Where Sir Walter Raleigh and the Guild meet

Many will know that our current Master Peter Hewitt is a descendent of Sir Walter Raleigh.

400 years ago on 29th October 1618, Raleigh was executed under the orders of King James 1. Like his descendent, Raleigh was an entrepreneur of his age and his legacy lives on.

Peter wished to commemorate this anniversary, so has created Raleigh400 to reflect upon Raleigh’s past as an entrepreneur and how his exploits are associated with the City’s historic Livery movement. But equally important, use it to harness UK/USA bilateral relations for today’s entrepreneurs and likewise the future generations. The Raleigh400 website gives the full details of the campaign.

December 2018 saw the first of the R400 events. 120 sixth form students and many of the City’s most senior Livery Masters and Liverymen assemble in the Drapers’ Hall to hear Professor Jerry Brotton of Queen Mary University London present new Raleigh historical research, especially surrounding his final and fateful trip to discover El Dorado, which itself was the subject of a recently produced Radio 4 documentary, presented by Jerry Brotton (click here to listen).

The event also saw the students break into small workgroups to explore Raleigh’s life in more detail. Each of these groups had a Guild Freeman Entrepreneur with them to help facilitate the debate and also share their own contemporary experiences that still carry an echo of Raleigh’s own. The whole event culminated with a panel which included amongst others, our Master and Middle Warden Lars Andersen answering questions posed by the panel chair as well as some truly fascinating comments from the audience.


With thanks to filmmaking company Cherryduck Limited, owned by Guild Freeman James Vellacott, we had a film crew at the event capturing the whole event. The film below showcases it along with comments from the Master, other Entrepreneurs and Professor Brotton.

And Listen

In addition, we have launched our very own Entrepreneurs’ Podcast channel. Having captured Jerry Brotton’s keynote speech and the panel debate we cannot think of any better way of celebrating its creation than to have them as our first two productions. Both podcasts can be heard by clicking here We hope you find them as fascinating as those that were privileged to be there in person.

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