Drake's drum

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Francis Drake (c. 1540—1596) pirate, sea captain, and explorer



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A drum said to have been in the possession of Sir Francis Drake and carried by him on board his ships to beat the crews to quarters and now at Buckland Abbey, Devon, Drake's old home. According to legend, the drum gives a drumbeat whenever England is in danger of invasion from the sea. Doubts have been cast on its authenticity. It is the subject of a famous poem of the same name by Sir Henry Newbolt (1862–1938). First published in the St James's Gazette in 1897, this was later set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams.Take my drum to England, hang et by the shore,Strike et when your powder's running low;If the Dons sight Devon, I'll quit the port o' Heaven,An' drum them up the Channel as we drummed them long ago.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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