21.03.

1617: Funeral of Princess Pocahontas in England

1617: Funeral of Princess Pocahontas in England
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons / The Baptism of Pocahontas

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 21 March 1617
  • In England, Pocahontas even met King James I, and participated in ceremonies in the royal palace at Whitehall. She died suddenly in England, at the age of only 22.

On this day in 1617, Native American princess Pocahontas was buried in England. Her life story is very unusual because it combines a childhood spent among Native Americans, a marriage with an English immigrant, and even attending ceremonies at the royal court in London.

Pocahontas was the daughter of Chief Powhatan, whose tribe lived on the territory of what is now Virginia. The English captured Pocahontas when she was around 18 years old.

She was baptized during her time in captivity, and received the name Rebecca. In 1614 she married the English colonist John Rolfe, and had a son with him, named Thomas Rolfe.

The marriage between Pocahontas and John Rolfe was allegedly the first recorded mixed-race marriage in North America.

As Rolfe’s wife, Pocahontas bore the name Rebecca Rolfe. Together with her husband and son, she set sail for England in 1616. There she even met King James I, and participated in ceremonies in the royal palace at Whitehall.

Pocahontas died suddenly in England, at the age of only 22, most likely of some infectious disease. She was buried next to the St. George’s Church in Gravesend, precisely on this day in 1617.

The town of Gravesend lies on the River Thames, between London and the Thames estuary.

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