Sea dogs of the 1500 and 1600's worked for queen Elizabeth, robbing
and pillaging the Spaniards. Over this period of 200 years many shipments of
gold and treasure were stolen from Spanish ships while they were sailing
from port to port on the Spanish main. In one attack the infamous Francis
Drake, "...surprised and attacked a heavily laden string of 200 mules. The
booty that Drake captured in this attack included 30 tons of heavy silver
ingots" (Cochran 28).
There were many different and obscure English privateers who pirated
against the Spanish, but only three of them live on now through their heroic
tales. The three most well known sea dogs include John Hawkins, Sir Walter
Raleigh, and Sir Francis Drake. Drake was by far the most popular of all the
sea dogs. It is said that he accumulated the most wealth of anyone in the
pirating business (Wood 102).
Sir Walter Raleigh was another sea dog, but
he didn't prove to be as successful (Cochran 32). Another pirate during the
Middle Ages was John Hawkins. He robbed the Spaniards of slaves and
riches (Cochran 26). Together these three men were accountable for what
would be worth millions and millions of dollars being converted from Spanish
hands to English.
These three sea dogs were not just part time pirates though. Pirating
was their main job. William Wood stated that, "...(Spaniards) they were only
naval amateurs, compared with the trained professional sea dogs." Drake
alone was responsible for over 150 attempted or successful attacks on
Spanish treasure ships (Howarth 105). Drake also accomplished something
that only a select few (George Bush) are able to do: he was knighted. One
reason many believe he was knighted though was not because of heroics, but
because, "...a fair share of the immense booty...