Sunday, 27 January 2013

Capten, art tha sleepin' there below? - the Death of Sir Francis Drake in 1596


"Drake he's in his hammock till the great Armadas come, (Capten, art tha sleepin' there below?), Slung atween the round shot, listenin' for the drum, An' dreamin' arl the time o' Plymouth Hoe. Call him on the deep sea, call him up the Sound, Call him when ye sail to meet the foe; Where the old trade's plyin' an' the old flag flyin', They shall find him, ware an' wakin', as they found him long ago." (Henry Newbolt, "Drake's Drum")

27 January 1596, Sir Francis Drake succumbed to dysentery during his final expedition against the Spanish possessions in Middle America. Off Portobello (present-day Panama) Drake was clad in full armour, placed in a lead coffin and buried at sea, as befitting for the man who is the iconic figure that marks the beginning of the era when Britannia was ruling the waves.


Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger’s (1561 – 1636) portrait of Sir Francis Drake in Buckland Abbey, Devon, around 1590


A team from St Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum in Florida reported they were close to find Drake's remains in November 2011, kicking off a discussion whether they are protected by the British Military Remains Act from 1986. Both issues remain unresolved to this day.

More on:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15447632

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Drake