Sir Francis Drake(1540-1596), Admiral and circumnavigator
Sitter associated with 38 portraits
One of the most famous English seafarers, Drake earned his fame and fortune through his skilful seamanship and outstandingly successful piracy. He is best known for his circumnavigation of the globe (1577-81), from which he returned a rich and feared man. His attacks on Spanish shipping contributed to the decision by Philip II of Spain to launch an Armada against England in 1588, a battle in which Drake acted as second in command of the English fleet.
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
by Unknown artist
etching, early 17th century
after Unknown artist
woodcut, published 1684