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Richard Drake, by John Gower, 1577 (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Richard Drake of Esher, Surrey, (Esher, Surrey, 1535[1] — 11 July 1603), Equerry of the Stable to Elizabeth I of England, was the son of Richard Drake and first cousin of the navigator Sir Francis Drake, the son of Richard's brother Edmund. He served as factor and prize agent to his cousin, taking charge of the Spanish Armada prisoners taken off Plymouth in 1588, which included the Spanish vice-admiral, Don Pedro de Valdés, whom he kept at his manor of Esher in Surrey,[2] pending arrangements for the ransom, a subject over which his heirs and Sir Francis's quarrelled.[3]

Richard Drake held the manor of Esher at the time of his death and bequeathed it to his son, Francis, who sold it after 1631. The ancient manor house had been a seat of Cardinal Wolsey, purchased from him by Henry VIII, temporarily returned to the see under Mary and eventually conveyed by Elizabeth to Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham, from whom Drake must have purchased it.[4]

He married Ursula Stafford, daughter of Sir William Stafford.


  1. ^ Gower's portrait, 1577, shows Drake aetatis suis 42.
  2. ^ The transfer of the lease in perpetuity from the bishop of Winchester through the agency of Charles Lord Howard of Effingham, eventually passing to Richard Drake, is briefly detailed in 'Parishes: Esher', A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3 (1911), pp. 447-451 accessed 5 July 2009.
  3. ^ Harry Kelsey, Sir Francis Drake: The Queen's Pirate (Yale University Press) 1998:337.
  4. ^ "Cardinal Wolsey at Esher", The Gentleman's Magazine 1879:363.


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