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Drake of England
Directed byArthur B. Woods
Written by
Based onDrake of England by Louis N. Parker
Produced byWalter C. Mycroft
CinematographyClaude Friese-Greene
Ronald Neame
Edited byEdward B. Jarvis
Music byG. H. Clutsam
Idris Lewis
Distributed byWardour Films
Release date
  • 16 May 1935 (1935-05-16)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Drake of England is a 1935 British drama film directed by Arthur B. Woods and starring Matheson Lang, Athene Seyler and Jane Baxter.[1] It depicts the life of Francis Drake and the events leading up to the defeat of the Armada in 1588.[2]


In 1567, Francis Drake and his cousin John Hawkins set sail from Plymouth, watched by Elizabeth Sydenham, soon to be a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth. The following year, the queen is most displeased when Drake brings news that the expedition to the West Indies has ended in disaster, a venture in which the queen's own ship, the Jesus of Lubeck, has been captured. Drake reports that their trading was successful, but then a Spanish fleet, commanded by Don Enriquez, sailed into the harbor. Despite assurances that the English would be left alone, the following day, the Spanish attacked without warning and captured the treasure the English had earned. Drake recommends they recoup their losses by seizing Spanish ships forced into Plymouth to shelter from French privateers, ships which carry King Philip II of Spain's bullion. Elizabeth enthusiastically accepts his proposal, and also does not oppose his plan to attack Nombre de Dios, where treasure from the New World is gathered to send to Spain. After the queen departs, Elizabeth Sydenham introduces herself to Drake ...



The film was made at Elstree Studios, as part of the boom in historical films that followed the global success of The Private Life of Henry VIII. The film was based on the play of the same title by Louis N. Parker. The art direction was by Duncan Sutherland who designed the film's sets. It was given an American release in 1936, when it was distributed by Grand National Pictures.

The film has generally been overshadowed by two slightly later releases, Fire Over England (1937) and The Sea Hawk (1940), which deal with much the same story.[3]



  1. ^ Drake of England at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Drake of England (1935) | BFI". Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  3. ^ Richards, p. 288