At Airedale Junior School we learn:
Look at what we have been learning in geography:
Famous In This Field:
Sir Francis Drake
Occupation: Explorer, privateer
Born: 1540 or 1544 in Tavistock, England
Died: January 27, 1596 in Portobelo, Panama
Best known for: First Englishman to sail around the world and defeating the Spanish Armada
Biography: Where did Francis Drake grow up?
Francis Drake was born sometime between 1540 and 1544 in Tavistock, England. His father was a minister for the navy and Francis grew up near the sea. He went to work for a sea captain at a young age and found his home living and working on a ship. Someday he would make his fortune and fame at sea.
Drake's first expedition was with John Hawkins. He captained the ship Judith, one of six ships that made up the fleet. Hawkins first led the fleet to Africa where they captured people to sell into slavery. Then they sailed across the Atlantic to the New World. They sold the slaves at a Spanish port, but they were betrayed. Spanish warships attacked the fleet and destroyed many of the ships. Drake and the Judith were able to escape, but he never forgave the Spanish.
Privateer or Pirate?
After returning from the New World, Drake wanted revenge on the Spanish. He took up the life of a privateer. As a privateer he would attack the enemy ships of Britain, mostly the Spanish, and take their cargo. To the Spanish, he was considered a pirate. To the English, he was a hero. Over the next several years Drake attacked Spanish towns and ships taking much of their gold and silver. He became a rich man. Queen Elizabeth I noted his success and gave him a fleet of ships to take to South America and plunder the Spanish.
Drake continued to attack Spanish cities and treasure ships. He died of dysentery while on an expedition to the New World on January 27, 1596.
Interesting Facts about Sir Francis Drake
He married twice. His first wife was Mary Newman who died 12 years after their marriage in 1569. His second wife was Elizabeth Sydenham. His wives rarely saw him as he spent much of his life at sea. He didn't have any children. The Spanish nicknamed Drake "El Draque", which means "The Dragon". The King of Spain put a bounty on Drake's head of 20,000 ducats. That's around $7 million in today's money! He was a member of the British Parliament for a time. He purchased a large mansion in Devon, England called Buckland Abby. Today it is open for tourists to visit.