Sir Francis Drake

Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 12:00AM

Sir Francis Drake is one of the most celebrated English pirates to date. He is best known for defeating the Spanish army several times throughout his long career, discovering new land on the Pacific coast and rescuing colonists off Roanoke Island after an unsuccessful tour. Do you want to learn more about Sir Francis Drake? Keep reading today’s blog!

While many consider Sir Francis Drake a pioneer, he was more of a pirate than anything else. Before becoming knighted by Queen Elizabeth I after a successful journey around South America and through the Strait of Magellan in 1577, he had a reputation of being involved with illicit slave trading. In fact, when he took command of his first ship in the 1560s, he sailed to Africa to engage in the slave trade and attempted to sell the slaves to settlers in New Spain. The slave trade was illegal according to Spanish Law. Sir Frances Drake, his cousin, John Hawkins and their crew were forced to try and escape Spanish forces, most of their men were killed, but Drake and Hawkins survived. From here on out, Sir Frances Drake openly hated the Spanish Crown.

In 1572, Drake was granted everything he ever wanted when Queen Elizabeth I gave him permission to plunder any and all of King Philip of Spain’s property. He spent the next year attacking several Spanish ships along the way to the New World.

After a long and successful career, Sir Francis Drake died from dysentery off the coast of Panama in 1596. What pirates do you want to learn more about? Share them with us in our comments section or on Facebook and we will be sure to use your suggestions in future blogs. 

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