A Discourse in Commendation of the Valiant as Virtuous Minded Gentleman, Mister Frauncis Drake: With a Rejoicing of his Happy Adventures


This small book by the Elizabethan writer Nicholas Breton (circa 1545-1622) is a work of praise addressed to Francis Drake for his voyage around the world of 1577-80. The fact that it refers to Drake as “master” rather than “sir” suggests that it was published some time between September 26, 1580, when Drake returned to Plymouth, and April 14, 1581, when Queen Elizabeth I visited Drake’s ship and conferred knighthood upon him. Breton mentions the booty brought home by Drake, but is silent as to how it was acquired -- undoubtedly a reflection of Drake's anomalous position, since England and Spain were nominally at peace and some of Elizabeth's counselors were urging her to disavow Drake and restore to Spain the wealth he had seized from Spanish ships. Elizabeth chose to support Drake, however, and shared in the treasure. A near contemporary of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Breton was a poet and author of prose fiction. Early editions of his works are extremely rare.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Printed by John Charlewood, London


Title in Original Language

A discourse in commendation of the valiant as vertuous minded gentleman, Maister Frauncis Drake

Type of Item

Physical Description

16 pages ; 15 centimeters

Last updated: September 18, 2015