- Francis Drake
- nounEnglish explorer and admiral who was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe and who helped to defeat the Spanish Armada (1540-1596)
* * *(c. 1540–96) an English sailor who fought against the Spanish and was the first Englishman to sail around the world. After a career attacking and robbing Spanish ships in the ↑Caribbean, he was given five ships by Queen ↑Elizabeth I to sail around the world, attacking Spanish ships along the way. When he returned three years later (1580) in the only surviving ship, the ↑Golden Hind, Queen Elizabeth made him a ↑knight. In 1587 the Spanish were preparing to attack England, but Drake led a surprise attack on the port of Cadiz and burnt the Spanish ships. When the Spanish attack, known as the ↑Armada, finally came in 1588, Drake was one of the leaders who defeated it. There is a popular story that he was playing ↑bowls when the Armada was first seen and that he calmly finished his game before turning his attention to the enemy.
Useful english dictionary. 2012.
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