This shot of captain George Vancouver's statue in King's Lynn's quayside is my favourite of 2007. Here is a brief history of this remarkable man:
George Vancouver was born in 1757 in King’s Lynn, England. He is best remembered for the longest mapping expedition in history, sailing in HMS Discovery. Between 1791-1795, Vancouver and his crew men mapped the North American west coast from San Diego, California to southern Alaska. His measurements were so accurate that many were used even in 20th century until computer technology took over. The city of Vacouver in British Columbia and Vancouver island were named after him.
But he had the 'misfortune' of disciplining one of the officers under his command, Thomas Pitt, 2nd Baron Camelford, who happened to be a member of the house of Lords and a cousin of the then Prime Minister William Pitt, the younger. Thomas Pitt was flogged for trading an item of ships' stores for the romantic favours of a woman in Tahiti island during one of the expeditions and for several other such infractions.
When George Vancouver returned to England after his expeditions, he was treated badly by the Prime minister and other allies of Thomas Pitt. He was also assaulted by Pitt in the streets of London. A long legal battle followed which required Captain Vancouver to keep peace but nothing stopped his civilian brother Charles from giving Thomas Pitt blow for blow until onlookers restrained the attack!!
All this stress and the effects of the long voyages resulted in poor health and Vancouver died in 1798 at the age of 40, less than three years after completing his voyage. He was buried in Petersham in the outskirts of London.
In 2001 a bronze statue was erected at the quay in King's Lynn as a tribute to this great explorer.