None other that the famous courtier to Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh. After Queen Elizabeth I died, King James I ascended the throne. James did not like Raleigh who was soon arrested on a trumped up charge of high threason, condemned to death and imprisoned in the Bloody Tower at the Tower of London.
It was there that he wrote the first and, as it transpired, only volume of The History of the World. Raleigh was reprieved on the scaffold and returned to prison. He obtained his release on condition that he should lead an expedition in search of gold, which the king badly needed, to Venezuela in South America. He promised not to interfere with Spanish settlements but came into collision with the Spaniards when his son, Walter, was killed.
The grief-stricken man then sailed back to England where the furious Spanish ambassador was demanding punishment. Raleigh was once again arrested on the old charge of treason and was executed on October 29, 1618.