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Francis Drake, one of the great band of Tudor sea captains, was many things to many people. To his fellow-countrymen he was "The Sea King of Devon". His queen, Elizabeth, called him her "little pirate" and knighted him in defiance of the ominous rumblings of Spain. To the Spanish, his life-long enemies, he was "El Draque", the Dragon - a heretic who had deliberately sold his immortal soul to the Devil.
Yet he was more than a mere buccaneer. He was also an explorer, the first captain to circumnavigate the globe - which resulted in the establishment of the British Empire in the Orient. But it was for his part in defeating Spain's "invincible" Armada that Drake assured his place in English history.