Francis Drake

English sailor and privateer

Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral (c.154028 January 1596) was an English explorer, sea captain, privateer, slave trader, naval officer, and politician. Drake is best known for his circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition, from 1577 to 1580. This included his incursion into the Pacific Ocean, until then an area of exclusive Spanish interest, and his claim to New Albion for England, an area in what is now the U.S. state of California. His expedition inaugurated an era of conflict with the Spanish on the western coast of the Americas, an area that had previously been largely unexplored by Western shipping.

There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory.

Elizabeth I awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581 which he received on the Golden Hind in Deptford. In the same year he was appointed mayor of Plymouth. As a vice admiral, he was second-in-command of the English fleet in the victorious battle against the Spanish Armada in 1588. After unsuccessfully attacking San Juan, Puerto Rico, he died of dysentery in January 1596.

QuotesEdit

 
I must have the gentleman to haul and draw with the mariner, and the mariner with the gentleman.
  • For by the life of God, it doth even take my wits from me to think on it. Here is such controversy between the sailors and gentlemen, and such stomaching between the gentlemen and sailors, it doth make me mad to hear it. But, my masters, I must have it left. For I must have the gentleman to haul and draw with the mariner, and the mariner with the gentleman. What! let us show ourselves to be of a company and let us not give occasion to the enemy to rejoice at our decay and overthrow. I would know him that would refuse to set his hand to a rope, but I know there is not any such here . . .
    • Speech to his crew off of Puerto San Julian, Argentina, prior to entering the Strait of Magellan (May 1578)
  • There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory.
  • Coming up unto them, there has passed some cannon shot between some of our fleet and some of them, and so far as we perceive they are determined to sell their lives with blows. … This letter honorable good Lord, is sent in haste. The fleet of Spaniards is somewhat above a hundred sails, many great ships; but truly, I think not half of them men-of-war. Haste.
    • Letter to Admiral Henry Seymour, after coming upon part of the Spanish Armada, written aboard the Revenge (31 July 1588 {21 July 1588 O.S.})


DisputedEdit

  • There is plenty of time to win this game, and to thrash the Spaniards too.
    • Reputedly while playing Bowls at Plymouth Hoe, upon being informed that the Spanish Armada had been sighted approaching England. (29 July [O.S. 19 July] 1588); This attribution is not known to have appeared in writing until 1736, so its authenticity remains uncertain.
    • Variant: There's time to finish the game and beat the Spaniards too.

Quotes about DrakeEdit

 
Drake he's in his hammock till the great Armadas come…
  • In Eighty Eight how she did fight
    Is known to all and some,
    When the Spaniard came, her courage to tame,
    But had better have stay'd at home:
    They came with Ships, fill'd full of Whips,
    To have lash'd her Princely Hide;
    But she had a Drake made them all cry Quake,
    And bang'd them back and side.
    • Anonymous, Upon the Death of Queen Elizabeth, quoted in Bertrand T. Whitehead, Brags and Boasts: Propaganda in the Year of the Armada (1994), p. 200
  • Therefore good worthy Drake,
    serve thou thy sovereign Queen,
    And make the Spanish foe to quake,
    and English force be seen.
    • David Gwyn, Certain English Verses presented to the Queen's most excellent Majesty in the park of St James, on Sunday the 18th of August 1588, quoted in Bertrand T. Whitehead, Brags and Boasts: Propaganda in the Year of the Armada (1994), p. 129
  • Drake he's in his hammock till the great Armadas come,
    (Capten, art tha sleepin' there below?),
    Slung atween the round shot, listenin' for the drum,
    An' dreamin' arl the time o' Plymouth Hoe.
    Call him on the deep sea, call him up the Sound,
    Call him when ye sail to meet the foe;
    Where the old trade's plyin' an' the old flag flyin',
    They shall find him, ware an' wakin', as they found him long ago.

External linksEdit

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