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Princess remembered

24 October 2014

TO HAVE her 400th wedding anniversary commemorated is quite something, even for a princess. But the princess was Pocahontas, the celebrated American Indian, born in Werowocomoco (who could resist that name?) in Virginia, in 1596, captured by the English, and brought to London where she chose to remain, marrying John Rolfe in 1614. Sadly, she died only three years later, and was buried in a church in Gravesend.

It was in St George's, Gravesend, that 20 members of the Colonial Dames of America, who can trace their ancestry back to the original 17th-century settlers in the United States, were recently welcomed by the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff,to a special service of commemoration of the marriage of Pocahontas and Rolfe - the first recorded interracial marriage in American history. He used the occasion to preach on the theme of "dedication and commitment".

The Colonial Dames were delighted with the friendliness they met with, and the Rector of St George's, Canon Chris Stone, said that "the links between St George's and the Colonial Dames go back more than 100 years now, and we look forward to them continuing into the future". The opportunity was taken to unveil a Benefaction Board, listing the benefactors to the parish from 1596 to 1702. A second board picking up from 1703 is to be the next project, and the Colonial Dames have been among the contributors meeting the cost.

After leaving Gravesend, the Dames travelled on to Heacham, in Norfolk, Rolfe's birthplace, where they were to meet the Bishop of Norwich.

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