Elizabeth Poole or Pole (August 25, 1588 – May 21, 1654) was an English settler in Plymouth Colony who founded the town of Taunton, Massachusetts. Events 1248 - The Dutch city of Ommen receives city rights and fortification rights from Otto III the Events 878 - Syracuse Italy is captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily. Plymouth Colony (sometimes New Plymouth or The Old Colony) was an English colonial venture in North America from 1620 until 1691 Taunton is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. She was the first woman known to have founded a town in the Americas. Pole was a noblewoman from Shute in East Devon, Nr Axminster. Daughter of Sir William Pole (knighted by James I in 1601 ) and Mary Peryham (daughter of Sir William Peryham, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer). Her descendants - the Pole-Carew family - still live in the house she was born in - Shute Barton - which is open to the public by the National Trust twice a week in the summer. Shute Barton, located at Shute, near Axminster, Devon, England, is a Mediaeval Manor house, today a property of the
Elizabeth sailed from Plymouth in 1633. Although the Taunton town seal depicts Pole purchasing land from the local Wampanoag Indians, she was not actually involved in the original transaction. However, together with her brother William Pole, she acquired a large section of this land in 1637. This led to the development of the Taunton settlement in 1638. The next year, on March 3, 1639, the settlement was officially incorporated.
The inscription on her gravestone reads,
Here rest the remains of Elizabeth Poole, a native of Old England, of good family, friends, and prospects, all which she left in the prime of her life, to enjoy the religion of her conscience, in this distant wilderness; a great proprietor of the township of Taunton, a chief promoter of its settlement, and its incorporation in 1639-40; about which time she settled near this spot, and having employed the opportunity of her virgin state in piety, liberality, and sanctity of manners, died May 21, 1654, aged 65.