Why is the Golden Hind Famous?

The Golden Hind or Golden Hinde is famous for sailing the world from 1577 through 1580 under the command of Sir Francis Drake. Originally called the Pelican, Sir Francis Drake renamed the ship in 1578 in honor of his friend and sponsor Sir Christopher Hatton who was fond of the female deer, and even had an armorial crest of the golden hind. This happened while he was getting the Golden Hind ready for her next voyage, which would head into the Strait of Magellan.


As well as the support of Sir Christopher Hatton, Sir Francis Drake began his voyage to circumnavigate the world via the Strait of Magellan with the blessing of Queen Elizabeth I. The idea was to go around the southern most tip of South America to explore the coast and cause trouble for the Spanish, with whom England was already having problems.

Drake started the voyage in December 1577, setting off with five ships and 164 men. It took the ships till spring, 1578 to reach the Brazilian coast. The Golden Hinde was able to carry heavy loads, and up to 100 tons, which would later prove highly advantageous.

On March 1, 1579 near Ecuador, while the Golden Hind was in the Pacific Ocean, Sire Francis Drake and his small fleet were successful in capturing the famous Spanish ship called the Nuestra Senora de la Concepción. This ship had one of the most profitable treasures aboard, which included more than 360,000 pesos. It took the Golden Hind six days to reach the destination with six tons of treasures.

Sir Francis Drake headed the Golden Hind into the Plymouth Harbour on September 26, 1580. Upon his arrival Queen Elizabeth I made the sea captain a knight aboard the Golden Hind. In thanks, Sir Francis Drake gave the queen nearly 160,000 pesos, with which she paid off her foreign debt. With an investment of just 40,000 pesos to support the voyage, the Queen profited by 4,700%.

Once Drake completed his voyage, the Golden Hind stayed in Deptford as a public exhibit for all to see and visit for near on a hundred years until it began to rot. Nowadays the Golden Hind that you see In London is a replica.