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People from Plymouth are known as Plymothians or less formally as Janners. Its meaning is described as a person from Devon, deriving from Cousin Jan (the Devon form of John), but more particularly in naval circles anyone from the Plymouth area. The Elizabethan navigator, Sir Francis Drake was born in the nearby town of Tavistock and was the mayor of Plymouth. He was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world and was known by the Spanish as El Draco meaning "The Dragon" after he raided many of their ships. He died of dysentery in 1596 off the coast of Puerto Rico. In 2002 a mission to recover his body and bring it to Plymouth was allowed by the Ministry of Defence. His cousin and contemporary John Hawkins was a Plymouth man. Painter Sir Joshua Reynolds, founder and first president of the Royal Academy was born and educated in nearby Plympton, now part of Plymouth.
Antarctic explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Frank Bickerton both lived in the city. Artists include Beryl Cook whose paintings depict the culture of Plymouth and Robert Lenkiewicz, whose paintings looked at themes such as: vagrancy, sexual behaviour and suicide, lived in the city from the 1960s until his death in 2002. In addition, actor Sir Donald Sinden and George Passmore of Turner Prize winning duo Gilbert and George were born in the city, as was Labour peer Michael Foot. Notable athletes include swimmer Sharron Davies, diver Tom Daley, dancer Wayne Sleep, and footballer Trevor Francis. Other past residents include composer Ron Goodwin, and journalist Angela Rippon and comedian Dawn French.
After the English Civil War the Royal Citadel was built in 1666 on the east end of Plymouth Hoe, to defend the port from naval attacks, suppress Plymothian Parliamentary leanings and to train the armed forces. Guided tours are available in the summer months. Further west is Smeaton's Tower, which was built in 1759 as a lighthouse on rocks 14 miles (23 km) off shore, but dismantled and the top two thirds rebuilt on the Hoe in 1877. It is open to the public and has views over the Plymouth Sound and the city from the lantern room. Plymouth has 20 war memorials of which nine are on The Hoe including: Plymouth Naval Memorial, to remember those killed in World War One and Two, and the National Armada memorial, to commemorate the defeat of the Spanish Armada. The early port settlement of Plymouth, called "Sutton", approximates to the area now referred to as the Barbican and has 100 listed buildings and the largest concentration of cobbled streets in Britain. The Pilgrim Fathers left for the New World in 1620 near the commemorative Mayflower Steps in Sutton Pool. Also on Sutton Pool is the National Marine Aquarium which displays 400 marine species and includes Britain's deepest aquarium tank.
A mile upstream on the opposite side of the River Plym is the Saltram estate, which has a Jacobean and Georgian mansion.
On the northern outskirts of the city, Crownhill Fort is a well restored example of a "Palmerston's Folly". It is owned by the Landmark Trust and is open to the public.
Plymouth is often used as a base by visitors to Dartmoor, the Tamar Valley and the beaches of south-east Cornwall. Kingsand, Cawsand and Whitsand Bay are popular.
Her Majesty's Courts Service provide a Magistrates' Court and a Combined Crown and County Court in the city. The Plymouth Borough Police, formed in 1836, eventually became part of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. There are police stations at Charles Cross and Crownhill (the Divisional HQ) and smaller stations at Plympton and Plymstock. The city has one of the Devon and Cornwall Area Crown Prosecution Service Divisional offices. Plymouth has five fire stations located in Camel's Head, Crownhill, Greenbank, Plympton and Plymstock which is part of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution have an Atlantic 85 class lifeboat and Severn class lifeboat stationed at Millbay Docks.