenville was famous his voyages to Virginia and Roanoke Island and the Azores. For specific facts and information about America please refer to Colonial America .

Facts, Timeline & History about the life of Sir Richard Grenville - Explorer, Soldier and Privateer
The following are additional timeline facts about the life and history of Sir Richard Grenville:

  • Born on 5 June 1542 at Buckland Abbey in Devon, England ( Richard Grenville later sold Buckland Abbey to Sir Francis Drake)
  • 1566: Richard Grenville married Mary St. Leger
  • Richard Grenville fought against the Irish and settled on lands in Munster, Ireland
  • 1574: Richard Grenville proposed sailing through the Strait of Magellan in order to circumnavigate the world. His proposal was refused but his idea was later taken up by Sir Francis Drake
  • 1577: Richard Grenville became sheriff of Cornwall and was knighted
  • March 25, 1584 - Walter Raleigh receives the patent to explore and settle North America - Richard Grenville commands Sir Walter Raleigh's fleet of seven vessels.
  • June 1584: Richard Grenville and Ralph Lane, with 108 men, reach Roanoke Island
  • 1585 April 9:  Another Raleigh sponsored expedition, commanded by Sir Richard Grenville, departs for Virginia. The names of the ships are the Tiger, Roebuck, Lion, Elizabeth, and Dorothy
  • 1586: Sir Richard Grenville and three ships arrive at Roanoke in August to find the place deserted except for three men mistakenly left behind by Drake. The arrival of Sir Richard Grenville re-establishes the colony
  • 1586: Sir Richard Grenville, acting as a Privateer, captures a Spanish ship and pillages the Azores on his return to England
  • Sir Richard Grenville is appointed English Vice-Admiral of the navy
  • 1588: Spanish Armada of 132 ships sails for England. England's navy consists of 34 ships and 163 armed merchant vessels
  • 1588 Jul 29, The Spanish Armada was sighted off the coast of England
  • 1588 Jul 30, The English exchanged fire with the Spanish Armada
  • 1588 Aug 8, The English Navy destroys the Spanish Armada
  • Sir Walter Raleigh & Sir Richard Grenville were responsible for the joint defence of Devon and Cornwall against the expected Spanish Armada. The land-based soldiers did not have the opportunity to fight the Spanish
  • 1589: Sir Walter Raleigh & Sir Richard Grenville guard the sea approaches to Ireland   
  • 1591: Sir Richard Grenville and Lord Thomas Howard sail to the Azores in search of the Spanish treasure fleet.
  • The English ships were challenged, and outnumbered by Spanish war ships. Sir Richard Grenville's ship, the Revenge, was surrounded. His crew surrendered against Sir Richard's wishes - he wanted to blow up the ship - The Revenge and Sir Richard Grenville were captured by the Spanish
  • 1591 Sep 12, Richard Grenville died on a Spanish ship, aged 49.
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