Sir Francis Drake

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Sir Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake

Francis Drake was born near Tavistock, Devonshire. His father a Calvinist preacher raised his children as Protestants. Drake received some education learning learning of the rudiments of navigation and seamanship and practiced those skills at home. His family was related to he Hawkins family who were seamen and shipowners. This connection got Drake to a slave trade expedition to Cape Verde Islands and the Spanish Main in 1566.

Queen Elizabeth gave Sir Francis Drake a priveteer's licence to plunder Spanard ships to get lots of gold and to travel around the known world. His first voyage began in 1557 on the Adventures on the Golden Hind. He found a unarmed ship near Callao and Panama filled with gold, emerald and all the silver he and his crew can carry. His journeys also carried him around the world and claiming areas in the name of Queen Elizabeth. In 1850 he has returned to England a wealthy man.


He retuned to sea again in 1585 for the expitdition against Spain. Due to growing problems between Philip and Elizabeth she unleashed Drake to the sea once more with a fleet of ship with 2 of her own vessels. He sacked Vigo in Spanish Galicia. Sailed to Santo Domingo and Cartagena. With both places captured by Drake he held them for ransom. An epidemic stopped his future plans to take Panama so his crew had to return home. On the way back he delt a crushing blow to Spain by destroying St. Augustine a Spanish Settlement.



Elizabeth appionted Lord Charles Howard of Effingham the commander of her fleet and gave Drake, Hawkings and Martin Frobisher posts. He lanched a reckless attack on the Spanish Armada and 37 ships were either destroyed or captured. His raid did do damage and in the end they won the July encounters and against the Armada. Drake failed to distinguished himself in the war even though he captured a galleon. His first defeat was in 1578 when he had a naval expedition to capture Lisbon. He did not sail for 5 years and was now concerned with Plymouth matters.

Drake was called once more when Elizabeth saw a chance to end the war by cutting off the Spanish treasure supply in Panama of 1595. He also had to work with 65 crew members and Hawkins his personal opposite. The Queen gave them 6 month to complete the misson and gave them both equal authority. They each took control over their own fleet. When the sailed to Canary Islands little did they know they were spotted and the Spanish gave Puerto Rico a warning. Hawkings died when they reached the island, giving Drake full command of both fleets. He failed to capture San Juan due to strengthened defences. Forgettful of the time limit Drake tried to capture Nombre de Dios then Panama. Taking the former route he was ambushed by the Spanish and forced to retreat. When he sailed to Honduras and back he died of a fever and dysentery on January 28, 1596 and buried at sea. His second in command Sir Thomas Baskerville took the fleet home to England.

Final Voyage


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