Picture of Drake's Golden Hind
 

The Golden Hind Ship

  • Interesting Facts and information about The Golden Hind Ship
  • Facts and information about the Golden Hind Ship of Sir Francis Drake
  • Facts, Timeline and History of the Golden Hind Ship of Sir Francis Drake
  • Major voyage of discovery and exploration on the Golden Hind ship

Picture of Drake's Golden Hind

Famous Sir Francis Drake Ship - The first ship to circumnavigate the World

 

Biography of Sir Francis Drake

The Golden Hind Ship - Sir Francis Drake (1540 - 1597)
Sir Francis Drake sailed in the Golden Hind Ship in his historic voyage around the World.

The following information provides basic facts about the Golden Hind Ship. In 1577 Queen Elizabeth I selected Francis Drake to be the head of an expedition that was to sail around the world.

 
 
 

The expedition, consisting of a fleet of five ships, set sail from Plymouth Sound in Devon, England in 1577. The historic voyage was to take three years. Francis Drake and the five ships travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to South America, through the treacherous Straits of Magellan, the Pacific Ocean, the coast of California, Vancouver, New Albion, the Philippines, the Spice Islands (Moluccas), Java and round the Cape of Good Hope and on to Sierra Leone. In 1580 Francis Drake returned to Plymouth Sound in Devon, England. The Golden Hind was the only vessel to return from Drake’s expedition of the five vessels which originally set out from England. On the voyage Francis Drake plundered Spanish treasure making Drake, and England, extremely rich. The voyage's backers received a 4,700 percent return on their investment! Francis Drake was knighted "Sir Francis Drake" on board the Golden Hind by Queen Elizabeth in 1581.

 

Facts and Information about the 1577 Voyage - Sir Francis Drake Ship, the Golden Hind

Facts, Timeline & History about the voyage of the Golden Hind Ship of Sir Francis Drake. The name of the Sir Francis Drake's Ship was the Golden Hind. The brave men of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries who sailed in uncharted waters to unknown lands were courageous adventurers, such as Francis Drake who were motivated by fame, glory and the wealth. There were a total of 164 men in the Golden Hind fleet of ships. These were not just seamen. The ship's company also included archers, musicians and gentlemen adventurers. There were also a number of relatives of Francis Drake who boarded the Golden Hind. These relatives included his brother Thomas Drake, his nephew John Drake and his distant cousin William Hawkins junior. The living conditions on board the small ships were basic and the voyages were dangerous. The following sections detail the three year history of the Voyage of the Golden Hind ship, taken from the Ship's log. Some really interesting facts, information and a timeline about the life on board and history of the Golden Hind Ship.

 
 

Facts, Information and History about the Sir Francis Drake Ship - the Golden Hind
A list of the top ten  facts providing the description and the history of the Golden Hind Ship:

  • Fact 1 about the Golden Hind Ship - The Pelican and the Marigold had been built of wood at the shipyards at Aldeburgh, Suffolk and moved to Plymouth, Devon in 1576
  • Fact 2 about the Golden Hind Ship - Type of Ship was called a Galleon
    • A galleon was a large, multi-decked sailing ship used primarily by the nations of Europe. A square-rigged, three-masted (or four-masted) sailing ship
  • Fact 3 about the Golden Hind Ship - The Galleon of Sir Francis Drake had three masts and five decks
  • Fact 4 about the Golden Hind Ship - The estimated hull dimensions of the galleon were:
    • Length: 70 feet (21.3 m)
    • Breadth: 19 feet (5.8 m)
    • Depth: 9 feet (2.7 m)
  • Fact 5 about the Golden Hind Ship - The galleon was 150 tons
  • Fact 6 about the Golden Hind Ship - The flagship captained by Francis Drake was originally called the Pelican. Drake re-christened the ship 'The Golden Hind' during the voyage
  • Fact 7 about the Golden Hind Ship - The Armaments totalled 18 guns of various sizes
  • Fact 8 about the Golden Hind Ship - The Golden Hind, was the only vessel to return from Francis Drake’s expedition  - five vessels had originally set out from England
  • Fact 9 about the Golden Hind Ship - There were great celebrations upon Francis Drake's return to England. The ship was decorated with banners on the day that Drake was knighted and Queen Elizabeth I dined on board the Golden Hind
  • Fact 10 about the Golden Hind Ship - The length of Drake's voyage around the World was 2 years, 10 months, and 18 days. A total of 1,017 days
 

Facts and Information about the Golden Hind Fleet of ships
The Golden Hind expedition consisted of five ships:

  • The Pelican: Francis Drake flagship, later renamed the Golden Hind
  • The Elizabeth: 80 tons, 16 guns -  under John Winter
  • The Marigold: 30 tons, 16 guns - under John Thomas
  • The Swan: 50 tons, 5 guns - under John Chester
  • The Christopher: 15 tons, 1 gun under Tom Moone

The History of the Golden Hind Ship - 1577 - 1578 Voyage
The history of the Golden Hind Ship voyage during the first year, taken from the Golden Hind ship's log:

 
 
  • 1577 Nov 15: The Golden Hind Ship left Plymouth but returned owing to contrary winds
  • 1577 Dec 13: The Golden Hind left Plymouth again with 5 ships (Pelican, Elizabeth, Swan, Marigold, and Benedict)
  • 1578 Jun 20: Off east coast of S. America at Port Julian. Thomas Doughty tried and executed for mutiny. The Swan and The Christopher broken up, no longer needed. Stores and crew transferred to remaining ships. Pelican renamed Golden Hind
  • 1578 Aug 20: The Golden Hind Entered Straits of Magellan
  • 1578 Sep 6: Reach Pacific
  • 1578 Sep 30: Marigold lost. Golden Hind and Elizabeth blown 300 miles south to Cape Horn
  • 1578 Oct 7: Violent squall separates Golden Hind and Elizabeth. Elizabeth waits for Drake but returns home
  • 1578 Dec 5: Raid on Valparaiso. Capture Spanish ship carrying gold and wines. The Golden Hind Refitted here

The History of the Golden Hind Ship - 1579 Voyage

  • 1579 Mar 1: Took the Cacafuego. 80lb gold, 13 chests of pieces of eight, 26 tons of silver, jewels and peals. Also captured 2 pacific pilots
  • 1579 Apr 15: The Golden Hind Reached Central America
  • 1579 Jun 1: Latitude 48N (now Vancouver). North West route considered too great a hazard. Return to New Albion
  • 1579 Jul 23: The Golden Hind left New Albion
  • 1579 Oct 16: The Golden Hind reached the Philippines
  • 1579 Nov 3: The Golden Hind reached Spice Islands (Moluccas). Trade relations established with Sultan of Ternate, six tons of cloves taken aboard

The History of the Golden Hind Ship - 1580 Voyage and the end of the Golden Hind

  • 1580 Jan 9: Ship struck reef; 8 cannon and 3 tons of cloves jettisoned. Wind changed and ship slid off reef
  • Mar 26 1580: The Golden Hind reached Java and left for Cape of Good Hope
  • July 22 1580: Reached Sierra Leone without stopping since leaving Java
  • September 26 1580:The Golden Hind was the only vessel to return from Francis Drake’s expedition with 58 men - five vessels had originally set out from England with 164 men
  • 1581 April: Francis Drake was knighted "Sir Francis Drake" on board the Golden Hind by Queen Elizabeth in 1581. The ship was decorated with banners on the day that Drake was knighted and Queen Elizabeth I dined on board the Golden Hind
  • The ship was taken to a dry dock Deptford for public exhibition to honour of Sir Francis Drake
  • The Golden Hind stayed in dry dock for nearly 100 years but it was badly neglected and the timbers rotted
  • So ended the story of the Golden Hind

Facts and Information about the Navigational Aids on the Golden Hind Ship

 

Various aids to navigation were available on ships during the Renaissance. The Navigational aids that Sir Francis Drake would have used on the Golden Hind ship would have included included:

  • Astrolabes
  • Charts
  • Compasses
  • Cross-staffs
  • Nocturnals
  • Traverse boards
  • Almanacs
  • Assorted time pieces including and hour glass and sundial

All of the navigational aids used by Sir Francis Drake on the Golden Hind Ship were used to measure the angle between objects above the ocean, such as the stars or the sun, with the horizon. This would have enabled Sir Francis Drake to calculate the Golden Hind ship's position at sea.

 
 

Facts and Information about the Living Conditions on the Golden Hind Ship

  • Conditions on the Sir Francis Drake ships would have been very basic. Food provisions would have included bread, beer, hard biscuits, fish and salted meat. The Captain would have had some private stores which might include wine
  • The Captain would have had some private stores which might include wine
  • The Golden Hind Ship was a small ship, about 80 tons
  • The overall length of the ships would have been about 80 feet
  • The sail area of the ships would have been about 2500 square feet
  • There was a lack of proper sanitation
  • Large ships would have carried a surgeon or doctor
  • One of the worst health problems on board the Francis Drake Ships would have been scurvy
  • Fresh livestock included pigs and chickens were part of the Golden Hind's provisions
  • Meat would have been preserved by being salted
  • Cooking was done in a fire box located on decks in the bow of the Golden Hind. Cooking pots or cauldrons would be suspended from a bar
  • The seamen would sleep in cramped and damp conditions on the deck of the Golden Hind

Mystery of changing the Original Ship Name from the Pelican to the Golden Hind
The original name of the Golden Hind was the Pelican. It was unusual to change the original name of a ship half way through a voyage - so why did Francis Drake rename the Pelican to the Golden Hind? It is generally agreed that the Golden Hind was named in honour of Sir Christopher Hatton (1540-1591) who was the principle backer of the expedition and who had promoted the idea of the voyage and the suitability of Francis Drake as the leader of the expedition. The crest of Sir Christopher Hatton featured the image of a Hind (a female deer) from which the name 'The Golden Hind ' originated. Francis Drake also took Sir Christopher Hatton's motto `Virtue is the safest helmet` ( Latin: Cassis Tutis Sima Virtus) from the same coat of arms as the ship's motto. The name for the ship is therefore explained. The Pelican was renamed and christened 'The Golden Hind' on June 20th 1578, just before the voyage reached the Straits of Magellan.

The reason the original name of the ship was changed? Christopher Hatton was an important backer of the expedition - but other backers included Queen Elizabeth, Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, Sir Francis Walsingham, Sir William Winter and Drake's own cousin John Hawkins. Surely this was not the only reason the original name was changed? Perhaps Francis Drake needed to placate Sir Christopher Hatton in some way - to show him some specific favor? This could have been the reason the Pelican was renamed the Golden Hind. There had been some trouble on the voyage. The superstitious seamen had been stirred up and filled with mistrust by a man called Thomas Doughty. The dissent reached such a level that Thomas Doughty was put on trial for sedition and mutiny. Doughty was tried by jury, found guilty and sentenced to death and was duly beheaded. The ship's log entry regarding his execution also detailed the change of name to the Golden Hind: "Jun 20 1578: Thomas Doughty tried and executed for mutiny...Pelican renamed Golden Hind "
Thomas Doughty was an Elizabethan gentleman adventurer who had joined the expedition. Thomas Doughty was also the personal secretary of Sir Christopher Hatton! Perhaps Francis Drake was attempting to minimize any repercussions from having Doughty executed. The story of Sir Francis  Drake ship the Golden Hind ends with a mystery...

Interesting Facts, Timeline and Information about the Golden Hind Ship
Some interesting facts and information about the Golden Hind Ship

Famous Explorers - The Golden Hind Ship - Sir Francis Drake
Additional details, timelines, facts, history and information about the famous European Explorers and events in the great Age of Exploration can be accessed via the Elizabethan Era Sitemap.

 

The Golden Hind Ship

  • Interesting Facts and information about The Golden Hind Ship
  • Facts and information about the Golden Hind Ship of Sir Francis Drake
  • Facts, Timeline and History of the Golden Hind Ship of Sir Francis Drake
  • Major voyage of discovery and exploration on the Golden Hind ship
  • Important accomplishments, dates and events in the  history of Sir Francis Drake and the Golden Hind Ship
  • Famous Renaissance Ship

 
 

Queen Elizabeth's Coat of Arms

 

Elizabethan Era - Free Educational Resource! Author Referencing Information

The contents of www.elizabethan-era.org.uk are subject to Copyright Laws - the name of the Website Author is Linda Alchin. The referencing protocol is suggested as follows:

Alchin, L.K.
 Elizabethan Era
e.g. Retrieved May 16 2012 from
www.elizabethan-era.org.uk

The content of Elizabethan Era is free but solely for educational purposes. Reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.". We would respectfully direct our visitors to our Elizabethan Era Copyright page and Elizabethan Era Privacy Statement regarding the Terms of Use of this history site, both may be accessed from the links provided at the bottom of this page.

Queen Elizabeth's Coat of Arms

The Golden Hind Ship

 

Privacy Statement

Copyright Info

Cookie Policy

By Linda Alchin