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cene One
    1617-18 PANEL


The Rolfes’ country house, where they entertained Smith is at Brentford near Kew, up the River Thames but not too far from London. (It is called Boston House today). It is where they have been living since their move from Ludgate Hill in the city and chosen by John to help Pocahontas recover from the effect of London’s winter fogs and filth. It is also a place where her native companions are less exposed to the white men’s diseases that have already killed three of them over the short time of their stay in England. It is all to no avail however, because the Princess’s health continues to deteriorate and anyway, the needs of the Colony in Virginia for more supplies and for  Deputy Governor Argall to return with Rolfe and more settlers dictate that a departure must be made as soon as favourable winds allow.

The return journey to Virginia, aboard Argall’s ship the George begins in March but the vessel only reaches Gravesend at the mouth of the Thames when, now terminally sick, Pocahontas begs to be taken ashore. There, carried in a litter and taken to an inn with a doctor and priest called, she breathes her last in the arms of her husband. She will be buried in St George’s Church.

The illustration of Gravesend waterfront is based on an actual engraving of the period. It is not known which of the two inns, the ‘Flushing’ or the ‘Christopher’ was the hostelry where Pocahontas was carried to, so both inn signs are shown. She was buried in the chancel of St George’s but, incredibly, the tomb was not marked and when a disastrous fire in 1727 destroyed the church and chancel there was no record of her final resting place.  150 years were to pass before the importance in Anglo-American history of this remarkable Christian Native American was recognised. That recognition began when the Rector of St George’s Robert Haslam, placed a plaque in the chancel to her memory. Next century, in July 1914 two stained glass windows were gifted to St George’s by American ladies, then in 1958 one hundred visiting Virginians brought with them the bronze statue of the Princess which now graces the Pocahontas Gardens in the churchyard. Also, as a final tribute, St George’s has been renamed ‘The Chapel of Unity and Pocahontas Church’.


TAMARISK Tamariscus Narbonensis.The ashes of burnt Tamariske hath a drying facultie, and greatly scouring withal, and a little binding.’  Gerard

CHERRY Prunus avium.   The best and principall cherries be those that are somewhat sower’. Gerard.

PRINCE OF WALES FEATHERS (Red valerian) Kentranthus rubber. Gerard praises ‘the excellent sweet savour of the rootes’.

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