Sir Walter Raleigh 400: History, Art and Parliament

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22 September 2018

To mark 400 years since the execution of Sir Walter Raleigh in October 1618, the House of Lords Works of Art Panel is hosting a free evening talk by expert speakers Dr Anna Beer and Dr John Cooper.

Anna will explore the hidden and surprising truth about Raleigh - a swashbuckling soldier, sailor, courtier and explorer who was also a political prisoner turned radical parliamentarian. Meanwhile John will look at Raleigh's legacy as a subject for works of art commissioned for the Palace of Westminster during nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Date: Wednesday 31 October 2018
Time: 6-7.30pm
Location: Committee Room 3A, Palace of Westminster


Dr Anna Beer is an author and academic with a particular interest in the relationship between literature, politics and history. She combines her writing career with teaching creative writing at the University of Oxford, where she is a Fellow of Kellogg College. Anna has just completed a new biography of Sir Walter Raleigh, to be published in October 2018 by Oneworld. Her biography of Raleigh's wife Bess was published in 2004 by Constable.

Dr John Cooper is a Tudor historian based at the University of York. Since 2013 he has been leading a major research project in partnership with Parliament, focusing on St Stephen's Chapel and first House of Commons chamber. John's book The Queen's Agent, on Sir Francis Walsingham and the Elizabethan secret service, was serialised on Radio 4. He was historical consultant for the BBC TV series 'Gunpowder'.

Visitor information

There are limited places at this event and places are available on a 'first come, first served' basis. If a waiting list is formed then this will also be distributed on a 'first come, first served' basis.

Access for this event is via the Cromwell Green Vistior Entrance. Visitors are advised to bring their ticket and photo ID. Please note that you will have to go through airport-style security to gain entrance to Parliament. We recommend arriving 30 minutes before the start of the event as at busy times there is often a queue to get through security.

For more information on security and gaining access to the Parliament, please look on the Visit Parliament webpages.

This is a Lord Speaker's Advisory Panel on Works of Art event organised by the UK Parliament Curator's Office.

Image: Detail of 'Queen Elizabeth commissions Raleigh to sail for America, 1584' by Alfred Kingsley Lawrence, oil on canvas, 1927 (Parliamentary Art Collection, WOA 2597)

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Works of Art Advisory Panel (Lords)

The Works of Art Advisory Panel considers matters relating to works of art and artistic heritage