Spotlight – Francis Drake


Name: Francis Drake

Title/s: Sir

Birth / Death: c. 1540 – 27 January 1596

Spouse: Mary Newman ?-1581 / Elizabeth Sydenham 1562-?

Children: None

Parents: Edmund Drake 1518-1585 & Mary Mylwaye ?-?

Siblings: John c.1552-1573 / Thomas 1556-1606 / Edward c.1550-1568 / Joseph c.1554-1572 / William c.1525-c.1581

Noble Connections: He was awarded a knighthood by Elizabeth I in 1581. Drake’s godfather was Francis Russell, Earl of Bedford. He was made a naval officer by John Hawkins, who was pivotal in the Armada expedition.

Events of their Lifetime: Death of Henry VIII and accession of Edward VI 1547, Death of Edward VI and accession of Mary I 1553, Death of Mary I and accession of Elizabeth I 1558, Death of Amy Robsart 1560, Execution of Mary Queen of Scots 1587, Defeat of Spanish Armada 1588.

Controversy: Some historians see Francis Drake as a pirate, others as a privateer. It is also disputed whereabouts he landed when he reached American soil – San Francisco, Alaska, Oregon or British Colombia among them.

Works of Fiction:
Charles Romyn Dake, A Strange Discovery (1899)
Ann Swinfen, The Portuguese Affair (2014)

Portrayals on Screen:
Robert Currier, The Beckoning, 2006, directed by Don Scioli
David Delve, Elizabeth I, 2005, 2 episodes
Scott Gorman, Sir Francis Drake: the Queen’s Pirate, 2008, directed by Adrian Carter
Matheson Lang, Drake of England, 1935, directed by Arthur B. Woods
Terence Morgan, Sir Francis Drake, 1962, 26 episodes
Adrian Paul, The Immortal Voyage of Captain Drake, 2009, directed by David Flores
John Thaw, Drake’s Venture, 1980, directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark
John Woodvine, Elizabeth R, 1971, 1 episode

Further Reading:
Samuel Bawlf, The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake 1577-80 (2004)
Julian S. Corbett, Sir Francis Drake (2016)
Alex A. Cumming, Sir Francis Drake and the Golden Hinde (1975)
John Cummins, Francis Drake: Lives of a Hero (1995)
Francis Drake, The World Encompassed (1628)
Richard Hakluyt, The Voyage of Sir Francis Drake Around the Whole Globe (2015)
Kevin Jackson, The Queen’s Pirate: Sir Francis Drake (2016)
Harry Kelsey, Sir Francis Drake: the Queen’s Pirate (2000)
John Sugden, Sir Francis Drake (2006)

Arms:

Arms of Sir Francis Drake

Portraits:

Francis Drake by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger 16th Century
Francis Drake by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger 16th Century
Francis Drake by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger 1591
Francis Drake by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger 1591
Francis Drake by Nicholas Hilliard 1581
Francis Drake by Nicholas Hilliard 1581
Francis Drake c.1581 Unknown Artist
Francis Drake c.1581 Unknown Artist

 

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