Sir Francis Drake (c. 1540 – 28 January 1596) was an English sea captain, privateer, slave trader, naval officer and explorer 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 English 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 awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581 which he received on the Golden Hind in Deptford. As a Vice Admiral, he was second-in-command of the English fleet in the battle against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He died of dysentery in January 1596, after unsuccessfully attacking San Juan, Puerto Rico. Drake's exploits made him a hero to the English, but his privateering led the Spanish to brand him a pirate, known to them as El Draque. King Philip II allegedly offered a reward for his capture or death of 20,000 ducats, about £6 million (US$8 million) in modern currency.
Sir Francis Drake
Tavistock, Devon, England
|Died||28 January 1596 (aged 55)|
Portobelo, Colón, Panama
(m. 1569; wid. 1581)
Elizabeth Sydenham (m. 1585)
|Nickname||El Draque (Spanish), Draco (Latin, "The Dragon")|
|Allegiance||Kingdom of England|
|Base of operations||Caribbean Sea|
|Commands||Golden Hind (previously known as Pelican)|
Battle of Gravelines
|Wealth||Est. Equiv. US$133.8 million in 2018; #2 Forbes top-earning pirates|
Francis Drake was born in Tavistock, Devon, England. Although his birth date is not formally recorded, it is known that he was born while the Six Articles were in force. His birth date is estimated from contemporary sources such as: "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 in 1581 when he was allegedly 42, so born circa 1539, while the other, painted in 1594 when he was said to be 53, would give a birth year of around 1541.
He was the oldest 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 in 1549, the Drake family fled from Devon to Kent. There Drake's 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 him to his neighbour, the master of a barque used for coastal trade transporting merchandise to France. The ship's 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 married Mary Newman at St. Budeaux church, Plymouth, in July 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.
At the age of eighteen he was purser of a ship which sailed to the Bay of Biscay. At twenty he made a voyage to the coast of Guinea. In 1563, Drake, aged 23, 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. He made three voyages with this fleet, attacking Portuguese towns and ships on the coast of West Africa. They then sailed to the Americas and sold the captured cargoes of slaves to Spanish plantations. John Hawkins is considered to have been the first English slave-trader. Hawkins made three such expeditions, the first in 1563, second in 1564 and the third expedition ending in the ill-fated 1568 incident at San Juan de Ulúa.
In 1568, Drake was on his third expedition with the Hawkins fleet when, whilst negotiating to resupply and repair at a Spanish port in Mexico, the fleet was attacked by Spanish warships, with all but two of the English ships lost. He escaped along with John Hawkins, surviving the attack by swimming.
Drake's hostility towards the Spanish is said to have started with this incident. Following the defeat at San Juan de Ulúa, Drake vowed revenge. In 1570, his reputation enabled him to proceed to the West Indies with two vessels under his command. He renewed his visit the next year for the sole purpose of obtaining information.
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 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.
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. He raided the waters around Darien (in modern Panama) with a crew including many French privateers including Guillaume Le Testu, a French buccaneer, and African slaves (Maroons) who had escaped the Spanish. Drake tracked the Silver Train to the nearby port of Nombre de Dios. After their attack on the 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, and made off with a fortune in gold. (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.
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 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.
Drake was present at the Rathlin Island massacre in 1575. Acting on the instructions of Sir Henry Sidney and the Earl of Essex, Sir John Norreys and Drake laid siege to Rathlin Castle. Despite their surrender, Norreys' troops killed all the 200 defenders and more than 400 civilian men, women and children of Clan MacDonnell. Meanwhile Drake was given the task of preventing any Gaelic Irish or Scottish reinforcements reaching the island. Therefore, the remaining leader of the Gaelic defense against English power, Sorley Boy MacDonnell, was forced to stay on the mainland. Essex wrote in his letter to Queen Elizabeth's secretary, that following the attack Sorley Boy "was likely to have run mad for sorrow, tearing and tormenting himself and saying that he there lost all that he ever had." 
With the success of the Panama isthmus raid in 1577, 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 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 attempting the Strait of Magellan.
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.
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 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.
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 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, 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.
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 had done the knighting.
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 [Arctic and Antarctic] 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 an 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, on 16 January 1581, for the constituency of Camelford. He did not actively participate at this point, and on 17 February 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. 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 emphasize 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.
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 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, and captured the city of 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.
Angered by these acts, Philip II ordered a planned invasion of England.
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.
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 threat.
In 1589, the year after defeating the Armada, Drake and Sir John Norreys were given three tasks: seek out and destroy the remaining ships, support the rebels in Lisbon, Portugal against King Philip II (then king of Spain and Portugal), and 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 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, but he survived. He attempted to attack San Juan again, but a few weeks later, in January 1596, he died (aged about 56) 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 sealed lead-lined coffin, near Portobelo, a few miles off the coastline. 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. Drake's body has never been recovered.
In the UK there are various places named after him, especially in Plymouth, Devon. Places there carrying his name include the naval base (HMS Drake), Drake's Island and a shopping centre and roundabout named Drake Circus. 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. 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, 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 or other figures of that era, including Mount Sir 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 Battle of Cartagena de Indias (1586) or the Capture of Cartagena de Indias was a military and naval action fought on 9–11 February 1586, of the recently declared Anglo-Spanish War that resulted in the assault and capture by English soldiers and sailors of the Spanish city of Cartagena de Indias governed by Pedro de Bustos on the Spanish Main. The English were led by Francis Drake. The raid was part of his Great Expedition to the Spanish New World. The English soldiers then occupied the city for over two months and captured much booty along with a ransom before departing on 12 April.Battle of Guadalupe Island (1595)
The Battle of Guadalupe Island, also known as the Battle of Guadalupe, was a naval action that took place off Guadalupe Island (French: Guadeloupe), Caribbean Sea, on 8 November 1595, between a Spanish force of five frigates commanded by Don Pedro Tello de Guzmán and Don Gonzalo Méndez de Cancio (who was appointed Admiral on 19 August 1595), and an English squadron of nine ships (rear of Francis Drake's fleet), during the unsuccessful English military expedition of 1595 against Spain and their possessions, led by Sir Francis Drake himself, Sir John Hawkins and Sir Thomas Baskerville, as the context of the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). The result was a Spanish victory. One of the English ships, the Francis, was captured and the others fled from the battle. Then, knowing Drake's plans, the Spanish flotilla took advantage over the bulk of Drake's fleet, and arrived at San Juan on 13 November, reinforcing the town with 500 soldiers and supplies. The Spaniards organized different artillery positions in strategic locations, and the five frigates were positioned to cover the entrance of the bay with their artillery, awaiting the arrival of Drake. On 22 November, with the defenses completed, the English fleet arrived off San Juan and tried to invade the town. The result was another Spanish victory over Drake's forces.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 taking supplies. The English expeditionary fleet under Francis Drake, Sir John Hawkins, and Sir Thomas Baskerville failed to achieve victory and was forced to withdraw from the Canary Islands towards the Spanish Caribbean, where Francis Drake died of dysentery at Mosquito Gulf.Buckland Abbey
Buckland Abbey is a 700-year-old house in Buckland Monachorum, near Yelverton, Devon, England, noted for its connection with Sir Richard Grenville the Younger and Sir Francis Drake. It is owned by the National Trust.Buckland Monachorum
Buckland Monachorum is a village and civil parish in the West Devon district of Devon, England, situated on the River Tavy, about 10 miles north of Plymouth.
In 2006 the neighbourhood had an estimated 1,511 residents and 654 dwellings. The electoral ward of the same name gave a population of 3,380 at the 2011 census.Domesday Book (1086) records Buckland Monachorum (Bocheland) as having 46 households, land for 15 ploughs, a salt pan and a fishery. It was in the possession of William de Poilley, one of 17 estates he in southern Devon as a tenant-in-chief of William the Conqueror.Near to Buckland Monachorum is Buckland Abbey, home of Sir Francis Drake during the Elizabethan era. The village is the site of St. Andrew's, a 12th-century church with a Saxon baptismal font and the tombs of the Drake family and Lord Heathfield, the defender of Gibraltar, many historic buildings, and a complex of interesting gardens, known as "The Garden House". The Gift House, a seventeenth-century Almshouse, was built by a descendant of Sir Francis Drake.
The Drake Manor Inn - a popular public house, restaurant and B&B - is also situated in the village. A general store and Post Office was situated in the village until 2003. St Andrew's C of E Primary School is located in the village, providing education for around 200 pupils from the local area. In 2007 Ofsted judged the school 'outstanding'.Nearby villages include:
Milton Combe, DevonCapture of Santiago (1585)
The Capture of Santiago was a military event that took place between 11–28 November 1585 during the newly declared Anglo-Spanish War. (Santiago is the largest island of Cape Verde archipelago.) An English expedition led by Francis Drake captured the port town of Cidade Velha in the Cape Verde islands that had recently belonged to the Crown of Portugal. He sacked it and then marched inland before doing the same at São Domingos and Praia. Afterwards Drake left and continued his expedition to successfully raid the Spanish possessions in the Americas.Cimarron people (Panama)
The Cimarrons in Panama were enslaved Africans who had escaped from their Spanish masters and lived together as outlaws. In the 1570s, they allied with Francis Drake of England to defeat the Spanish conquest. In Sir Francis Drake Revived (1572), Drake describes the Cimarrons as "a black people which about eighty years past fled from the Spaniards their masters, by reason of their cruelty, and are since grown to a nation, under two kings of their own. The one inhabiteth to the west, the other to the east of the way from Nombre de Dios".Drake Passage
The Drake Passage (Spanish: Pasaje de Drake) or Mar de Hoces—Sea of Hoces—is the body of water between South America's Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. It connects the southwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean (Scotia Sea) with the southeastern part of the Pacific Ocean and extends into the Southern Ocean.English Armada
The English Armada, also known as the Counter Armada or the Drake-Norris Expedition, was a fleet of warships sent to Spain by Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1589, during the undeclared Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) and the Eighty Years' War. It was led by Sir Francis Drake as admiral and Sir John Norreys as general, and failed to drive home the advantage England had won upon the destruction of the Spanish Armada in the previous year. The Spanish victory marked a revival of Philip II's naval power through the next decade.Golden Hind
Golden Hind was an English galleon best known for her privateering circumnavigation of the globe between 1577 and 1580, captained by Sir Francis Drake. She was originally known as Pelican, but was renamed by Drake mid-voyage in 1578, in honour of his patron, Sir Christopher Hatton, whose crest was a golden 'hind' (a female red deer). Hatton was one of the principal sponsors of Drake's world voyage. One full-sized, still sailable reconstruction containing original pieces of the galleon exists in London, on the south bank of the Thames.Greenbrae, California
Greenbrae is a small unincorporated community in Marin County, California. It is located 1.5 miles (2 km) south-southeast of downtown San Rafael, at an elevation of 33 feet (10 m), located adjacent to U.S. Route 101 at the opening of the Ross Valley. Part of Greenbrae is an unincorporated community of the county while the remaining area is inside the city limits of Larkspur. The ZIP code is 94904, and is shared with the neighboring Census-designated place (CDP) of Kentfield. The community is in area codes 415 and 628.
Predominantly composed of hillside and waterfront terrain, its homes and offices are known for their views of the San Francisco Bay, Corte Madera Creek, and Mount Tamalpais. "Brae" means a steep bank or hillside in dialects of Scotland and Northern Ireland; Greenbrae translates to "green hillside." The developer of Greenbrae, Niels Schultz, Jr., died in early 2008. Greenbrae's neighborhoods are bordered by downtown Larkspur to the south, Larkspur Landing to the east, the unincorporated area of Kentfield to the west, and the city of San Rafael to the north. Straddling Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, its most frequented points of interest include Marin General Hospital and Bon Air Shopping Center.New Albion
New Albion, also known as Nova Albion, was the name of the continental area north of Mexico claimed by Sir Francis Drake for England in 1579. This claim on the Pacific coast, which became the justification for English charters across America to the Atlantic coast, soon influenced further national expansion projects on the continent. Today, it is known as Point Reyes, California, a marine environment which is the setting of several small towns, ranches, and the Point Reyes National Seashore.
In the late sixteenth century, Drake developed a plan to use investors' support so he could sail into the Pacific to plunder Spanish settlements and ships and search for the hypothetical Strait of Anián which was thought to exist somewhere along the present-day Northern California or Oregon coasts, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic. Drake embarked on the journey in November 1577, and after successfully raiding Spanish towns and ships along their eastern Pacific coast colonies, he sailed north to seek a shortcut back to England via the Strait of Anián. Upon not finding it and to avoid reprisal by Spaniards he might encounter by sailing back through their territory, Drake decided that circumnavigation would be required to return to England. So, he sought safe harbor to prepare his ship, the Golden Hind, for the long journey.
On June 17 of 1579, Drake and his crew landed on the Pacific coast at what is now Point Reyes in Northern California. He had very friendly relations with the Coast Miwok people who inhabited the area near his landing. Living in thriving village communities, multitudes of Coast Miwok visited the English encampment daily, and Drake reciprocated with a visits by crossing a nearby ridge into an inland valley. Naming the area Nova Albion, or New Albion, he claimed sovereignty of the area for Elizabeth I of England, an act which would have significant long-term historical consequences. After effecting repairs while careening his ship, Drake set sail a few weeks later on July 23, 1579. Leaving behind no permanent presence, he circumnavigated the globe, finally returning to England in September 1580.
Over the years, numerous speculative sites along the North American Pacific coast were investigated as the area of Drake's New Albion claim. Through the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, various cartographers and mariners identified the area near Point Reyes as Drake's likely landing place. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, definitive evidence was gathered, particularly regarding Drake's contact with the Coast Miwok people and porcelain shards which were established to be remnants of Drake's cargo. In October 2012, all of this culminated in the United States Department of the Interior—using a National Historic Landmark designation—formally recognizing Drake's landing being at Point Reyes, California.Raid on St. Augustine
The Raid on St. Augustine was a military event during the Anglo-Spanish War in which the Spanish settlement of St. Augustine in Florida (Spanish: San Agustín)) was captured in a small fight and burnt by an English expedition fleet led by Francis Drake. This was part of Francis Drake's Great Expedition and was his last engagement on the Spanish Main before Drake headed north for the Roanoke Colony. The expedition also forced the Spanish to abandon any settlements and forts in present-day South Carolina.Sea Dogs
The Sea Dogs were a group of sea-raiders, (privateers, "Elizabethan Pirates"), who were authorised by Queen Elizabeth I of England, and also engaged in slave trading.The Sea Dogs were essentially a military branch that were authorised by the Queen to attack the Spanish fleet and loot their ships in order to bring back riches and treasure. They carried "Letters of Marque" which made their plundering of Spanish ships legal under English Law despite not being at war. The Sea Dogs were started in 1560 as a way to bridge the gap between the Spanish Navy and the English Navy. By having a small fleet of ships that would sail around and pick off Spanish ships, risking their lives and own ships in the process, they were able to reduce the funds and size of the Spanish navy significantly. The Sea Dogs continued carrying out raids against the Spanish until 1604 when England and Spain made peace. After that, many of the Sea Dogs continued as pirates employed by the Barbary States, in what would become the Anglo-Turkish piracy in the Caribbean.Singeing the King of Spain's Beard
Singeing the King of Spain's Beard is the derisive name given to the attack in April and May 1587 in the Bay of Cádiz, by the English privateer Francis Drake against the Spanish naval forces assembling at Cádiz. Much of the Spanish fleet was destroyed, and substantial supplies were destroyed or captured. There followed a series of raiding parties against several forts along the Portuguese coast. A Spanish treasure ship, returning from the Indies, was also captured. The damage caused by the English delayed Spanish plans to invade England by more than a year, yet did not dispel them.Sir Francis Drake (TV series)
Sir Francis Drake (aka The Adventures of Sir Francis Drake) is a 1961-1962 British adventure television series starring Terence Morgan as Sir Francis Drake, commander of the sailing ship the Golden Hind. As well as battles at sea and sword fights, the series also deals with intrigue at Queen Elizabeth's court.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 (where it intersects with Interstate 580) to the trailhead for Point Reyes Lighthouse at the end of the Point Reyes Peninsula. It is a main thoroughfare through the communities of Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, Fairfax, Woodacre, San Geronimo, Forest Knolls, Lagunitas, Olema, Point Reyes Station, and Inverness.
It is named for the English explorer Francis Drake, whose ship The Golden Hinde landed somewhere along the Pacific coast of North America in 1579, claiming the area for England as "Nova Albion." Drake's landing place has often been theorized to be at what is now called Drakes Bay, northeast of the western terminus for the boulevard on Point Reyes.
In the 1960s, the majority of the route of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard was to be expanded into State Route 251; however this plan was not implemented due to strong opposition by environmental groups.Sir Francis Drake High School
Sir Francis Drake High School is a secondary school located in San Anselmo, California. It is named after the English privateer and naval hero Sir Francis Drake, who purportedly landed in the area in 1579. The school's mascot is a pirate named Petey.
The school was established in 1951 as the second high school in the Tamalpais Union High School District. It is located at 1327 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, situated on a 21-acre (85,000 m²) campus bordered by two creeks. The site was formerly known as Cordone Gardens.Approximately 99% of Drake's 2015 students graduated.Westward Ho! (novel)
Westward Ho! is an 1855 British historical novel by Charles Kingsley. The novel was based on the adventures of Elizabethan corsair Amyas Preston (Amyas Leigh in the novel), who sets sail with Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh and other privateers to the New World, where they battle with the Spanish.