Devon And Sir Francis

Travel-and-Leisure Quite often people who spend some time in holiday cottages in Devon begin to ask questions about Sir Francis Drake and his relation to this beautiful English county. Who was he? Why is his name so closely associated with Devon even amongst people who know little of history? If you plan on staying in one of the delightful holiday cottages in Devon, it may pay to know a little about the history of the county before you go. Here is just a taste. England in the late 16th century a nation under threat In the 16th century, Europe was tearing itself apart in a series of religious wars and persecutions. For the latter part of the century, Queen Elizabeth I was the reigning English monarch and she actively continued the process, started by her father and brother, towards making England a firmly Protestant country. The major global power of the time was Catholic Spain and religious tension between the two countries was exacerbated by increasing trade and colonial rivalries, the dynastic ambitions on the part of both monarchies, and what is now accepted to be the piratical activities of English ships in attacking Spanish overseas possessions and vessels on the high seas for profit. As the century due towards its close, conflict between the two countries seemed inevitable. Sir Francis Drake Sometime around 1540, the exact date is not precisely known, Sir Francis Drake was born in Tavistock, in conditions very different to those experienced in modern day holiday cottages in Devon! His family were Protestant and it is safe to assume that he would have been raised and educated in the religious turmoil that was the England of the time. He went to sea and quickly became an exceptionally successful navigator and captain, and was also one of those who specialised in plundering Spanish treasure ships and some of their overseas territories. His raids and exploits became legend and he was one of the first examples of an English popular hero, even though Queen Elizabeth was, in public at least, forced to disown some of his activities in order to try and maintain an uneasy peace with Spain. Drake achieved everlasting fame for his circumnavigation of the world and his return with vast treasures stolen from Spanish ships half of which went to the queen, even though she insisted on secrecy that this had taken place. The Spanish Armada Spanish patience with England finally expired, helped by their own territorial ambitions, and in 1588 the King of Spain sent a vast fleet of ships and soldiers with the intention of eventually collecting other Spanish troops from Europe and invading England. Contrary to some popular myth, Drake was only a second in .mand of the English Fleet sent to defend the country. What transpired was a series of running battles with the Spanish fleet, eventually leading to its defeat, dispersal and near total destruction. Drake and Plymouth What has forever associated Drake with the county is the story that he was playing a game of bowls on the cliffs near Plymouth when the sails of the enemy armada were spotted at sea in the distance. Refusing to panic and run to the ships, he said there was still plenty of time to finish the game and then beat the Spaniards. It is a marvellous story, though there is no first-hand evidence that it ever took place! However, as a result, whenever Drake is mentioned, Plymouth and Devon inevitably spring to mind. Today, holiday cottages in Devon allow the holidaymaker to explore many of the sites associated with this famous man and the traumatic days of the Spanish Armada. Tavistock and Plymouth are both well worth a visit, as are other famous maritime sites along the coast. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: