Francis Pretty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Francis Pretty
Occupation Man-at-Arms
Language English
Nationality English
Period Elizabethan
Genre Diarist
Subject Exploration

Francis Pretty was a Suffolk gentleman,[1] diarist, sailor, and man-at-arms, who wrote detailed accounts of two separate circumnavigation of the globe, first with Sir Francis Drake (1577-1580) and later with Thomas Cavendish (1588).[2] Due to the dubious legality of these expeditions, accounts were officially suppressed; the earliest unofficial accounts were published in Dutch by Emanuel van Meteren who purchased both diaries and mixed elements of one with the other. Excerpts of both diaries were also included in Richard Hakluyt's 1582 and 1589 treatises on British explorations of North America, before he published the Cavendish diary in its entirety in 1600.[3][4]

In his account of Drake's expedition, Pretty describes the privateer's contact with native peoples along the coast near 43°N (present-day Oregon). There he left a large "plate, nailed upon a fair great post, whereupon was engraved her Majesty's name, the day and year of our arrival there, with the free giving up of the province and people into her Majesty's hands, together with her Highness' picture and arms, in a piece of six pence of current English money, under the plate, whereunder was also written the name of our General."[5] This description provided the basis for the famous Drake's Plate hoax.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Hart, Albert Bushnell; Curtis, John Gould. American History Told by Contemporaries. Macmillan. p. 81. 
  2. ^ Gunnar Thompson (1 September 2010). Commander Francis Drake & the West Coast Mysteries. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-557-49486-6. 
  3. ^ Kelsey, Harry (2001). Sir Francis Drake: The Queen's Pirate. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. pp. 88 (footnote 97). ISBN 0300084633. 
  4. ^ Norman Joseph William Thrower; University of California, Los Angeles. Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies; Sir Francis Drake Commission (January 1984). Sir Francis Drake and the Famous Voyage, 1577-1580: Essays Commemorating the Quadricentennial of Drake's Circumnavigation of the Earth. University of California Press. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-520-04876-8. 
  5. ^ Pretty, Francis (1589). Sir Francis Drake's Famous Voyage Round the World.