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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sir Francis Drake (c.1540-1596), English explorer and pirate. After earning his fortune plundering Spanish ships in the Caribbean, Drake was sponsored by Queen Elizabeth I to lead a fleet of ships on an expedition to the Pacific (1577). The fleet was battered by storms in South America, but Drake continued alone in the Golden Hind, robbing Spanish vessels as he went. Within three years he had crossed the Pacific, rounded Africa and returned to England, the second expedition ever to circumnavigate the globe. Later, in 1588, Drake helped to defeat the Spanish Armada.
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