lunes, 17 de enero de 2011

Legend Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake 1540 - 1596
Known to the Spanish as El Draque (The Dragon).
Drake was a hero to the British and a pirate to the Spanish, he was second in command at the Spanish Armada in 1588 and famous for sailing around the world. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1581. King Felipe II is rumoured to have issued a reward of 20,000 ducats (4 million pounds) for the life of El Draque.
Drake's hatred of the Spanish began 1569 when he was sailing with the Hawkins fleet from Plymouth when they were trapped in the Mexican port of San Juan de Ulua, Drake managed to escape with his cousins the Hawkins but was set on a lifelong revenge against the Spanish.
Drake was renowned for pirating around the Canaries, ideally situated for his travels between Europe and the Americas. King Felipe II ordered extra defences to be built to secure the port at Las Palmas and the Castle Santa Barbara overlooking Teguise in Lanzarote.
The final voyage of Drake and Hawkins was ordered by Queen Elizabeth, she requested that Hawkins now aged 63 and Drake in his 50's cut off the Spanish treasure supply by capturing Panama. She gave each of them their own fleet and equal authority and once Panama had succumbed to the pirates, they then learned of a crippled treasure ship in Puerto Rico. Drake insisted in travelling first to the Canary Islands before heading there and this delay meant that the Spanish were aware of their destination and were ready for them. Hawkins died upon reaching Puerto Rico and Drake failed to capture the city under his sole command. Drake died later of dysentery off the coast of Portobelo.
During October in Gran Canaria there is a fiesta in honour of Nuestra Señora de La Luz, the saint of the port in Las Palmas. The fiesta commemorates the victory of the island against the attack of the British pirates Francis Drake and John Hawkins in 1595.

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