On this day in history, 26th September 1580, Sir Francis Drake returned to England from his 3-year circumnavigation of the Globe, arriving at the port of Plymouth in The Golden Hind, which was laden with treasure and spices.
Drake had left Plymouth on his travels on 13th December 1577 with his fleet of five ships. Storm damage to two of his ships had delayed his departure. The purpose of this journey had been to sail into the Pacific and raid the Spanish colonies there. It was a secret mission authorised by Queen Elizabeth I, and investors of Drake’s mission included the Queen, Sir Francis Walsingham, William and George Wynter, Christopher Hatton and John Hawkins. Only one ship, The Pelican”, made it safely to the Pacific, arriving there in October 1578. As a tribute to its success, it was renamed The Golden Hind, after Sir Christopher Hatton’s coat of arms. Drake then sailed along South America’s Pacific coast, plundering towns and Spanish ports, and capturing Spanish ships laden with gold, silver and jewels.[Read More...]