In our new series on Famous English Travellers, we will present to you some important English personalities from the past who have made a crucial contribution to our knowledge by their travels. We hope you will enjoy our small history excursion!

Sir Francis Drake

The first Englishman who circumnavigated the world

Dates:

Born Feb 1540 in Tavistock, Devon

Died 27 Jan 1596

Jobs:

Vice Admiral, Sea Captain, Navigator, Politician

Honours:

Elizabeth I of England awarded Drake knighthood in 1581 upon his return from the expedition against the Spanish, which Elizabeth I of England had commissioned.

Queen Elizabeth With Sir Francis Drake And knights On The Deck Of The Golden Hind by Jean Leon Huens

Special Achievements:

Became the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world (1577-1580)

Travels:

  • 1563 – Drake travelled to Africa and sold people in Sierra Leona as slaves to Spanish settlers in the Caribbean
  • 1567 – Successfully attacked Spanish ships
  • 1572 – Seized gold and silver in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean
  • Drake also travelled to the West Indies, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, California, Java, through the Indian Ocean and around the Cape of Good Hope.
  • Upon his return of the circumnavigation of the world, Drake became mayor of Plymouth and was a Member of Parliament.

Cultural Impact:

  • Drakes Bay and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard of Marin County, California are both named after him.
  • In Devon, there are various places after him, especially in Plymouth, where a roundabout has been named Drake Circus.

 

 

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