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Captain John Smith

ARMS: Vert a chevron Gules between three Turks’ heads couped Proper turbanned Or.

SOURCE/NOTES & CREDITS: Arms blazon, background illustration and text are from
the record of confirmation of arms and crest by William Segar, Garter, College of Arms, England, 19 Aug 1625 of a grant of arms to John Smith by Sigismund Bathori, Duke of Transylvania, 9 Dec 1603 recorded on pp 38-39 of “The Oxford Guide to Heraldry”, by Thomas Woodcock and John Robinson, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1988. The text was adapted by D.Q. Wedvick from the same source and from the Wikipedia internet article.

Capt. John Smith of Jamestown, VA, and Pocahontas fame, was a warrior, military leader, a verra aggressive fighter, ladies man and author, and was baptized on 6 Jan 1580 in Willoughby, Lincolnshire, England. After his father died he left home and went to sea at age 16. He served as a mercenary to Henri IV of France against Spain, fought for the Dutch against the Spanish, then went to the Mediterranean engaging in trade and piracy. He then fought against the Ottoman Turks in the Long War. He was promoted to Captain by the Hapsburgs in the campaign of Michael the Brave in 1600-1601. Smith then entered the service of Sigismund Batori in 1601 and was granted arms and nobility for fighting, defeating and beheading three Turkish commanders successively in single combat. In 1602, however he was wounded and captured by the Turks, sold as a slave and given to his new owner’s mistress who promptly fell in love with him … so somehow he escaped to Russia and returned to England in 1604. Smith was brought into the plan for a Virginia colony by the organizers in 1606 and sailed as one of the leaders landing at Cape Henry on 26 April 1607.

Capt. Smith is chiefly remembered for his role in establishing the first permanent English settlement in North America and his association with the Indian lady, Princess Pocahontas during an altercation with the Powhatan Confederacy and her father Chief Powhatan. He was the leader of the Virginia Colony at Jamestown between September 1608 and August 1609 and led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and Chesapeake Bay. His books and maps may have been more important than his deeds as they encouraged many more English men and women to follow on to colonize this America in the New World, “Here every man may be master and owner of his owne labour and land. If he have nothing but his hands.. by industrie quickly grow rich.” The message attracted countless people in the succeeding four centuries. He died at home in England on 21 June 1631, age 51. dqw 20100709.

The artwork is a rendering by John Hamilton Gaylor.

Wedvick Armorial, 156, Smith, 20100604
Stackelberg3788.jpg SpensCount.jpg SmithCaptain2132.jpg Sandringham3.jpg Rosenbroijer5344.jpg
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