On This Day

Francis Drake

Admiral, Explorer and Navigator Francis Drake

Profession: Admiral, Explorer and Navigator


Biography: The most renowned seaman of the Elizabethan era, Francis Drake helped defeat the Spanish Armada.

He also carried out the second circumnavigation of the world, between 1577 to 1580.

Birthplace: Tavistock, England, United Kingdom

Died: January 28, 1596
Cause of Death: Dysentery

Articles and Photos

Historical Events

  • 1573-08-07 Francis Drake's fleet returns to Plymouth after a year spent raiding for Spanish treasure
  • 1577-12-13 Francis Drake sets sail from England on a circumnavigation of the world
  • 1578-08-20 Francis Drake renames his flagship the Pelican to the Golden Hind in honor of his patron, Sir Christopher Hatton
  • 1579-03-01 British admiral and explorer Francis Drake surprises and captures the Spanish treasure ship Nuestra Señora de la Concepción off the coast of Peru, Drake's richest plunder
  • 1579-06-17 English navigator Francis Drake lands on the coast of California at Drakes Bay, names it "New Albion"
  • 1579-07-23 Francis Drake departs San Francisco to cross the Pacific Ocean
  • 1579-10-16 Francis Drake sights land in the Philippines after crossing the Pacific Ocean aboard the Golden Hind
  • 1579-11-03 Francis Drake arrives at Ternate in the East Indies and makes a trade treaty with the Sultan of Ternate, buys a cargo of cloves
  • 1580-01-09 Francis Drake's ship the Golden Hind strikes a reef off the Celebes islands, slips off the next day and sails onward to Java then round the Cape of Good Hope and back to Plymouth in England
  • 1580-09-26 Francis Drake completes circumnavigation of the world, sailing into Plymouth aboard the Golden Hind
  • 1581-04-04 Francis Drake knighted by Queen Elizabeth I aboard Golden Hind at Deptford
  • 1587-04-29 English naval officer Francis Drake sails into Cadiz, Spain and sinks the Spanish fleet, thereby "Singeing the King of Spain's Beard" and delaying the Spanish invasion by a year
  • 1590-07-06 English admiral Francis Drake takes Portuguese Forts at Taag
  • 1595-11-22 English fleet led by Francis Drake and John Hawkins unsuccessfully attack San Juan, Puerto Rico during the Anglo-Spanish War

Biographies and Sources