Circumnavigation of the globe(Drake)|
In 1577, Queen Elizabeth herself comissioned Francis Drake to lead an expedition through the Strait of Magellan and to explore the coast that lay beyond. One declared objective of the voyage was to discover the legendary continent of Terra Australis Incognita, another to return through the North-West Passage. Much of this voyage was to be made in Spanish seas, who were the main colonial rivals at the time. Francis Drake was very suited for this voyage as he had a long held grudge against the Spanish.
|He set sail from England in 1577 with 165 crewmen and five ships, the Pelican (later renamed the Golden Hind), the Marigold, the Elizabeth, the Swan, and the Christopher. Two of his smaller vessels, having served their purpose as store ships, were then abandoned, after their provisions had been taken aboard the others, and, on Aug. 21, 1578, he entered the Strait Of Magellan. Having missed a rendezvous with the "Golden Hind" due to a storm, the remaining ships made it back to England, thinking it had sunk. He was able to establish that the Tierra del Fuego area was an island and not a continent as many Europeans believed following Magellan's expedition. Drake plundered Spanish shipping in the Caribbean and in Central America and loaded his ship with treasure to take back to Queen Elizabeth.|
A sketch of the Golden Hind
Before sailing West the ship sailed North until 48N, seeking the famed North Western Passage, doing this he became the first European to sight the west coast of what is now Canada. Due to the extremely bitter cold he had to turn south and anchored just North of where San Francisco is present.
In July 1579, he sailed west accross the Pacific spotting the remote Palau group of islands. From there he went on to the Philippines, where he watered ship before sailing to the Moluccas. He signed a treaty there allowing the English to trade with them for spices. Following that he struck a reef in uncharted waters, but fortunately the ship sustained no serious damage.He then set his course across the Indian Ocean for the Cape of Good Hope and back to England.On August 1580, approximately three years after his departure, he returned back to England. Upon arrival, the queen knighted Drake aboard the Golden Hind.
Sir Francis Drake devoted the rest of his life to the harassment of the Spanish. He mounted another expedition to the Caribbean and led the successful attack on the Great Spanish Armada, becoming once again England's hero. He was the first captain to take his own ship round the
world, and he was probably the greatest privateer of all time. Sir Francis Drake died, one of the world's greatest seamen. He embodied many of the virtues of expansionist Elizabethan England.
Biography................Sir Francis Drake