SIR FRANCIS DRAKE, vice admiral (c. 1540 – 28 January 1596 ) was
an English sea captain , privateer , navigator , slaver and
politician of the
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 , 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 in
1588. He died of dysentery in January 1596 after unsuccessfully
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
* 1 Birth and early years
* 2 Marriage and family
* 3 Sailing career
Circumnavigation of the earth (1577–1580)
* 4.1 Entering the
* 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
* 4.6 Award of knighthood
* 4.7 Award of arms
* 5 Political career
* 6 Purchase of
* 7 Great Expedition
* 8.2 Defeat of the
* 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
BIRTH AND EARLY YEARS
Portrait miniature by
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 was born in
Tavistock, Devon , England. Although his
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.
A date of c.1540 is suggested from two portraits: one a miniature
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),
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 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.
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 , who was
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
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 , 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 , where galleons from
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
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
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.
CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF THE EARTH (1577–1580)
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 of
England sent Drake to start an expedition against the Spanish along
Pacific coast of the Americas. Drake used the plans that Sir
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 , 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
Strait of Magellan
Strait of Magellan .
ENTERING THE PACIFIC (1578)
A replica of the
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
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
Jacob le Maire around
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 ).
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
Chilean wine .
CAPTURE OF SPANISH TREASURE SHIPS
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
Nuestra Señora de la Concepción , which was sailing
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.
COAST OF CALIFORNIA: NOVA ALBION (1579)
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
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
National Historic Landmark , the officially
recognised location of Drake's
New Albion is
Drakes Bay , California.
ACROSS THE PACIFIC AND AROUND AFRICA
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
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 by 22 July 1580.
RETURN TO PLYMOUTH (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
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 , 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
Victoria and Albert Museum , London.
AWARD OF KNIGHTHOOD
Drake receives knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. Bronze plaque by
Joseph Boehm , 1883, base of Drake statue, Tavistock. Sir
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
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.
AWARD OF ARMS
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
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
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
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
Plymouth , in September 1581 . He became a member of
parliament during a session of the 4th Parliament of
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
Drake became a member of parliament again in 1584 for Bossiney on
the forming of the 5th Parliament of
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
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.
PURCHASE OF BUCKLAND ABBEY
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
Map of Drake's Great Expedition in 1585 by Giovanni Battista
War had already been declared by Phillip II after the Treaty of
Nonsuch , so the Queen through
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 . He first attacked
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 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
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
Encouraged by these acts Philip II ordered a planned invasion of
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
Cape St. Vincent
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.
DEFEAT OF THE SPANISH ARMADA
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 .
Drake was vice admiral in command of the English fleet (under Lord
Howard of Effingham ) when it overcame the
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
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
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.
DEFEAT AND DEATH
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
Panama , where some Spanish
treasure ships had sought shelter. Following his death, the English
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
San Anselmo, California
San Anselmo, California . The boulevard runs between Drakes
Point Reyes to Point San Quentin on
San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay . A large
Union Square, San Francisco also bears his name.
Sir Francis Drake Channel in the British Virgin
Islands bears his name.
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
Elizabeth I or other figures of that era, including Mount Sir
Francis Drake ,
Mount Queen Bess
Mount Queen Bess , and the
Golden Hinde , the highest
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.
IN POPULAR CULTURE
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
Drake of England . Modern workings of stories involving Drake
include the 1961 British television series Sir
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.
Solomon Kane poem, "The One Black Stain" (published 1962).
In 2003, he was the namesake of the Drake Tribe in Survivor: Pearl
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.
CONFLICT IN THE CARIBBEAN
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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 was in charge of the ships which transported John
Norreys ' 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 's followers.
EXECUTION OF THOMAS DOUGHTY
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
* 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 Magazine . Retrieved February 5, 2013.
* ^ Paris Profiles. Bibliothéque Nationale, Paris. pp. Portfolio
* ^ 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 .
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
* ^ 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
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 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
* ^ 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
* ^ "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
* ^ 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
* ^ A B "Image details". National Trust Images. Retrieved 25
* ^ 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
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 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
* ^ 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
* ^ Prince, John , (1643–1723) The Worthies of Devon, 1810
* ^ 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 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.
Retrieved 28 July 2017. Missing or empty title= (help )
Retrieved 28 July 2017. Missing or empty title= (help )
Retrieved 28 July 2017. Missing or empty title= (help )
Retrieved 28 July 2017. Missing or empty title= (help )
* ^ "History of Parliament". Retrieved 11 November 2011.
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
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
* ^ The Immortal Voyage of Captain Drake on
* ^ "
Uncharted The Game". Us.playstation.com. Retrieved 25 February
* ^ Some historical account of Guinea: With an inquiry into the
rise and progress of the slave trade, p. 48, at
* ^ "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
* 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
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 . 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
* 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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