The New World Tapestry

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cene One
         1606 PANEL




1606 is a hugely important year for Sir John Popham with little time to spend in a home of his in Littlecote in Wiltshire. This is because as Lord Chief Justice of England he is  vitally involved with two major events. Firstly he has to preside over the trials, on January 27th of Guy Fawkes and his fellow Catholic  Revolutionaries who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament at Westminster on November 5th last year in what has become known as the Gunpowder Plot. It failed, so Popham and other judges sentence them to the ghastly fate of being tied down onto hurdles then dragged by horses through the filthy streets of London to their places of execution. There a scaffold awaits them where, one by one they will firstly be partially hung, then cut down whilst still alive, their entrails drawn out and burnt, their bodies cut into four pieces and finally their heads stuck on spikes as a warning to others.


Most executions in London take place at Tyburn but in the case of the plotters Sir Edward Digby, Robert Wyntour, John Grant and Thomas Bates theirs is in St Paul’s Churchyard three days after the trial, that is, January 30th. The next day Thomas Wyntour, Ambrose Rookwood, Robert Keyes and Guy Fawkes meet the same fate at Westminster near the scene of their intended treasonable act. We see Popham pictured at the scene of their foiled crime, the cellars below Parliament thinking about Fawkes who was the last to suffer on the scaffold, but who partially cheated his torturers by jumping and breaking his neck.


Popham’s next major concern is speeding up the formation of the Plymouth Adventurers Company in which he and his goldseeking sons-in-law are prominent shareholders, intent on petitioning King James for a Royal Charter. The aim of this joint-stock company, composed of investors mainly from England’s West Country ‘venturing’ or risking money is, by trading mostly from Plymouth in Devon to set up a colony to develop the territory in Northern Virginia between 38º and 45º north latitude. Southern Virginia is the interest of another investment group, principally of London merchant adventurers titled the London Virginia Company. Their number includes Sir John Dodderidge, England’s Solicitor General.

tapestry photo 1606 scene one

COTTON LAVENDER Lavendula toemina. The distilled water of lavender smelt unto, or the temples and forehead bathed therewith, is a refreshing to them that have the Catalepsic. Gerard.


MEADOWSWEET Filipendula ulmaria. To stowe in chambers, hals and banqueting houses in the sommer time; for the smell thereof maketh the hart merrie. Gerard.

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