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Washington & Northern Virginia Company -- Biographies of Ancestors of Members
Richard Pace

    Richard Pace, a carpenter from Wapping, Middlesex, married Isabell Smyth at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, Middlesex, England. They appear to have arrived in Virginia before 1616 as they were designated "ancient planters". In December 1620 they were granted 200 acres south of the James River, which became known as "Pace's Paines".


    At this site they became key participants in the event that was to be known as the "First Massacre". At about 3 o'clock in the morning on 22 March 1622 which happened to be Good Friday, an Indian boy named Chanco, who lived with the Pace family and who had been instructed in Christianity, revealed to Richard Pace that at breakfast time there would be a colony-wide uprising against the English. The Indians who had been accepted throughout the colony and

were living among and working with the English had been instructed by Chief Opechancanough to rise at that hour, to seize whatever weapons were at hand and to kill all of the English. Pace, hearing this warning immediately took his boat three miles across the James to Jamestown arriving in time to warn and save the capitol of the colony from the fury of the uprising that killed 347 of approximately 1200 colonists in Virginia.


    After the massacre and a half year's stay under the protection of Jamestown, Pace sought and received permission to return to Pace's Paines and to strengthen it so that he and other men would be able to live safely there. The records show that Pace had also held shares in a plantation which had been planned to be set on the Chickahominy River after the massacre but that he preferred to stay at Pace's Paines.


    As the name of Pace does not appear in either the census of 1624 or the muster of 1625, it seems probable that by then he had died and his widow, Isabell, and their son George had returned to England. By 21 January 1628 Isabell had married a friend of her former husband, William Perry, and in September of that year she patented 200 acres adjacent to Pace's Paines.

    George Pace grew up, married Sarah Maycock, and had died by June of 1655, when his son and only child, Richard Pace, then having passed his 14th  birthday chose a guardian. During his life George Pace had in August 1650 patented 1700 acres in Charles City County and in December 1652 a further 507 acres in the same county south of the James.



1.  "Adventurers of Purse and Person Virginia 1607-1624/5", 4th Edition; John Frederick Dorman; Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, MD, 2005

2.  "The Virginia Adventure", by Ivor Noel Hume; Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, pp 363-364

Nov 2006