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.
Sir Francis is the knight in this chess set.
Plotting his course.
Across the oceans.
A beautiful golden miniature.
The man himself.