Memorial to Bideford’s native American

A quiet ceremony took place in St Mary’s churchyard in Bideford to remember a Native American who died more than 400 years ago.

Dr Eric Klingelhofer, professor of history and vice-president of the First Colony Foundation of Manteo, North Carolina, laid flowers in memory of Rawley, the Roanoke Island native American was brought to Bideford by Sir Richard Grenville in 1586. He became a member of the Grenville household and was baptised a Christian before his death and burial in the churchyard in 1589 along with Rebecca, one of Grenville’s daughters.

Dr Klingelhofer was joined by Sadie Green, project development worker for Bideford 500, who has set up an art-based exchange with Manteo, and Cllr Andy Powell, author of Grenville and the Lost Colony of Roanoke and member of Bideford 500. A former Mayor of Bideford, Mr Powell was instrumental in cementing an official twinning link between Bideford and Manteo and continues to trace the historic links between the two communities.

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