Perhaps the most famous sailor of all time, Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the globe has become common legend. Born circa 1540-43, Drake was the son of a staunchly Protestant yeoman farmer whose poverty drove him to sea at the age of 13, learning his trade in the difficult shoals and coastal passages of the North Sea. By the age of 23 he had become master of his own ship, but, related to John Hawkins, he enlisted in the fleet Hawkins was establishing to trade (and raid) in the West Indies. His skill as a navigator, courage in action, and hatred of the Spanish became renowned, especially amongst the financial backers of Hawkins' fleet. In 1572 Drake was rewarded with a privateering commission from the Queen (a licence to prey u…
Editors. "Drake's Circumnavigation of the Globe". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 June 2005; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=294, accessed 27 April 2015.]