Francis Drake

Francis Drake

Overview
Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Vice admiral is a senior naval rank of a three-star flag officer, which is equivalent to lieutenant general in the other uniformed services. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral...

 (1540 – 27 January 1596) was an English sea captain, privateer
Privateer
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

, navigator
Navigator
A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation. The navigator's primary responsibility is to be aware of ship or aircraft position at all times. Responsibilities include planning the journey, advising the Captain or aircraft Commander of estimated timing to...

, slaver, and politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 of the Elizabethan era
Elizabethan era
The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign . Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history...

. Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
This article refers to the Battle of Gravelines, for the modern navy of Spain, see Spanish NavyThe Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England to stop English...

 in 1588. He also carried out the second circumnavigation
Circumnavigation
Circumnavigation – literally, "navigation of a circumference" – refers to travelling all the way around an island, a continent, or the entire planet Earth.- Global circumnavigation :...

 of the world, from 1577 to 1580. He died of dysentery
Dysentery
Dysentery is an inflammatory disorder of the intestine, especially of the colon, that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus and/or blood in the faeces with fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, dysentery can be fatal.There are differences between dysentery and normal bloody diarrhoea...

 in January 1596 after unsuccessfully attacking San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan , officially Municipio de la Ciudad Capital San Juan Bautista , is the capital and most populous municipality in Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 395,326 making it the 46th-largest city under the jurisdiction of...

.

His exploits were legendary, making him a hero to the English but a pirate to the Spaniards to whom he was known as El Draque, 'Draque' being the Spanish pronunciation of 'Drake'.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Francis Drake'
Start a new discussion about 'Francis Drake'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Recent Discussions
Quotations

There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory.

Letter to Sir Francis Walsingham|Francis Walsingham, from off Cape Sagres, Portugal (17 May 1587)

Coming up unto them, there has passed some cannon shot between some of our fleet and some of them, and so far as we perceive they are determined to sell their lives with blows. ... This letter honorable good Lord, is sent in haste. The fleet of Spaniards is somewhat above a hundred sails, many great ships; but truly, I think not half of them men-of-war. Haste.

Letter to Admiral Henry Seymour, after coming upon part of the Spanish Armada, written aboard the Revenge (31 July 1588 )
Encyclopedia
Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Vice admiral is a senior naval rank of a three-star flag officer, which is equivalent to lieutenant general in the other uniformed services. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral...

 (1540 – 27 January 1596) was an English sea captain, privateer
Privateer
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

, navigator
Navigator
A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation. The navigator's primary responsibility is to be aware of ship or aircraft position at all times. Responsibilities include planning the journey, advising the Captain or aircraft Commander of estimated timing to...

, slaver, and politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 of the Elizabethan era
Elizabethan era
The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign . Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history...

. Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
This article refers to the Battle of Gravelines, for the modern navy of Spain, see Spanish NavyThe Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England to stop English...

 in 1588. He also carried out the second circumnavigation
Circumnavigation
Circumnavigation – literally, "navigation of a circumference" – refers to travelling all the way around an island, a continent, or the entire planet Earth.- Global circumnavigation :...

 of the world, from 1577 to 1580. He died of dysentery
Dysentery
Dysentery is an inflammatory disorder of the intestine, especially of the colon, that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus and/or blood in the faeces with fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, dysentery can be fatal.There are differences between dysentery and normal bloody diarrhoea...

 in January 1596 after unsuccessfully attacking San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan , officially Municipio de la Ciudad Capital San Juan Bautista , is the capital and most populous municipality in Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 395,326 making it the 46th-largest city under the jurisdiction of...

.

His exploits were legendary, making him a hero to the English but a pirate to the Spaniards to whom he was known as El Draque, 'Draque' being the Spanish pronunciation of 'Drake'. His name in Latin was Franciscus Draco ('Francis the Dragon'). King Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 was claimed to have offered a reward of 20,000 ducat
Ducat
The ducat is a gold coin that was used as a trade coin throughout Europe before World War I. Its weight is 3.4909 grams of .986 gold, which is 0.1107 troy ounce, actual gold weight...

s, about £4,000,000 (US$6.5M) by modern standards, for his life.

Birth and early years



Francis Drake was born in Tavistock, Devon, in February or March 1544 at the earliest, when his namesake godfather
Godparent
A godparent, in many denominations of Christianity, is someone who sponsors a child's baptism. A male godparent is a godfather, and a female godparent is a godmother...

 Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford
Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford
Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford, KG was an English nobleman, soldier and politician and godfather to Sir. Francis Drake.-Early life:...

 was but age 17. Although Drake's birth is not formally recorded, it is known that he was born while the Six Articles were in force. "Drake was two and twenty when he obtained the command of the Judith" (1566). This would date his birth to 1544. As with many of Drake's contemporaries, the exact date of his birth is unknown and could be as early as 1535, the 1540 date being extrapolated from two portraits: one a miniature
Portrait miniature
A portrait miniature is a miniature portrait painting, usually executed in gouache, watercolour, or enamel.Portrait miniatures began to flourish in 16th century Europe and the art was practiced during the 17th century and 18th century...

 painted by Nicholas Hilliard
Nicholas Hilliard
Nicholas Hilliard was an English goldsmith and limner best known for his portrait miniatures of members of the courts of Elizabeth I and James I of England. He mostly painted small oval miniatures, but also some larger cabinet miniatures, up to about ten inches tall, and at least two famous...

 in 1581 when he was allegedly 42, the other painted in 1594 when he was said to be 53.

He was the eldest of the twelve sons of Edmund Drake (1518–1585), a Protestant farmer, and his wife Mary Mylwaye. The first son was reportedly named after his godfather
Godparent
A godparent, in many denominations of Christianity, is someone who sponsors a child's baptism. A male godparent is a godfather, and a female godparent is a godmother...

 Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford
Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford
Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford, KG was an English nobleman, soldier and politician and godfather to Sir. Francis Drake.-Early life:...

.

Because of religious persecution during the Prayer Book Rebellion
Prayer Book Rebellion
The Prayer Book Rebellion, Prayer Book Revolt, Prayer Book Rising, Western Rising or Western Rebellion was a popular revolt in Cornwall and Devon, in 1549. In 1549 the Book of Common Prayer, presenting the theology of the English Reformation, was introduced...

 in 1549, the Drake family fled from Devonshire into Kent. There the father obtained an appointment to minister to men in the King's Navy. He was ordained deacon and made vicar of Upnor Church upon the Medway. Drake's father apprenticed Francis to his neighbour, the master of a barque
Barque
A barque, barc, or bark is a type of sailing vessel with three or more masts.- History of the term :The word barque appears to have come from the Greek word baris, a term for an Egyptian boat. This entered Latin as barca, which gave rise to the Italian barca, Spanish barco, and the French barge and...

 used for coastal trade transporting merchandise to France. The ship master was so satisfied with the young Drake's conduct that, being unmarried and childless at his death, he bequeathed the barque to Drake.

Marriage and family


Francis Drake married Mary Newman in 1569. She died 12 years later, in 1581. In 1585, Drake married Elizabeth Sydenham—born circa 1562, the only child of Sir George Sydenham, of Combe Sydenham
Combe Sydenham
Combe Sydenham is a 15th century manor house south of Monksilver in the parish of Stogumber, Somerset, England. It has been designated as a Grade I listed building....

, who was the High Sheriff of Somerset
High Sheriff of Somerset
The Office of High Sheriff of Somerset is an ancient High Sheriff title which has been in existence for over one thousand years. The position was once a powerful position responsible for collecting taxes and enforcing law and order in Somerset a county in South West England. In modern times the...

. After Drake's death, the widow Elizabeth eventually married Sir William Courtenay
William Courtenay (died 1630)
William Courtenay was a landowner in Devon.The son of Sir William Courtenay of Powderham Castle, he succeeded his father in 1557...

 of Powderham. As Sir Francis Drake had no children, his estate and titles passed on to his nephew (also named Francis).

Sailing career


At age twenty-three, Drake made his first voyage to the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

, sailing with his second cousin, Sir John Hawkins
John Hawkins
Admiral Sir John Hawkins was an English shipbuilder, naval administrator and commander, merchant, navigator, and slave trader. As treasurer and controller of the Royal Navy, he rebuilt older ships and helped design the faster ships that withstood the Spanish Armada in 1588...

, on one of a fleet of ships owned by his relatives, the Hawkins family of Plymouth
Plymouth
Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

. In 1568 Drake was again with the Hawkins fleet when it was trapped by the Spaniards in the Mexican port of San Juan de Ulúa
Battle of San Juan de Ulúa (1568)
The Battle of San Juan de Ulúa was a battle between English privateers and Spanish forces at San Juan de Ulúa . It marked the end of the campaign carried out by an English flotilla of 6 ships that had systematically conducted illegal trade in the Caribbean Sea, including the slave trade, imposing...

. He escaped along with Hawkins.

Following the defeat at San Juan de Ulúa, Drake vowed revenge. He made two voyages to the West Indies, in 1570 and 1571, of which little is known.

In 1572, he embarked on his first major independent enterprise. He planned an attack on the Isthmus of Panama
Isthmus of Panama
The Isthmus of Panama, also historically known as the Isthmus of Darien, is the narrow strip of land that lies between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, linking North and South America. It contains the country of Panama and the Panama Canal...

, known to the Spanish as Tierra Firme
Tierra Firma
Tierra Firma served in Spanish colonial times as the name of the Isthmus of Panama, which was a province of New Granada....

 and the English as the Spanish Main
Spanish Main
In the days of the Spanish New World Empire, the mainland of the American continent enclosing the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico was referred to as the Spanish Main. It included present-day Florida, the east shore of the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Mexico, Central America and the north coast of...

. This was the point at which the silver and gold treasure of Peru had to be landed and sent overland to the Caribbean Sea, where galleons from Spain would pick it up at the town of Nombre de Dios. Drake left Plymouth on May 24, 1572, with a crew of 73 men in two small vessels, the Pascha (70 tons) and the Swan (25 tons), to capture Nombre de Dios.

His first raid was late in July 1572. Drake and his men captured the town and its treasure. When his men noticed that Drake was bleeding profusely from a wound, they insisted on withdrawing to save his life and left the treasure. Drake stayed in the area for almost a year, raiding Spanish shipping and attempting to capture a treasure shipment.

In 1573, he joined Guillaume Le Testu
Guillaume Le Testu
Guillaume Le Testu, also called Têtu, was a 16th century French corsair, explorer and navigator during the Elizabethan age. He was a successful privateer during the early years of the French Wars of Religion...

, a French buccaneer, in an attack on a richly laden mule train. Drake and his party found that they had captured around 20 tons of silver and gold. They buried much of the treasure, as it was too much for their party to carry. (An account of this may have given rise to subsequent stories of pirates and buried treasure). Wounded, Le Testu was captured and later beheaded. The small band of adventurers dragged as much gold and silver as they could carry back across some 18 miles of jungle-covered mountains to where they had left the raiding boats. When they got to the coast, the boats were gone. Drake and his men, downhearted, exhausted and hungry, had nowhere to go and the Spanish were not far behind.

At this point Drake rallied his men, buried the treasure on the beach, and built a raft to sail with two volunteers ten miles along the surf-lashed coast to where they had left the flagship. When Drake finally reached its deck, his men were alarmed at his bedraggled appearance. Fearing the worst, they asked him how the raid had gone. Drake could not resist a joke and teased them by looking downhearted. Then he laughed, pulled a necklace of Spanish gold from around his neck and said "Our voyage is made, lads!" By August 9, 1573, he had returned to Plymouth.

Entering the Pacific


With the success of the Panama isthmus raid, in 1577 Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 sent Drake to start an expedition against the Spanish along the Pacific coast of the Americas. He set out from Plymouth on 15 November 1577, but bad weather threatened him and his fleet. They were forced to take refuge in Falmouth, Cornwall
Falmouth, Cornwall
Falmouth is a town, civil parish and port on the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It has a total resident population of 21,635.Falmouth is the terminus of the A39, which begins some 200 miles away in Bath, Somerset....

, from where they returned to Plymouth for repair. After this major setback, he set sail again on the 13th of December, aboard Pelican, with four other ships and 164 men. He soon added a sixth ship, Mary (formerly Santa Maria), a Portuguese merchant ship that had been captured off the coast of Africa near the Cape Verde Islands
Cape Verde
The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa...

. He also added its captain, Nuno da Silva, a man with considerable experience navigating in South American waters.
Drake's fleet suffered great attrition; he scuttled both Christopher and the flyboat
Flyboat
The flyboat was a European light vessel of between 70 to 200 tons, used in the late 16th and early 17th century; the name was subsequently applied to a number of disparate vessels.The name "flyboat" is derived from Dutch vlieboot, a boat with a shallow enough draught to be...

 Swan due to loss of men on the Atlantic crossing. He made landfall at the gloomy bay of San Julian
Puerto San Julián
Puerto San Julián, also known historically as Port St Julian, is a natural harbour in Patagonia in the Santa Cruz Province of Argentina located at . In the days of sailing ships it formed a stopping point, south of Puerto Deseado...

, in what is now Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

. Ferdinand Magellan had called here half a century earlier, where he put to death some mutineers. Drake's men saw weathered and bleached skeletons on the grim Spanish gibbet
Gibbet
A gibbet is a gallows-type structure from which the dead bodies of executed criminals were hung on public display to deter other existing or potential criminals. In earlier times, up to the late 17th century, live gibbeting also took place, in which the criminal was placed alive in a metal cage...

s. They discovered that Mary had rotting timbers, so they burned the ship. Following Magellan's example, Drake tried and executed his own 'mutineer' Thomas Doughty
Thomas Doughty (explorer)
Thomas Doughty was an English nobleman, soldier, scholar and personal secretary of Christopher Hatton. His association with Francis Drake, on a 1577 voyage to interfere with Spanish treasure fleets, ended in a shipboard trial for treason and witchcraft and Doughty's execution.Although scholars...

. Drake decided to remain the winter in San Julian before attempting the Strait of Magellan
Strait of Magellan
The Strait of Magellan comprises a navigable sea route immediately south of mainland South America and north of Tierra del Fuego...

.

The three remaining ships of his convoy departed for the Magellan Strait at the southern tip of South America. A few weeks later (September 1578) Drake made it to the Pacific, but violent storms destroyed one of the three ships in the strait and caused another to return to England, leaving only the Golden Hind. After this passage, the "Golden Hind" was pushed south and discovered an island which Drake called Elizabeth Island
Elizabeth Island (Cape Horn)
In some accounts of Sir Francis Drake's voyage, in September 1578 he is said to have landed on an island off the tip of South America. Called "Elizabeth Island" in Francis Fletcher's account, it has been identified with Henderson Island, Hornos Island, or Pactolus Bank.It is not to be confused...

. Drake, like navigators before him, probably reached a latitude of 55°S (according to astronomical data quoted in Hakluyt
Richard Hakluyt
Richard Hakluyt was an English writer. He is principally remembered for his efforts in promoting and supporting the settlement of North America by the English through his works, notably Divers Voyages Touching the Discoverie of America and The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and...

's The Principall Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the English Nation of 1589) along the Chilean coast. Despite popular lore, it seems unlikely that he reached Cape Horn
Cape Horn
Cape Horn is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile, and is located on the small Hornos Island...

 or the eponymous Drake Passage
Drake Passage
The Drake Passage or Mar de Hoces—Sea of Hoces—is the body of water between the southern tip of South America at Cape Horn, Chile and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica...

, because his descriptions do not fit the first and his shipmates denied having seen an open sea. The first report of his discovery of an open channel south of Tierra del Fuego was written after the 1618 publication of the voyage of Willem Schouten
Willem Schouten
Willem Cornelisz Schouten was a Dutch navigator for the Dutch East India Company. He was the first to sail the Cape Horn route to the Pacific Ocean.- Biography :Willem Cornelisz Schouten was born in c...

 and Jacob le Maire
Jacob Le Maire
Jacob Le Maire was a Dutch mariner who circumnavigated the earth in 1615-16. The strait between Tierra del Fuego and Isla de los Estados was named the Le Maire Strait in his honor, though not without controversy...

 around Cape Horn in 1616.

He pushed onwards in his lone flagship, now renamed the Golden Hind
Golden Hind
The Golden Hind was an English galleon best known for its circumnavigation of the globe between 1577 and 1580, captained by Sir Francis Drake...

in honour of Sir Christopher Hatton
Christopher Hatton
Sir Christopher Hatton was an English politician, Lord Chancellor of England and a favourite of Elizabeth I of England.-Early days:...

 (after his coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

). The Golden Hind sailed north along the Pacific coast of South America, attacking Spanish ports and rifling towns. Some Spanish ships were captured, and Drake used their more accurate charts. Before reaching the coast of Peru, Drake visited Mocha Island, where he was seriously injured by hostile Mapuche
Mapuche
The Mapuche are a group of indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina. They constitute a wide-ranging ethnicity composed of various groups who shared a common social, religious and economic structure, as well as a common linguistic heritage. Their influence extended...

. Later he sacked the port of Valparaíso
Valparaíso
Valparaíso is a city and commune of Chile, center of its third largest conurbation and one of the country's most important seaports and an increasing cultural center in the Southwest Pacific hemisphere. The city is the capital of the Valparaíso Province and the Valparaíso Region...

 further north in Chile where he also captured a ship full a Chilean wine
Chilean wine
Chilean wine is wine made in the South American country of Chile. The region has a long viticultural history for a New World wine region dating to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors brought Vitis vinifera vines with them as they colonized the region. In the mid-19th century, French...

.

A most consequential action


Near Lima
Lima
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima...

, Drake captured a Spanish ship laden with 25,000 peso
Peso
The word peso was the name of a coin that originated in Spain and became of immense importance internationally...

s of Peruvian gold, amounting in value to 37,000 ducat
Ducat
The ducat is a gold coin that was used as a trade coin throughout Europe before World War I. Its weight is 3.4909 grams of .986 gold, which is 0.1107 troy ounce, actual gold weight...

s of Spanish money (about £7m by modern standards). Drake also discovered news of another ship, Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, which was sailing west towards Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

. It would come to be called the Cacafuego. Drake gave chase and eventually captured the treasure ship, which proved their most profitable capture. Aboard Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, Drake found 80 lb (36.3 kg) of gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, a golden crucifix
Crucifix
A crucifix is an independent image of Jesus on the cross with a representation of Jesus' body, referred to in English as the corpus , as distinct from a cross with no body....

, jewels
Gemstone
A gemstone or gem is a piece of mineral, which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewelry or other adornments...

, 13 chests full of royals of plate and 26 tons of silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

.

Nova Albion


On 17 June 1579, Drake landed somewhere north of Spain's northern-most claim at Point Loma. He found a good port, landed, repaired and restocked his vessels, then stayed for a time, keeping friendly relations with the natives. He claimed the land in the name of the Holy Trinity
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

 for the English Crown as called Nova AlbionLatin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 for "New Britain". Assertions that he left some of his men behind as an embryo "colony" are founded on the reduced number who were with him in the Moluccas
Maluku Islands
The Maluku Islands are an archipelago that is part of Indonesia, and part of the larger Maritime Southeast Asia region. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone...

.

The precise location of the port was carefully guarded to keep it secret from the Spaniards, and several of Drake's maps may have been altered to this end. All first-hand records from the voyage, including logs, paintings and charts, were lost when Whitehall Palace burned in 1698. A bronze plaque inscribed with Drake's claim to the new lands -Drake's Plate of Brass
Drake's Plate of Brass
The so-called Drake's Plate of Brass is a forgery that purports to be the brass plaque that Francis Drake posted upon landing in Northern California in 1579. The hoax was successful for forty years, despite early doubts. After the plate came to public attention in 1936, historians immediately...

- fitting the description in his account, was discovered in Marin County, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, but was later declared a hoax. The generally accepted location of Drake's New Albion
New Albion
New Albion, also known as Nova Albion, was the name of the region of the Pacific coast of North America explored by Sir Francis Drake and claimed by him for England in 1579...

 is Drakes Bay, California, although nearly a score of other notions have been offered.

Drake headed westward across the Pacific, and a few months later reached the Moluccas
Maluku Islands
The Maluku Islands are an archipelago that is part of Indonesia, and part of the larger Maritime Southeast Asia region. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone...

, a group of islands in the south west Pacific, in eastern modern-day Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. While there, Golden Hind became caught on a reef and was almost lost. After the sailors waited three days for expedient tides and dumped cargo, they freed the barque. Befriending a sultan king of the Moluccas, Drake and his men became involved in some intrigues with the Portuguese there. He made multiple stops on his way toward the tip of Africa, eventually rounded the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

, and reached Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

 by 22 July 1580.

Home and knighting


On 26 September, Golden Hind sailed into Plymouth with Drake and 59 remaining crew aboard, along with a rich cargo of spices and captured Spanish treasures. The Queen's half-share of the cargo surpassed the rest of the crown's income for that entire year. Drake was hailed as the first Englishman to circumnavigate the Earth (and the second such voyage arriving with at least one ship intact, after Elcano
Juan Sebastián Elcano
Juan Sebastián Elcano was a Basque Spanish explorer who completed the first circumnavigation of the world. As Ferdinand Magellan's second in command, Elcano took over after Magellan's death in the Philippines.-Early life:Elcano was born to Domingo Sebastián Elcano I and Catalina del Puerto...

's in 1520). The Queen ordered all written accounts of Drake's voyage to be considered classified information
Classified information
Classified information is sensitive information to which access is restricted by law or regulation to particular groups of persons. A formal security clearance is required to handle classified documents or access classified data. The clearance process requires a satisfactory background investigation...

, and its participants sworn to silence on pain of death; she intended to keep Drake's activities away from the eyes of rival Spain. Drake presented the Queen with a jewel token commemorating the circumnavigation. Taken as a prize off the Pacific coast of Mexico, it was made of enameled gold and bore an African diamond and a ship with an ebony hull. For her part, the Queen gave Drake a jewel with her portrait, an unusual gift to bestow upon a commoner, and one that Drake sported proudly in his portrait by Marcus Gheeraerts
Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger
Marcus Gheeraerts was an artist of the Tudor court, described as "the most important artist of quality to work in England in large-scale between Eworth and Van Dyck" He was brought to England as a child by his father Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder, also a painter...

, 1591. On one side is a state portrait of Elizabeth by the miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard
Nicholas Hilliard
Nicholas Hilliard was an English goldsmith and limner best known for his portrait miniatures of members of the courts of Elizabeth I and James I of England. He mostly painted small oval miniatures, but also some larger cabinet miniatures, up to about ten inches tall, and at least two famous...

, on the other a sardonyx cameo of double portrait busts, a regal woman and an African male. The "Drake Jewel", as it is known today, is a rare documented survivor among sixteenth-century jewels; it is conserved at the National Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England is the leading maritime museum of the United Kingdom and may be the largest museum of its kind in the world. The historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, it also incorporates the Royal Observatory, Greenwich,...

, Greenwich.
Queen Elizabeth awarded Drake a knighthood aboard Golden Hind in Deptford on 4 April 1581; the dubbing
Accolade
In the Middle Ages, the accolade was the central act in the rite-of-passage ceremonies conferring knighthood.-Ceremony:...

 being performed by a French diplomat, Monsieur de Marchaumont, who was negotiating for Elizabeth to marry the King of France's brother, Francis, Duke of Anjou. By getting the French diplomat involved in the knighting, Elizabeth was gaining the implicit political support of the French for Drake's actions. During the Victorian era, in a spirit of nationalism, the story was promoted that Elizabeth I had done the knighting.

In September 1581, Drake became the Mayor of Plymouth, and was a Member of Parliament in 1581, for an unknown constituency (possibly Camelford), and again in 1584 for Bossiney
Bossiney (UK Parliament constituency)
Bossiney was a parliamentary constituency in Cornwall, one of a number of Cornish rotten boroughs, and returned two Members of Parliament to the British House of Commons from 1552 until 1832, when it was abolished by the Great Reform Act.-History:...

. and Plymouth
Plymouth (UK Parliament constituency)
Plymouth was a parliamentary borough in Devon, which elected two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons in 1298 and again from 1442 until 1918, when the borough was merged with the neighbouring Devonport and the combined area divided into three single-member constituencies.-In the...

 in 1593. In 1580 Drake purchased Buckland Abbey
Buckland Abbey
Buckland Abbey is a 700-year-old house in Buckland Monachorum, near Yelverton, Devon, England, noted for its connection with Sir Francis Drake and presently in the ownership of the National Trust.-History:...

, a large manor near Yelverton in Devon. He lived there for fifteen years, until his final voyage, and it remained in his family for several generations. Buckland Abbey is now in the care of the National Trust
National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, usually known as the National Trust, is a conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

 and a number of mementos of his life are displayed there.

Spanish Armada


War broke out between Spain and England in 1585. Drake sailed to the New World and sacked the ports of Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo, known officially as Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic. Its metropolitan population was 2,084,852 in 2003, and estimated at 3,294,385 in 2010. The city is located on the Caribbean Sea, at the mouth of the Ozama River...

 and Cartagena
Cartagena, Colombia
Cartagena de Indias , is a large Caribbean beach resort city on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region and capital of Bolívar Department...

 in present-day Colombia. On the return leg of the voyage, he captured the Spanish fort of San Augustín
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is a city in the northeast section of Florida and the county seat of St. Johns County, Florida, United States. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, it is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the continental United...

 in Spanish Florida
Spanish Florida
Spanish Florida refers to the Spanish territory of Florida, which formed part of the Captaincy General of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and the Spanish Empire. Originally extending over what is now the southeastern United States, but with no defined boundaries, la Florida was a component of...

. These acts encouraged Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 to order planning for an invasion of England.

Cadiz raid



In a pre-emptive strike, Drake "singed the beard of the King of Spain" by sailing a fleet into Cadiz
Cádiz
Cadiz is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the homonymous province, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia....

 and also Corunna
A Coruña
A Coruña or La Coruña is a city and municipality of Galicia, Spain. It is the second-largest city in the autonomous community and seventeenth overall in the country...

, two of Spain's main ports, and occupied the harbours. He destroyed 37 naval and merchant ships. The attack delayed the Spanish invasion by a year. Over the next month, Drake patrolled the Iberian coasts
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 between Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

 and Cape St. Vincent
Cape St. Vincent
Cape St. Vincent , next to the Sagres Point, on the so-called Costa Vicentina , is a headland in the municipality of Sagres, in the Algarve, southern Portugal.- Description :This cape is the southwesternmost point in Portugal...

, intercepting and destroying ships on the Spanish supply lines. Drake estimated that he captured around 1600–1700 tons of barrel staves, enough to make 25,000 to 30000 barrels (4,769.6 m³) for containing provisions.

Defeat of the Spanish Armada



Drake was vice admiral
Vice Admiral
Vice admiral is a senior naval rank of a three-star flag officer, which is equivalent to lieutenant general in the other uniformed services. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral...

 in command of the English fleet (under Lord Howard of Effingham
Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham
Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham , known as Howard of Effingham, was an English statesman and Lord High Admiral under Elizabeth I and James I...

) when it overcame the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
This article refers to the Battle of Gravelines, for the modern navy of Spain, see Spanish NavyThe Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England to stop English...

 that was attempting to invade England in 1588. As the English fleet pursued the Armada up the English Channel in closing darkness, Drake broke off and captured the Spanish galleon Rosario, along with Admiral Pedro de Valdés and all his crew. The Spanish ship was known to be carrying substantial funds to pay the Spanish Army in the Low Countries. Drake's ship had been leading the English pursuit of the Armada by means of a lantern. By extinguishing this for the capture, Drake put the fleet into disarray overnight.

On the night of 29 July, along with Howard, Drake organised fire-ships
Fire ship
A fire ship, used in the days of wooden rowed or sailing ships, was a ship filled with combustibles, deliberately set on fire and steered into an enemy fleet, in order to destroy ships, or to create panic and make the enemy break formation. Ships used as fire ships were usually old and worn out or...

, causing the majority of the Spanish captains to break formation and sail out of Calais
Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

 into the open sea. The next day, Drake was present at the Battle of Gravelines. He wrote as follows to Admiral Henry Seymour after coming upon part of the Spanish Armada, whilst aboard Revenge on 31 July 1588 (21 July 1588 O.S.
Old Style and New Style dates
Old Style and New Style are used in English language historical studies either to indicate that the start of the Julian year has been adjusted to start on 1 January even though documents written at the time use a different start of year ; or to indicate that a date conforms to the Julian...

):

"Coming up to them, there has passed some common shot between some of our fleet and some of them; and as far as we perceive, they are determined to sell their lives with blows".

The most famous (but probably apocryphal) anecdote about Drake relates that, prior to the battle, he was playing a game of bowls
Bowls
Bowls is a sport in which the objective is to roll slightly asymmetric balls so that they stop close to a smaller "jack" or "kitty". It is played on a pitch which may be flat or convex or uneven...

 on Plymouth Hoe
Plymouth Hoe
Plymouth Hoe, referred to locally as the Hoe, is a large south facing open public space in the English coastal city of Plymouth. The Hoe is adjacent to and above the low limestone cliffs that form the seafront and it commands views of Plymouth Sound, Drake's Island, and across the Hamoaze to Mount...

. On being warned of the approach of the Spanish fleet, Drake is said to have remarked that there was plenty of time to finish the game and still beat the Spaniards. There is no known eyewitness account of this incident and the earliest retelling of it was printed 37 years later. Adverse winds and currents caused some delay in the launching of the English fleet as the Spanish drew nearer, perhaps prompting a popular myth of Drake's cavalier attitude to the Spanish threat.

Drake-Norris Expedition


In 1589, the year after defeating the Armada, Drake and Sir John Norreys
John Norreys
Sir John Norreys , also frequently spelt John Norris, was an English soldier of a Berkshire family of court gentry, the son of Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norreys a lifelong friend of Queen Elizabeth....

 were given three tasks. They were ordered to first seek out and destroy the remaining ships, second they were to support the rebels in Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, Portugal against King Philip II (then king of Spain and Portugal), and third they were to take the Azores
Azores
The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, and is located about west from Lisbon and about east from the east coast of North America. The islands, and their economic exclusion zone, form the Autonomous Region of the...

 if possible. Drake and Norreys destroyed a few ships in the harbour of La Coruña in Spain but lost more than 12,000 lives and 20 ships. This delayed Drake, and he was forced to forgo hunting the rest of the surviving ships and head on to Lisbon.

Final years


Drake's seafaring career continued into his mid-fifties. In 1595, he failed to conquer
Battle of Las Palmas
The Battle of las Palmas was an unsuccessful English naval expedition in 1595 during the Anglo-Spanish War against the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. The English Fleet was originally directed towards Puerto Rico, but had taken a detour in hopes of an easy victory and gaining provisions...

 the port of Las Palmas, and following a disastrous campaign against Spanish America, where he suffered a number of defeats, he unsuccessfully attacked San Juan de Puerto Rico, eventually losing the Battle of San Juan (1595)
Battle of San Juan (1595)
The Battle of San Juan was a Spanish victory during the Anglo–Spanish War. This war broke out in 1585 and was fought not only in the European theatre but in Spain's American colonies.-Course:...

.
The Spanish gunners from El Morro Castle shot a cannonball through the cabin of Drake's flagship, and he survived; but a few weeks later, in January 1596, he died of dysentery
Dysentery
Dysentery is an inflammatory disorder of the intestine, especially of the colon, that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus and/or blood in the faeces with fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, dysentery can be fatal.There are differences between dysentery and normal bloody diarrhoea...

 when he was about 55, while anchored off the coast of Portobelo, Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, where some Spanish treasure ships had sought shelter. Following his death, the English fleet withdrew.

Before dying, he asked to be dressed in his full armour. He was buried at sea in a lead coffin, near Portobelo. Divers continue to search for the coffin.

Cultural impact


Drakes Bay
Drakes Bay
Drakes Bay is a small bay on the coast of northern California in the United States, approximately 30 miles northwest of San Francisco at approximately 38 degrees north latitude. The bay is approximately 8 miles wide...

 and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is an east–west arterial road in Marin County, California, running from just west of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to the trailhead for Point Reyes Lighthouse at the end of the Point Reyes Peninsula.It is named for the English explorer Sir Francis Drake, whose...

 of Marin County, California
Marin County, California
Marin County is a county located in the North San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. As of 2010, the population was 252,409. The county seat is San Rafael and the largest employer is the county government. Marin County is well...

 are both named after him, as well as the high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

 in San Anselmo, California
San Anselmo, California
San Anselmo is an incorporated town in Marin County, California, in the western United States. San Anselmo is located west of San Rafael, at an elevation of 46 feet . It is located about north of San Francisco. Neighboring towns include San Rafael to the east, Fairfax to the west, and Ross to the...

. The boulevard runs between Drakes Bay at Point Reyes
Point Reyes
Point Reyes is a prominent cape on the Pacific coast of northern California. It is located in Marin County approximately WNW of San Francisco. The term is often applied to the Point Reyes Peninsula, the region bounded by Tomales Bay on the northeast and Bolinas Lagoon on the southeast...

 to Point San Quentin on San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay is a shallow, productive estuary through which water draining from approximately forty percent of California, flowing in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers from the Sierra Nevada mountains, enters the Pacific Ocean...

. A large hotel in Union Square, San Francisco also bears his name. In Devon, England there are various places named after him, especially in Plymouth, where a roundabout
Roundabout
A roundabout is the name for a road junction in which traffic moves in one direction around a central island. The word dates from the early 20th century. Roundabouts are common in many countries around the world...

 has been named Drake Circus. Additionally, the Sir Francis Drake Channel
Sir Francis Drake Channel
The Sir Francis Drake Channel is a strait in the British Virgin Islands separating the main island of Tortola from several smaller islands to the south....

 in the British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands
The Virgin Islands, often called the British Virgin Islands , is a British overseas territory and overseas territory of the European Union, located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago, the remaining islands constituting the U.S...

 bears his name.

Drake's will was the focus of a vast confidence scheme which Oscar Hartzell
Oscar Hartzell
Oscar Hartzell was an American con man who convinced many people in North America to join him in a fraudulent lawsuit against the British government. The original idea did not originate with him, but rather was a continuation of a previous scam.Hartzell was a farmer's son from Madison County, Iowa...

 perpetrated in the 1920s and 1930s. He convinced thousands of people, mostly in the American Midwest, that Drake's fortune was being held by the British government, and had compounded to a huge amount. If their last name was Drake they might be eligible for a share if they paid Hartzell to be their agent. The swindle continued until a copy of Drake's will was brought to Hartzell's mail fraud trial and he was convicted and imprisoned.

Modern workings of stories involving Drake include the 1961 British television series
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

 Sir Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake (TV series)
Sir Francis Drake was a British adventure television series starring Terence Morgan as Sir Francis Drake, commander of the sailing ship the Golden Hind...

, and the 2009 US television movie
Television movie
A television film is a feature film that is a television program produced for and originally distributed by a television network, in contrast to...

 The Immortal Voyage of Captain Drake
The Immortal Voyage of Captain Drake
The Immortal Voyage of Captain Drake is a made for TV movie starring Adrian Paul and Sofia Pernas, released on January 17, 2009.-Plot:The year is 1592, after an encounter with a sultan who is holding his daughter Isabella for ransom Captain Drake must find what the sultan has asked for before his...

.

Nathan Drake
Nathan Drake (character)
Nathan "Nate" Drake is the fictional protagonist of the Uncharted video game series, developed by Naughty Dog. He is a playable character in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and appears in the motion comic prequel...

, a fictional descendant of Sir Francis Drake, searches for lost treasure supposedly found by Sir Francis during his circumnavigation in the video game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, and again in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is the third game in the Uncharted series, created by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation 3, and was released in North America on November 1, 2011, Europe on November 2, 2011 and Australia on November 3, 2011. It is the sequel to 2009's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. It was...

.

Slave trading


Drake accompanied his second cousin Sir John Hawkins
John Hawkins
Admiral Sir John Hawkins was an English shipbuilder, naval administrator and commander, merchant, navigator, and slave trader. As treasurer and controller of the Royal Navy, he rebuilt older ships and helped design the faster ships that withstood the Spanish Armada in 1588...

 in making the third English slave-trading
Atlantic slave trade
The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the trans-atlantic slave trade, refers to the trade in slaves that took place across the Atlantic ocean from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries...

 expeditions, making fortunes through the abduction and transportation of West African people, and then exchanging them for high-value goods. The first Englishman recorded to have taken slaves from Africa was John Lok, a London trader who, in 1555, brought to England five slaves from Guinea. A second London trader taking slaves at that time was William Towerson whose fleet sailed into Plymouth following his 1556 voyage to Africa and from Plymouth on his 1557 voyage. Despite the exploits of Lok and Towerson, John Hawkins of Plymouth is widely acknowledged to be an early pioneer of the English slave trade. While Hawkins made only three such trips, ultimately the English were to dominate the trade.

Around 1563 Drake first sailed west to the Spanish Main
Spanish Main
In the days of the Spanish New World Empire, the mainland of the American continent enclosing the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico was referred to as the Spanish Main. It included present-day Florida, the east shore of the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Mexico, Central America and the north coast of...

, on a ship owned and commanded by John Hawkins
John Hawkins
Admiral Sir John Hawkins was an English shipbuilder, naval administrator and commander, merchant, navigator, and slave trader. As treasurer and controller of the Royal Navy, he rebuilt older ships and helped design the faster ships that withstood the Spanish Armada in 1588...

, with a cargo of people forcibly removed from the coast of West Africa. The Englishmen sold their African captives into slavery in Spanish plantations. In general, the kidnapping and forced transportation of people was considered to be a criminal offence under English law at the time, although legal protection did not extend to slaves, non-Protestants or criminals. Hawkins' own account of his actions (in which Drake took part) cites two sources for their victims. One was military attacks on African towns and villages (with the assistance of rival African warlords), the other was attacking Portuguese slave ships.

Conflict in the Caribbean


During his early days as a slave-trader, Drake took an immediate dislike to the Spanish, at least in part due to their Catholicism and inherent distrust of non-Spanish. His hostility is said to have increased over an incident at San Juan de Ulúa in 1568, when Drake was sailing with the fleet of his second cousin John Hawkins
John Hawkins
Admiral Sir John Hawkins was an English shipbuilder, naval administrator and commander, merchant, navigator, and slave trader. As treasurer and controller of the Royal Navy, he rebuilt older ships and helped design the faster ships that withstood the Spanish Armada in 1588...

. Whilst negotiating to resupply and repair at the Spanish port, the fleet were attacked by Spanish warships, with all but two of the English ships lost. Drake survived the attack by swimming. The most celebrated of Drake's adventures along the Spanish Main
Spanish Main
In the days of the Spanish New World Empire, the mainland of the American continent enclosing the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico was referred to as the Spanish Main. It included present-day Florida, the east shore of the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Mexico, Central America and the north coast of...

 was his capture of the Spanish Silver Train at Nombre de Dios in March 1573. With a crew including many French privateers and Maroons
Maroon (people)
Maroons were runaway slaves in the West Indies, Central America, South America, and North America, who formed independent settlements together...

—African slaves who had escaped the Spanish—Drake raided the waters around Darien (in modern Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

) and tracked the Silver Train to the nearby port of Nombre de Dios. He made off with a fortune in gold, but had to leave behind another fortune in silver, because it was too heavy to carry back to England. It was during this expedition that he climbed a high tree in the central mountains of the Isthmus of Panama
Isthmus of Panama
The Isthmus of Panama, also historically known as the Isthmus of Darien, is the narrow strip of land that lies between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, linking North and South America. It contains the country of Panama and the Panama Canal...

 and thus became the first Englishman to see the Pacific Ocean. He remarked as he saw it that he hoped one day an Englishman would be able to sail it—which he would do years later as part of his circumnavigation of the world.

When Drake returned to Plymouth after the raids, the government signed a temporary truce with King Philip II of Spain and so was unable to acknowledge Drake's accomplishment officially.

Drake was considered a hero in England and a pirate in Spain for his raids.

Ireland


In 1575, Drake was present at Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island is an island off the coast of County Antrim, and is the northernmost point of Northern Ireland. Rathlin is the only inhabited offshore island in Northern Ireland, with a rising population of now just over 100 people, and is the most northerly inhabited island off the Irish coast...

, part of the English plantation effort in Ulster
Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...

 where 600 men, women, and children were massacred after surrendering
Rathlin Island Massacre
The Rathlin Island Massacre was an atrocity on Rathlin Island in July 1575. Installing themselves in a castle built in the 14th century by the Scottish King Robert the Bruce, the MacDonnells made Rathlin their base for fierce resistance to the...

.

Francis Drake was in charge of the ships which transported John Norreys
John Norreys
Sir John Norreys , also frequently spelt John Norris, was an English soldier of a Berkshire family of court gentry, the son of Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norreys a lifelong friend of Queen Elizabeth....

' troops to Rathlin Island, commanding a small frigate called Falcon, with a total complement of 25. At the time of the massacre, he was charged with the task of keeping Scottish vessels from bringing reinforcements to Rathlin Island. The people who were massacred were, in fact, the families of Sorley Boy MacDonnell
Sorley Boy MacDonnell
Somhairle Buidhe Mac Domhnaill , Scoto-Irish prince or flaith and chief, was the son of Alexander MacDonnell, lord of Islay and Kintyre , and Catherine, daughter of the Lord of Ardnamurchan...

's followers.

Execution of Thomas Doughty


In 1578 Drake accused his co-commander Thomas Doughty of witchcraft in a shipboard trial. Doughty was charged with mutiny
Mutiny
Mutiny is a conspiracy among members of a group of similarly situated individuals to openly oppose, change or overthrow an authority to which they are subject...

 and treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

. Drake then denied his requests to see Drake's commission from the Queen to carry out such acts and was denied a trial in England. The two main pieces of evidence against Doughty were the testimony of the ship's carpenter, Edward Bright, and also that Doughty admitted to telling Lord William Burghley of the voyage. Drake consented to his request of Communion
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

 and dined with him. Thomas Doughty was beheaded on 2 July 1578.

See also

  • Drake in California
    Drake in California
    In 1579, Francis Drake sailed out in the Pacific, then turned eastseeking the Strait of Anián ,or for a place to repair his ships....

  • Drake's Leat
    Drake's Leat
    Drake's Leat, also known as Plymouth Leat, was a watercourse constructed in the late 16th century to tap the River Meavy on Dartmoor, England in order to supply Plymouth with water. It was one of the first municipal water supplies in the country.-Plans:...

    , a water supply for Plymouth, promoted by Drake
  • Francis William Drake
    Francis William Drake
    Francis William Drake born in Buckland Monachorum, Devon the third son of Anne Heathcote and Sir Francis Henry Drake. Francis William is often confused with his younger brother, also a naval officer whose death occurred around the same time...

    , descendant of Sir Francis Drake.
  • Giovanni Battista Boazio
    Giovanni Battista Boazio
    Giovanni Battista Boazio was an Italian draftsman and cartographer. He mapped Sir Francis Drake's voyage to the West Indies and America.- External links :* Rare old British atlas sells for $1.3 million...

    , Drake's mapmaker
  • Roberto Trefusis is a fictional nephew in Marvel 1602
    Marvel 1602
    Marvel 1602 is an eight-issue comic book limited series published in 2003 by Marvel Comics. The limited series was written by Neil Gaiman, penciled by Andy Kubert, and digitally painted by Richard Isanove; Scott McKowen illustrated the distinctive scratchboard covers...

     comic series
  • Survivor: Pearl Islands
    Survivor: Pearl Islands
    Survivor: Pearl Islands is the seventh season of the United States reality show Survivor. It was filmed in 2003 and debuted in the United States on CBS on September 18, 2003....

    , one of the tribes was named after Drake
  • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is an action-adventure platform third-person shooter video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3. It is the sequel to the 2007 game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. It was first shown and announced on December 1, 2008...

    and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
    Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
    Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is the third game in the Uncharted series, created by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation 3, and was released in North America on November 1, 2011, Europe on November 2, 2011 and Australia on November 3, 2011. It is the sequel to 2009's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. It was...

    , video games featuring Francis Drake's descendant Nathan Drake.

External links