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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 9 (February 25, 1927)

Sir Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake.

The daring spirit of Elizabeth's great admiral, Sir Francis Drake (1540–1596), as revealed by his voyages of discovery and by his success as a naval commander, justifies his starring as the hero of many popular legends. On many occasions he sailed with expeditions to the West Indies, but his greatest achievement was the circumnavigation of the globe. In 1577 he sailed from Plymouth across the Atlantic, along the coast of South America, through the Straits of Magellan, to Valparaiso, across the Pacific to the Indian Archipelago, and around the Cape of Good Hope to England, where he arrived in 1580. He was the first Englishman to sail around the world, and on his return was knighted by Queen Elizabeth.

Innumerable Spanish ships suffered his attacks, and for the sake of their spoil many Spanish towns on both the American continents were plundered as was the custom of the age.

Sir Francis Drake.

Sir Francis Drake.

In the battle with the Spanish Armada Drake commanded one of the three divisons of the English fleet sent to intercept the invaders. He was continuously in the thick of the fighting, and when victory was achieved he pursued the conquered, ambitiously named “Invincible” Armada of Philip of Spain, to the north of Scotland.

On two occasions he sat in the English Parliament, but the sea was his home and on the sea he died.