Sir Francis Drake

Week #25 Essay, History


Sir Francis Drake


Francis Drake was born in 1544 in England and was the oldest of his twelve brothers. His father was a farmer so he didn’t receive an amazing education.

Francis left England when he was 23 years old to go sailing with his cousin. The two of them went to South and North America, West Indies, and successfully raided the Spanish.

Queen Elizabeth I heard about their success and sent Francis on another raid against the Spanish in 1577. Francis agreed and sailed the Straits of Magellan and raided the Spanish colonies along the Pacific coast of South America. He made it back to England on September 26th, 1580.

The Queen got half of his loot, which was more than the entire crown’s income over a year. Everyone who had been on the raid was told to keep their expedition a secret. Francis was then knighted by Elizabeth and was given a jewel and a portrait of her, which was considered an amazing and rare gift.

Francis got involved in politics and became the Mayor of Plymouth, England in 1581.

King Philip of Spain figured out who had raided them and declared war between the Spanish and English. Queen Elizabeth sent Francis to raid the Spanish again in 1586 and he came back successful. Francis was seen as a pirate to the Spanish and a hero to the English. That made King Philip angrier and he ordered an attack on England.

Francis was a ship captain in Elizabeth’s navy during this war, which is known as the Anglo-Spanish War. In 1595, he failed an attack on Puerto Rico and died a few weeks later from dysentery and fever in 1596.

His body was dressed in full armor, enclosed in a lead coffin, and then dropped into the sea. Divers still haven’t found that coffin to this day and we know about him because of the records Elizabeth had written.


Written by Amelia Jacobson


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