Sir Francis Drake

By Sydney C

Early Life

Sir Francis Drake was born in Devonshire, UK in c. 1540 but, later had to move because of his religion. He was the oldest of 12 brothers to his parents Edmund Drake and Mary Mylwaye Drake. Edmund was a farmer of the estate of lord francis russell, who is also francis drake’s godfather. Francis was apprenticed to a merchant who sailed coastal waters trading goods between England and France. He took to navigation well and was soon put with his relatives the Hawkins. They were privateers who stole the shipping lanes off the French coast, fastening merchant ships

Great Explorers, By John Guy, (2009)

Places Explored and Reasons

Sir Francis Drake led the second expedition to sail around the world in a voyage lasting from 1577-1580. His nickname was “the sea dog”. He was actually Queen Elizabeth I’s agent in her war with Spain. At the time, Spain was the most powerful nation in Europe. Queen Elizabeth ordered Drake to command the expedition together with John Winter and Thomas Doughty to attack Spanish treasure ships. They left Plymouth, England, on December 13, 1577, with six ships. They sailed to Brazil, and through the Strait of Magellan. Later on, Drake went on to cross the Pacific Ocean to get to the Spice Lands of the East Indies. Since Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe, he brought a drum with him now called “Drakes Drum”. On his deathbed (according to a legend) he promised to return and fight for England if the drum was beaten at the approach of an enemy. Drake was the only second commander to successfully circumnavigate the world.

Great Explorers, By John Guy, (2009)

Details on major voyage + Hardship and Obstacles + reason of death

After his voyages, Drake returned home a rich man. His successful circumnavigation began to boost his reputation. Drake’s last voyage took place in 1595-1596. He and John Hawkins were commanded to attack Puerto Rico in order to cut off Spain’s supply of treasure ships. The attack failed, but worse was to come. A messenger ship was sent from the canaries to warn the governor of Puerto Rico of the planned attack. The island’s defences had been lacking and would probably have yield to Drake and Hawkins. The Spaniards made the correct preparations which lead the English attack to fail. Hawkins died before the attack was launched, and about one month later, Drake died on January 28, c. 1596 in Puerto Bello, Panama

Great Explorers, By John Guy, (2009)