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Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596), Admiral and circumnavigator

Sitter associated with 36 portraits
One of the most famous English seafarers, Drake earned his fame and fortune through his skilful seamanship, outstandingly successful piracy and his circumnavigation of the globe from 1577-1581 which involved a number of very profitable raids on Spanish ships and ports. Drake's increasingly frequent and serious attacks during the 1580s contributed to Philip II of Spain's decision to launch the Armada against England in 1588. Drake served as vice-admiral of the English fleet which defeated the Armada.