81 Facts About Francis Drake


Francis Drake is known for participating in the early English slaving voyages of his cousin, Sir John Hawkins, and John Lovell.


At an early age Drake was placed into the household of a relative, William Hawkins, a prominent sea captain in Plymouth.


Francis Drake crossed the Pacific Ocean, until then an area of exclusive Spanish interest, and laid claim to New Albion, plundering coastal towns and ships for treasure and supplies as he went.


Francis Drake's circumnavigation inaugurated an era of conflict with the Spanish and in 1585, the Anglo-Spanish War began.


Francis Drake was in command of an expedition to the Americas that attacked Spanish shipping and ports.


When Philip II sent the Spanish Armada to England in 1588 as a precursor to its invasion, Francis Drake was second-in-command of the English fleet that fought against and repulsed the Spanish fleet.


Francis Drake was the Member of Parliament for three constituencies: Camelford in 1581, Bossiney in 1584, and Plymouth in 1593.


Francis 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.


Francis Drake was born at Crowndale Farm in Tavistock, Devon, England.


Francis Drake was the eldest of the twelve sons of Edmund Drake, a Protestant farmer, and his wife, Mary Mylwaye.


Francis Drake was ordained deacon and was made vicar of Upnor Church on the Medway.


At an early age Francis Drake was placed into the household of a relative, sea-captain William Hawkins of Plymouth, and began his seagoing training as an apprentice on Hawkins' boats.


Francis Drake likely engaged in commerce along the coast of England, the Low Countries and France.


Francis Drake was not part of that group of financiers, though his presence as one of hundreds of seamen on Hawkins's first two slaving voyages has been assumed.


Francis Drake lent him one of her ships, Jesus of Lubeck, which served as his flagship.


Francis Drake was not a member of that consortium, but the crew would have received a small share of the profits.


In 1567, Francis Drake accompanied Hawkins on their next and last joint voyage.


Francis Drake denied both accusations asserting he had distributed all profits among the crew and that he had believed Hawkins was lost when he left.


In 1572, Francis Drake embarked on his first major independent enterprise.


Francis Drake planned an attack on the Isthmus of Panama, known to the Spanish as part of Tierra Firme and to the English as part of the Spanish Main.


Francis Drake captured Nombre de Dios, but he was badly wounded when the Spanish arrived from Panama, and his forces had to retreat without the gold, silver, pearls and jewels stored in the royal treasury.


Rather than sacking Nombre de Dios again, Francis Drake raided Spanish galleons along the coast and with his Cimarron allies looted the mule trains that transported gold, silver and trade goods from Panama City.


At this point, Francis Drake rallied his men, buried the treasure on the beach, and built a raft to sail in a heavy swell with four men twelve miles along the coast to where they had left two pinnaces.


When Francis Drake finally reached them, his men were alarmed at his bedraggled appearance.


When Francis 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 Francis Drake's accomplishment officially.


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


Francis Drake was present at the 1575 Rathlin Island massacre in Ireland.


Sir John Norris and Francis Drake, acting on the instructions of Sir Henry Sidney and the Earl of Essex, Robert Devereux, laid siege to Rathlin Castle.


Meanwhile, Francis Drake was given the task of preventing any Gaelic Irish or Scottish reinforcements reaching the island.


Francis Drake acted on the plan authored by Sir Richard Grenville, who in 1574 had received a royal patent for that purpose; just a year later this patent had been rescinded after Elizabeth I learned of Grenville's intentions against the Spanish.


Francis Drake was employed as Drake's servant and was paid wages like the rest of the crew.


Francis Drake soon added a sixth ship, Mary, a Portuguese merchant ship that had been captured off the coast of Africa near the Cape Verde Islands.


Francis Drake kidnapped its captain, Nuno da Silva, a man with considerable experience navigating in South American waters.


Francis Drake's fleet suffered great attrition; he scuttled both Christopher and the flyboat Swan due to loss of men on the Atlantic crossing.


Francis Drake made landfall at the gloomy bay of Puerto San Julian, in what is Argentina.


Francis Drake's men saw weathered and bleached skeletons on the Spanish gibbets.


Francis Drake decided to remain the winter in San Julian before attempting the Strait of Magellan.


Francis Drake claimed to have a commission from the Queen to carry out such acts and denied Doughty a trial in England.


Drake consented to his request of Communion and dined with him, of which Francis Fletcher had this account:.


Francis Drake pushed onwards in his lone flagship, now renamed Golden Hind in honour of Sir Christopher Hatton.


Some Spanish ships were captured, and Francis Drake used their more accurate charts to inform his navigation.


Francis Drake discovered news of another ship, Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion, which was sailing west towards Manila.


Francis Drake gave chase and eventually captured the treasure ship, which proved his most profitable capture.


Francis 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.


Francis Drake offloaded his captives a short time later, and gave each one gifts appropriate to their rank, as well as a letter of safe conduct.


Francis Drake continued north, raiding more Spanish settlements and ships as he went.


From here, Francis Drake began to consider how best to return to England.


So, intending to avoid further conflict with Spain, Francis Drake navigated north-west of Spanish presence and sought a discreet site at which the crew could prepare for the journey back to England.


Francis Drake had friendly interactions with the Coast Miwok and explored the surrounding land by foot.


Francis Drake left the Pacific coast, heading south-west 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.


Harry Kelsey maintains, against scholarly consensus, that because of the contrary prevailing winds and currents, it is much more probable that Francis Drake careened his ship on the shore of Magdalena Bay in Lower California, and sailed to the Moluccas and Spice Islands from there.


Francis Drake was hailed as the first Englishman to circumnavigate the Earth, and his was the second such voyage arriving with at least one ship intact, after Elcano's in 1520.


Francis Drake presented the queen with a jewel token commemorating the circumnavigation.


The Francis Drake Jewel is a rare documented survivor among sixteenth-century jewels; it is conserved at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.


Francis Drake spent the time covered by the next two parliamentary terms engaged in other duties and an expedition to Portugal.


Francis Drake became a member of parliament for Plymouth in 1593.


Francis Drake was active in issues of interest to Plymouth as a whole, but to emphasise defence against the Spanish.


Francis Drake first attacked Vigo in Spain and held the place for two weeks ransoming supplies.


Francis Drake 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.


At Cartagena, Francis Drake released one hundred Turks who were enslaved.


Francis Drake was to confront and attack the Spanish Armada had it already sailed for England.


Claims of the exact Spanish ship losses vary: Francis Drake claimed he had sunk 39 ships, while the Spanish admitted the loss of only 24.


Francis Drake estimated that he had captured around 1,600 to 1,700 tons of barrel staves, enough to make 25,000 to 30,000 barrels for containing provisions.


An English fleet consisting of 55 ships set out from Plymouth to confront the Armada, under the command of Lord Howard of Effingham, with Sir Francis Drake serving as vice admiral, commanding from the galleon Revenge.


Francis Drake's ship had been leading the English pursuit of the Armada by means of a lantern.


Francis Drake's squadron gave Medina Sidonia's flagship San Martin a single broadside and moved on; Frobisher, directly behind him in the English line, stayed with the San Martin at close range and poured cannon shot into her oaken flanks, but failed to take her.


The most famous anecdote about Francis 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, Francis Drake is said to have remarked that there was plenty of time to finish the game and still beat the Spaniards, perhaps because he was waiting for high tide.


However, Francis Drake wanted to atone for such a bitter setback and, in order not to return empty-handed and with the morale of his troops sunk, he made a fleeting stop in the Galician rias, or coastal inlets, pillaging the defenceless town of Vigo for two days and razing it to the ground.


Francis Drake was buried at sea in a sealed lead-lined coffin, near Portobelo, a few miles off the coastline.


In 1585, Francis Drake married Elizabeth Sydenham, born around 1562, the only child of Sir George Sydenham, of Combe Sydenham, who was the High Sheriff of Somerset.


In 1580, Francis Drake purchased Buckland Abbey, a large manor house near Yelverton, Devon, via intermediaries from Sir Richard Grenville.


Francis Drake lived there for fifteen years, until his final voyage, and it remained in his family until 1946.


Francis Drake left behind no words of his own, only his actions and their interpretation which, as Peter Whitfield says, "is open to deep disagreement".


The Sir Francis Drake Channel is located in the British Virgin Islands.


Several landmarks in northern California were named after Francis Drake, beginning in the late 19th century and continuing into the 20th century.


Several California landmarks that commemorated Francis Drake were removed or renamed.


In San Francisco, the Sir Francis Drake Hotel was renamed the Beacon Grand Hotel.


Francis Drake's will was the focus of an extensive confidence scam which Oscar Hartzell perpetrated in the 1920s and 1930s.


Francis Drake's Drum has become an icon of English folklore with its variation of the classic king asleep in mountain story motif.


The series follows Nathan Francis Drake, a self-proclaimed descendant of Francis Drake who retraces his ancestor's voyages.