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Sir Francis Drake

( English navigator and pirate.)

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Biography Sir Francis Drake
Francis Drake was born about 1540 on a farm in Kroundeyle near Teyvi-flow, in Devonshire. Zealous Protestant, Father Francis, Edmund Drake, was forced to flee with his family from Kroundeyla in Plymouth, where in 1549 began the peasant uprising. Edmund Drake settled the ship's priest. Francis House, as well as born after him eleven children, became a ship. Read and write Francis taught his father, but I must say that before the end of his life he was not particularly strong either in one or the other. But Francis was an excellent speaker, as later evidenced by his colleagues in Parliament.
It seems that Francis was not more than ten years, when. father identified him as cabin boy on merchant ship plying in the French and Netherlands ports. In 1561, the ship owner has died, bequeathing him his ship. So in 16 years, Francis became a captain and owner of a small barge.
When Francis learned of the impending Hawkins new expedition to the Caribbean Sea, he said, without hesitation, offered his services. However, the expedition ended badly, the pirates attack the British were repulsed by Spanish colonists. Four out of five English ships were seized by the Spaniards. Fifth ship Drake brought back to England.
In the middle of the XVI century in the Spanish Atlantic routes have begun to show greater activity English buccaneers. Lesser Antilles were the main pirate bases, and separate islands constantly passed from hand to hand, from the pirates of one nationality to another.
Drake was able to reschedule the fight from the Antilles to the shores of Spain itself and cause it, then, a series of crushing blows from the Pacific coast of America.
Four years later, Drake had already independently raided the Panama isthmus, crushed a caravan that went with precious metals from Peru, and captured brand new Spanish courts safely returned to England.
In 1577, Drake began the most important of its businesses, which surprised him most was completed the first English (and the second after Magellan) circumnavigation. The main purpose was a pirate attack on the Pacific coast of Spanish America.
Back in England Drake assumed a roundabout way - going around America from the north, for which he had hoped to use the Northwest Passage, which has just "discovered" by Martin Frobisher. Meanwhile, the Spaniards, having learned by bitter experience of recent years, expect the British pirates in the approaches to the Caribbean Sea and sent there a strong fleet.
Drake had equipped four ships with a capacity of 90-100 tons, not counting pinassa, August 20, 1578 Drake entered the Strait of Magellan. He took it very quickly, in only twenty days, but in the Pacific fleet met a fierce storm. Of the entire fleet remained only one ship "Golden Hind". The storm brought him far to the south, and Drake became convinced that the Tierra del Fuego extends the open sea. Therefore, on modern maps called Drake called wide strait separating the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego to Antarctica.
Made an emergency sortie to the south, Drake, as soon as the storm subsided, headed north and went to the Chilean coast. He made a daring raid along the Pacific coast, let the bottom set of Spanish ships and consistently devastated most important harbors on the Chilean, Peruvian and Mexican banks. "Golden Hind" crossed the Pacific Ocean, came to the Philippines and the Cape of Good Hope, in September 1580 returned to England, It was the second in the history of seafaring voyage around the world.
In 1587 Drake made his exceptionally daring raid on the most important Spanish port of Cadiz: the four warships, he broke into the port, sank and burned more than thirty Spanish ships. On the way back he had destroyed the Portuguese coast near hundreds of enemy ships. However, the richest prey delivered Drake Portuguese ship, en route from India with a cargo of spices. The shipment represented a value that every sailor in the fleet Drake "considered his fate arranged". Since then, the British entrepreneurs drew particular attention to the East Indies.
In 1589 Drake made a naval expedition to Portugal, which ended unsuccessfully. Its main objective - the capture of Lisbon - had not been achieved. Of the 16 thousand people who went on an expedition, survived 6 thousand. Six ships were lost, though, none of the royal ship is not affected. Actual expenditures amounted to the queen instead of 20 thousand pounds sterling 50, that Elizabeth was stingy big trouble.
Drake has lost not only the queen's favor, but the location of the City of London merchants. They decided that the lucky star Drake rolled. For several years he went to sea. In 1591 he finally realized his long-standing project to improve water supply of Plymouth, investing in the construction of rainwater channels and equity.
In 1592 Queen's attitude to Drake as if beginning to change for the better. There were even calls, . that Drake will soon depart for another voyage, . In the New Year Elizabeth Drake sent a detailed report on his voyage to Nombre de Dios in 1572, the Queen approved the plan Drake, . but included in the expedition of John Hawkins as a partner Drake,
. She now does not trust "his pirate".
Drake wanted to capture Panama, but the queen in his instructions to limit their effect, only the destruction of ships in Spanish ports and the attack on the "golden fleet". The ships were to return to Plymouth in May 1596. The Queen highlighted the expedition of six ships of the Navy and 2500 infantry under the command of an experienced officer Thomas Baskerville, who participated in the recent battles with the Spaniards in Brittany, as well as 30 thousand pounds. Merchants of the City of London delivered to organize the expedition 60 thousand pounds and fitted out 21 ships.
August 29, 1595 the ships left Plymouth. The fleet was divided into two squadrons, commanded by Drake and Hawkins.
As a result of permanent differences between Drake and Hawkins, 20 January 1596 the squadron was in a difficult position near the island of escudo-le-Veragua. There, the British seized the Spanish aviso, from which the team learned that the famous city, which told Drake, poor, and the path to them is very difficult because of the numerous shoals and reefs.
All the time the adverse winds blowing. Food on the ships ended. The place where they stopped, it was very unhealthy. Vessels people died from fever and dysentery. Drake and himself fell ill with dysentery. At the 12 th day, he decided to rely on fate: ordered to raise anchor and catch that wind, which God sends.
The winds drove the ships back to Nombre de Dios, Drake grew weaker every day. He has not left his cabin. But his will was not broken. On the night of January 28, sensing the approach of death. Drake with great difficulty, got dressed, he asked his servant Uantloka help him to don armor, to die with dignity as a soldier. At dawn on January 28, 1596 Drake died.
A few hours later the flotilla approached the Nombre de Dios. Command of the fleet took Thomas Baskerville. Drake's body was laid in a leaden coffin. Under the roar of saluting the coffin was lowered into the water in the bay a few miles from the coast, almost at the point ", reported by participants then swimming," where the admiral began his path to world fame ". In the same place were flooded, two fleets of ships and captured several Spanish vessels - as a special tribute to Drake.

WWC Team based at the head of "Francis Drake" book "100 great explorers" - M.: Veche, 1999.

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