Sir John Smith (c. January 1580 – 21 June 1631) Admiral of New England was an English soldier, explorer, and author. He was knighted for his services to Sigismund Bathory, Prince of Transylvania and his friend Mózes Székely. He was considered to have played an important part in the establishment of the first permanent English settlement in North America. He was a leader of the Virginia Colony (based at Jamestown) between September 1608 and August 1609, and led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. He was the first English explorer to map the Chesapeake Bay area and New England.

Smith's books and maps are considered extremely important in encouraging and supporting English colonization of the New World. He gave the name New England to that region and encouraged people to migrate by noting, "Here every man may be master and owner of his owne labour and land... If he have nothing but his hands, he industrie quickly grow rich."

When Jamestown was England’s first permanent settlement in the New World, Smith trained the settlers to farm and work, thus saving the colony from early devastation. He publicly stated "he who shall not work, shall not eat." His courage and tenacity overcame many adverse situations in a new land. This strength of character and determination overcome problems presented from the hostile Indians, the wilderness and the troublesome and uncooperative English settlers. Harsh weather, lack of water, living in a swampy wilderness, English unwillingness to work, and attacks from the Powhatan nation almost destroyed the colony.

Smith is buried in the church of St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate, the largest parish church in the City of London, where there is a handsome window designed by Francis Skeat and installed in 1968.