2 PM Ė First Court, St. Johnís College, Cambridge. Johnís was founded by Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry VII (and so Elizabethís great grandmother) on the site of the mediaeval hospital of St. John. The first court in Johnís was largely built between 1511 and 1520 and so makes a perfect setting for one of the great fabled scenes from Elizabethís reign.
This is where the Queen and Raleigh first meet in the famous incident of the cloak. The legend has it that Raleigh first caught the Queenís attention by taking off his cloak and placing it over a muddy puddle in the road for the Queen to walk on Ė hence preventing the royal feet from getting dirty.
Is the story true? Well, it isnít recorded in any contemporary document and the earliest reference to it I know is Thomas Fullerís in 1663. But it certainly the sort of thing Raleigh might have done and just the sort of showmanship that the Queen liked. As such it helped to explain both in Fullerís day and now, how a relatively obscure west country sailor began his meteoric rise to become Elizabethís favourite.
We have decided to use the scene, partly because it is so iconic and partly because it still, all these centuries later, provides a wonderful way to first bring Raleigh and the Queen together. It also provides the setting for a more sinister move.