berts-Austen). They are also said to have brought back the earliest specimens of mahogany known in England. From Trinidad Ralegh followed the north coast of South America, levied contributions from the Spaniards at Cumana and Rio de Hacha, and returned to England in August. But he had powerful enemies, some of whom declared that the whole story of the voyage was a fiction. It was to refute this slander that he wrote his ‘Discoverie of Guiana,’ 1596, 4to. At the same time he drew a map, which was not yet finished when the book was published. This map, long supposed to be lost (Schomburgk, p. 26 n.), has been now identified with a map in the British Museum (Add. MS. 17940A), dated about 1650 in the Catalogue, but shown to be Ralegh's by a careful comparison with the text of the ‘Discoverie’ and with Ralegh's known handwriting (Kohl, Descriptive Catalogue of Maps … relating to America … mentioned in vol. iii. of Hakluyt's Great Work; information from Mr. C. H. Coote). A facsimile of the map is in vol. ii. of ‘Hamburgische Festschrift zur Erinnerung an die Entdeckung Amerika's’ (1892).
Ralegh's accuracy as a topographer and cartographer of Guiana or the central district of Venezuela has been established by subsequent explorers, nor is there reason to doubt that the gold-mine which he sought really existed. The quartz which he brought home doubtless came from the neighbourhood of the river Yuruari (an affluent of the Caroni), where gold was discovered in 1849 by Dr. Louis Plassard, and has, since 1857, been procured in large quantities. The prosperous El Callão mine in this region was probably the object of Ralegh's search (C. Le Neve Foster, ‘Caratal Gold Fields of Venezuela,’ reprinted from Quarterly Jour. of Geolog. Soc. August 1869, and the same writer's ‘Ralegh's Gold Mine,’ in Brit. Assoc. Rep. 1869, pp. 162–3).
On his return in 1595 Ralegh retired to Sherborne, and, as lord lieutenant of Cornwall, prepared for the defence of the country against a threatened invasion from Spain. This prevented his personally undertaking a new voyage to Guiana; but in January 1595–1596 he sent out his trusty friend, Lawrence Kemys [q. v.], who brought back the news that the Spaniards, under orders from Berreo, had re-established themselves in force at San Tomás, near the mouth of the Caroni, where an earlier settlement had been abandoned (Hakluyt, iii. 672; Gardiner, iii. 444–5, where the position of San Tomás is discussed).
Meantime Ralegh took a brilliant part in the expedition to Cadiz in June 1596. He commanded the van—himself in the leading ship, the Warspite—as the fleet forced its way into the harbour, and, though severely wounded, he was carried on shore when the men landed for the storming of the town. By his commission as a general officer he had a voice in the councils of war, but his share in swaying the decision to attack, which we know only from his own narrative (Edwards, ii. 147–8), may easily be exaggerated, and is contradicted by Sir William Monson, the captain of Essex's ship, the Dieu Repulse (‘Naval Tracts’ in Churchill, Voyages, 1704, iii. 185). On his return Ralegh was again busied with the despatch of a vessel to push discovery in the Orinoco. She sailed from the Thames in October, but did not leave Weymouth till 27 Dec., and by the end of June 1597 she was back at Plymouth without having been able to gain any further intelligence (Hakluyt, iii. 692). As far as Ralegh was concerned, the project was dropped for the next twenty years, though others made fruitless attempts in the same direction [see Leigh, Charles, (d. 1605)].
Ralegh had been commended for his share in the taking of Cadiz; his friends believed that the queen's wrath was wearing itself out, and Essex was not hostile. In May 1597 Ralegh was in daily attendance at the court, and on 1 June he ‘was brought by Cecil to the queen, who used him very graciously and gave him full authority to execute his place as captain of the guard. In the evening he rid abroad with the queen, and had private conference with her’ (Edwards, i. 226). For the next few weeks he seems to have been on familiar, almost friendly, terms with Essex. Meantime the intelligence from Spain showed that Philip was preparing to take revenge for the loss he had sustained at Cadiz. Ralegh drew up a paper entitled ‘Opinion on the Spanish Alarum,’ in support of the contention that the cheapest and surest way to defend England was to strike beforehand at Spain. The idea had been forcibly urged by Drake ten years before, but the time was now more favourable and the advice accorded with the queen's inclinations. It had been intended to send out a squadron of ten ships under Lord Thomas Howard, with Ralegh as vice-admiral. The fleet was now increased, it was joined by a squadron of Dutch ships, and Essex, as admiral and general, took command of the whole. On 10 July it put to sea, but was dispersed in a gale and driven back with some loss. It could not sail again till 17 Aug., and then with a diminished force, a great part of the troops being left behind. Off Cape Finisterre the fleet was for the second time scattered by bad weather,