Sir Francis Drake character jug produced by Devonia Pottery of Exeter, England, circa 1940. The greatest Elizabethan seaman, Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) is probably best known for being the first explorer to circumnavigate the globe. His exploits against the Spaniards, which included the seizure of large amounts of goods, made him extremely popular in England. In 1580, despite Spanish protests, he was knighted on his ship The Golden Hind by Queen Elizabeth I for being the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world. Eight years later, as vice-admiral of the fleet under Lord Howard, Drake helped to defeat the Spanish Armada. He is famed for continuing his game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe as the mighty Spanish fleet approached saying "we have time to finish the game and beat the Spaniards afterwards." He died of dysentery while on an ill-fated expedition to the West Indies in 1596. An English navy flag forms the handle of the jug.