Francis Drake

Francis Drake is one of the great mariners in English history. From simple upbringing, he would go on to be a privateer, explorer and admiral. He would become the second man to circumnavigate the globe, and be a key figure in the defeat of the fabled Spanish Armada


Francis Drake – Part 1 – The Early Years
In our first episode, we look at Drake’s younger years, including the voyages he made to Africa and the Caribbean in the 1560s – culminating in the Battle of San Juan de Ulúa in 1568.

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Francis Drake – Part 2 – Terror of the Spanish Main
In part 2 of our series on Francis Drake, we cover three expeditions Drake led to the Caribbean. The three voyages would make Drake one of the most hated men in the Spanish Empire – and a hero in England. The final voyage will conclude with Drake’s daring attack on the Spanish Treasure Caravan as it crossed the isthmus of Panama.

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Francis Drake – Part 3 – The Journey Around the World Begins
In 1576, Francis Drake begins his circumnavigation of the globe. In this episode, we follow Drake as he gets backing for the venture, gathers his fleet, and then heads toward the Strait of Magellan. However, a rival, Thomas Doughty, will emerge from within the fleet, challenging him for command. The episode will conclude with a deadly confrontation between Drake and Doughty

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Francis Drake – Part 4 – War in the Pacific
In part 4 in our series, Francis Drake leads his fleet into the Strait of Magellan. After surviving more than 50 days of storms, he will then proceed to attack Spanish shipping on the western coast of the Americas – capturing the greatest prize in English history.

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Francis Drake – Part 5 – Across the Pacific and Home
In part 5 of our series on Francis Drake, the English explorer sets out from modern-day California towards Asia. Drake will reach the fabled Spice Islands, and then head west – rounding the southern tip of Africa – and head home to England. In doing so, he will become only the second person to circumnavigate the globe.

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Francis Drake – Part 6 – The Spanish Armada and Final Years
In our sixth – and final episode – we cover the years of 1581-1595 in the life of Francis Drake. It is an action-packed episode, with a focus on Drake’s raid of Spain (called ‘The singeing of the King of Spain’s beard’), the Spanish Armada, and two more expeditions to the New World.

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Important locations discussed in Part 1 of our series.
Important locations discussed in Part 2 of this series
Drake’s circumnavigation of the world


Select Resources

There were lots and lots of places I pulled information from for this series on Drake. Here’s a few of the key ones I used.

There are quite a few biographies of Drake, but John Sugden’s Sir Francis Drake was my favorite.

Another biography of Drake that I found useful was Julian Corbert’s Sir Francis Drake. The book is dated (published in 1911), but still interesting. It can be read for free online.

Wikipedia – Lots of info to be found, including links to all the appropriate side subjects (the Spanish Armada, Queen Elizabeth, King Phillip, etc.)

Here is information about Nuestra Señora de la Concepción (aka Cagafuego) – the treasure ship captured by Drake.

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia.