The life of Sir Francis Drake.

Essay by ncontHigh School, 12th gradeA+, June 2003

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Sir Francis Drake was born in the town of Devonshire (England). Sir Francis Drake's father was a Yeoman (lumberjack). Sir Francis Drake was an apprentice to a captain of a ship, and in 1567 he went on one of his first sea voyage. His ship, the Judith, was one of a squadron of vessels led by a kinsman of Drake, the English navigator Sir John Hawkins, on a slave-trading voyage in the Gulf of Mexico. Only two ships of the expedition were lost when the Spanish attacked them. In 1570 and 1571 Sir Francis Drake made two trading voyages to the West Indies. In 1572 he commanded two ships against Spanish seaports in the Caribbean Sea. During this voyage Sir Francis Drake first saw the Pacific Ocean; he captured the port of Nombre de Dios on the Isthmus of Panama and destroyed the nearby town of Portobello. He returned to England with a cargo of 30 tons of Spanish silver and a reputation as a brilliant privateer.

He was sent to Ireland to help destroy the rebellion there from 1573 to 1576.

In 1577 Elizabeth I, queen of England, secretly told Drake to go on an expedition against the Spanish colonies on the Pacific coast of the New World.

With five ships and 166 men, Drake set sail from Plymouth, England on December 13, 1577. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, two of the ships had to be abandoned in the Rio de la Plata estuary of South America. In August 1578 the three remaining ships left the Atlantic Ocean and entered the Strait of Magellan at the southern tip of the South American continent. Sixteen days later they sailed into the Pacific Ocean. Violent storms lasting more than 50 days destroyed one ship. Another sailed back to England. Drake...