Thursday, May 15, 1997
Answer on What country is sir francis drake,hernando cortez,and francisco pizzaro from?
Francis Drake was born in the parish of Crowndale, a mile south of Tavistock, Devon, probably in February or March 1540 . He was one of two sons of Edmund Drake (1518–1585), a Protestant farmer who later became a preacher, and his wife Mary Mylwaye. He is sometimes confused with his cousin John Drake (1573–1634), who was the son of Edmund's older brother, Richard Drake. (cf. John White, note 2). His maternal grandfather was Richard Mylwaye.
He was reportedly named after his godfather Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford, and throughout his cousins' lineages are direct connections to royalty and famous persons, such as Sir Richard Grenville, Ivor Callely , Amy Grenville, and Geoffrey Chaucer. However, James Froude states, "He told Camden that he was of mean extraction. He meant merely that he was proud of his parents and made no idle pretensions to noble birth. His father was a tenant of the Earl of Bedford, and must have stood well with him, for Francis Russell, the heir of the earldom, was the boy's godfather." 
As with many of Drake's contemporaries, the exact date of his birth is unknown and could be as early as 1535, the 1540 date being extrapolated from two portraits: one a miniature painted by Nicholas Hilliard in 1581 when he was allegedly 42, the other painted in 1594 when he was alleged to be 53 according to the 1921/22 edition of the Dictionary of National Biography, which quotes Barrow's Life of Drake (1843) p. 5. Francis was the eldest of 12 children; as he was not granted legal right to his father's farm, he had to find his own career.
During the Roman Catholic uprising of 1549, the family was forced to flee to Kent. At about the age of 13, Francis took to the sea on a cargo barque, becoming master of the ship at the age of 20. He spent his early career honing his sailing skills on the difficult waters of the North Sea, and after the death of the captain he became master of his own barque. At age 23, Drake made his first voyage to the New World under the sails of the Hawkins family of Plymouth, in company with his second cousin, Sir John Hawkins.
In 1569 he was with the Hawkins fleet when it was trapped by the Spaniards in the Mexican port of San Juan de Ulua. He escaped along with Hawkins but the experience led him to his lifelong revenge against the Spanish.
Cortes was born in Medellin, in the province of Extremadura, in the Kingdom of Castile in Spain in 1485. His father, Martin Cortes de Monroy, was an infantry captain of distinguished ancestry but slender means. His mother was Catalina Pizarro Altamirano. Through his mother, Hernan was second cousin to Francisco Pizarro, who later conquered the Inca empire of modern-day Peru (not to be confused with another Francisco Pizarro who joined Cortes to conquer the Aztecs).
Hernan Cortes is described as a pale, sickly child by his biographer, chaplain, and friend Francisco Lopez de Gomara. At the age of fourteen, Cortes was sent to study at the University of Salamanca. This was Spain's great center of learning, and while accounts vary as to the nature of Cortes' studies, his later writings and actions suggest he studied law and probably Latin.
After two years, Cortes, tired of schooling, returned home to Medellin, much to the irritation of his parents, who had hoped to see him equipped for a profitable legal career. However, those two years at Salamanca, plus his long period of training and experience as a notary, first in Seville and later in Hispaniola, would give him a close acquaintance with the legal codes of Castile that was to stand him in good stead in justifying his unauthorized conquest of Mexico.
At this point in his life, Cortes was described by Gomara as restless, haughty, and mischievous . This was probably a fair description of a sixteen-year-old boy who had returned home only to find himself frustrated by life in his small provincial town.
By this time, news of the exciting discoveries of Columbus in the New World was streaming back to Spain
Pizarro was born an illegitimate child. His father was a royal captain of infantry and never saw much of him. Francisco was cared for by his mother's family, poorly, as it appears. His education was neglected, leaving him illiterate. Francisco was the eldest of three paternal half-brothers: Gonzalo Pizarro (junior), Juan Pizarro, and Hernando Pizarro. Another half-brother, on his mother's side, was Francisco Martin de Alcantara. Much of Francisco Pizarro's early life in Spain remains unknown. Having had an uneducated poor infancy, he is said to have been a humble pig herder and was in Seville shortly after the news of the discovery of the New World reached Spain. Seeking better fortunes, he sailed to the New World on the expedition of Nicolas de Ovando in 1502 and landed on the island of Hispaniola.
Not many details are known about his first years in the New World, though he probably had a minor role in the ensuing conquest and "pacification" of Hispaniola, centering his activities around other explorers ahead of him. By 1510, Pizarro left Hispaniola to join Alonso de Ojeda in an expedition to take possession, as Governor, of Nueva Andalucia, which comprised the territory between the gulfs of Uraba (Darien) and Maracaibo. The expedition was not successful due to the fierce resistance of the natives, yet Ojeda established San Sebastian. When Ojeda ran low on provisions, he decided to head back to Hispaniola and left the still inexperienced Pizarro in charge. Soon afterwards, the sickness, lack of food and supplies, and hostile natives forced Pizarro to leave the unfortunate settlement and head towards Panama.
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