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English admiral Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe in 1577-1578, helped defeat the Spanish Armada and was the most renowned seaman of the Elizabethan era.
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By late afternoon, most English ships were out of gunpowder and pulled back. Medina Sidonia was forced to take the Armada north around Scotland and back to Spain. As the Armada sailed away from the Scottish coast, a strong gale drove may ships onto the Irish rocks. Thousands of Spaniards drowned, and those who reached land were killed by English soldiers and locals. Of the 25,000 men that set out in the Armada, fewer than 10,000 arrived in Spain safely.
In 1589, Queen Elizabeth ordered Sir Francis Drake to seek out and destroy any remaining ships of the Armada, and help Portuguese rebels in Lisbon fighting against the Spanish occupiers. The expedition was a disaster. Drake lost 20 ships and more than 12,000 men. Drake returned home and for the next several years, busied himself with duties as mayor of Plymouth.
In 1595, the queen once again called on Sir Francis Drake to wage war on Spain. Traveling with Drake was his cousin, John Hawkins. They were to capture Spain's treasure supply in Panama, in hopes of cutting off revenue and ending the war. After a few skirmishes in the Caribbean, Drake's fleet moved farther west and anchored off the coast of Portobello, Panama. There, Drake contracted dysentery and on January 28, 1596, died of a fever. He was buried in a lead coffin at sea near Portobello, Panama. Divers continue to search for the coffin.
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