"Francis Drake"
Francis Drake, Buckland Abbey, Devon. 1590 or later
Public DomainFrancis Drake, Buckland Abbey, Devon. 1590 or later - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Francis Drake, knighted by Elizabeth in 1581, English hero and El Draque the Pirate to Spaniards, led an extraordinary life, including being the first person to circumnavigate the world between 1577 to 1580.  He is also famous for his part in the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 when he was second in command to Charles Howard and Elizabeth I herself, of the  English fleet.   Privateer, slaver, sea-captain and pirate are all apt descriptions of this man who achieved fame in his lifetime and beyond.  A favourite of Elizabeth, she also turned a blind eye to his less than honourable exploits, particularly when he brought back revenue for her coffers.

He died of dysentry after an unsuccessful attack on San Juan in Puerto Rico in January 1596.