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When you've got a lot of people together, it makes sense to pick someone to be in charge. As exploration expanded, individuals were chosen to oversee colonies and settlements. This section highlights those men (and some women), as well as the leaders and attendant ruling class -- nobles, peerage, wannabes and hangers-on --back home.
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Cross-listed in Military

Carl von Rabenhaupt

borndied
1602, Jan 61675, Aug 12
a Bohemian Hussite nobleman who fought in Saxon, Dutch and Hessian service during the Thirty Years War and came out of retirement to command a Dutch regiment in the Franco-Dutch War. Rabenhaupt went into exile for his religion in 1620, after the failure of the Bohemian Revolt, and entered Saxon service. By 1622 he had followed Ernst von Mansfeld into Dutch s...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Writers

Sir Stamford Raffles

aka: Thomas Stamford Raffles
borndied
1781, Jul 61826, Jul 5
a British statesman, Lieutenant-Governor of British Java (1811–1815) and Governor-General of Bencoolen (1817–1822), best known for his founding of Singapore. He was also heavily involved in the conquest of the Indonesian island of Java from Dutch and French military forces during the Napoleonic Wars and contributed to the expansion of the British Empire....
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Timeline (2)Links (1)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Francis II Rakoczi

aka: Rákóczi
borndied
1676, Mar 271735, Apr 8
a Hungarian nobleman and leader of the Hungarian uprising against the Habsburgs in 1703-11 as the prince (fejedelem) of the Estates Confederated for Liberty of the Kingdom of Hungary. He was also Prince of Transylvania, an Imperial Prince, and a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece. Today he is considered a national hero in Hungary.
Timeline (2)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Rama I

aka: Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok, Thongduang
borndied
1737, Mar 201809, Sep 7
the founder and the first monarch of the reigning House of Chakri of Siam (now Thailand). His full title in Thai is Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paramoruracha Mahachakkriborommanat Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok. He ascended the throne in 1782, after defeating a rebellion which had deposed King Taksin of Thonburi. He was also celebrated as the founder of Rattanakosin (n...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in ArtistsWriters

Rama II

aka: Phra Phutthaloetla Naphalai
borndied
1767, Feb 241824, Jul 21
the second monarch of Siam under the House of Chakri, ruling from 1809 to 1824. In 1809, Itsarasunthon succeeded his father Rama I, the founder of Chakri dynasty, as Loetlanaphalai the King of Siam. His reign was largely peaceful, devoid of major conflicts. His reign was known as the "Golden Age of Rattanakosin Literature" as Loetlanaphalai was patron to a n...
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Rama III

aka: Nangklao
borndied
1788, Mar 311851, Apr 2
the third monarch of Siam under the House of Chakri, ruling from 21 July 1824 to 2 April 1851. He succeeded his father, Rama II, as the King of Siam. His succession was unusual according to the traditions because Nangklao was a son of a concubine rather than a queen. His accession was perceived by foreign observers as having usurped the prior claim of Prince...
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Rama IV

aka: Phra Bat Somdet Phra Poramenthra Maha Mongkut Phra Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua, Mongkut
borndied
1804, Oct 181868, Oct 1
the fourth monarch of Siam (Thailand) under the House of Chakri, ruling from 1851 to 1868. Outside Thailand, he is best known as the King in the 1951 musical and 1956 film The King and I, based on the 1946 film Anna and the King of Siam – in turn based on a 1944 novel by an American missionary about Anna Leonowens' years at his court, from 1862 to 1867. Du...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Ramathibodi II

aka: Chettathirat
bornactivedied
14731491-15291529
the King of Sukhothai from 1485 and King of Ayutthaya from 1491 to 1529. His reign was marked by the first Western Contact with the Portuguese. In 1500, Ramathibodi II sent the Siamese armies to subjugate the Sultanate of Malacca. Though unable to conquer Malacca, Siam managed to exact tributes from the Malacca sultanate and other sultanates like Pattani, Pa...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in WritersPhysicians

David Ramsay

borndied
1749, Apr 21815, May 8
an American physician, public official, and historian from Charleston, South Carolina. He was one of the first major historians of the American Revolutionary War. During the Revolution he served in the South Carolina legislature until he was captured by the British. After his release he served as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1782–1783 and agai...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Jung Bahadur Rana

aka: Bir Narsingh Kunwar
borndied
1817, Jun 181877, Feb 25
a (Khas Rajput) Chhetri ruler of Nepal and founder of the Rana Dynasty of Nepal. His real name was Bir Narsingh Kunwar but he became famous by the name Junga Bahadur, given to him by Mathabar Singh Thapa, his maternal uncle. By 1850 Jung Bahadur had eliminated all of his major rivals, installed his own candidate on the throne, appointed his brothers and cron...
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Timeline (1)Links (3)


Peyton Randolph

borndied
1721, Sep 101775, Oct 22
a planter and public official from the Colony of Virginia. He served as Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses, president of Virginia Conventions, and the first President of the Continental Congress. He served several terms in the Virginia House of Burgesses, beginning in 1748. It was Randolph's dual roles as attorney general and as burgess that would le...
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Timeline (2)Links (9)


Ratsadathirat

aka: Ratthathirat, Ratthathiratchakuman
bornactivedied
1528/291533/341534/35
the twelfth king of Ayutthaya, an ancient kingdom in Thailand. He was a son of Borommarachathirat IV and succeeded his father to the throne of Ayutthaya at the age of five in 895 LE (2076 BE, 1533/34 CE). The following year, after having been on the throne for five months, he was put to death by his relative, Chairachathirat, who then assumed the kingship. T...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Legal

George Read

bornactivedied
1733, Sep 181753-17981798, Sep 21
an American lawyer and politician from New Castle in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a Continental Congressman from Delaware, a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, President of Delaware, and a member of the Federalist Party, who served as U.S. Senator from Delaware and Chief Justice of Dela...
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Links (1)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Naval

Laurens Reael

borndied
1583, Oct 221637, Oct 21
an employee of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1616 to 1619 and an admiral of the Dutch navy from 1625 to 1627. In May 1611 he left as commandeur of four ships for the East Indies. He quickly worked his way up to become the third Governor-General in 1616, where he was stationed at the VOC headquarters, at th...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)Notes (1)


Red Jacket

aka: Otetiani, Sagoyewatha
bornactivedied
1750 ca1770s-1790s1830
a Native American Seneca orator and chief of the Wolf clan. He negotiated on behalf of his nation with the new United States after the American Revolutionary War, when the Seneca as British allies were forced to cede much land, and signed the Treaty of Canandaigua (1794). He helped secure some Seneca territory in New York state, although most of the people h...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in MilitaryLegal

Joseph Reed [2]

bornactivedied
1741, Aug 271770-17841785, Mar 5
a lawyer, military officer and statesman of the Revolutionary Era who lived the majority of his life in Pennsylvania. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and, while in Congress, signed the Articles of Confederation. He served as President of Pennsylvania's Supreme Executive Council, a position analogous to the modern office of Governor.
Links (13)


Emperor Reigen

aka: Satohito
bornactivedied
1654, Jul 91663-16871732, Sep 24
the 112th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Reigen's reign spanned the years from 1663 through 1687. During his reign, courts of inquisition were established in all the villages of Japan. These courts were charged with discovering and eliminating any vestiges of Christianity in each community.
Links (1)


Cross-listed in PiratesNaval

Turgut Reis

aka: Dragut Rais
bornactivedied
14851500-15651565, Jun 23
an Ottoman Greek Admiral and privateer who also served as Bey of Algiers; Beylerbey of the Mediterranean; and first Bey, later Pasha, of Tripoli. Under his naval command the Ottoman Empire's maritime power was extended across North Africa. When Turgut was serving as pasha, he adorned and built up the city of Tripoli, making it one of the most impressive citi...
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Timeline (1)Links (2)Notes (1)


Luis de Requesens y Zuniga

aka: Requesens y Zúñiga, Zúñiga y Requesens
borndied
15281576, Mar 5
a Spanish politician and diplomat. His early career was that of a government official and diplomat. In 1563 he gained the king's confidence as his representative at Rome. In 1568 he was appointed lieutenant-general to John of Austria during the suppression of the Morisco Revolt in the Alpujarras, and he also accompanied John during the Lepanto campaign, his ...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Carel Reyniersz

aka: Reiniersz
borndied
16041653
Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1650 until 1653. He left for the Indies in 1627 as Upperbuyer (opperkoopman) on the Dutch Coromandel (Karnataka). He was promoted to Governor of the Coromandel Coast in 1635, even though he had been accused of engaging in (forbidden) private/personal trading. In 1636 he became Counsellor-extraordinary (Raad ext...
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Links (1)Notes (1)


Gerard Reynst

borndied
1558 ca1615, Dec 7
a Dutch merchant, father of a museum curator, and later the second Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. On the request of his elders in the college of the Heren XVII (17 men), he became Governor-general of the Dutch East Indies in 1613 and left with 9 ships. The trip lasted 18 months, after which he took over command from Pieter Both. On the way, he ha...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)Notes (1)


Joan Cornelis Reynst

borndied
1798, Jan 231871, Oct 11
acting Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies in 1844–1845.
Links (1)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in ExplorersNaval

Jean Ribault

aka: Ribaut
borndied
15201565, Oct 12
a French naval officer, navigator, and a colonizer of what would become the southeastern United States. He was a major figure in the French attempts to colonize Florida. A Huguenot and officer under Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, Ribault led an expedition to the New World in 1562 that founded the outpost of Charlesfort on Parris Island in present-day South Caro...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Clergy

Cardinal Richelieu

aka: Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal-Duke of Richelieu and of Fronsac, The Red Eminence
borndied
1585, Sep 91642, Dec 4
a French clergyman, nobleman, and statesman. He was consecrated as a bishop in 1607 and was appointed Foreign Secretary in 1616. Richelieu soon rose in both the Catholic Church and the French government, becoming a cardinal in 1622, and King Louis XIII's chief m...
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Timeline (9)Links (8)


Cross-listed in Military

Major Ridge

aka: Nunnehidihi, Ganundalegi
bornactivedied
1771 ca1790s-1830s1839
a Cherokee leader, a member of the tribal council, and a lawmaker. As a warrior, he fought in the Cherokee–American wars against American frontiersmen. Later, Major Ridge led the Cherokee in alliances with General Andrew Jackson and the United States in the ...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Commerce

Roberto di Ridolfi

borndied
1531, Nov 181612, Feb 18
an Italian and Florentine nobleman and conspirator. During the early years of Elizabeth's reign he began to take a more active part in politics, associating with the discontented Roman Catholics in England and communicating with their friends abroad. In 1570, he set to work on a plot against the Elizabeth I which usually bears his name: the Ridolfi plot. Aft...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Clergy

Robert of Berghes

aka: Prince-bishop of Liège, Robert van Bergen, Robert de Glymes-Berghes
bornactivedied
unknown1557-15631564
87th Prince-bishop of Liège (1557–1563). He was forced to resign the see on 30 March 1563, due to insanity, and died in the course of the following year. He was the grandson of John III of Glymes, son of Anthony of Glymes, and a brother of John IV of Glymes.
Timeline (1)Links (1)


Jan Jacob Rochussen

borndied
1797, Oct 231871, Jan 21
a Dutch politician. He served as Finance Minister from 1840 to 1843 and Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1845 to 1851. He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 18 March 1858 to 23 February 1860. Rochussen found employment as a tax collector in Schiedam, South Holland beginning in 1814. Over the next twelve years he served as tax coll...
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Links (1)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in MilitaryLegal

Caesar Rodney

bornactivedied
1728, Oct 71755-17841784, Jun 25
an American lawyer and politician from St. Jones Neck in Dover Hundred, Kent County, Delaware, east of Dover. He was an officer of the Delaware militia during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, a Continental Congressman from Delaware, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and President of Delaware during most of the American Revolu...
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Timeline (1)Links (14)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in ExplorersMilitaryWriters

Robert Rogers

bornactivedied
1731, Nov 71746-17791795, May 18
an American colonial frontiersman. Rogers served in the British army during both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. During the French and Indian War, Rogers raised and commanded the famous Rogers' Rangers, trained for raiding and close combat behind enemy lines. His journals and A Concise Account of North America were published. Immediate...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Pirates

Woodes Rogers

bornactivedied
1679 ca1705-17321732, Jul 15
an English sea captain, privateer, and, later, the first Royal Governor of the Bahamas. He is known as the captain of the vessel that rescued marooned Alexander Selkirk, whose plight is generally believed to have inspired Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.
Links (5)Notes (3)


Anastasia Romanovna

borndied
15301560, Aug 7
the first wife of the Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible and the first Russian tsaritsa. It is widely believed that Anastasia had a moderating influence on Ivan's volatile character. In the summer of 1560, she fell ill to a lingering illness. In consequence to these events, Ivan suffered a severe emotional collapse suspecting that his wife had been a victim of m...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Writers

Auguste Romieu

aka: François-Auguste
borndied
1800, Sep 171855, Nov 16
a senior official and French writer. A preparatory pupil at the Lycée Henri IV, Romieu was admitted to the École polytechnique, he was appointed curator of Antiquities of Morbihan (1828) then sub-prefect of Quimperlé (August 1830), and distinguished himself by his vehement reports against the practice of the Breton language. He was then sub-prefect of Lou...
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Marcus Gjoe Rosenkrantz

aka: Marcus Gjøe
bornactivedied
1762, Jan 2518141838, May 11
a Norwegian Government Minister and Member of Parliament. He became first minister of Norway during the period 1814–1815. He was elected as a Member of the Storting representing Smaalenenes Amt (now Østfold) from 1818 to 1820 and from 1824 to 1827. During 1827-29, he represented Fredrikshald.
Links (1)


George Ross Jr.

bornactivedied
1730, May 101756-17791779, Jul 14
a signer of the Continental Association and the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Pennsylvania. He was also the uncle of the man who married Betsy Griscom in 1773, giving her her famous married name: Betsy Ross. In 1952, he, more
Links (1)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Commerce

Lionel de Rothschild

borndied
1808, Nov 221879, Jun 3
a British banker, politician and philanthropist who was a member of the prominent Rothschild banking family of England. He became the first practising Jew to sit as a Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom. In his earlier years, he studied at the University of Göttingen, before embarking on an apprenticeship in the family business in London, Paris and F...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Naval

Josias Rowley

aka: 1st Baronet
borndied
17651842, Jan 10
known as "The Sweeper of the Seas", was an Anglo-Irish naval officer who commanded the campaign that captured the French Indian Ocean islands of Réunion and Mauritius in 1810. He joined the Royal Navy in 1778, age 13, in HMS Suffolk in the West Indies. Promoted to post captain in 1795, age 30, he commanded HMS Braave (40 guns) at the Cape of G...
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Links (1)


Rudolf II

bornactivedied
1552, Jul 181576-16081612, Jan 20
Holy Roman Emperor (1576–1612), King of Hungary and Croatia (as Rudolf I, 1572–1608), King of Bohemia (1575–1608/1611) and Archduke of Austria (1576–1608). He was a member of the House of Habsburg. Rudolf's legacy has traditionally been viewed in three ways: an ineffectual ruler whose mistakes led directly to the Thirty Years' War; a great and influ...
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Timeline (6)Links (1)


Cross-listed in PhysiciansEducators

Benjamin Rush

bornactivedied
1745, Dec 241769-18121813, Apr 19
a Founding Father of the United States. Rush was a civic leader in Philadelphia, where he was a physician, politician, social reformer, educator and humanitarian, as well as the founder of Dickinson College. Rush attended the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence. His later self-description there was: "He aimed right." He served as ...
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Timeline (3)Links (22)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Edward Rutledge

bornactivedied
1749, Nov 231774-18001800, Jan 23
an American politician, and youngest signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. He later served as the 39th Governor of South Carolina. During the American Revolution Rutledge served along with his brother John representing South Carolina in the Continental Congress. He worked to have African Americans expelled from the Continental Army. Althou...
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Timeline (2)Links (17)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Legal

John Rutledge

bornactivedied
1739, Sep 171760-17951800, Jul 23
the second Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. A lawyer and a judge, Rutledge was a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress and the Continental Congress, President and then Governor of South Carolina during the American Revolution, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was ...
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Timeline (1)Links (19)

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