Captain Francis Drake

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Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake in Buckland Abbey, oil painting by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (after 1590)
Bornc. 1540 (1540)
Died28 January 1596 (1596-01-29) (aged 55)
Mary Newman
(m. 1569; died 1581)

Elizabeth Sydenham (m. 1585)
Piratical career
NicknameEl Draque (Spanish), Draco (Latin, "The Dragon")
AllegianceKingdom of England
Years active1563–1596
RankVice admiral
Base of operationsCaribbean Sea
CommandsGolden Hind (previously known as Pelican)
English ship Bonaventure (1567)
English ship Revenge (1577)
Battles/warsAnglo–Spanish War (1585)
Naval battle of Gravelines
WealthEst. Equiv. US$136.6 million in 2019;[1] #2 Forbes top-earning pirates[2]

Why Sir Francis Drake[edit]

Drake is known to have taken millions in loot over his years of piracy and is even said to have stashed over £2,000,000 of Gold and Silver. Theorist Paul Speed (Nova Scotia Historian) presented this to the Lagina team in Season 7, episode 5 further postulating that not only did Drake hide his treasure on Oak Island, but also that he could be buried there. 

Speed presents a number of items that lead him to believe Drake could have been involved in the construction of the island.

  1. The process of Costal mining was commonplace in the 1500s and employed thousands of people digging long tunnels from the cliff edge deep into mountains. The process was successful in retrieving precious materials without the burden of digging a deep shaft. The same principles could have easily been followed to create a tunnel system on Oak Island. Both the Money_Pit, and the cave-In pit would have been used as an air vent, and the charcoal remnants of a furnace to force airflow. 
  2. Drake was well known for his Spanish plunders and excessive amounts of wealth. There is even a record of him stashing £2,000,000 pounds of gold (coincidentally the same amount in the stone cipher). They buried much of the treasure, as it was too much for their party to carry, and made off with a fortune in gold.[3][4]
  3. Drake's sailing logs have never been found- could they be buried with the treasure? Could that be the parchment that was recovered?
  4. Drake was believed to have died of dysentery, but before dying, he asked to be dressed in his full armour. He was buried at sea in a sealed lead-lined coffin, near Portobelo, a few miles off the coastline. It is supposed that his final resting place is near the wrecks of two British ships, the Elizabeth and the Delight, scuttled in Portobelo Bay. Divers continue to search for the coffin.[5]Drake's body has never been recovered. Speed believes that he was never actually buried at sea, but instead was buried in the depths of the caves and tunnels he designed on Oak Island. 
    During the excavation of the Money Pit area, two different bone artifacts have been recovered of different ages and nationalities. There is speculation that one of these bones could have been from Drake. Additionally, over the years there have been multiple occasions in which high levels of free mercury have been recovered which could have been used to preserve the body of Drake. The use of mercury as a preserving agent is also believed to be supported by the Sir Francis Bacon theory used to preserve the Shakespeare manuscripts. 
  5. Based on the size of Drake's followers and the scope of his conquests it is reasonable to assume that he had the man-power to construct the pits and tunnels on Oak Island, and may have done so as a Pirate Bank, known by many pirates as a place to stash part of the plunders prior to returning to their home country. 

There are people that doubt his presence in the area, as he was known more for his conquests in the Pacific, but without his sailing logs to review it is rather difficult to determine. 

  1. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  2. Woolsey, Matt (September 19, 2008). "Top-Earning Pirates". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  3. David Marley (2008). Wars of the Americas: A Chronology of Armed Conflict in the Western Hemisphere, 1492 to the Present. ABC-CLIO. pp. 103–104. ISBN 978-1-59884-100-8.
  4. Angus Konstam (20 December 2011). The Great Expedition: Sir Francis Drake on the Spanish Main 1585–86. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-78096-233-7.
  5. Henderson, Barney; Swaine, Jon (24 October 2011).