A capacious vessel. Sir Francis Drake.

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A capacious vessel. Sir Francis Drake.

At that wonderful time when pirates weren’t in fact vile bastards who sailed near the coastline of Somali, but were bastards who prowled all over the world, the authorities tried to turn this misfortune into general benefit. For instance, in England pirates often used to become privateers (so they remained the same sea raiders but they attacked only the ships of hostile countries. One of the most famous privateer was Francis Drake, who succeeded in plundering Spanish ships and was favoured with the honour of calling ‘sir’.

In 1577 the British queen Elisabeth ordered Francis Drake to set off for the next raid against the Spanish army. The main privateers’ goal was to get to the Pacific coast of the continent of South America. AT that time Spanish colonizers conquered this coast with diligence. The top priority task for the English was to dispose of the Spanish monopoly in that region.

Drake’s flagship ‘Pelican’ turned out to be the only ship that managed to get to destination. That was why the famous great pirate had fun for all. His crew passed a significant part of the coast of South America and robbed so much that there was barely enough room in the ship left for sailors.

At first sight everything seems simple and routine – a lot of pirates have robbed a lot of goods during the whole history of humanity, and what of it? It were Spanish officials who distinguished themselves. If we sum up all the accounts , we’ll see that as a result bastards under Drake’s leadership robbed no less than two hundred tons of silver.

But the pirates had bad luck. The problem was that the displacement of ‘Pelican’ was only one hundred tons. If we trust Spanish’s words, it turns out that Drake was not a pirate but a saint and that the whole ship with its crew didn’t sail but floated high in the air. Otherwise the ship ‘Pelican’ which was overloaded more than twice as much, would just go to the bottom of the ocean with the whole crew on board. So it appears that the Spanish officials of the 16th century were not a bit better than English pirates – they just didn’t sail under a black flag.