Adept at intrigue, [Sir Walter Raleigh] made a habit of criticizing his superiors to their superiors and rose rapidly. He soon won the favor of the queen, who from time to time presented him with lucrative monopolies, and sufficient estates in England and Ireland to make him the most extensive landholder in the country. Historians question the familiar story of the cloak and puddle, but it was perhaps typical or the tactics by which he became the chief favorite of Elizabeth in the middle period between Leicester and Essex. Few men of Elizabethan England were more thoroughly hated than Raleigh; he was considered an insolent upstart, untrustworthy and unscrupulous, and even those who admitted his keen ability often hated him the more for it.
(from A History of England and the British Empire)