While leading an expedition, some of his men went rogue and killed some Spanish citizens. His son was killed in the encounter but Sir. Walter was on the ship. He knew when he got back to England that he'd very likely be beheaded for creating an incident between England and Spain. He was right. The King of England received word from the King of Spain that if they didn't execute Raleigh, that it would have dire consequences.
Making it even worse is that Walter's wife worked for and had a very good friendship with the Queen of England. Both times Walter got placed in "The Tower," his wife was living in the comfort of the Royal Court.
Strangely enough, I didn't know who he was until my parents owned a bar. One of the things that Raleigh was famous for is introducing a lot of the world to tobacco. So my parents sold some of his products which included loose tobacco in a can which you had to shake out on tobacco papers and then roll it for a smoke.
What would happen is that someone would call the bar and ask if we had Sir Walter Raleigh in a can, which we did, and then the caller would scream into the phone: "Well, let him out!" Kind of funny the first time it happened. :)
Actually the most common phone calls we'd receive is whether so-and-so is still there? We had a lot of regulars. Interesting, about 99.5% of the calls were from women. :)