Will the real Sir Francis Drake stand up.

Even this mans birth date is unknown. 1502 -1509 anyplace either side or between. He was one of 12 children born in Tavistock Devon on a farm belonging to the Earl of  Bedford   .

Drake loved the stories of his older cousin John Hawkins and at age of 15 took to aid John in what seems to have been transportation of Gold Coast African slaves. He then entered the navy and rose to rank of Captain soon after. Then craving expedition he sailed his own ship around the world anti clock wise into fame.

He was in fact in search of the truth was part of New world an island.  It was now he saw how Spanish sailors armed and able robbed the Inca Indians of gold. He decided to help himself out at sea by capturing the laden ships and becoming rich  Back in England he  had a ship built to cope with fast sea battles and speed was the need. Out came the ship he called the Pelican but soon after Drake changed his mind and renamed his newly built ship The Golden Hind. {A deer female is a Hind. } Gold , speaks for itself.

He sailed to capture as many Spaniards as possible. Any ship he could keep in one piece after battles he sold as salvage.This was legal to perform and still is.  In fact he shared half this treasure with Queen Elizabeth I st in England. So much gold and tons of silver made her very happy. So much her minsters worried over war with Spain. She decided even so, to award Drake with a Knighthood. However she did not go down to his ship she sent the French Ambassador to Knight Drake on the deck of his ship in dock. Cunningly distancing herself from support for his actions. Then she did grant him a license to make money as a Private owner of ships he became a privateer. This meant he could sail where he wished and he did ,right back to plundering the gold ships sailing from South America on route to Spain.

Phillip King of Spain placed price on Drakes head but they had stolen the gold from Incas so Drake thought it only proper to steal it from the thieves.

francis-drake

It is interesting to know that half Drakes crews where Black men who had equal rights on deck to work and be paid. If we think of Sir Francis as a Pirate I will say his men,all of them loved him. He never went after other honest traders he stuck like a limpet to the ships of Spain and the gold silver and jewels worth the danger of battle.

The Pope contacted King Phillip of Spain and told him he would pay for Spain to built a new vast navy. That navy to sail and take England as theirs and handing the Godless Queen to Pope for torture. Phillip chopped down his forests leaving the lands flat. He brought in ship rights from all over and in four years built the mighty navy that the Pope wanted. Drake hearing of this sailed back to the Queen for permission to attack the Port of Cadiz where most of the new navy lay at birth. He sailed in with old vessels and set fire to them directly in line they sped to target and burned to ash many mighty galleons that in turn set fire to part of that city. It is called by the English records the shinging of the King of Spain s beard. It took Phillip another year to replace his loss. So England in the know devised a plan. It went like clockwork in 1588 when Spain sent hundreds of galleons armed to the teeth into Dover ports. Then the Thames but in fact fire ships and good navy shooting broke down masts but the big ships could not turn around became sitting ducks as our tiny ships ran circles around them.

The rest of the navy arrived and dropped anchor to say prayers when in came the fire ships into the tightly knitted groups of shipping .Too late the anchors raised by then all on fire burned and took over half of Spains fleet. Then the English wind blew hard and drifting ships and maned vessels went windward around our coastline. So many wrecked on the rocks what was left reached Scotland and swam ashore. That is why many Scots are darkly none native looking now.

Phillip hearing the news was told the Pope refused to pay as failure was an insult to the Vatican. He was bankrupt personally and his nation too. Phillip the might Catholic King whom all feared was bankrupted and Drake was rich as he had the largest galleon for salvage money.  Queen of England in her armour ready to die among  her army was to hear a service for victory in much relief.

Sir Francis Drake was happy to retire .Help build defenses and bring in a proper water system in Plymouth Devon. Paid for it all and water in the city for first time since the Romans was the result.  Aged 55 ,Today would be age of 78 he was called to see his Queen again .She need the gold that Drake had buried owing to the singular fact  that his men could not carry it all back to the ships. I bet he was not happy but no one refused Elizabeth anything. This was Englands golden age and Drake the most famous and most loved mariner of that age.

statue-francis-drake-sir-whose-stands-pymouth-hoe-devon-england-most-remembered-his-part-defeating-spanish-31551020

Drakes statue In England.

In this act he sailed back with many ships to again find the spoils of war. Trouble is that Spains spies in England had alerted Phillip the King. A reception awaited Drake and so he could not land. In the battles he suddenly felt ill and 3 days later he was dead. 55 years old in 1596.

Now  all say he died on Dysentery but if he did they had time to dress him in his armour as he himself had requested. Lay him out in the lead lined coffin that was not made in seconds. You see having seen first had what happens when dysentery attacks it is a smell so bad no one will go near a sufferer as contents of stomach is putrid and out it all comes every time the sick man coughs. In 3 days of it i say that metal suit of war armour they buckled on to the body taking save half hour to effect that would be impossible to suffer. Anyway 3 days is short for that complaint to kill Drake. 7 days is the time for death as your insides rot. My guess as he complained of pains in his chest too that he died of a stroke, or heart attack. just my guess but think its right.

golden-hind-219818_960_720

 

Exact replica of the Golden Hind in Devon built for movie use.

That haul of gold we know all about .Drake and twenty crew member carried the sacks of gold down from the attack loosing the mules by gun shot sounds the Spanish fled after a stand up hard fight. Drake ordered the sacks two per man about 40 pounds per sack so about half the man could not carry through jungle so much. Drake ordered half the gold and silver to be buried and site marked on chart. They hobbled back down the track to the ships and sailed way with the gold they had.

No one since has ever found it. They say around half what was recorded by Spain has value of 78 million pounds today.

The Archeologist TV producer and star of the Discovery channel  Joss Gates shows us the exact path in the Portobello jungles that Drake buried the treasure was very good to watch it. He found a sword hilt an English dagger blade and other proof that the site could be very near. Then as always never finds what they went to find. This treasure remains hidden.

Drakes coffin should not be found or moved it is a grave site. The ships that English sailors could not man they sank in the bay near the massive stone called Drakes Rock that sits in, Portobello, Panama waters even today. The two ships cannons found suggests that Drakes coffin may be in that same area.

Was Drake a nice man ? yes by all account he was a good man. The slaves he freed stood by him to the end. Rare in a time when it was not thought wrong and dealt in on the lesson of blacks selling blacks to Seaman as normal trading. Elizabethans harder more daring and perhaps less concerned with ways that we have learned since that time is wrong.

My take on Sir Francis Drake is he was a man dead set on riches. Then he shared all with his crews and gave half to his Queen shows he was not so tight pocketed as history makes him look. In his mind if Spain was the gold thief it did not make him a  pirate for scolding them. He then sailed into battles so powerful that victory gave him every human right to take the wealth and let the sailors go. Then two wrongs never make a right and only the proud Inca was the looser in truth.

What will they find if they do locate a 424 year old coffin in deep water? Lead lined on a ships deck may not have been the best job of metal work. The wood rotten years ago the lead knocked by rock movement. Perhaps only bits of metal and a few bones not taken by shark and larger fish. My guess it accounts for the reason no one has ever found Drake. Then if by some massive reason its intact this coffin it is a grave site . Do we really need to disturb it ?

b1eafd72bc1e1f018790ee499c8cc7fd Sir Francis Drake as Historic research finds him and wax model made to show him perhaps as he was.

Thank you for reading hope you want to research more of this amazing mans life.

Yours Sir Kevin.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2020

 

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