The Info List - Francis Drake

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SIR FRANCIS DRAKE, vice admiral (c. 1540 – 28 January 1596 ) was an English sea captain , privateer , navigator , slaver and politician of the Elizabethan era
Elizabethan era
. Drake carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition, from 1577 to 1580, and was the first to complete the voyage as captain while leading the expedition throughout the entire circumnavigation. With his incursion into the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
, he claimed what is now California for the British and inaugurated an era of conflict with the Spanish on the western coast of the Americas
, an area that had previously been largely unexplored by western shipping.

Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
in 1588. He died of dysentery in January 1596 after unsuccessfully attacking San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico

His exploits made him a hero to the English. But he was branded a pirate by the Spaniards , to whom he was known as _El Draque_. King Philip II was said to have offered a reward for his capture or death of 20,000 ducats , about £4 million (US$6.5 million) by modern standards.


* 1 Birth and early years * 2 Marriage and family * 3 Sailing career

* 4 Circumnavigation
of the earth (1577–1580)

* 4.1 Entering the Pacific
(1578) * 4.2 Capture of Spanish treasure ships * 4.3 Coast of California: Nova Albion (1579) * 4.4 Across the Pacific
and around Africa * 4.5 Return to Plymouth
(1580) * 4.6 Award of knighthood * 4.7 Award of arms

* 5 Political career * 6 Purchase of Buckland Abbey * 7 Great Expedition

* 8 Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada

* 8.1 Cadiz
raid * 8.2 Defeat of the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
* 8.3 Drake-Norris Expedition

* 9 Defeat and death

* 10 Cultural impact

* 10.1 In popular culture

* 11 Controversies

* 11.1 Slave trading * 11.2 Conflict in the Caribbean * 11.3 Ireland * 11.4 Execution of Thomas Doughty

* 12 See also * 13 References * 14 Bibliography * 15 External links


_ Portrait miniature by Nicholas Hilliard
Nicholas Hilliard
, 1581, reverse of "Drake Jewel", inscribed Aetatis suae 42, An(n)o D(omi)ni 1581_ ("42 years of his age, 1581 AD")

Francis Drake
Francis Drake
was born in Tavistock, Devon , England. Although his birth is not formally recorded, it is known that he was born while the Six Articles
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. A date of c.1540 is suggested from two portraits: one a miniature painted by Nicholas Hilliard
Nicholas Hilliard
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 alleged to have been named after his godfather Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford .

Because of religious persecution during the Prayer Book Rebellion
Prayer Book Rebellion
in 1549, the Drake family fled from Devonshire into Kent
. There the father obtained an appointment to minister the men in the King's Navy. He was ordained deacon and was made vicar of Upnor
Church on the Medway
. Drake's father apprenticed Francis to his neighbour, the master of a barque 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.


Francis Drake
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 , who was the High Sheriff of Somerset . After Drake's death, the widow Elizabeth eventually married Sir William Courtenay of Powderham.


Drake Jewel, on loan at the Victoria and Albert Museum , London

At age 23, Drake made his first voyage to the Americas
, sailing with his second cousin, Sir John Hawkins , on one of a fleet of ships owned by his relatives, the Hawkins family of Plymouth
. 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 . He escaped along with Hawkins.

Following the defeat at San Juan de Ulúa, Drake vowed revenge. He made two voyages to the West Indies
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 , known to the Spanish as Tierra Firme and the English as the Spanish Main . This was the point at which the silver and gold treasure of Peru
had to be landed and sent overland to the Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
, where galleons from Spain
would pick it up at the town of Nombre de Dios . Drake left Plymouth
on 24 May 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 , 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 9 August 1573, he had returned to Plymouth.


A map of Drake's route around the world. The northern limit of Drake's exploration of the Pacific
coast of North America is still in dispute. Drake\'s Bay is south of Cape Mendocino .

With the success of the Panama
isthmus raid, in 1577 Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I
of England sent Drake to start an expedition against the Spanish along the Pacific
coast of the Americas. Drake used the plans that Sir Richard Grenville
Richard Grenville
had received the patent for in 1574 from Elizabeth, which was rescinded a year later after protests from Philip of Spain. 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
, from where they returned to Plymouth
for repair.

After this major setback, Drake set sail again on 13 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 . 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 _Swan_ due to loss of men on the Atlantic crossing. He made landfall at the gloomy bay of San Julian , in what is now Argentina
. 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 gibbets . Following Magellan's example, Drake tried and executed his own "mutineer" Thomas Doughty . The crew discovered that _Mary_ had rotting timbers, so they burned the ship. Drake decided to remain the winter in San Julian before attempting the Strait of Magellan .


_ A replica of the Golden Hind _

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, the _Marigold_ (captained by John Thomas) in the strait and caused another, the _Elizabeth_ captained by John Wynter , to return to England, leaving only the _Pelican_. After this passage, the _Pelican_ was pushed south and discovered an island that Drake called Elizabeth Island . Drake, like navigators before him, probably reached a latitude of 55°S (according to astronomical data quoted in Hakluyt 's _The Principall Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the English Nation_ of 1589) along the Chilean coast. In the Magellan Strait Francis and his men engaged in skirmish with local indigenous people, becoming the first Europeans to kill indigenous peoples in southern Patagonia. During the stay in the strait, crew members discovered that an infusion made of the bark of _ Drimys winteri _ could be used as remedy against scurvy . Captain Wynter ordered the collection of great amounts of bark – hence the scientific name.

Despite popular lore, it seems unlikely that Drake reached Cape Horn or the eponymous Drake Passage , 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 and Jacob le Maire around Cape Horn
Cape Horn
in 1616.

Drake pushed onwards in his lone flagship, now renamed the _Golden Hind _ in honour of Sir Christopher Hatton (after his coat of arms ). The _Golden Hind_ sailed north along the Pacific
coast of South America, attacking Spanish ports and pillaging 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 . Later he sacked the port of Valparaíso
further north in Chile
, where he also captured a ship full of Chilean wine .


Near Lima
, Drake captured a Spanish ship laden with 25,000 pesos of Peruvian gold, amounting in value to 37,000 ducats 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
. It would come to be called the _Cacafuego _. Drake gave chase and eventually captured the treasure ship, which proved his most profitable capture.

Aboard _Nuestra Señora de la Concepción_, Drake found 80 lb (36 kg) of gold, a golden crucifix , jewels , 13 chests full of royals of plate and 26 tons of silver. Drake was naturally pleased at his good luck in capturing the galleon, and he showed it by dining with the captured ship's officers and gentleman passengers. He offloaded his captives a short time later, and gave each one gifts appropriate to their rank, as well as a letter of safe conduct.


Main article: New Albion Drake's landing in California, engraving published 1590 by Theodor de Bry
Theodor de Bry

After looting the Cacafuego, Drake turned north, hoping to meet another Spanish treasure ship coming south on its return from Manila to Acapulco . Although he failed to find a treasure ship, Drake reputedly sailed as far north as the 38th parallel, landing on the coast of California on 17 June 1579. He found a good port, landed, repaired and restocked his vessels, then stayed for a time, keeping friendly relations with the Coast Miwok natives. He claimed the land in the name of the Holy Trinity
for the English Crown, called _Nova Albion _— Latin
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 .

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 – fitting the description in his account, was discovered in Marin County , California but was later declared a hoax. Now a National Historic Landmark , the officially recognised location of Drake's New Albion is Drakes Bay , California.


Drake left the Pacific
coast, heading southwest to catch the winds that would carry his ship across the Pacific, and a few months later reached the Moluccas , a group of islands in the western Pacific, in eastern modern-day Indonesia
. While there, _Golden Hind_ became caught on a reef and was almost lost. After the sailors waited three days for convenient tides and had 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 , and reached Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
by 22 July 1580.


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 's in 1520).

The Queen declared that all written accounts of Drake's voyages were to become the Queen's secrets of the Realm, and Drake and the other participants of his voyages on the pain of death sworn to their secrecy; 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 enamelled 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 1591 portrait by Marcus Gheeraerts now at the National Maritime Museum , Greenwich. On one side is a state portrait of Elizabeth by the miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard
Nicholas Hilliard
, 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 Victoria and Albert Museum , London.


_ Drake receives knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. Bronze plaque by Joseph Boehm , 1883, base of Drake statue, Tavistock. Sir Francis Drake
Francis Drake
with his new heraldic achievement , with motto: Sic Parvis Magna_, translated literally: "Thus great things from small things (come)". The hand out of the clouds is labelled _Auxilio Divino_, or "With Divine Help"

Queen Elizabeth awarded Drake a knighthood aboard _Golden Hind_ in Deptford on 4 April 1581; the dubbing 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
Elizabeth I
had done the knighting.


_ Arms of Sir Francis Drake: Sable, a fess wavy between two pole-stars Arctic and Antarctic argent_ _ Arms of Drake of Ash: Argent, a wyvern wings displayed and tail nowed gules_. The Drake family of Crowndale and Buckland Abbey used the same arms but the tail of the wyvern is not nowed (knotted)

After receiving his knighthood Drake unilaterally adopted the armorials of the ancient Devon
family of Drake of Ash , near Musbury , to whom he claimed a distant but unspecified kinship. These arms were: _Argent, a wyvern wings displayed and tail nowed gules_, and the crest, _a dexter arm Proper grasping a battle axe Sable, headed Argent_. The head of that family, also a distinguished sailor, Sir Bernard Drake (d.1586), angrily refuted Sir Francis's claimed kinship and his right to bear his family's arms. That dispute led to "a box in the ear" being given to Sir Francis by Sir Bernard at court, as recorded by John Prince in his "Worthies of Devon" (1697). Queen Elizabeth, to assuage matters, awarded Sir Francis his own coat of arms, blazoned as follows:

_Sable a fess wavy between two pole-stars argent;_ and for his crest, _a ship on a globe under ruff, held by a cable with a hand out of the clouds;_ over it this motto, _Auxilio Divino;_ underneath, _Sic Parvis Magna;_ in the rigging whereof is hung up by the heels _a wivern, gules,_ which was the arms of Sir Bernard Drake.

The motto, _Sic Parvis Magna_, translated literally, is: "Thus great things from small things (come)". The hand out of the clouds, labelled _Auxilio Divino_, means "With Divine Help". The full achievement is depicted in the form of a large coloured plaster overmantel in the Lifetimes Gallery at Buckland Abbey

Nevertheless, Drake continued to quarter his new arms with the wyvern gules. The arms adopted by his nephew Sir Francis Drake, 1st Baronet (1588–1637) of Buckland were the arms of Drake of Ash, but the wyvern without a "nowed" (knotted) tail.


Drake was politically astute, and although known for his private and military endeavours, he was a influential figure in politics during the time he spent in Britain. Often abroad, there is little evidence to suggest he was active in Westminster, despite being a member of parliament on three occasions.

After returning from his voyage of circumnavigation, Drake became the Mayor of Plymouth
, in September 1581 . He became a member of parliament during a session of the 4th Parliament of Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I
, on 16 Jan 1581, for the constituency of Camelford
, he did not actively participate at this point, and on 17 Feb 1581 he was granted leave of absence ‘for certain his necessary business in the service of her Majesty'.

Drake became a member of parliament again in 1584 for Bossiney on the forming of the 5th Parliament of Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I
. He served the duration of the parliament and was active in issues regarding the navy, fishing, early American colonisation and issues related chiefly to Devon
. He spent the time covered by the next two parliamentary terms engaged in other duties and an expedition to Portugal
. He became a member of parliament for Plymouth
in 1593. He was active in issues of interest to Plymouth
as a whole, but also to empathises defence against the Spanish.


In 1580 Drake purchased Buckland Abbey , a large manor house near Yelverton in Devon, via intermediaries from Sir Richard Greynvile. 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 and a number of mementos of his life are displayed there.


Map of Drake's Great Expedition in 1585 by Giovanni Battista Boazio

War had already been declared by Phillip II after the Treaty of Nonsuch , so the Queen through Francis Walsingham
Francis Walsingham
ordered Sir Francis Drake to lead an expedition to attack the Spanish colonies in a kind of preemptive strike . An expedition left Plymouth
in September 1585 with Drake in command of twenty one ships with 1,800 soldiers under Christopher Carleill
Christopher Carleill
. He first attacked Vigo
in Spain
and held the place for two weeks ransoming supplies. He then plundered Santiago in the Cape Verde islands after which the fleet then sailed across the Atlantic, sacked the port of Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo
and captured the city of Cartagena de Indias
Cartagena de Indias
in present-day Colombia. On 6 June 1586, during the return leg of the voyage, he raided the Spanish fort of San Augustín in Spanish Florida .

After the raids he then went on to find Sir Walter Raleigh 's settlement much further North at Roanoke which he replenished and also took back with him all of the original colonists before Sir Richard Greynvile arrived with supplies and more colonists. He finally reached England on 22 July, when he sailed into Portsmouth, England to a hero's welcome.


Main article: Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada

Encouraged by these acts Philip II ordered a planned invasion of England.


Main article: Singeing the King of Spain\'s Beard

In another pre-emptive strike, Drake "singed the beard of the King of Spain" in 1587 by sailing a fleet into Cadiz
and also Corunna , 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 between Lisbon
and Cape St. Vincent , 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 30,000 barrels (4,800 m3) for containing provisions.


Sir Francis Drake
Francis Drake
whilst playing bowls on Plymouth
Hoe is informed of the approach of the Spanish Armada. Bronze plaque by Joseph Boehm , 1883, base of Drake statue, Tavistock The Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada

Drake was vice admiral in command of the English fleet (under Lord Howard of Effingham ) when it overcame the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
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 , causing the majority of the Spanish captains to break formation and sail out of Calais
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. ):

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 on Plymouth
Hoe . 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.


Main article: English Armada
English Armada

In 1589, the year after defeating the Armada, Drake and Sir John Norreys 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
, Portugal
against King Philip II (then king of Spain and Portugal), and third they were to take the Azores
if possible. Drake and Norreys destroyed a few ships in the harbour of A 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.


Drake's burial at sea off Portobello . Bronze plaque by Joseph Boehm , 1883, base of Drake statue, Tavistock.

Drake's seafaring career continued into his mid-fifties. In 1595, he failed to conquer 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 .

The Spanish gunners from El Morro Castle shot a cannonball through the cabin of Drake's flagship, and he survived. He attempted to attack San Juan again but a few weeks later, in January 1596, he died of dysentery , a common disease in the tropics at the time, while anchored off the coast of Portobelo , Panama
, 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-lined coffin, near Portobelo. It is supposed that his final resting place is near the wrecks of two British ships, the Elizabeth and the Delight, scuttled in Portobelo Bay. Divers continue to search for the coffin.


This portrait, circa 1581, may have been copied from Hilliard\'s miniature —note the similar shirt—and the somewhat oddly-proportioned body, added by an artist who did not have access to Drake. National Portrait Gallery, London. 1591 portrait, also by Gheeraerts the Younger, wearing the "Drake Jewel" suspended from a strap, and displaying new arms

In the UK there are various places named after him, especially in Plymouth
, Devon, where various places carry his name, including the naval base ( HMS Drake ), Drake\'s Island and a roundabout named Drake Circus , along with a shopping mall named after the roundabout. Plymouth
Hoe is also home to a statue of Drake.

In the United States Drakes Bay and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard of Marin County, California are both named after him, as well as the high school in San Anselmo, California . The boulevard runs between Drakes Bay at Point Reyes to Point San Quentin on San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
. A large hotel in Union Square, San Francisco also bears his name. Additionally, the Sir Francis Drake Channel in the British Virgin Islands bears his name.

In British Columbia
British Columbia
, Canada
, where some theorize he may also have landed to the north of the usual site considered to be Nova Albion , various mountains were named in the 1930s for him, or in connection with Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I
or other figures of that era, including Mount Sir Francis Drake
Francis Drake
, Mount Queen Bess , and the Golden Hinde , the highest mountain on Vancouver Island .

Drake's will was the focus of a vast confidence scheme which Oscar Hartzell 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.


The 1899 adventure novel _ A Strange Discovery _ includes a backstory in which Drake discovered Antarctica in 1578.

Drake was portrayed by the Canadian actor Matheson Lang in the 1935 film _ Drake of England _. Modern workings of stories involving Drake include the 1961 British television series _Sir Francis Drake
Francis Drake
_, and the 2009 US television movie _The Immortal Voyage of Captain Drake_.

Drake's execution of Thomas Doughty is the subject of Robert E. Howard 's Solomon Kane poem, "The One Black Stain" (published 1962).

In 2003, he was the namesake of the Drake Tribe in _Survivor: Pearl Islands _.

Nathan Drake , a fictional descendant of Sir Francis Drake, searches for lost treasure supposedly found by Sir Francis during his circumnavigation in the 2007 video game _Uncharted: Drake\'s Fortune _, and again in _ Uncharted 3: Drake\'s Deception _ (2011).



Drake had a strong connection to the his second cousin Sir John Hawkins and accompanied him in making the third English slave-trading expedition, making fortunes through the abduction and transportation of West African people, and then exchanging them for high-value goods.

Although not the first, John Hawkins of Plymouth
is considered to be an early pioneer of English involvement in the 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 , on a ship owned and commanded by John Hawkins , with a cargo of slaves from the coast of West Africa. The Englishmen sold them to Spanish plantations . 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, the other was attacking Portuguese slave ships.


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The people of quality dislike him for having risen so high from such a lowely family; the rest say he is the main cause of wars. — Gonzalo González del Castillo, letter to King Philip II , 1592

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 . 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 was his capture of the Spanish Silver Train at Nombre de Dios in March 1573. With a crew including many French privateers and Maroons —African slaves who had escaped the Spanish—Drake raided the waters around Darien (in modern Panama
) 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 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
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.


In 1575, Drake was present at the Rathlin Island Massacre , which was a part of the English plantation effort in Ulster
, where 600 men, women, and children were massacred after surrendering.

Francis Drake
Francis Drake
was in charge of the ships which transported John Norreys ' troops to Rathlin Island
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 's followers.


Main article: Thomas Doughty (explorer) Bronze statue in Tavistock, in the parish of which he was born, by Joseph Boehm , 1883.

On his voyage to interfere with Spanish treasure fleets, Drake had several quarrels with his co-commander Thomas Doughty and on 3 June 1578, accused him of witchcraft and charged him with mutiny and treason in a shipboard trial. Drake claimed to have a (never presented) commission from the Queen to carry out such acts and denied Doughty a trial in England. The main pieces of evidence against Doughty were the testimony of the ship's carpenter, Edward Bright, who after the trial was promoted to master of the ship _Marigold_, and Doughty's admission of telling Lord Burghley , a vocal opponent of agitating the Spanish, of the intent of the voyage. Drake consented to his request of Communion and dined with him, of which Francis Fletcher had this strange account:

And after this holy repast, they dined also at the same table together, as cheerfully, in sobriety, as ever in their lives they had done aforetime, each cheering up the other, and taking their leave, by drinking each to other, as if some journey only had been in hand.

Drake had Thomas Doughty beheaded on 2 July 1578. When the ship's chaplain Francis Fletcher in a sermon suggested that the woes of the voyage in January 1580 were connected to the unjust demise of Doughty, Drake chained the clergyman to a hatch cover and pronounced him excommunicated.


* Drake\'s Drum * Drake in California * Drake\'s Leat , a water supply for Plymouth, promoted by Drake * Francis William Drake , relative of Sir Francis Drake * Giovanni Battista Boazio , Drake's mapmaker


* ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. * ^ Woolsey, Matt (September 19, 2008). "Top-Earning Pirates". _Forbes.com_. Forbes
Magazine . Retrieved February 5, 2013. * ^ _Paris Profiles_. Bibliothéque Nationale, Paris. pp. Portfolio 17. * ^ Nick Hazlewood (22 November 2005). _The Queen\'s Slave Trader: John Hawkyns, Elizabeth I, and the Trafficking in Human Souls_. HarperCollins. pp. 154–155. ISBN 978-0-06-093569-6 . * ^ http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/western-invasion-warfare-between-england-and-spain-north-america-1585-1604. Retrieved 29 July 2017. Missing or empty title= (help ) * ^ Soto Rodríguez, José Antonio (2006). "La defensa hispana del Reino de Chile" (PDF). _Tiempo y Espacio_ (in Spanish). 16. Retrieved 30 January 2016. * ^ According to the English calendar then in use, Drake's date of death was 28 January 1595, as the new year began on 25 March. * ^ His name in Latinised form was Franciscus Draco (Francis the Dragon). See Theodor de Bry. * ^ _A_ _B_ Cummins, John (1996). _Francis Drake: The Lives of a Hero_. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-16365-7 . * ^ http://www.biographyonline.net/adventurers/francis-drake.html. Missing or empty title= (help ) * ^ Campbell, John (1841). _Lives of the British Admirals and Naval History of Great Britain from the Time of Caesar to the Chinese War of 1841 Chiefly Abridged from the work of Dr. John Campbell_. Glasgow: Richard Griffin & Co. p. 104. ISBN 9780665347566 . OCLC
12129656 . Retrieved 30 August 2012. Direct quote is followed by "this carries back his birth to 1544, at which time the six articles were in force, and Francis Russell was seventeen years of age." * ^ 1921/22 edition of the _ Dictionary of National Biography _, which quotes Barrow 's _Life of Drake_ (1843) p. 5. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Thomson, George Malcolm(1972), 'Sir Francis Drake', William Morrow & Company Inc. ISBN 978-0-436-52049-5 * ^ " Francis Drake
Francis Drake
bio". Tudor Place. Retrieved 25 February 2010. * ^ Froude, James Anthony, _English Seamen in the Sixteenth Century_, London, 1896. Quote: "He told Camden that he was of mean extraction. He meant merely that he was proud of his parents and made no idle pretensions to noble birth. His father was a tenant of the Earl of Bedford , and must have stood well with him, for Francis Russell, the heir of the earldom, was the boy's godfather." * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Southey, Robert. (1897). _English Seamen — Howard Clifford Hawkins Drake Cavendish_, Methuen and Co. 36 Essex Street WC London * ^ Warren, Derrick (2005). _Curious Somerset_. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. pp. 90–91. ISBN 978-0-7509-4057-3 . * ^ "The Occupants of the ancient office of High Sheriff of Somerset". Tudor Court. Retrieved 30 March 2011. * ^ "Captain Sir Francis DRAKE". _tudorplace.com.ar_. Retrieved 28 May 2008. * ^ "Drake escaped during the attack and returned to England in command of a small vessel, the Judith, with an even greater determination to have his revenge upon Spain
and the Spanish king, Philip II."—"Sir Francis Drake" article in online _Britannica Library _. Accessed 14 January 2016 * ^ _A_ _B_ Wagner, Henry R., _Sir Francis Drake's Voyage Around the World: Its Aims and Achievements_, Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2006, ISBN 1-4286-2255-1 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Martinic, Mateo (1977). _Historia del Estrecho de Magallanes_ (in Spanish). Santiago: Andrés Bello. pp. 67–68. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Kelsey, Harry, _Sir Francis Drake; The Queen's Pirate_, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1998, ISBN 0-300-07182-5 . * ^ Cortés Olivares, Hernán F. "El origen, producción y comercio del pisco chileno, 1546–1931". _ Revista Universum _ (in Spanish). Scielo.cl. doi :10.4067/S0718-23762005000200005 . Retrieved 25 October 2012. * ^ Dismissed by John Cummins, _Francis Drake: The Lives of a Hero_ 1997:118: "In view of the prominence given in different versions to the crowning of Drake it would be odd if the establishment of a colony had gone unrecorded." * ^ "Drake Navigator\'s Guild". Drakenavigatorsguild.org. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "The Drake Jewel". Oieahc.wm.edu. Retrieved 25 February 2010. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Image details". National Trust Images. Retrieved 25 October 2012. * ^ John Cummins, Francis Drake: Lives of a Hero_, page 127_. Palgrave Macmillan. 23 March 1997. ISBN 978-0-312-16365-5 . Retrieved 14 November 2009. * ^ _A_ _B_ Moseley, Brian (26 February 2011) . "Sir Francis Drake (c1541-1596)". _The Encyclopaedia of Plymouth
History_. Plymouthdata.info. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2015. * ^ Mary E. Hazard, Elizabethan silent language_, page 251_. U of Nebraska Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8032-2397-8 . August 2000. ISBN 978-0-8032-2397-4 . Retrieved 14 November 2009. * ^ Maria Perry, The Word of a Prince: A Life of Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I
from Contemporary Documents_, page 182_. Boydell Press. 1990. ISBN 978-0-85115-633-0 . Retrieved 14 November 2009. * ^ _A_ _B_ Coote, Stephen, _Drake: The Life and Legend of an Elizabethan Hero_, Saint Martin's Press, New York, 2003. ISBN 0-312-34165-2 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.292, pedigree of Drake of Ash * ^ _A_ _B_ Vivian, p.299, pedigree of Drake of Crowndale and Buckland Abbey * ^ Prince, John , (1643–1723) The Worthies of Devon, 1810 edition, p.329 * ^ Campbell, John (1828). _The life of the celebrated Sir Francis Drake, the first english Circumnavigator: reprinted from The Biographia Britannica_. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green. pp. 50–52. Retrieved 18 January 2013. * ^ Drake, Charles E.F., The Arms of Sir Francis Drake
Francis Drake
Archived 19 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine ., Quebec, 2008; Article by str8thinker, Project Avalon Forum, Dec 2010, based on article of Charles Drake, 2008, op. cit. * ^ _History of Parliament._ http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1558-1603/parliament/1572. Retrieved 28 July 2017. Missing or empty title= (help ) * ^ http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1558-1603/member/drake-francis-1540-96. Retrieved 28 July 2017. Missing or empty title= (help ) * ^ http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1558-1603/parliament/1584. Retrieved 28 July 2017. Missing or empty title= (help ) * ^ http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1558-1603/member/drake-francis-1540-96. Retrieved 28 July 2017. Missing or empty title= (help ) * ^ "History of Parliament". Retrieved 11 November 2011. * ^ http://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-francis-drake. Retrieved 28 July 2017. Missing or empty title= (help ) * ^ Hasler, P W. "DRAKE, Francis". _http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org_. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 28 July 2017. External link in website= (help ) * ^ Thompson, E. and Freeman, E. A. _History of England_, p. 188. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Kraus, Hans. _Sir Francis Drake: A Pictorial Biography_, 1970". Loc.gov. 13 October 2005. Retrieved 25 February 2010. * ^ Letter to Admiral Henry Seymour written aboard _Revenge_ on 31 July 1588 (21 July 1588 O.S. ) Turner, Sharon. _The History of England from the Earliest Period to the Death of Elizabeth_, 1835. * ^ http://www.thepirateking.com/bios/drake_francis.htm. Retrieved 28 July 2017. Missing or empty title= (help ) * ^ "Sir Francis Drake\'s body \'close to being found off Panama\'". _BBC News_. Retrieved 9 October 2013. * ^ _Telegraph Newspaper_ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/panama/8847105/Sir-Francis-Drakes-final-fleet-discovered-off-the-coast-of-Panama.html. Retrieved 28 July 2017. Missing or empty title= (help ) * ^ Prince's Worthies, op.cit. * ^ Rayner, Richard (22 April 2002). "The Admiral and the Con Man". _The New Yorker_. p. 150. * ^ _Sir Francis Drake_ on IMDb * ^ _The Immortal Voyage of Captain Drake_ on IMDb * ^ " Uncharted The Game". Us.playstation.com. Retrieved 25 February 2010. * ^ _Some historical account of Guinea: With an inquiry into the rise and progress of the slave trade_, p. 48, at Google Books * ^ "History of English Slave Trade". Ehr.oxfordjournals.org. doi :10.1093/ehr/cej026 . Retrieved 25 February 2010. * ^ Hazlewood, Nick. The Queen's Slave Trader: John Hawkyns, Elizabeth I, and the Trafficking in Human Souls. HarperCollins Books, New York, 2004. ISBN 0-06-621089-5 . * ^ See especially Drake's Spanish nickname and its mythic power to frighten naughty children. John Cummins, _Francis Drake: The Lives of a Hero_, page 273. ISBN 0-312-16365-7 . * ^ "Brief mention of the massacre". Standingstones.com. 10 July 1997. Retrieved 25 February 2010. * ^ John Sugden, _Sir Francis Drake_, Simon Schuster New York, ISBN 0-671-75863-2


* Bawlf, Samuel (2003). _The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake, 1577–1580_. Walker & Company. ISBN 0-8027-1405-6 . * Corbett, Julian Stafford (1890). _Sir Francis Drake_. * Hughes-Hallett, Lucy (2004). _Heroes: A History of Hero Worship_. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. ISBN 1-4000-4399-9 . * Kelsey, Harry (1998). _Sir Francis Drake, the Queen's Pirate_. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07182-5 . * Kelsey, Harry (2004). "Drake, Sir Francis (1540–1596)". _Oxford Dictionary of National Biography _. Oxford University Press. doi :10.1093/ref:odnb/8022 . Retrieved 20 May 2011. (subscription or UK public library membership required) * Mattingly, Garett (1959). _The Defeat of the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
_. ISBN 0-395-08366-4 . A detailed account of the defeat of the Spanish Armada which received a special citation from the Pulitzer Prize committee in 1960. * Merideth, Mrs Charles, _Notes and Sketches of New South Wales, during a residence in that colony from 1839 to 1844; Bound With: "Life of Drake" by John Barrow _ (1st ed., 1844) * Payne, Edward John , _Voyages of the Elizabethan Seamen to America_ (vol. 1, 1893; vol. 2, 1900) * Rodger, N. A. M. (1997). _The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain 660–1649_. London * Wilson, Derek (1977). _The World Encompassed: Drake's Great Voyage, 1577–80_. Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-014679-6 .


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