20 Sir Francis Drake English Explorer Interesting Fun Facts

20 Sir Francis Drake English Explorer Interesting Fun Facts

(Last Updated On: April 16, 2021)

Beginning his sea profession as a pirate and slave dealer, Sir Francis Drake rose to prominence with tussles towards the Spanish within the Americas.

Sir Francis Drake facts

He was approved by Queen Elizabeth I to hold out expeditions to raid Spanish treasure ships within the New World and one such expedition led to Sir Francis Drake turning into the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe.

Drake can be well-known for his actions towards the Spanish Armada of King Philip II. Here are 10 fascinating details in regards to the family, life, voyages, and dying of probably the most famed sea captain and explorer within the history of England.

1. There is an on-going search to search out his lead coffin within the sea

A year after the defeat of the Armada, Drake together with John Norreys led the same marketing campaign towards the Spanish, often called the Drake-Norris Expedition or “Counter-Armada of 1589”, however it was additionally unsuccessful. Drake then launched into a long and disastrous marketing campaign towards Spanish America, struggling with a number of defeats.

In January 1596, whereas on a marketing campaign to seize Spain’s treasure provide in Panama, Sir Francis Drake contracted dysentery and died of a fever at the age of around 55.

Sir Francis Drake was buried at sea in a lead coffin, close to Portobelo, Panama. There has been a search to search out this coffin however, as of July 2016, it stays unsuccessful, Francis Drake facts.

2. Sir Francis Drake started his profession as a slave dealer.

Drake went to sea as a younger man, however, his first main expeditions got here within the 1560s when he joined a cousin named John Hawkins on a few of Britain’s earliest slave buying and selling voyages to West Africa.

The pair normally procured their human cargo by attacking native villages or attacking Portuguese slave ships. They would then transport the slaves to the Spanish Caribbean and promote them off to native plantations—an motion that was unlawful below Spanish regulation.

During one among these slaving expeditions in 1568, a flotilla of Spanish ships ambushed Drake and Hawkins on the Mexican port of San Juan de Ulúa, destroying 4 of their vessels and killing or capturing lots of their crew. Drake escaped unhurt, however, the defeat left him with a seething hatred for Spain and its king, Philip II.

3. Sir Francis Drake vowed revenge towards Spain after defeating on the Battle of San Juan de Ulúa

In 1568, Francis Drake was a part of a fleet of six ships below John Hawkins which turned concerned within the Battle of San Juan de Ulúa with the Spanish forces whereas on an unlawful buying and selling expedition. Drake commanded the ship often called Judith. The English fleet was trapped by the Spaniards within the Mexican port of San Juan de Ulúa.

The Spanish launched an assault wherein the English lost Four ships and 500 males in addition to most of their year’s loot. Drake was in a position to escape and returned to England in control of Judith in January 1569.

Hawkins was additionally in a position to survive the assault. Following the defeat at San Juan de Ulúa, Francis Drake vowed to have revenge upon Spain and the Spanish king, Philip II.

4. Sir Francis Drake was essentially the most well-known seaman of his age

In 1569, Francis Drake married a Cornish girl named Mary Newman. Newton died 12 years later in 1581 and in 1585 Drake married once more, Sir Francis Drake facts.

His second spouse, Elizabeth Sydenham, was the daughter of George Sydenham, the High Sheriff of Somerset. He didn’t have any youngsters with both of his wives. Sir Francis Drake was essentially the most famed seaman of the Elizabethan Age.

He was an English hero throughout his time and remained so for years after his death. Several locations are named after him in Britain, particularly in Plymouth, Devon.

Drake was an infamous pirate for Spain the place he was referred to as El Draque (“the dragon”). It is alleged that King Philip II provided a reward of 20,000 ducats (US$6.5m by modern requirements) for his life.

5. Sir Francis Drake struck the first blow towards the Spanish Armada.

In 1586, thanks partly to Drake’s relentless privateering, King Philip II started assembling the famed Spanish Armada for an invasion of England.

Desperate to beat his old enemy to the punch, Drake set sail the next spring and launched a preemptive strike on the Spanish mainland on the port of Cadiz. After catching the city unexpectedly, Drake and a small fleet spent two days occupying its harbor and bombarding, burning, or pillaging a whole lot of insight.

The Cadiz raid succeeded in destroying between 30 and 40 ships and a number of other thousand tons of provides, and Drake later continued his reign of terror by harassing the Portuguese shoreline and capturing a treasure ship off the Azores.

All informed, his “singeing of the King of Spain’s beard,” as he jokingly referred to like it, might have delayed the Armada’s launch by over a year. Drake would later function as the vice-admiral of the English fleet that helped scatter the Spanish invasion in the summertime of 1588.

6. His father fled his native county after being charged with assault and theft

Born in Tavistock, Devon, England, Francis Drake was the eldest little one of Edmund Drake and his spouse Mary Mylwaye.

The actual year of his delivery is just not identified with certainty although it’s typically put by historians between 1540 and 1544, with the previous date being most definitely. Edmund Drake was a Protestant farmer who later turned into a priest.

Along with two different males, he was charged with assault and theft on account of which he needed to flee his native county in 1548. There was a narrative that Edmund fled from Devon to Kent on account of religious persecutions however it’s now thought of to be a fabrication.

7. Drake’s circumnavigation was additionally a pirate expedition.

Drake’s knighthood was a reward for finishing history’s second circumnavigation of the globe between 1577 and 1580, however, his expedition was no odd voyage of discovery, Sir Francis Drake facts.

He additionally had a secret settlement with Queen Elizabeth that he would raid Spanish delivery, and upon getting into the Pacific he spent a number of months plundering unsuspecting galleons and sacking ports alongside the coast of Chile and Peru.

His greatest prize got here in March 1579, when he seized the Spanish treasure ship Nuestra Señora de la Concepción and liberated it off a dozen chests of cash, 80 kilos of gold, and 26 tons of silver.

Drake would ultimately return residence because of the world’s richest pirate. According to at least one account, his financial backers acquired a return of 47 kilos sterling for every pound that they had invested.

8. Sir Francis Drake was a profitable politician.

Upon getting back from his circumnavigation in 1580, Drake introduced a lavish property referred to as Buckland Abbey and settled right into a second profession as each a Member of Parliament and the mayor of the coastal city of Plymouth.

As mayor, he helped construct a canal that provided Plymouth with contemporary water for hundreds of years, however, he additionally took occasional breaks from his political duties to return to sea and conduct raids towards the Spanish at Santa Domingo, Cartagena, and St. Augustine, Florida.

9. Francis Drake was concerned about slave buying and selling

His father’s flight didn’t have a lot of impact on younger Francis as he was already residing in Plymouth with the Hawkins family, who have been kinfolk of the Drakes.

The Hawkins family have been profitable retailers who have been half time pirates. Drake began his sea profession before he was 13 and at about 18, he enlisted within the Hawkins family fleet.

By the 1560s, he had grown to be concerned within the African slave commerce. Drake accompanied his second cousin, Sir John Hawkins, in slave-trading expeditions, making fortunes by capturing West African people, after which promoting their captives into slavery at beneath market charges in Spanish colonies within the Caribbean.

10. The Spanish king put a large value on Drake’s head.

From 1570 till the top of his life, Drake made himself the scourge of the Spanish by main repeated raids towards their treasure ships and colonies within the New World, Sir Francis Drake facts.

Many of the voyages have been outright unlawful—Drake usually sailed without an official privateer’s fee—and the Spanish ultimately branded him a pirate and nicknamed him “El Draque” (“the dragon”). King Philip II is even mentioned to have provided a bounty of 20,000 ducats for Drake’s head—the equal of a number of million {dollars} immediately.

11. Sir Francis Drake was credited with having supernatural powers.

Drake’s skills as a naval commander have been so feared that lots of his enemies turned satisfied that he was a practitioner of witchcraft.

Superstitious Spanish mariners whispered tales of how Drake possessed a magic mirror that allowed him to spy the situation of all of the ships on the ocean, and there have been rumors that he was in league with a demon and even Satan himself. After being defeated as a part of the Spanish Armada, many sailors returned residence claiming that Drake “was a devil and no man!”

12. Queen Elizabeth I gave him a license to plunder King Philip II of Spain

Though the expedition was a failure, Francis Drake attracted the eye of Queen Elizabeth I. A privateer is an individual approved by authorities to assault international vessels.

He is akin to a pirate. In 1572, Drake obtained a privateer’s fee from Elizabeth I, principally a license to plunder any property belonging to King Philip II of Spain.

On 24th May 1572, Drake launched into his first main unbiased enterprise with the intention to seize the necessary Spanish port of Nombre de Dios in Panama. He commanded a crew of 73 males in two small vessels, the Pascha and the Swan, Sir Francis Drake facts.

13. Sir Francis Drake claimed California for England.

After packing his maintain with Spanish treasure throughout early 1579, Drake steered Golden Hind north in an abortive try to search out the Northwest Passage. He might have traveled so far as the Canadian border before turning back and dropping anchor in Northern California later that summer.

Drake spent a month overhauling his ship in preparation for his circumnavigation, however, he additionally took the time to fraternize with the native Indians and discover the encompassing area, which he named “Nova Albion” and claimed as England’s first abroad territory in North America.

The location of Drake’s anchorage has since grown to be a subject of appreciable debate, however, most students imagine it was someplace on Point Reyes close to modern-day San Francisco.

14. Sir Francis Drake was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe

After looting Cacafuego, Drake traveled north after which left the Pacific coast and headed westwards reaching the Maluku Islands in modern-day Indonesia.

From there he went on to the Philippines, the place he was properly acquired, and succeeded in shopping for spices. Drake then sailed throughout the Indian Ocean and across the Cape of Good Hope.

Pelican renamed Golden Hind mid-voyage, landed back in Plymouth on September 26, 1580, with 59 remaining crew aboard and a wealthy cargo of spices and treasures.

Francis Drake thus accomplished the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition and has become the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. Queen Elizabeth awarded Drake a knighthood aboard Golden Hind on 4th April 1581, Sir Francis Drake facts.

15. Sir Francis Drake teamed with a band of escaped slaves for one among his most worthwhile raids.

In 1573, Drake set his sights on pillaging a Spanish mule prepare because it carried gold and silver to a Caribbean port throughout the Isthmus of Panama.

In preparation for the ambush, he despatched emissaries into the jungle and enlisted the assistance of the Cimarrons, a gaggle of escaped Spanish slaves who have been wanting to strike a blow towards their former masters. By utilizing the Cimarrons as scouts, Drake’s band and a gaggle of French privateers simply obtained the drop on the mule prepare and overpowered its guards.

The raid produced an unlimited haul of treasure—a lot, in truth, that the adventurers have been pressured to bury 15 tons of silver that they have been unable to hold.

Drake nonetheless managed to return residence with at the least 20,000 British kilos value of the loot. Before departing, the previous slave dealer introduced one of many Cimarron leaders with a gold-encrusted scimitar as a reward for his assist.

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16. Sir Francis Drake was Vice-Admiral of the English fleet which defeated the Spanish Armada

By 1586, King Philip II of Spain started getting ready a large fleet for an invasion of England. Sir Francis Drake delayed the Spanish invasion a year by destroying 37 Spanish ships in a pre-emptive strike in 1587.

This incident is known as “singeing the King of Spain’s beard”, a name was given mockingly by Drake. The well-known Spanish Armada, consisting of 130 ships, set sail from Lisbon on 28th May 1588, Sir Francis Drake facts.

It was defeated by the English fleet on the decisive Battle of Gravelines on July 29. Sir Francis Drake was the vice-admiral of the English fleet which overcame the Spanish Armada.

17. Sir Francis Drake is taken into account to be the first Englishman to see the Pacific

Francis’s Drakes’s first main expedition lasted from May 1572 to August 1573. During the expedition, Drake and his crew raided a number of Spanish settlements. They famously captured the Spanish Silver Train at Nombre de Dios in March 1573, choosing up a lot of gold and silver that it was too heavy to hold back to England.

Also, it was throughout this expedition that Francis Drake climbed a high tree within the mountains of Panama to grow to be the first Englishman to see the Pacific Ocean, which was barred to all however Spanish ships. Though Drake couldn’t seize Nombre de Dios, he returned to England each wealthy and well-known.

18. His most well-known seize was Cacafuego

In 1577, Queen Elizabeth selected Francis Drake because the leader of an expedition to discover and raid the Pacific coast of the Americas. On December 13, Drake set sail overseas the ship Pelican, together with 4 different small ships and a crew of 168 males. By August 1578, Pelican was the only lively ship with others being destroyed, deserted, or returning to England.

Drake attacked Spanish ports and captured Spanish ships whereas cruising alongside the coast of South America. His most well-known loot was the ship Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, nicknamed Cacafuego, whose treasure consisted of 36 kg of gold, 13 chests of cash and jewels, and 26 tons of silver. It took six days to unload the treasure into the Pelican.

19. Only one among Sir Francis Drake’s ships survived his circumnavigation of the globe.

When Drake’s round-the-world voyage set sail from England in December 1577, practically all of his crewmen believed they have been occurring an easy buying and selling expedition to Egypt.

It was solely after they bypassed the Mediterranean that their commander introduced his true intentions to round the southern tip of South America and enter the Pacific Ocean—a feat by no means before completed by an English vessel, Sir Francis Drake facts.

The journey was not a straightforward one. Of the 5 vessels Drake led to the underside of the world, two have been deliberately scuttled, the third sunk in a storm after exiting the Strait of Magellan, and the fourth turned back after turning into separated from the fleet.

By the time the expedition started its journey into the Pacific, solely Drake’s flagship Golden Hind remained. The lone vessel would ultimately sail some 36,000 miles before returning to England in September 1580.

20. Watery grave of Sir Francis Drake has by no means been discovered

In 1595, an growing older Sir Francis Drake set off on a remaining voyage to prowl the West Indies. His fleet was gunning for Spanish treasure, however, an early assault on San Juan, Puerto Rico was repulsed, as was a second raid on Panama. Drake contracted dysentery because the disappointing voyage wore on, and on January 28, 1596, he died at sea off Portobello.

The navigator’s body was later positioned in full armor, sealed inside a lead coffin, and consigned to the deep some a number of miles off the shoreline. Scores of divers and historians have searched his burial site within the years since, however, whereas some declare to have found the wrecks of English ships scuttled close by, Drake’s body has by no means been recovered.

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