A Crack at Draka:
Beginnings of the Drakesland Colony
Beginnings of the Drakesland Colony
POD: Drake doesn't get infected with dysentery and die at the age of 55.
The history of Draka can be traced first to the time when, in 1597, after a successful run in India to corner Spanish ships carrying goods from Iberian ports, Francis Drake's fleet is shipwrecked at the Cape of Good Hope. There they set up a fort and survive for over a year until they are rescued by several English ships. Upon his return to London, he told the Queen of his adventures and implored her to consent to the establishment of a permanent port there. She eventually gave in and gave him royal consent, but he still needed to finance it. Here is where a group of entrepreneurs latched on. Long had this group been trying to obtain a royal charter and here was Drake, with the ear of the Queen, needing funding. They promised to help him set up his colony, despite their main focus being trade with the South Asian countries. Drake accepted and convinced Queen Elizabeth to give the men a Royal Charter addressed to George, Earl of Cumberland, and 215 Knights, Aldermen, and Burgesses under the name, 'Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading with the East Indies'. This began the partnership of Drake's new colony and the East India Company.
Drake became convinced that his project was the right way to go for, being old in age, he couldn't continue pirating forever. Taking many a volunteer, women and men (and his wife, who was in the early stages of pregnancy), he set out with the Company to the Cape of Good Hope, where they landed with his settlers in the first half of the year 1600 and declared, under majority decision, the colony of 'Drakesland', much to Sir Francis's ire. So the EIC then went off and did their thing while Drake built his colony, commanding the odd pirate attack to capture a Dutch East India Company ship.
And so the colony thrived. Drake made several trips back to England, but eventually elected to remain in his new colony as governor, where he raised his son; Thomas Drake, until his death in 1610 at the ripe old age of 70. His estate and fortune was bequeathed to his wife. The port was named Praetor after the suggestion of Elizabeth Drake, who liked it for its connotations of a military and judicial leader, with her vision of the town being such a thing in Africa. Since it was largely an East India Company-sponsored colony there were several duties the local government under the Drakes was expected to fulfil. The first was to act as a port of call, where passing ships could shelter, and where hungry sailors could stock up on fresh supplies of meat, fruit, and vegetables. The colonists saw a lucrative business opportunity selling to the docked ships. Another ‘duty’ of the colony’s leadership given to them by the EIC was to maintain a good stock of sailors and act almost as a toll against the competition of the EIC. Privateers would force the ships to dock to avoid them and so they would spend more money on the local economy.
Need was developed for farms fairly quickly, and this led to settlers encroaching on traditional Khoikhoi grazing land for farms, which lead to active warfare between the settlers and the Khoikhoi. This would have been a slow, infrequent thing if it were not for the actions of boisterous privateer-sailors of Praetor’s ships. A group of such men, drunk on rage after one of their friend’s farm was overrun by the natives and his wife murdered in a recent raid on settler lands, decided to gather a posse and, with a whole lot of guns, stormed a small village of the Khoikhoi and perpetrated a massacre. Looting and burning the village, they killed the inhabitants but took the remaining female portion that survived as slaves. A few of these were sold overseas.
This rash action by the privateers of Praetor rallied several Khoikhoi tribes allied or associated with the village to go onto the warpath. Retaliatory attacks on the farms of the English settlers became too much for the townsfolk to bear. The hatred rose alongside the conflict until the colonists turned to the EIC for assistance. The chairman, feeling especially generous despite the early years for his company, agreed to hire mercenaries to help defend the company's investment.
In 1616, the combined force of mercenaries and militia colonists set out to secure their borders by destroying the aggressive tribes in what the colonists liked to call a 'campaign'. This is done so within a few of years. The mercenaries have taken the opportunity to loot and pillage whatever they can from the aggressive tribes. The immediate land is secure, with the Khoikhoi tribes being forced to move off lest they face the same fate as the tribes that fought back against the settlers. The bounty taken from the 'campaign' are land and slaves, with children being preferred for the ability to drill them while they are young. Most of these warring tribes had been, in the end, massacred by the hateful colonists and violently callous mercenaries.
With the end of what Drakan historians would call the "First Khoikhoi Disciplining", a new period of Drakan history would begin - the "Incursion Campaigns". The conflict is claimed by Drakan historians to have been the first demonstration of national spirit and unity - despite the EIC benefactors contributing most of the funding to the operation. It would be a slippery slope from there, with the anger and mistrust felt towards the natives by the colonists increasing as they grew.