Retiring Francis Drake grants 75 Gold (on Standard speed) and permanently increases the rewards from plundering sea Trade Routes by +50%. In Gathering Storm, in addition to increasing rewards from plundering sea Trade Routes, retiring him creates a Privateer with a promotion level.
Can’t say that Francis Drake didn’t have an exciting life: slaver, privateer (or pirate according to most), vice-admiral in the victory over the Spanish armada, first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe, and the most famous mariner of the Elizabethan Age. Born at some point between 1540 and 1544 AD in Devonshire, Francis Drake was the eldest of 12 sons. Since the family obviously couldn’t support useless mouths, he was eventually apprenticed to a merchant sailing the coastal waters between England and France; with a gift for navigation, he was soon recruited by the Hawkins brood, privateers prowling the shipping lanes.
By the 1560s, Drake was given command of the 'Judith,' and at the head of a small fleet with John Hawkins, worked as slave traders. They then sailed for New Spain to sell their captives, but ran afoul of the Spanish viceroy. In a running battle Drake escaped. In 1572, based on this exploit, Drake was given a privateer’s commission by Elizabeth, and set off to plunder the Caribbean. So successful was he that the queen dispatched him to raid the Pacific coastline. After internal strife and a great storm scattered Drake’s little fleet, rather than face the enraged Spanish in the Atlantic, he set out with the 'Golden Hind' to sail back to England across the Pacific. In 1580 Drake reached Plymouth with a shipload of treasure; Elizabeth knighted him in 1581.
Sir Francis Drake continued to “singe the King of Spain’s beard” (as Francis Bacon put it), seemingly with impunity. Thus, as the Spanish Armada gathered, it was inevitable that Drake would be appointed a vice-admiral of the English navy set to fight it. In a series of running battles, the Armada was shattered and the pirate made into a folk hero. He died of dysentery while on an expedition to raid Panama in 1596.