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HOME   -   PEOPLE IN HISTORY A-Z   -   FRANCIS DRAKE

 
   


Sir Francis Drake, 1540 (?) - 1596

 

Francis Drake 1540-1596

 


Spanish nightmare Sir Francis Drake was the first Englishman who sailed around the globe, which he did during the years 1577 - 1580.

At around age 18, Francis went to plunder off the French coast under John Hawkins, an old friend of the family. Illegal slave trade was part of the game.

In 1567, he commanded a ship for the first time.

In 1569, Francis married Mary Newman. Mary died in 1583.

 

On his second trip to the West Indies, Francis was attacked by the Spanish at San Juan de Ula off the coast of Mexico. All but three of the English ships were destroyed.

 

In 1572, Francis himself set out with two ships and 73 men to pillage. He plundered the town Nombre de Dios in Panama, burned down Portobelo, and captured lots of silver. This trip made Francis Drake rich and famous.

He spent the next few years on sea fighting the Irish.
 


SIR FRANCIS DRAKE
Click to enlarge


 

In December 1577, Francis went to circumnavigate the globe and, of course, to harass the Spanish en route as much as possible.

He went through the Straits of Magellan and plundered his way up the coast of South America, trying to find a passage to the Atlantic. He went as far up the coast as today's Vancouver.

But as there was no passage to the Atlantic, Francis Drake decided to cross the Pacific instead and went back to what is now San Francisco in order to get ready and prepare for the crossing. While in the area, he claimed the land there in the name of his Queen and named it New Albion.
 


MAP OF NEW ALBION - 1820
Click to enlarge


 

Francis Drake made his way around the Cape of Good Hope and arrived in Plymouth on September 26, 1580.

Queen Elizabeth I was delighted and Francis knighted.


 

Buckland Abbey

In 1585, Francis decided to marry again. This time the lucky lady was Elizabeth Sydenham.

They acquired Buckland Abbey as their home, which you are welcome to visit today.


 

Francis was on the roll.

In 1585, he sacked Vigo in Spain and burned So Tiago on the Cape Verde Islands. Off he went across the Atlantic again, took Santo Domingo and Cartagena, and plundered the coast of Florida.

 

Spain had had it and prepared for war. In 1587, Drake entered the harbor of Cdiz with 26 ships and destroyed about 30 of the ships the Spanish were assembling there.

Francis Drake was vice admiral of the fleet that defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588. Next on the list was an invasion of Portugal. Drake was in joint command of the campaign but failed to take Lisbon. The year? 1589.

 

Drakes last expedition, in 1595, undertaken jointly with Hawkins, was directed against the West Indies. This time the Spanish were prepared, and the venture was a complete failure. Hawkins died off Puerto Rico, and Drake shortly afterward, of dysentery, off Portobello, where he was buried at sea.


And here is the map of his trips:

World Map 1340 - 1600
ROUTES OF FRANCIS DRAKE
Click map to enlarge


 

For the Discovery of North America, check this map

Discovery of North America
985 - 1794 Discovery of North America

 

 

 

 


 



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