Francis Drake


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Drake, Francis

 

Born circa 1540, in Tavistock, Devonshire County; died Jan. 28, 1596, near Porto Bello, Panama. English navigator, one of “Queen Elizabeth’s pirates,” vice admiral (1588).

Drake was prominent in the English-Spanish struggle for the colonies in the 16th century. In 1567 he participated in J. Hawkins’ naval expedition, undertaken to capture the ships of Spanish slavetraders and to pillage the Spanish possessions in the West Indies. Later he made other piratical expeditions to the West Indies. In 1577, Drake sailed from Plymouth with a squadron of five ships to pillage the Pacific coast of the American possessions of Spain. He sailed through the Magellan Strait, explored the western shores of North America as far as 48° N lat., crossed the Pacific Ocean, sailed past the Molucca Islands, and returned to Plymouth in 1580 with enormous spoils. This was the second trip around the world after Magellan’s. In 1587, Drake made a surprise raid on Cadiz and destroyed the ships that were being prepared for the attack of the “invincible” Armada on England. Next year he was the actual commander of the English fleet during the rout of the Armada. Drake died during one of his plundering expeditions, undertaken in 1595.

The strait connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans between Tierra del Fuego and the South Shetland Islands has been named after Drake.

REFERENCES

Magidovich, I. P. Ocherki po istorii geograficheskikh otkrytii. Moscow, 1967.
Benson, E. F. Sir Francis Drake. London, 1927.
Williamson, J. A. The Age of Drake. London, 1938.

A. S. SAMOILO

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Where The Weight of Smoke gave more or less equal time to both stories Francis Drake gets by far the lions share of attention in Dragons of the Storm a title that plays on the fact that the Spanish for dragon is draque and Drake a legendary mariner privateer and warrior was more than any other Englishman of the Elizabethan era the fire-breathing nemesis of Spains empire both in the New World and closer to home.
The book opens as Jonas Profit, an old mariner who is tending Smith's wound from a stingray, tells about his years serving under Sir Francis Drake. Throughout the book, Profit focuses on Drake's two best-known adventures--first, his sailing around the world in The Golden Hind.
In San Anselmo, Calif., a disgruntled teen who'd been expelled from Sir Francis Drake High hid in some bushes and shot his old principal in the hand with a pellet gun, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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And last month, in a joint venture between Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC, of San Francisco, and DIG affiliate, Longwing Real Estate Ventures purchased the famed Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco with plans to spend $20 million on renovations to keep the hotel running.
Sir Francis Drake - the Complete Series has all 26 episodes from this classic '60s swashbuckling saga on a 3-disc set.