The R400 historical research effort is being led by Professor Jerry Brotton and Professor Miri Rubin of Queen Mary University of London.

The initial research phase focuses on identifying specific themes of Raleigh’s life and achievements to determine how these might be developed during the R400 programme. The research seeks to develop answers to the following broad questions:

  • What are the salient themes that we can identify from the trans-Atlantic exploits, achievements and legacies of Sir Walter Raleigh?
  • How did linkages between Sir Walter Raleigh, the English livery companies and guilds, as well as global institutions and networks of his time enable these achievements and legacies?
  • What new thoughts and ideas can we discover on the Plantation of Virginia and the livery companies’ (frequently reluctant) role as the ‘venture capitalists’ of their day? What was Raleigh’s influence on them?
  • How can these themes and the lessons that they generate be developed so that they relate most strongly to and inspire the future entrepreneurs, explorers, wealth creators and business leaders of our age on both sides of the Atlantic?

The answers to these questions, the emerging historical themes, their implications for our age, and a subsequent research proposal will be presented at the R400 Launch at the Draper’s Hall on 12th December, 2018. The launch will be supported by the publication of a commemorative pamphlet and curriculum supporting historical material which will be posted on the site.

A subsequent research phase will run concurrently with and support the development of the R400 programme.