Edmund Drake, of Crowdale

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Edmund Drake

Birthdate: (48)
Birthplace: Ash Estate, Musbury Parish, Devon, England
Death: December 26, 1566 (48)
Upchurch, Kent, England
Immediate Family:

Son of John Drake of Exmouth and Ashe and Margaret Cole of Rill
Husband of Mary Elizabeth Drake
Father of Sir Francis Drake; Edward Drake, Jr.; John Drake; Joseph Drake; Thomas Drake, of Buckland and 1 other
Brother of Sir John (The Younger) Drake, VI; John (the Elder) Drake, Esq., of Ashe; Joan Drake; Gilbert Drake, of Exmouth & Ashe and Robert Drake
Half brother of Sybil Drake

Occupation: Vicar of Upchurch. Protestant farmer later to turn preacher, Farmer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Edmund Drake, of Crowdale

Lived on his brother John's farm. Requested to be buried by his son Edward in his churchyard in Kent.



circa 1514

  • Plymouth, Devonshire, England
  • Death: 1566 (52)
  • Upchurch, Kent, England
  • Immediate Family: Son of John Drake of Exmouth and Ashe and Margaret Cole of Rill
  • Husband of Mary Mylwaye
  • Father of Harry Drake; Sir William Drake (brother & heir of Admr. Francis Drake); John Drake; Vice Admiral Sir Francis Drake; Edward Drake and 2 others; Joseph Drake and Thomas Drake « less
  • Brother of John (the Elder) Drake, Esq., of Ashe; Joan or Alice Drake; Thomas Drake; Elizabeth Drake; Sibil Northend and 6 others; Gilbert Drake; Edward Drake; Margaret Drake; Robert Drake; William Drake and Humphrey Drake « less
  • Edmund Drake married . . .Mylwaye daughter of Richard Mylwaye.

Sons daughters

  1. John Drake the oldest, captain of the verssel Swan, died 1572, married Alice -remarried Cotton.
  2. Sir Francis Drake was the second oldest named after Francis Russell his godfather or sponsor, son of Lord Russell
  3. Edmund Drake jr.
  4. Thomas Drake the youngest son, married Elizabeth Gregory1587. Had daughter Elizabeth born 1590 married to John Bamfield. And his only son. Thomas was twenty-one or twenty-two years of age when he joined the little company who were 'the first to turn up a furrow round the globe."The fame and success of that expedition, no doubt, decided him to make the sea his profession, and in due time, like his brother, to enter the Royal Navy. Thomas also inherited Sir Francis's holdings. Francis married Jane Bamfield and Elizabeth married John Bamfield."
  5. Edward Drake
  6. Elizabeth Drake
  7. Joseph Drake, born 1540-60, Of Joseph, we know only that he took fever in the West Indies and died in his brother's arms on January 3,1572. Married Margaret Crymes. Spent their (her) lives at upperton in Buckland,(? She may have) Had two son's little is known about this branch of the family, their descendants it is said went to America. Family and heirs of Sir Francis Drake, 2 vols. (1911) Lady E.F. Elliot-Drake
  8. Joseph Drake
  9. Joseph Drake died, it was not of course the "Brackish Water" but the mosquitoes that who caught the disease and never recovered from it was yet another of his brothers, who "died in our Captain's arms."

Son's and daughter's

  1. Francis Drake
  2. Elizabeth Drake

From the book The Wind Commands, A Life of Sir Francis Drake by Ernle Bradford, Harcourt, Brace, &World Inc. 757 Third Avenue, New

Edmund Drake of Crowndale near Tavistoke was the father of Sir Francis Drake Edmund Drake of Crowndale near Tavistoke was the father of Sir Francis Drake

Extract from Oxford Dictionary of National Biograpy of Sir Francis

... Edmund's wife is unknown, though she may have been named Anna Milwaye. Edmund Drake was a shearman (of woollen cloth) at Crowndale, where his family had occupied the same farm for generations. Edmund was almost certainly a priest as well, perhaps one of those deprived of a living during Henry VIII's sequestration of religious property. In 1548 he was involved in a fracas with other clerics and laymen and forced to flee from Devon. Edmund soon gained a royal pardon, and found a place as curate at Upchurch in Kent. He was not an obvious partisan of either side in the religious debates, being Catholic enough to serve as curate at Upchurch in 1553 and protestant enough to be appointed vicar there when Elizabeth became queen.

© Oxford University Press 2004–8 All rights reserved: see legal notice


Harry Kelsey, ‘Drake, Sir Francis (1540–1596)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/8022, accessed 11 Jan 2008]

Sir Francis Drake (1540–1596): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/8022


  • Edmund Drake1,2
  • M, #564376
  • Last Edited=21 Jul 2012
  • Children of Edmund Drake
    • Sir Francis Drake1 b. 1545, d. 28 Jan 1596
    • Thomas Drake+1 b. 1556, d. 4 Apr 1606
  • Citations
  • [S82] Ashworth P. Burke, editor, Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 64th edition (London, U.K.: Burke's Peerage Ltd, 1902), page 491. Hereinafter cited as Burkes Peerage and Baroentage, 64th ed.
  • [S130] Wikipedia, online http;//www.wikipedia.org. Hereinafter cited as Wikipedia.
  • From: http://www.thepeerage.com/p56438.htm#i564376


  • Sir Francis Drake, vice admiral (c. 1540 – 27 January 1596) was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era. .... etc.
  • Francis Drake was born in Tavistock, Devon, England. Although his birth is not formally recorded, it is known that he was born while the Six Articles were in force. "Drake was two and twenty when he obtained the command of the Judith"[6] (1566). This would date his birth to 1544. A date of c.1540 is suggested from two portraits: one a miniature painted by Nicholas Hilliard in 1581 when he was allegedly 42, the other painted in 1594 when he was said to be 53.[7]
  • He was the eldest of the twelve sons[8] of Edmund Drake (1518–1585), a Protestant farmer, and his wife Mary Mylwaye. The first son was reportedly named after his godfather Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford.[9][10]
  • Because of religious persecution during the Prayer Book Rebellion in 1549, the Drake family fled from Devonshire into Kent. There the father obtained an appointment to minister to men in the King's Navy. He was ordained deacon and made vicar of Upnor Church on the Medway.[11] Drake's father apprenticed Francis to his neighbour, the master of a barque used for coastal trade transporting merchandise to France.[11] The ship master was so satisfied with the young Drake's conduct that, being unmarried and childless at his death, he bequeathed the barque to Drake.[11]
  • Francis Drake married Mary Newman in 1569. She died 12 years later, in 1581. In 1585, Drake married Elizabeth Sydenham—born circa 1562, the only child of Sir George Sydenham, of Combe Sydenham,[12] who was the High Sheriff of Somerset.[13] After Drake's death, the widow Elizabeth eventually married Sir William Courtenay of Powderham.[14] As Sir Francis Drake had no children, his estate and titles passed on to his nephew (also named Francis).
  • .... etc.
  • From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Drake


  • Captain Sir Francis DRAKE
  • Born: ABT 1540, Buckland Abbey, Devon, England
  • Died: 28 Jan 1596/7, aboard DEFIANCE off Porto Bello
  • Father: Edmund DRAKE
  • Mother: Dau. MYLWAYE
  • Married 1: Mary NEWMAN
  • Married 2: Elizabeth SYDENHAM (m.2 Sir William Courtenay of Powderham) 1585
  • .... etc.
  • From: http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/Bios/FrancisDrake.htm



  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 15
  • Drake, Francis (1540?-1596) by John Knox Laughton
  • DRAKE, Sir FRANCIS (1540?–1596), circumnavigator and admiral, was born, according to local tradition, at Crowndale, near Tavistock, in a cottage which was still standing within living memory, and of which a picture is preserved in Lewis's ' Scenery of the Tamar and Tavy' (1823). The exact date of his birth has been much discussed, but the evidence is vague and contradictory. A passage in Stow's 'Annals' (p. 807) implies that he was born in 1545, but the legends on two portraits, apparently genuine, 'Anno Dom. 1581, Ætatis suæ 42,' and 'Anno Dom. 1594, Ætatis suæ 53' (Barrow, p. 5), seem to fix the date some years earlier. Equal uncertainty exists as to his parentage; but in the absence of more definite testimony we may accept a note added to the grant of arms in 1581, by Cooke, Clarenceux king of arms, that Drake had the right by just descent and prerogative of birth ' to bear the arms of his name and family—Argent, a wyvern gules—with the difference of a third brother, as I am informed by Bernard Drake of [Ash] … chief of that coat-armour, and sundry others of that family, of worship and good credit' (Marshall, Genealogist, 1877, i. 210, quoting from Ashmole MS. 834, f. 37; Archæological Journal, xxx. 384, quoting from a manuscript in the College of Heralds). It appears also that his father's name was Robert (Nichols, Genealogist, viii. 478n.), which would seem to identify him with Robert, third son of the last John Drake of Otterton, and of his wife Agnes Kelloway (Burke, History of the Commoners, i. 580); brother, therefore, of John Drake of Exmouth, whose energy and success as a merchant, and as establishing his right to the estates of Ash, raised the family to a position of opulence and influence (Pole, Description of Devonshire, pp. 123, 154). In this success, however, Robert seems to have had but little share. Accounts, otherwise conflicting, agree in stating that Drake's father was in a comparatively humble way of life, though having some connection with, or dependence on, the rising house of Russell, whose heir, Francis, afterwards second earl of Bedford, was godfather to his eldest son. But of his life or circumstances we know nothing beyond what is told by his grandson (Sir Francis Drake, bart., in the preface to Drake Revived, 1626), who says that, having suffered in the state of persecution, he was forced to fly from his house near South Tavistock into Kent, and there to inhabit in the hull of a ship, wherein many of his younger sons were born. He had twelve in all; and as it pleased God to give most of them a being upon the water, so the greater part of them died at sea.' Camden, indeed, professing to relate only what he had learnt from Drake himself, says that the father was forced to fly on the passing of the Six Articles Act, in consequence of his having zealously embraced the reformed religion; that he earned his living by reading prayers to the seamen of the fleet in the Medway; and that he was afterwards ordained as vicar of the church at Upnor (Ann. Rer. Angl. ed. Hearne, 1717, ii. 351). But as Camden says elsewhere (Britannia, ed. Gibson, 1772, p. 160) that Drake was born at Plymouth, his claim to personal information is of very doubtful value; and the several points of his story, notwithstanding its general acceptance, are inaccurate or absurd. There never was a church at Upnor; the reading of prayers in the reign of Queen Mary would have been summarily put a stop to; and the whole Drake family not only embraced but, for the most part, largely profited by the change of religion. There is nothing in the younger Drake's statement which implies that the persecution ' was necessarily religious; and beyond this there is no evidence that we can depend on. Stow, however, has told us (Annals, p. 807) that the father was a sailor, and that his name was Edmond; and Dr. H. H. Drake, combining the two stories, seeks to identify him with the Edmond Drake who in 1560 was presented to the vicarage of Upchurch, and who died there in December 1566. The identification is supported by an entry in a contemporaneous manuscript, where Drake is described as ' son to Sir — Drake, vicar of Upchurch in Kent' (Vaux, p. xvi), but is not altogether conclusive.
  • .... etc.
  • Drake was twice married: first, on 4 July 1569, at St. Budeaux in Devonshire, near Saltash, to Mary Newman, whose burial on 25 Jan. 1582-3, while Drake was mayor of Plymouth, is entered in the registers both of St. Budeaux and of St. Andrew's in Plymouth, but no trace of her grave can be found at either place (Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. iv. 189, 330, 502); and secondly to Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Sir George Sydenham, who survived him, and afterwards married Sir William Courtenay of Powderham in Devonshire. By neither wife had he any issue, and with suitable provision for his widow, the bulk of his very considerable property, including the manor of Buckland Monachorum, ultimately went to his youngest and only surviving brother Thomas, the companion of most of his voyages and adventures, in whose lineage the estate still is. Another brother, John, who was killed in the Nombre de Dios voyage, married Alice Cotton, to whom, in dying, he bequeathed all his property (Add. MS. 28016, ff. 68, 357); but apparently neither he nor any of the brothers, except Thomas, had any children. .... etc.
  • From: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Drake,_Francis_(1540%3F-1596)_(DNB00)


view all 12

Edmund Drake, of Crowdale's Timeline

Musbury Parish, Devon, England
Age 22
Tavistock, Devon, England, United Kingdom
Age 32
Age 34
Age 36
April 14, 1556
Age 38
Kent, England, United Kingdom
December 26, 1566
Age 49
Upchurch, Kent, England