Sir Francis Drake was an English navigator, corsair, vice-admiral. He was the first Englishman who circumnavigated the world (in 1577-1580). He opened the Pacific Ocean to English ships. He also defeated the Spanish fleet (Invincible Armada) in the Battle of Gravelines (1588). Thanks to the skillful actions of Drake, the British managed to gain an advantage over the superior firepower of the enemy forces.
Francis Drake was born in 1540 in Devonshire in the family of farmer Edmund Drake, who later became a priest. The family had twelve children, Francis was the eldest. In 1549 the Drake family moved to Kent. At the age of 12, he became a cabin boy on a merchant ship. His distant relative was the owner of the ship and after his death 18-year-old Drake became a captain.