Biography of Francis Drake 1540-1596

Paternal Family Tree: Drake

1575 Jul 1575 Rathlin Island Massacre

1587 Singeing the King of Spain's Beard

1671 Raid on Panama

Around 1540 Francis Drake was born to Edmund Drake of Crowdale (age 22).

On 26 Dec 1566 [his father] Edmund Drake of Crowdale (age 48) died.

Jul 1575 Rathlin Island Massacre

Before 25 Jul 1575 Walter Devereux 1st Earl Essex (age 33) ordered Francis Drake (age 35) and John Norreys (age 28) to confront Scottish refugees on Rathlin Island. On 25 Jul 1575 the garrison surrendered.

In 1581 Unknown Painter. Portrait of Francis Drake (age 41).

Singeing the King of Spain's Beard

On 12 Apr 1587 an English fleet commanded by Francis Drake (age 47) left Plymouth, Devon [Map].

On 29 Apr 1587 the English fleet commanded by Francis Drake (age 47) entered the Bay of Cádiz Spain in the evening to discover sixty Spanish and twenty French ships. The Spanish ships, under the command of Pedro de Acuña, sailed out to meet the English fleet but were forced to retire back to Cadiz before the superiority of the English. Gun positions on the shore opened fire, shelling the English fleet from the coast with little effect. During the night of the 29th and all the following day and night the battle raged in the bay. At dawn on 1 May, the English withdrew having destroyed around thirty-two Spanish ships, with a combined capacity of 10,000 tons, and captured four other ships, laden with provisions.

On 08 Jun 1587 the English fleet commanded by Francis Drake (age 47) sighted a Portuguese carrack, the São Filipe, twenty leagues from the Island of São Miguel, returning from the Indies laden with treasure. After a brief exchange of fire it was captured, the first ship to be so on the return run from the Indies. Its enormous fortune of gold, spices, and silk was valued at £108,000 (of which 10% was to go to Francis Drake (age 47)); the fleet returned to England, arriving on 06 July 1587. The expedition led by Francis Drake (age 47) was a resounding military success: over one hundred Spanish vessels of different tonnages were destroyed or captured during the expedition. Economic and material losses caused to the Spanish fleet by the English attack ensured that Spanish plans for the invasion of England had to be postponed for over a year. It was not until Aug 1588 that the Armada was ready to leave for the British Isles.

Around Mar 1588 Francis Drake (age 48) moved his flag from Elizabeth Bonaventure to The Revenge.

In 1591 Nicholas Hilliard (age 44) painted a portrait of Francis Drake (age 51).

On 28 Jan 1596 Francis Drake (age 56) died.

In 1602 Richard Drake (age 67) was granted the residue of the moneys still owing to her from Sir Francis Drake's voyage of 1585-86.

1671 Raid on Panama

Evelyn's Diary. 19 Aug 1671. To Council. The letters of Sir Thomas Modiford (age 51) were read, giving relation of the exploit at Panama, which was very brave; they took, burned, and pillaged the town of vast treasures, but the best of the booty had been shipped off, and lay at anchor in the South Sea, so that, after our men had ranged the country sixty miles about, they went back to Nombre de Dios, and embarked for Jamaica. Such an action had not been done since the famous Drake.

Ancestors of Francis Drake 1540-1596

Francis Drake