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Francis Drake

Birthdate: 13. July 1540
Date of death: 27. January 1596

Sir Francis Drake was an English sea captain, privateer, slave trader, pirate, naval officer and explorer of the Elizabethan era. Drake carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition, from 1577 to 1580, and was the first to complete the voyage as captain while leading the expedition throughout the entire circumnavigation. With his incursion into the Pacific Ocean, he claimed what is now California for the English and 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.Elizabeth I awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581 which he received on the Golden Hind in Deptford. As a Vice Admiral, he was second-in-command of the English fleet in the battle against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He died of dysentery in January 1596, after unsuccessfully attacking San Juan, Puerto Rico. Drake's exploits made him a hero to the English, but his privateering led the Spanish to brand him a pirate, known to them as El Draque. King Philip II allegedly offered a reward for his capture or death of 20,000 ducats, about £6 million in modern currency.

Quotes Francis Drake

„There is plenty of time to win this game, and to thrash the Spaniards too.“

—  Francis Drake

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

„I must have the gentleman to haul and draw with the mariner, and the mariner with the gentleman.“

—  Francis Drake

Speech to his crew off of Puerto San Julian, Argentina, prior to entering the Strait of Magellan (May 1578)
Context: 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...

„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.“

—  Francis Drake

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.})
Context: 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.

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