The new Conway Stewart Drake has been inspired by
the legendary British explorer Sir Francis Drake. This new model
is rendered in solid sterling silver, with cap and barrel covered
in intricate guilloche engraving. The elegant and graceful engraving
blend with solid construction and simple classic design to produce
a fine writing instrument worthy of association with one of the
most notable figures of the Elizabethan era.
Francis Drake was born in Tavistock, near Plymouth, England in
around 1540. With Plymouth the home of modern day Conway Stewart,
it seems only appropriate for the company to name this superb
new design after a local legend.
Sir Francis Drake was an English sailor and explorer,
politician and civil engineer who exemplified the dash and gallantry
of Elizabethan England. As a young man he sought his fortune at
sea, and by the age of 20 was in command of his own ship. Early
exploits in the Caribbean began his long running battle with navy
of the Spanish Empire. His early career also established Drake as
not only a premier explorer, sailor, and leader, but also left him
(and the men under his command) quite wealthy.
In 1577, Drake was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth
to undertake another expedition against the Spanish, this time along
the Pacific coast of the Americas. He sailed from Plymouth, England,
with four other ships and crews of over 150 men. First crossing
the Atlantic ocean to the Caribbean, Drake then sailed south, crossing
from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Magellan Strait. Violent
storms destroyed one of the ships and caused another to return to
England. The Golden Hind sailed northward alone along the
Pacific coast of South America, attacking Spanish ports like Valparaíso
as it went.
Drake now headed westward across the Pacific,
and a few months later reached the Moluccas, a group of islands
in the Southwest Pacific, east of Indonesia. He made multiple
stops on his way toward the tip of Africa, eventually rounding
the Cape of Good Hope, and reaching Sierra Leone by July 22, 1580.
On September 26 The Golden Hind sailed into Plymouth with
Drake and 59 remaining crew aboard, along with a rich cargo of
spices and captured Spanish treasures. Hailed as the first Englishman
to circumnavigate the Earth, Drake was knighted by Queen Elizabeth
aboard The Golden Hind on April 4, 1581, and became the
Mayor of Plymouth and a Member of Parliament.
When war broke out between Spain and England in
1585, Drake led a fleet into Cadiz, one of Spain's main ports, and
occupied the harbour for three days, capturing six ships and destroying
31 others. Drake was vice admiral in command of the English fleet
(under Lord Howard of Effingham) when it overcame the Spanish Armada
that was attempting to invade England in 1588.
Legend has it that prior to the Battle of Gravelines,
Drake was playing a game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe. On being warned
of the approach of the Spanish fleet, Drake is said to have remarked
that "the Spaniards can wait but my game of bowls can't"
This was put down to bluff and was in fact a sign of his superb mariners
skill. From the position of The Armada when it was sighted,
Drake new that the tide and winds would take them in a particular
direction and that in order to intercept them his already prepared
fleet should not sail for several hours. His patience paid off
and his rout of the Spanish in the ensuing battle was the high
point of his remarkable career.
Drake's career continued into his mid fifties. In
1596, he died while unsuccessfully attacking San Juan. He was buried
at sea in a lead coffin, near Portobelo, Panama.
The Drake fountain pen is fashioned from a solid rod of sterling silver. Guilloche engraving
is used to create a gently flowing wave pattern on the cap and barrel,
set off with highly polished cap top, cap band, and barrel end.
The solid sterling silver section leaves the weight
centred low in the hand, ensuring that the pen is balanced well
when writing. Each pen is engraved with the name Drake on the cap
band, and a likeness of The Golden Hind on the cap top. The
Conway Stewart Drake bears the English Sterling Silver Hallmark,
the world accepted standard for precious metal.
The Drake fountain pen is mounted with our large
18 carat solid gold nib, rhodium plated to match the sterling silver
cap and barrel. The nib is available in eight nib grades, form Extra
Fine to Double Broad, Italic Fine, Italic Medium and Italic Broad.
The Drake utilises the reliable converter cartridge filling mechanism.
The new pen is presented in Conway Stewart's luxurious
packaging, which contains a souvenir book on the life of Sir Francis