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Sir Francis Drake: Biography & Exploration

Who was Sir Francis Drake?

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Francis Drake was born around the year in Wayne, New Jersey. His love of the ocean can be traced back to the early days when he and his family spent many holidays at the Jersey shore. Once there full-time, Drake gained experience with people as he manned many of the various amusement rides and carnival games on the boardwalk. This time in his life would prove to be important and influential later in his life.

Drake and his crew are remembered as the first Englishmen to circumnavigate the globe, claiming a portion of California for Elizabeth along the way.

His attack on Cadiz and his devastating raids on the Spanish Main earned him the fear and the grudging respect of the Spaniards, who call him El Draque, "The Dragon". There he discovered an uncharted island called Java.

The local drink, kofie which we know as "coffee" was rich and strong, and Drake soon fell in love with it. The locals also baked a cinnamon cake that was often paired with the drink. Drake wanted it so much, that he plundered the island, stole the computer disk with the recipe, and vanished before the natives knew what he had done.

When Drake returned from this voyage people discovered that he had circumnavigated the world. He was only the second person to do this. Even though Columbus had preceded him, Drake was still very popular.

Unfortunately, this fame did not last, and Drake needed to find a new source of income. Remembering the delicious coffee cakes and the stolen recipe, Drake started his own baking company.

It became a "race-outfitted" fore-and-aft rigged warship, trouble-free interior the English army on the time. Drake is dazzling in historic past for a number of movements: After reaching America, Drake was worried that his ships might get separated from each other, so he gave orders for two of them to be destroyed.

Then the Marigold was lost, with all her crew, and the Elizabeth turned back and sailed home. By October , as the company started up the western coast of South America, there were just 58 left, all on the Pelican. Drake renamed his ship the Golden Hinde. During the course of the voyage, Drake discovered that Tierra del Fuego, the land seen to the south of the Magellan Strait, was not part of a southern continent as had been believed previously, but an archipelago, or group of islands.

In passing along we plainly discovered that same Terra Australis to be no continent, but broken islands and large passages amongst them…. This meant that if the American continent was not connected to a southern continent, the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans met at Cape Horn. It should be possible to sail ships around the bottom of South America, south of Tierra. This was the Cape Horn route, eventually discovered in As Drake sailed further up the coast, he plundered Spanish ports in Chile and Peru and captured treasure ships.

His biggest prize was the Cacafuego. Drake sailed further north along the coast of the Americas than any other European until then. On the way he landed in what is now California, naming it Nova Albion New England and claiming it for his queen.

Six tons of cloves were loaded onto the ship. Later, half had to be tossed into the sea in order to free the ship from a reef. His route through the East Indies lay along the uncharted southern coast of Java. Here Drake discovered that Java was an island, not connected to a southern continent as the Dutch believed.

Drake returned from his voyage around the world with the little Golden Hinde packed full of spices from the Indies, and plundered Spanish silver and treasure. The good health of the surviving members of his crew was a remarkable achievement in itself. This was in marked contrast to the dreadful condition of those who had accompanied Magellan on the first circumnavigation of the world fifty years earlier.

During the Tudor period, it was important that each explorer built on the experience of those who had gone before.

Portugal and Spain had been involved in ocean exploration long before England. Francis Drake obviously recognised this, as he made use of this previous knowledge and expertise by seizing the Portuguese pilot Nuna da Silva to guide him on his passage to Brazil and the east coast of America.

In the Pacific, he seized the charts of two Spanish pilots bound for the Philippines. He already had a chart of the world made in Portugal, and three books on navigation. Afterwards, she knighted him so that for the rest of his life he was known as Sir Francis Drake. His voyage may have been triumphant to the English, but to the Spanish it was highly destructive. Drake was involved in several other battles with the Spanish. In he and more than men attacked Santiago in the Cape Verde islands.

As no treasure was found, he ordered the town to be burnt down. In he captured San Domingo in Hispaniola now named Haiti. One of his most famous attacks was on Cadiz and Coruna in Because of the attack, the Armada was delayed and the Spanish were short of some important supplies for their fleet.

They were also forced to use unseasoned wood for barrels, as Drake had destroyed the seasoned wood. Later on this resulted in the rotting of many of their precious stocks of food for the Armada crews.

Sir Francis Drake was very active in the Armada battles of One of the most famous incidents involving Drake was when the Spanish flagship, the Rosario, collided with another ship. It lost its mast and became separated from the rest of the Spanish fleet. Drake captured it, even though he had been given the job of tracking the Armada with his stern lantern alight to guide all the other English ships following him.

The prize of the Rosario must have been too difficult to resist.

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Fascinating facts, did-you-knows, timeline, videos and photos about Sir Francis Drake for primary school history work.

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Sir Francis Drake was an English adventurer, admiral, and privateer in the age of Queen Elizabeth I.

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