Friday, August 07, 2009

Francis Drake's 'Pirate'

Here's my very simple contribution to Joanne Kaar's fleet of paper boats, but I had a lot of fun doing it and dug into some family history that I find quite inspiring (see below). My boat is made from paper that has on one side a chart of the north coast of Scotland of 1846 and on the other side a 19th century map of the Braunton area - each end of the journey the Pirate must have taken from Stromness to Braunton.

‘Pirate’ believed to be by J H Harrison, quayside painter, from the book: Braunton – Home of the Last Sailing Coasters by Robert D’Arcy Andrew
‘Pirate’ was a ketch built in Stromness, Orkney in 1888 by G & P Copeland. In the same year she transferred ownership to Robert and Francis Drake who ran the last sailing coasters, delivering coal, slate, etc around the British coasts from Braunton, North Devon. Sadly she foundered off Lavernock Point after a collision with SS Druidstone in 1913 on passage between Cardiff and Bideford, carrying coal.

My mother’s mother was a Drake from Braunton. Every Drake generation had its ‘Francis’, although my great Uncle Frank in Sidmouth, merchant seaman, was last of the line. We like to say that we are descendants from that original ‘Pirate’ of Elizabeth I (although I find it best to keep quiet about this ancestry in some parts of the world).

1 comment:

Bruna said...

Please check out Orkney Archive's latest blog post. I think you'll find it interesting.