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The original item was published from 11/3/2016 1:36:00 PM to 11/17/2016 9:05:02 AM.

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Hampton History Museum

Posted on: October 27, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Smelling Too Much of Home: Religion and Politics at Jamestown

smells too much

The rediscovery of Jamestown’s first Anglican Church in 2010 provides startling evidence of the ways in which the mother country’s 17th century social makeup and religious politics played out in its first successful North American colony. Mark Summers, Manager, Public and Educational Programs for Historic Jamestowne, will explore the implications of this Anglican church’s four chancel burials, which were unearthed and identified in 2013. The men buried in the Jamestown church’s chancel, as well as their grave relics, reflect the class and religious divisions of the mother country; their burial in the Church’s chancel indicated the men’s high social status. Moreover, as England was divided between Catholics and Protestants whose differing theological views were hotly contested, so were the theological views of the Englishmen at Jamestown. In addition, the Jamestown burials also provide evidence of a possible gunpowder plot against one of Jamestown's most famous leaders.

Summers has been the Manager, Public and Educational Programs for Historic Jamestowne since 2012. He regularly gives tours and lectures on Jamestown history and archaeology, particularly on religious and political topics. He has also appeared on the PBS documentary "Secrets of the Dead" about the story of “Jane,” a young woman whose skeletal remains provided evidence of the hardships encountered by the English during Jamestown’s early settlement period. A native of Petersburg, VA, Mark majored in history at Ole Miss, graduating in 2000, and received an MA in Atlantic History from Virginia Tech in 2011.

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