Even outside of the United States of America, George Washington is a very well-known figure as a man who was a key part in founding, and in its formative years running (as first president between 1789-1797), the new country claiming independence from Great Britain in 1776.
But like most citizens in the country’s history that don’t classify themselves as ‘native’, their ancestry can be traced back to another country, in Washington’s case, England, through his great-grandfather John, who in emigrated to the Thirteen Colonies. John’s father, Lawrence Washington (George’s great-great grandfather), was a less notable but still Wikipedia-worthy person who lived his life as a rector, dying at age 50 in 1653. His final resting place? All Saints Church, Maldon.
To commemorate this high-profile resident of their graveyard (who would have a number of descendants named after him including George’s older half-brother and mentor), the church has a stained glass window for the Washington family, donated by the namesake town of Malden (Massachusetts, USA) in 1928, though fame and an American slant ensures that George is focused on.
The ‘Washington Window’ primarily depicts Pilgrim Saint Nicholas on the Mayflower boat across the Atlantic, England’s Patron Saint George (definitely not to be confused), and Saint Joan of Arc. Underneath, though, are images of the Mayflower landing, the signing of the American Declaration of Independence, and the Statue of Liberty, with the top including English, Scottish, Welsh, and American coats of arms, along with the Washington family crest.
So despite never setting foot in Maldon, England, or Europe at all, one of America’s most iconic figures has a memorial in this town, thanks to the legacy of his great-grandfather. Who knows, maybe if all of Lawrence’s family stayed in the local area, then a huge chunk of land across the Atlantic Ocean might be under a British flag right now…