Buckland and Drake

A few weeks ago I did a series of posts about Buckland Abbey , but I left out it’s most famous owner, Sir Francis Drake.

Buckland was paid for with Drake’s earnings – or plundering on his early voyages. The treasures he brought home to Queen Elizabeth 1 provided him with wealth and his title. Even though he had no children his heirs lived at Buckland for eight generations, until the 1940’s.

The most famous anecdote is of how he supposedly continued a game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe, saying that their was plenty of time to deal with the approaching Spanish Armada afterwards.

Artifacts relating to his journeys can be seen at Buckland, the most important being a late 16th century drum, decorated with Drake’s coat of arms, one of the oldest surviving in Europe, and possibly one of thirteen bought in 1595 for his last voyage. The drum is said to beat if England is in danger, most recently during the Second World War just before Dunkirk was evacuated, spooky eh?

In 1596, as he lay dying of dysentery, he is reputed to have asked to be dressed in his full armor. He was buried at sea in a lead coffin, near Portobelo. Here are a few of Bucklands Drake treasures.

2013 Apr 06_3938 copy

Sir Francis is the knight in this chess set.

2013 Apr 06_3940 copy

Plotting his course.

2013 Apr 06_3948 copy

Across the oceans.

2013 Apr 06_3955 copy

A beautiful golden miniature.

2013 Apr 06_3961 copyThe drum, lets hope it doesn’t sound.

2013 Apr 06_3981 copy

A scaled replica. 2013 Apr 06_4027 copy

The man himself.

2013 Apr 06_4037 copyDrakes Coat of Arms.

14 thoughts on “Buckland and Drake

  1. Such extraordinary character and adventurer – I just love thinking of the lives of people like Drake, and what they dreamed, and then set about living … So sad to think his line died out for good just a few decades ago – though i doubt any of them came near to his verve and derring do!

  2. Love that chess set Gilly! Beautiful photo’s hon and thanks for the lovely tour and for sharing. 🙂 *hugs*

  3. Well, actually, the drum was a befittingly up-side down, as was the world when Sir Drake sailed the 7 seas… come to think of it, not much has changed there… and in response to the poster: wonderlust gene… As many places, and pilferages as Sir Drake carried out… I some how seriously doubt his line completely died out for good..
    God Bless

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