Sir Francis Drake Primary School in UK changes name because of English explorer's links to slave trade
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A UK school has changed its name from Sir Francis Drake Primary School. This is due to the explorer’s links to slavery.
The school carried out a consultation with parents and 450 people took part. According to the school, 88 per cent of those involved in the consultation voted for the name change. Pupils, staff, and local neighbours also took part.
Following the consultation, the school, which is located in Deptford in London will now be called Twin Oaks Primary School. According to the BBC, this name was originally suggested by pupils as two oak trees grow outside the school’s entrance.
The school is launching a competition for pupils to design a new logo and once this has been created, the school’s building will receive a new sign. They also hope a new branded uniform will be available for pupils in September.
A spokesperson for Lewisham Council said on Twitter: “Welcome Twin Oaks Primary School – the new name for Sir Francis Drake Primary School in Deptford.
“Great to hear how involved the school and local community have been in the process, and how parents and pupils have led and supported this change.”
Who was Sir Francis Drake?
Sir Francis Drake was knighted in Deptford in 1581 by Queen Elizabeth I for his successful trips around the world. He was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world between 1577 and 1580.
During his time as a naval officer, Sir Francis helped lead the British Navy in victory against the Spanish Armada. He is also said to have been involved in some of the earliest slaving voyages.
According to website History, Drake and his cousin John Hawkins sailed to Africa in 1567 to join the slave trade. When they sailed to New Spain to sell their captives to settlers there (which was against Spanish law), they were trapped by a Spanish attack in the Mexican port of San Juan de Ulua. This was said to have launched a life-long hatred of Spain.