Pocahontas remembered 400 years after her death on English soil
Pocahontas is an icon of popular culture, but little is commonly known of her true story and many people assume she is a fictional character. It is largely untold that she was a real Powhatan Native American woman who converted to Christianity, married an Englishman and travelled over 3,000 miles to England in 1616.
In March 1617 she died in Gravesend, Kent at the beginning of the return leg to Virginia.
To commemorate 400 years since the death of Pocahontas on English soil, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has re-listed the statue of Pocahontas in Gravesend and has newly listed the Virginia Quay Settlers Monument in Blackwall, both on the advice of Historic England.
A life-size bronze statue of Pocahontas stands by the Church of St George in Gravesend in honour of the final resting place of this extraordinary woman. First listed in 1975 the statue has been ‘re-listed’ in time for the 400th anniversary of Pocahontas’ burial on 21 March. The list entry has been updated to include a full history and description of the important role this woman played in both English and American history at a critical time in the founding of modern America.
Pocahontas was primarily linked to the English colonists through Captain John Smith, who arrived in Virginia in 1607. After he left for England she spent a year in the English encampment, possibly as a captive, and during this time she converted to Christianity. She later married the colonist John Rolfe and became known as Rebecca Rolfe.
For more information on heritage related projects regarding Pocahontas go to Pocahontas 2017 International Projects, UK Projects.