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The Tudor Society
  • #OTD in Tudor History – 27 January

    A miniature of Sir Francis Drake and an engraving of the Gunpowder Plotters

    On this day in history, 27th January, Protestant Bartholomew (Bartlet) Green was executed along with six others at Smithfield, Sir explorer Sir Francis Drake died of dysentery off the coast of Panama, and the remaining Gunpowder Plotters were tried and found guilty…

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  • December 13 – Sir Francis Drake sets off on his circumnavigation

    A miniature of Sir Francis Drake by Nicholas Hilliard.

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th December 1577, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Drake set off from Plymouth on his circumnavigation of the Globe.

    Today, I share a letter written by the pirate, sea captain, and explorer to Sir Francis Walsingham. You can find out more about his voyages, and his life and career, at the links below.

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  • September 26 – Sir Francis Drake returns with treasure and spices

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th September 1580, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, explorer Sir Francis Drake landed at the port of Plymouth.

    He was returning from his 3-year circumnavigation of the Globe and his ship, The Golden Hind, was laden with treasure and spices.

    Let me tell you about his circumnavigation of the Globe, what he brought back, and how the queen rewarded him for his efforts…

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  • 27 January – The fate of the Gunpowder Plotters and the death of Sir Francis Drake

    On this day in history, 27th January 1606, in the reign of King James I, the eight surviving conspirators of the November 1605 Gunpowder Plot were tried at Westminster for high treason.

    Why is Claire talking about something that happened during the reign of King James I, in the Stuart period? Well, because the Gunpowder Plot actually had its origins in Elizabeth I’s reign.

    Find out more in this talk…

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  • 13 December – A lawyer thrown into prison for refusing to do a favour and Sir Francis Drake sets off on his circumnavigation of the Globe

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th December 1558, civil lawyer and dean of Chester William Clyffe died.

    Clyffe was one of the authors of the 1537 “Bishops’ Book”, and he was consulted by convocation during Henry VIII’s Great Matter. He was thrown into prison for a time for refusing to do a favour for one of the king’s servants – oh dear!

    Find out more about William Clyffe’s life and career in this talk…

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  • 27 January 1596 – The death of Sir Francis Drake

    A miniature of Francis Drake by Nicholas Hilliard

    On the 27th January 1596, Sir Francis Drake, explorer, sea captain and pirate, died of dysentery in Portobelo harbour, Panama. When he realised that death was near, he asked to be dressed in his armour. Although he requested burial on land, Drake was buried at sea in a lead coffin, along with his second cousin, Admiral Sir John Hawkins.

    Drake made his first voyage to the New World at the age of around twenty-three, with Hawkins, whose family owned a fleet of ships based in Plymouth. Another voyage saw the fleet trapped by Spaniards in the Mexican port of San Juan de Ulua in 1568. Fortunately, the two men managed to escape, but they lost all but two of their fleet. In 1570 and 1571, Drake undertook two trading voyages to the West Indies, and in 1572 took two ships on a marauding campaign against the Caribbean’s Spanish ports. Drake was able to capture the port of Nombre de Dios and return to England, his ships laden with Spanish booty. In 1573 Drake attacked a mule train with the help of Guillaume Le Testu, the French buccaneer, capturing around 20 tons of gold and silver.

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