GB.CO-EM.52*

HalfPenny

Great Britain

1958

The reverse depicts Golden Hind, a 100-ton bark-rigged galleon built in 1560 as Pelican. She was 102 ft (31 m) long, had a beam of 20 ft (6.1 m), drew 9 ft (2.7 m) of water, and had a crew of 70. The vessel carried some 18 guns and was the flagship of the English navigator, pirate, privateer and admiral Francis Drake (1540-1596) on his global circumnavigation in 1577-1580. During the voyage Drake renamed the ship Golden Hind in honor of his major financial backer, Sir Christopher Hatton, whose crest was a golden deer. Drake’s other four ships on this voyage were Elizabeth, Marigold, Swan and Christopher. The aim of the voyage—with the consent of Queen Elizabeth I—was to disrupt the world trade monopoly of Spain and Portugal. After negotiating the Strait of Magellan, the first Englishman to do so, Drake sailed up the west coast of South America. En route he raided Valparaiso and captured the Spanish treasure ship Cacafuego off Callao, Peru. Drake expected the Spanish to wait for him if he returned to the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Strait of Magellan. He therefore returned home via the Cape of Good Hope. The voyage produced a profit of 4,700 percent on his backers’ investment. Upon Drake’s return in 1580, Queen Elizabeth bestowed a knighthood upon him aboard Golden Hind. The ship was placed in a special dock and became a museum piece but fell into disrepair and had to be dismantled in 1662. Today, a life-sized replica of the ship can be seen in Brixham, Devon, England. Prior to his circumnavigation Drake had been sailing in the slave trade to the Spanish Main (the lands of the Caribbean Basin—Mexico, Central America, the northern countries of South America, and the Caribbean islands). In 1568, while taking refuge for repairs to hurricane damage at San Juan de Ulúa near Veracruz, Mexico, Drake and his cousin John Hawkins (see Cook Islands KM-171) were attacked by the Spanish, only just escaping with their lives. From this day on Drake sought to avenge San Juan de Ulúa by harassing, plundering or destroying everything Spanish. He helped to defeat the Spanish armada in 1588. More than 1.4 billion coins with this beautiful design were struck. The obverse legend in abbreviated Latin IND: IMP: (Emperor of India) was deleted in 1949 after India became an independent republic, while the legend in abbreviated Latin BRITT: OMN: (All British Possessions) was deleted from the coinage in 1954 due to the changing status of many British Commonwealth nations. (Information