Sir Francis Drake

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by korch23
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies
Explorers and Discovers

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Sir Francis Drake

I was born in 1542 in Devon, England. I was always an only child. My dad was Edmund Drake and my mom was Elizabeth Mylwaye. My father was a protestant farmer and later became a preacher. I was named after my godfather Francis Russell. When I was 8 my family had to leave our farm and live on a boat that could no longer sail. This was a great event because my parents had to retire and I had to work on a trade ship at the age of 10 to support my family. When the owner died the vessel was entrusted to me. One day I saw a spanish ship with lots of loot and I could not resist. I attacked the ship and hauled the money aboard. After many weeks of doing this I took to wearing a emerald in my beard and the spanish traders called me “Greenbeard the Invincible” About 10 years later I went with my cousin John Hawkins to the new world. Together we started the first English slave-trading expeditions. on that voyage I spotted a spanish ship and started to attack them. I saw that I had underestimated their power. Many English lives were claimed that day. The spanish considered me a pirate but to England I was just sailor and privateer. After many more plunders Queen Elizabeth found out about my trips and my destroying of spanish ships and decided to make me leave England to please Spain. So I went live in Plymouth and decided to circumnavigate the world and plunder ports and ships throughout the world. On one trip to Brazil I met a former slave named Diego and together they stole abou 3 large ships and recruit many pirates and sailors to sail with us. I had a an amazing thought and had slaves tie the ships together with thick steel cable so they would not drift apart. I had to ask the Queen of England for some more money to boost me along.

Early Life


Even though my trip was a success, King Philip II of Spain found out about my raids and started a war against England. I was appointed the commander of an English fleet of 6 fast ships and raided countless more spanish ports. I learned that the Spanish were planning to invade England and I sailed a fleet right into one of Spain’s greatest ports, Cadiz. By destroying 31 ships and capturing 6 of them, I had delayed Spain’s invasion by about a year. I greatly weakened the Spanish navy at the time. When I was in my mid fifties I suffered several losses in a row and I foolishly attempted to raid San Juan, Puerto Rico, and I was shot by a cannon ball. I was buried in a lead coffin at sea near Portobelo in Panama when I was 55.

Later Years

The Golden Hind


Learn Even More

Sir Francis Drake

Around 1576, when I was 34 years of age, the Queen of England permitted my requests and gave me some money to circumnavigate the world, as long as I brought back loads of money. The Queen wouldn’t care who’s gold and silver it is as long as it’s expensive. I set of in May of 1577. The voyage started well enough until I got to the eastern side of South America. Savage storms swept through and I was forced to abandon my attempts to destroy the ports until the storm went away. On the plus side the spanish ships couldn’t recognize my ships in the heavy rain so we could sail straight at them without them sailing away. I tore through the coast, blowing up ports and boarding ships, scooping up loot like it was as common as stone. Soon my ship was weighed down with loot but we still had much more room to go. Eventually we had to sail through the Strait of Magellan but I pride myself in my steering skills that got my ship through safely. All the ships made the trip safely but our celebrating did not last. More storms caught us off guard and forced the other two ships to return to England. My ship, The Golden Hind, sailed on up the west coast of South America, ripping through the spanish navy like a knife through butter. I got as far as the US-Canadian border until I had to turn around and stop and land above a weak spanish port. I repaired my ship and restocked an food and supplies. I created an English port and left some men to colonize the land. Then I turned west to sail through the Indies. The return voyage was very uneventful except for when I had a close call with a Portuguese ship off the southern tip of Africa. I continued to sail up the eastern side of Africa until I reached Europe. When I reached Spain I wanted to blow them all up but I figured that doing that wouldn’t end well for me. So I sailed past and eventually docked in England in 1580. The voyage was a complete success.

1 Drake, F. (n.d.). Biographies of Pirates, Privateers and Explorers. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from Drake, F. (n.d.). All About Explorers. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from



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