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1581: Francis Drake, having completed the first circumnavigation of the world a few months earlier, is knighted by Queen Elizabeth aboard his ship, the Golden Hind. …
After this incredible achievement, Queen Elizabeth I saw it fitting to honour Drake, not only with £10,000, but also with a knighthood. It was thought that she dined on the Golden Hind at Deptford in 1581 and it was after this meal that he became Sir Francis Drake.
Francis Drake/Cause of death
He died from dysentery on 28 January 1596 during a sea voyage. He was buried in a lead coffin, dressed in a full suit of armour. Numerous dives have been attempted to locate the lead coffin, but his body remains lost at sea.
Drake’s knighthood was a reward for completing history’s second circumnavigation of the globe between 1577 and 1580, but his expedition was no ordinary voyage of discovery.
Drake was born in Tavistock some time between 1541 and 1543, and went on to become a daring seafarer. He first went to sea at the age of just 13, and he successfully circumnavigated the world between 1577 and 1580 on board the Golden Hind – a real achievement in those days.
Drake contributed more than anyone to causing the war in which England famously defeated the Armada in 1588. But mere patriotism and fear of Catholicism didn’t drive him to harass the Spanish. For Drake, it was personal. One battle drove him mad with vengeance and convinced him he could no longer trust or trade with the Spanish.
Drake had now brought England into open war with Spain. Therefore King Philip was planning to invade England with an armada. In 1587 Drake lead a huge squadron through the broad channel leading into the inner harbour at Cádiz, Spain, destroying scores of ships that were being prepared for the invasion.
The crew was unhappy and there were arguments between the gentlemen and the common seamen. Drake needed to show brilliant qualities of leadership. In a speech, he changed life on board Tudor ships. From now on, both groups of people had to share the same work.