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Drake, Sir Francis, -1595 Navigator; born near Tavistock, Devonshire, England, between 1539 and 1546. Becoming a seaman in early youth, he was owner and master of a ship at the age of eighteen years. After making commercial voyages to Guinea, Africa, he sold her, and invested the proceeds in an expedition to Mexico, under Captain Hawkins, in 1567. The fleet was nearly destroyed in an attack by the Spaniards at San Juan de Ulloa (near Vera Cruz), and Drake returned to England stripped of all his property. The Spanish government refused to indemnify him for his losses, and he sought revenge and found it. Queen Elizabeth gave him a commission in the royal navy, and in 1572 he sailed from Plymouth with two ships for the avowed purpose of plundering the Spaniards. He did so successfully on the coasts of South America, and returned in 1573 with greater wealth than he ever possessed before. Drake was welcomed as a hero; he soon won the title honorably by circumnavigating the globe. H