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On board the Golden Hind

A Spanish shipowner, Francisco de Çarate, is in command of his ship when it is captured in the Pacific in 1579 by Drake. He writes home that year about his three days spent as a captive guest on board the Golden Hind:

'Francis Drake is about 35 years old, of small size, with a reddish beard, and is one of the greatest sailors that exist. He has on board 100 men, all in the prime of life and as well trained for war as if they were old soldiers of Italy. Each one is especially careful to keep his arms clean. He treats them with affection, and they him with respect. He has with him nine or ten gentlemen, younger sons of the leading men in England, who form his council. He has no privacy; these of whom I speak all dine at his table. The service is of silver, richly gilt and engraved with his arms. None of these gentlemen sits down or puts on his hat in his presence without repeated permission. He dines and sups to the music of violins. His ship carries 30 large guns and a great quantity of all sorts of ammunition. He has two draughtsmen who portray the coast in its own colours, a thing which troubled me much to see, because everything is put so naturally that anyone following him will have no difficulty.'

Quoted Dictionary of National Biography, Francis Drake


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