Sir Richard Greenville
Sir Richard Greenville was born in 1542 at Clifton House, in Devon, England. His grandfather was Sir Richard, a marshal of Calais during the reign of Henry VIII. His father had been given the responsibility to command the Mary Rose in 1545.
But he was lost in the same. Sir Richard was the cousin of Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake. It is said that before the start of his pirating career, he was studying law at the Inner Temple.
It is believed that he began his career in 1566 when he served in Hungary against the Turks. Sir Richard accompanied Sir Warham to Ireland to settle a few land deals. He had also been able to capture lands at Tracton for colonizing them.
In 1571 and 1584, he sat in the parliament for Cornwall. Sir Richard was a man who was ambitious and at the same time had a lot pride. In 1585, there were about seven ships under his control by which several colonists were taken to the Roanoke Island.
In 1586, Sir Richard reached Roanoke Island to find the colonists but he soon realized that they had already left with Sir Francis Drake. He then asked a few men from his crew to stay back and keep the island their control.
Sir Richard had arranged the defenses of Devon and Cornwall in anticipation of an attack from Spain. Sir Richard was placed as the Vice Admiral on board of the ship Revenge and the ships sent by Thomas Howard, under the command of Sir Francis Drake. His responsibility was to maintain a regiment at the Azores to stop the Spanish treasure carrying vessels.
After some time, Howard reached Flores with 16 ships and he soon got the news of many Spanish ships had been sent by Philip II of Spain to rescue the Spanish treasure ship. Howard did not have the strength of men and ships to fight such a large troop of Spaniards.
He thus asked Richard to take charge. Richard's position was some what similar to that of Howard with around 100 of his men had fallen ill. Sir Richard fought the Spanish vessels against all odds and the battle between him and the Spanish ships lasted for about fifteen hours.
During this time, Sir Richard and his men were successful in destroying some Spanish ships. Ultimately, Sir Richard and his men were out numbered by the Spanish troops. Under these circumstances, the crew of the Revenge ship surrendered. Sir Richard is said to have died in 1591 owing to the injuries sustained during the battle.