Was drake a pirate ?

Queen elizabeth called him ” my pirate ” . Tabloid fodder .The best category I have seen for drake is unlicensed privateer . The queens council voted against giving John Hawkins the usual letter of marque to allow him revenge on Spanish ships for their treachery against his fleet , including a young Francis drake , agreeing with the Spanish that he was trespassing in Spanish waters , when he sought nothing more than the right to trade with Spanish colonists . Hawkins , the father of the slave trade , acquiesced , but not drake , who from that moment til he routed the spanish armada burned for vengeance against those who had shaken hands in friendship while plotting to destroy him and his ship .

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