An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Jamestown, Virginia

A royal charter was granted on Apr. 10, 1606, for a settlement in Virginia. On Dec. 20, 1606, three ships, Goodspeed, Discovery, and Susan Constance, sailed from the Thames River. They reached Virginia on Apr. 26, 1607. The ships entered the Chesapeake Bay and disembarked at Jamestown. It was first called James Fort, after James I, King of England at the time. The chaplain on board was Robert Hunt. Captain John Smith led the expedition. They had a church service on their first Sunday in Jamestown. Six weeks later, on June 21, 1607, there was the first recorded Holy Communion at Jamestown. They had Morning and Evening Prayer every day, two sermons on each Sunday, and the Holy Communion every three months. It was here in 1613 that the Indian Princess Pocahontas was baptized and married to John Rolfe. The fifth church structure, the Brick Church, was destroyed by fire, but the tower, built in 1647, is still standing. This tower is now the entrance to the present church, built in 1907 by the Colonial Dames of America.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.