The appearance of Sir Francis Drake in the bay in 1578 led to the fortification of the port, which proved strong enough to repel an attack by the Dutch in 1624.
Meanwhile, in 1577, Sir Francis Drake had circumnavigated the globe, and on his way home had touched at Ternate, one of the Moluccas, the king of which island agreed to supply the English nation with all the cloves it produced.
It is pleasant to think that there is foundation for the familiar story of Sir Francis Drake playing bowls on Plymouth Hoe as the Armada was beating up Channel, and finishing his game before tackling the Spaniards.
In 1586 St Augustine was almost destroyed by Sir Francis Drake and it also suffered severely by an attack of Captain John Davis in 1665.
Ralph Lane, the first governor of Virginia, and Sir Francis Drake brought with them in 1586, from that first American possession of the English crown, the implements and materials of tobacco smoking, which they handed over to Sir Walter Raleigh.
In 1578 Sir Francis Drake first sighted the point which in 1616 was named Cape Hoorn (anglicized Horn) by the Dutch navigators Jacob Lemaire and Willem Cornelis Schouten (1615-1617).
Vigo was attacked by Sir Francis Drake in 1585 and 1589.
The lower Colorado river was discovered in 1540, but the explorers did not penetrate California; in 1542-1543 Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo explored at least the southern coast; in 1579 Sir Francis Drake repaired his ships in some Californian port (almost certainly not San Francisco Bay), and named the land New Albion; two Philippine ships visited the coast in 1584 and 1595, and in 1602 and 1603 Sebastian Vizcaino discovered the sites of San Diego and Monterey.
For the same reason the British and Dutch fleets which sailed with the object of harrying the Spaniards, under Sir Francis Drake (1577-1580), Thomas Cavendish (1586-1593)593) and Oliver van Noort (1598-1601), were not, as regards the Pacific, of prime geographical importance.
In 1589 an English fleet was sent to aid the prior in a projected invasion of Portugal, but owing to a quarrel between its commanders, Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Norris, the expedition was abandoned.