Over the last half century, the decline of the core industries of mining, farming and fishing has led to economic disadvantage in Devon, when compared with other parts of Southern England. A particularly brutal blow was dealt in more recent times when the 2001 foot and mouth crisis struck.
Even so, Devon boasts an illustrious history as a seafaring county, claiming such naval heroes as Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh. This makes sense, given that it is the only county with two separate coastlines in England. However, an even more exciting sea-captain than these was notorious Henry "King of the Pirates" Every. Every, a born Devon man, was infamous in the late 17th century for perpetrating what is still thought to be the most profitable pirate raid in history, and managing to achieve the rare feat of retiring with the loot before being killed in battle or-much worse-arrested. And all of this with a £1000 bounty on his head. (In today's money, around £200,000.)
Devon is also home to a great tradition of poetry and literature, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Agatha Christie and Ted Hughes all hailing from the windswept county.