Circumnavigation of the Earth

Principal Voyage

In 1577, the war again broke out between England and Spain. Sir Francis Drake was chosen as the leader of the expedition.

Drake was intended to pass around South America through the Strait of Magellan, and explore the land with his crew. Francis Drake had his plans and continued raiding Spanish fleets, wanted, and attacked Spanish settlements in South America.

Sir Francis Drake and his fleet left the port in 1577 on December 13, and there were five ships under his command: 'The Elizabeth,' 'Swan,' 'Christoper,' 'Marigold,' and the 'Pelican.'

Drake sailed across the Atlantic to Brazil than to the coast of Argentina to an area called Patagonia. In Spring 1578, Drake reached the Brazilian coast, and around this time, Drake renamed his ship 'Golden Hind.' The great explorer with his fleet sailed to the west coast of South America. Along with Chile and Peru, Francis Drake destroyed several Spanish vessels and took their riches. After going through the Strait of Magellan, Drake started making his way up to the West coast of the United States. He, with the fleet, stopped for a while near Modern-day Oregon. In 1579 June, Francis Drake landed at Point Reyes, which is nowadays San Francisco, California, and here he spent several weeks with friendly Miwok natives.

Across the Pacific and around Africa

In July, The Golden Hind left the area and sailed across the Pacific Ocean, which took over two months, and for weeks they saw no land. The ship finally reached Mollusca, a group of Islands, which is present-day Indonesia. They stayed there for a short period, and then again sailed rounding Southern Africa, headed north to England.

After three years of sailing finally, in 1580, on September 26, the Gold Hind reached England.

Sir Francis Drake was the first Englishman who sailed around the world and the second person to circumnavigate the globe.

The journey was not comfortable. Two of the vessels were destroyed; the third one was sunk while exiting the Strait of Magellan, the fourth turned back after separating the fleet. The only flagship which survived was Drake's Gold Hint, which sailed 36 000 miles before returning to England.

Subsequent Voyages

When Francis Drake returned to England after his journey, he brought with him a great treasure. Queen Elizabeth rewarded his great success, and the Queen knighted him in 1581,

and he became Sir Francis Drake. When the aggression between England and Spain was renovated, Drake once again sailed to sea, he sailed toward Spain in 1585 and destroyed several ships in their fleet. Francis Drake attacked Spanish ships in the present-day Dominican Republic and Columbia. On the way back home, Drake, with his fleet, stopped at Roanoke Island, which is nowadays North Carolina. The colonists living there were so weak and miserable, they decided to return to England with Drake and abandon the colony.

Mayor of Plymouth

In 1581, the same year when Queen Elizabeth knighted Francis Drake, he was also made Mayor of Plymouth. Sir Francis Drake helped to build a water supply for Plymouth, which served the city for over 300 years. In 1589 Sir Francis Drake married a Cornish woman Mary Newman. His second wife was Elizabeth Sydenham, a daughter of a local Devonshire magnate. During that time, Drake purchased a small beautiful country house near Plymouth, and his only grief was that he doesn't have children.

During that time, Drake was a viral hero, and he was also a very successful politician and influential figure in politics during the time he spent in Britain. After returning from circumnavigation in 1580, Francis Drake settled his career both as Mayor of the coastal town Plymouth and a member of Parliament in 1584. But after several years, Drake took a break from political duties to return to the sea.