The Golden Hind was an English galleon best known for its circumnavigation of the globe between 1577 and 1580, captained by Sir Francis Drake. She was originally known as the Pelican, but was renamed by Drake mid-voyage in 1578, as he prepared to enter the Strait of Magellan, calling it the Golden Hind to compliment his patron, Sir Christopher Hatton, whose armorial crest was a golden 'hind' (the heraldic term for a female deer). Hatton was one of the principal sponsors of Drake's world voyage.
Sir Francis Drake sailed the Golden Hind on his historic three-year voyage round the world. The flagship of a fleet of five, the Golden Hind was the only one to safely return. Having plundered Spanish treasure at every opportunity and earned a massive return for himself, his financial backers and his country. On 26 September 1580, Francis Drake took his ship into Plymouth Harbour with only 56 of the original crew of 80 left aboard. Despite his piratical conduct on his voyages, Queen Elizabeth herself went aboard the Golden Hind, which was lying at Deptford in the Thames estuary, and personally bestowed a knighthood on him; her share of the treasure came to almost £160,000: "enough to pay off her entire foreign debt and still have £40,000 left over to invest in a new trading company for the Levant. Her return and that of other investors came to £47 for every £1 invested, or a total return of 4,700%."
After Drake's circumnavigation, the Golden Hind was maintained for public exhibition in Deptford. This is the earliest known example of a ship being maintained for public display because of its historic significance. Golden Hind remained there for nearly 100 years before she eventually rotted away and was finally broken up. The table in the Middle Temple Hall (in London) is reputed to have been made from the wood of the Golden Hind, as is a chair in the Great Hall, Buckland Abbey, Devon. My dear friend Maria sent me this pretty and historical card.