Francis Drake, was born around 1540 in Tavistock, about 15 miles from this statue.
He is considered a hero in England, but he is remembered as a pirate in Spain. He famously plundered Spanish ships that were sailing back from their colonies in South America. If the attacks were successful, Drake took the treasure for himself and for his queen. He also raided Spanish and Portuguese ports in the ‘New World’ and the Atlantic.
In 1577 as the leader of an expedition intended to pass around South America, through the Strait of Magellan, and explore the coast that lay beyond.
By Continentalis - This file was derived from World Topography.jpg:, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Drake successfully completed the journey and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth upon his triumphant return.
He joined the ranks of National Hero in 1588 when he saw action in the defeat of the Spanish Armada, most notably when he captured the Spanish Flagship Rosario.
He died in 1596 from dysentery off Panama, after undertaking an unsuccessful raiding mission.