Sir Francis Drake

Put together by Nolan Rachocki
Francis Drake was born in Tavistock, Devon. He was the eldest
of the twelve sons of Edmund Drake. Because of religious
persecution during the Prayer Book Rebellion in 1549, the
Drake family fled from Devon into Kent.
Tavistock, Devon
Map of Devon, UK TO Kent,UK
Drake married Mary Newman in 1569. She died 12 years
later, in 1581. In 1585, Drake married Elizabeth
Sydenham. After Drake's death, the widow Elizabeth
eventually married Sir William Courtenay. As Sir Francis
Drake had no children, his estate and titles passed on to
his nephew (also named Francis).
His Ship the Golden Hind
The ship used to be the Pelican but Drake decided to
change its name to the golden hind. Because there was
a man named Sir Christopher Hatton that helped pay
for the ship. On Hatton's coat of arms there was a
(female deer) that’s where Drake got the idea
The Golden Hind
Length: 69 feet
Width: 20 feet
Weight: 100 tons
Speed: 9 mph
Crew: 80 people
Cannons: 18
Drake wanted to sail the world for many reasons. First, and most
well-known, he wanted to trade with the Native Americans, Indians
and Asians. He also wanted to search for the legendary Northwest
Passage that many people, such as Henry Hudson, would search in
vain for. Drake was also looking for enemy ships to raid. Some ships
carried cargo that brought himself and his Queen, Elizabeth the I
wealth. Queen Elizabeth needed money to raise protection for
England forces, she wanted to raise things like fleets of ships or an
army. Drake was allowed to raid these ships because he was a
privateer, a pirate paid by the government to do such things.
When Drake sailed the world, he faced many challenges.
There were many Spanish ships near Central America. A
few were plundered and even sunk by Drake and his
ships. There were storms and rough weather. Two ships
were lost in a storm near South America. When he sailed
up North America's west coast, looking for the Northwest
Passage, he faced bitter, freezing cold weather. And there
were always dangers like starvation, illness, and being lost
at sea.
How He Became a Pirate and a Privateer
When Drake raided the Cacafuego a Spanish ship. He
than became a Pirate to the Spanish, but a hero to the
Drake thought as himself as a privateer-someone that
has permission to attack there country's enemy by the
The Cacafuego
Drake's career continued into his mid-fifties. In 1595,
he failed to conquer the port of Las Palmas, and following a
disastrous campaign against Spanish America, where he
suffered a number of defeats, he unsuccessfully attacked San
Juan de Puerto Rico, eventually losing the Battle of San Juan
(1595). The Spanish gunners from El Morro Castle shot a
cannonball through the cabin of Drake's flagship, and he
survived, but a few weeks later, in January 1596, he died
of dysentery when he was about 55, while anchored off the
coast of Portobelo, Panama, where some Spanish treasure
ships had sought shelter. Following his death, the English
fleet withdrew. Before dying, he asked to be dressed in his
full amour. He was buried at sea in a lead coffin, near
Portobelo. Divers continue to search for the coffin.
Additional Facts
How He Became Sir?
Queen Elizabeth Knighted Drake aboard the Golden Hind on
April, 4, 1581.
Political Career
In Sept, 1581 Drake became the Mayor of Plymouth.
The Purchased of Buckland Abbey (house)
In 1580 Drake bought Buckland Abbey, a large mayor near
Yelverton in Devon. He lived there till his final voyage. It was
pasted on through his family for many generations.