Drake (1540 – 1596) was an English admiral and explorer, the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world. He was unpopular, to say the least, in Spain, where he was known as a corsair, an adventurer or simply a pirate. The Spanish called him El Draco and hated him.
When he was twenty-seven he sailed with his cousin, John Hawkins on a slave-trading voyage to Africa, and spent the following years engaged in privateering raids on what was called then, The Spanish Main, meaning whatever parts of the Spanish Empire he could successfully assault. England was at war with Spain at the time.
In 1577 he formed a syndicate headed by Queen Elizabeth I (the idea was principally hers) to undertake a voyage of circumnavigation of the world. At least that was the official view. The hidden agenda was the launching of a series of punitive attacks on Spanish-owned ports, where rich plunder awaited the brave or foolhardy.