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The Golden Hind Official Video
Sir Francis Drake was the first Englishman and first captain to circumnavigate the globe.
This incredible achievement elevated Drake to hero status in England and became one of the most famous private citizens in the western World
|Nov 15 1577||Left Plymouth but returned owing to contrary winds.|
|Dec 13 1577||Left Plymouth again with 5 ships (Pelican, Elizabeth, Swan, Marigold and Benedict).|
|Jun 20 1578||Off east coast of S. America at Port Julian. Thomas Doughty tried and exectured for mutiny. Swan and Christopher broken up, no longer needed. Stores and crew transferred to remaining ships. Pelican renamed Golden Hind.|
|Aug 20 1578||Enter Straits of Magellan.|
|Sep 6 1578||Reach Pacific.|
|Sep 30 1578||Marigold lost. Golden Hind and Elizabeth blown 300 miles south to Cape Horn.|
|Oct 7 1578||Violent squall separates Golden Hind and Elizabeth. Elizabeth waits for Drake but returns home.|
|Dec 5 1578||Raid on Valparaiso. Capture Spanish ship carrying gold and wines. Refitted here.|
|Mar 1 1579||Took the Cacafuego. 80lb gold, 13 chests of pieces of eight, 26 tons of silver, jewels and peols. Also captured 2 pacific pilots.|
|Apr 15 1579||Reach Central America.|
|Jun 1 1579||Latitude 48N (now Vancouver). North West route considered too great a hazard. Return to New Albion.|
|Jul 23 1579||Left New Albion|
|Oct 16 1579||Reached Philippines.|
|Nov 3 1579||Reached Spice Islands (Moluccas). Trade relations established with Sultan of Ternate, six tons of cloves taken aboard.|
|Jan 9 1580||Ship struck reef; 8 cannon and 3 tons of cloves jettisoned. Wind changed and ship slid off reef.|
|Mar 26 1580||Reached Java and left for Cape of Good Hope.|
|Jul 22 1580||Reached Sierra Leone without stopping since leaving Java.|
|Sep 26 1580||Return to Plymouth. Is the Queen still alive?|
On 15th November 1577 Drake, with the approval of Queen Elizabeth 1, set out from Plymouth Sound with his small flotilla. This expedition was on a greater scale than any previous exploration. Drake's flagship was the Pelican armed with eighteen guns and weighing about one hundred tons. In addition there was the Elizabeth under John Winter and the Marigold as well as a supply ship - the Swan - and the Benedict.
In all there were one hundred and sixty men including Drake's younger brother Thomas. There was also Captain Thomas Doughty of whom there was rumours of betrayal which Drake would not accept.
Just days into the voyage the party had to return to Plymouth for repairs after running into a storm and they did not depart again until December 13th. Off the coast of Morocco some insignificant prizes were taken and fresh stocks of fruit and fowl were gathered. Also a small vessel which took Drakes fancy and he renamed the Christopher.
Next it was the Cape Verde Islands, where more stores were gathered before the final push across the Atlantic. The voyage was shrouded with gloom and seemed ill omened. By the time they reached River Plate superstition and mistrust were rife among the crew and it became clear that the cause of this was the dissent of Thomas Doughty.
Finally his treason came to light and Drake's fury boiled over. He ordered trial for sedition. Doughty was tried by jury, convicted of mutiny and sentenced to death. Doughty asked for communion which he took with Drake, then they drank and dined together before Doughty was beheaded.
They lay for the next six weeks at Port St. Julian. Reorganising for the next stage of the journey and building up moral which had been lacking up to this point.
They weighed anchor on August 17th 1578 and within three days arrived at the dreaded opening of the Magellan Straits. It was here that Drake renamed the Pelican and christened her the Golden Hind as a tribute to his friend Christopher Hatton whose crest featured a hind.
The passage was torturous. The charts were unreliable and every day was critical. They completed this hazardous journey in just sixteen days and finally Drake realised his dream and sailed into the Pacific. The door into the treasure house of Spain seemed ajar. Then a huge gale hit them and a storm raged for a fortnight, in the midst of which occurred a lunar eclipse. Finally Drake discovered that Marigold had foundered. The other ships waited in a sheltered harbour but another storm parted them and the Elizabeth re-entered the straits and returned to England believing the others lost. Thus Drake and the Golden Hind were all that remained.
He headed north to Valpariso and captured a large ship and haul of gold. Then Drake set sail for the Port of Lima seeking the King of Spain's greatest ships. They entered the harbour silently and relieved a number of ships lying at anchor of their spoils. There also they heard that the Lady of the Conception had recently departed - a famous ship and a worthy prize. They set out in pursuit and with surprise on their side captured it with barely a shot fired.
Then they proceeded northwards in search of the mythical north west passage. They continued seeking a safe harbour where their ship could be repaired and restocked. They finally arrived at Nova Albion, believed to be the site of Drakes bay in California. They departed from here five weeks later in the knowledge that they now had no choice but to cross the Pacific and circumnavigate the globe if they were to arrive home safely.
Drake had the foresight to take a Chinese pilot with them to aid navigation and they departed on July 23rd. They did not sight land again until the Pelew islands, here they were the victims of a hostile people who stole some of their bounty. They eventually proceeded to Ternate where they met with the Sultan who treated them well, offering the position to trade their goods in competition with the Portuguese. This was a treaty of much importance for Great Britain later when the East India Company developed its trade in the Far East.
Heading home from there the ship was struck by winds and grounded on a reef. Miraculously they were freed by a change in the wind and they sailed on. Moving cautiously in the treacherous reefs and shoals. Finally on 8th February they were on their way to Java. Here again they were hospitably entertained by the local Rajahs, however news of the approach of other ships caused Drake to set course for home. They rounded the Cape of Good Hope without incident and finally on 26th December 1580 sailed into Plymouth Sound.
Much can be said of what happened afterwards but in brief Drake sailed the Golden Hind to London where he was Knighted and dined with the Queen aboard the ship. He dressed his ship in great banners, some of which can still be seen at Buckland Abbey in Devon.