The Sir Francis Drake statue gets a plaque about his ‘terrible slave trade expeditions’ despite being backed by one person and receiving 89 objections
- The sculpture by Sir Francis Drake is based in the explorer’s hometown of Tavistock, West Devon
- A new plaque claiming he ‘brutally attacked’ African societies approved
- The plans are progressing despite officials receiving 89 written objections and only one letter of support
Plans to mark a statue of Sir Francis Drake to highlight his ‘terrible slave trade expeditions’ takes place despite the fact that he received only one letter of support – and 89 objections.
The sculpture, based in explorer’s hometown of Tavistock, West Devon, was reviewed by local council officials in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests.
Now a new sign claiming that he ‘brutally attacked’ African societies has been approved.
Sir Francis is known for sailing around the world in a single expedition on his ship Golden Hind from 1577 to 1580 and for having defeated the Spanish armada in 1588.
The sculpture, based in explorer’s hometown of Tavistock, West Devon, was reviewed by local council officials in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests. Now a new sign claiming that he ‘brutally attacked’ African societies has been approved
The plan for the new plaque was raised by Tavistock City Council with West Devon City Council approving it.
Officials received 89 written objections to the proposal, including some claiming that Sir Francis was a ‘national hero’ and a ‘landmark historical figure’.
There was only one letter of support urging officials to put his defeat over the Spanish armada in the ‘most prominent position’ on the sign. The statue currently has a short biography in granite at the bottom.
The new panel that will stand next to the sculpture reads: ‘His life story is full of contrasts. He was seen as a hero for being the first Englishman to sail just around the world, and he played a major role in the defense of England from the Spanish armada.
‘But he was also involved in several horrific slave trade expeditions. In addition, as a privateer, he plundered and plundered Spanish cities and ships in Europe and throughout their empire in America. ‘
The sign will ‘provide understanding for residents and visitors’, according to planning documents for the scheme.
An objection to it said there was no ‘need for an information sign that would go to an anti-British mob’.
Another claimed: ‘For the overwhelming majority of the British people, Drake will always be remembered as one of our nation’s greatest heroes.’
Sir Francis is known for sailing around the world in a single expedition on his ship Golden Hind from 1577 to 1580 and for having defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588
One said: ‘I do not understand why a small number of extremists who have not contributed anything to the history of this great country or society in general feel that they have the right to sit in judgment on historical figures.’
Robert Poll, of the Save Our Statues campaign group, told The Daily Telegraph: The ‘Government’ Preserve and Explain ‘policy promotes a worrying new acceptance that any recollection of our history must be accompanied by an apology and that slavery is now the single most important issue, which every other achievement must be seen in the shadow of.
‘Drake helped save our country from invasion, and we should not have to apologize for remembering it.’ Other controversial statues in Britain have faced removal, including one dedicated to Cecil Rhodes at Oxford University. The campaigns said it celebrated the 19th-century imperialist who operated in southern Africa and represented white supremacy.
A commission examined the figure’s future at Oriel College, and most members supported the removal. But the college said in May it would not move the statue because of cost and planning issues.