SIR FRANCIS DRAKE REVIVED
SIR FRANCIS DRAKE REVIVED
Sir Francis Drake the greatest of the naval adventurers of England of
the time of Elizabeth was born in Devonshire about 1540. He went to
sea early was sailing to the Spanish Main by 1565 and commanded a
ship under Hawkins in an expedition that was overwhelmed by the
Spaniards in 1567. In order to recompense himself for the loss
suffered in this disaster he equipped the expedition against the
Spanish treasure-house at Nombre de Dios in 1572 the fortunes of
which are described in the first of the two following narratives. It
was on this voyage that he was led by native guides to "that goodly
and great high tree" on the isthmus of Darien from which first of
Englishmen he looked on the Pacific and "besought Almighty God of
His goodness to give him life and leave to sail once in an English
ship in that sea."
The fulfilment of this prayer is described in the second of the
voyages here printed in which it is told how in 1578 Drake passed
through the Straits of Magellan into waters never before sailed by his
countrymen and with a single ship rifled the Spanish settlements on
the west coast of South America and plundered the Spanish treasure-
ships; how considering it unsafe to go back the way he came lest the
enemy should seek revenge he went as far north as the Golden Gate
then passed across the Pacific and round by the Cape of Good Hope and
so home the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. Only
Magellan's ship had preceded him in the feat and Magellan had died on
the voyage. The Queen visited the ship "The Golden Hind" as she lay
at Deptford and knighted the commander on board.
Drake's further adventures were of almost equal interest. Returning
from a raid on the Spaniards in 1586 he brought home the despairing
Virginian colony and is said at the same time to have introduced from
America tobacco and potatoes. Two years later he led the English fleet
in the decisive engagement with the Great Armada. In 1595 he set out
on another voyage to the Spanish Main; and in the January of the
following year died off Porto Bello and was buried in the waters where
he had made his name as the greatest seaman of his day and nation.
TO THE HIGH AND MIGHTY
CHARLES THE FIRST OF
GREAT BRITAIN FRANCE and IRELAND
KING all the blessings of this and a better life.
MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN
That this brief Treatise is yours both by right and by
succession will appear by the Author's and Actor's ensuing
/Dedication/. To praise either the Mistress or the Servant might
justly incur the censure of /Quis eos unquam sanus vituperavit/;
either's worth having sufficiently blazed their fame.
This Present loseth nothing by glancing on former actions; and
the observation of passed adventures may probably advantage future
employments. Caesar wrote his own Commentaries; and this Doer was
partly the Indictor.
Neither is there wanting living testimony to confirm its truth.
For his sake then cherish what is good! and I shall willingly
entertain check for what is amiss. Your favourable acceptance may
encourage my collecting of more neglected notes! However though
Virtue as Lands be not inheritable; yet hath he left of his
Name one that resolves and therein joys to approve himself.
Your most humble and loyal subject
FRANCIS DRAKE [BART.]
The Dedicatory Epistle Intended To
Written By SIR FRANCIS DRAKE Deceased.
To The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
my most dread Sovereign.
Seeing divers have diversely reported and written of these Voyages
and Actions which I have attempted and made every one
endeavouring to bring to light whatsoever inklings or conjectures
they have had; whereby many untruths have been published and the
certain truth concealed: as [so] I have thought it necessary
myself as in a Card [chart] to prick the principal points of the
counsels taken attempts made and success had during the whole
course of my employment in these services against the Spaniard.
Not as setting sail for maintaining my reputation in men's
judgment but only as sitting at helm if occasion shall be for
conducting the like actions hereafter. So I have accounted it my
duty to present this Discourse to Your Majesty as of right;
either for itself being the first fruits of your Servant's pen or
for the matter being service done to Your Majesty by your poor
vassal against your great Enemy: at times in such places and
after such sort as may seem strange to those that are not
acquainted with the whole carriage thereof; but will be a pleasing
remembrance to Your Highness who take the apparent height of the
Almighty's favour towards you by these events as truest
Humbly submitting myself to Your gracious censure both in writing
and presenting; that Posterity be not deprived of such help as may
happily be gained hereby and our present Age at least may be
satisfied in the rightfulness of these actions which hitherto
have been silenced: and Your Servant's labour not seem altogether
lost not only in travels by sea and land but also in writing the
Report thereof (a work to him no less troublesome) yet made
pleasant and sweet in that it hath been is and shall be for
Your Majesty's content; to whom I have devoted myself [and] live
FRANCIS DRAKE [Knight].
January 1 1592 [i.e. 1593].
TO THE COURTEOUS READER
Without apology I desire thee in this ensuing Discourse to
observe with me the power and justice of the LORD of Hosts Who
could enable so mean a person to right himself upon so mighty a
Prince; together with the goodness and providence of GOD very
observable in that it pleased Him to raise this man not only from
a low condition but even from the state of persecution. His
father suffered in it being forced to fly from his house near
South Tavistock in Devon into Kent: and there to inhabit in the
hull of a ship wherein many of his younger sons were born. He had
twelve in all: and as it pleased GOD to give most of them a being
upon the water so the greatest part of them died at sea. The
youngest who though he was [went] as far as any yet died at
home; whose posterity inherits that which by himself and this
noble Gentleman the eldest brother was hardly yet worthily
I could more largely acquaint thee that this voyage was his Third
he made into the West Indies; after that [of] his excellent
service both by sea and land in Ireland under WALTER Earl of
ESSEX; his next about the World; another wherein he took St.
Jago Cartagena St. Domingo St. Augustino; his doings at Cadiz;
besides the first Carrack taught by him to sail into England; his
stirrings in Eighty-seven; his remarkable actions in Eighty-eight;
his endeavours in the Portugal employment; his last enterprise
determined by death; and his filling Plymouth with a plentiful