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cene One
    1619 PANEL


As the saying goes, ‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it ‘ and Yeardley certainly makes sure that society in England is fully aware of his newly elevated status. Jealous John Chamberlain writes to his friend Carelton; ‘Here be two ships ready for Virginia, and one Captain Yeardley, a mean fellow by way of provision, goes as Governor, and to grace him the more the King knighted him this week at Newmarket; which hath set extraordinary bravery (pomp) with fourteen or fifteen fair liveries (swanky uniformed servants) after him.’ Bragging costs money, however. No wonder it is said later that he has spent almost £3,000 setting himself up for his early return to Virginia.

Yeardley’s new position as Governor also gives him power of patronage among friends and family. John Pory is Temperence Yeardley’s first cousin, so her husband twists the arm of the Virginia Council to have him made their Secretary in Virginia. The Council agrees but  Yeardley is slightly nettled when they tell him he has to finance the ex-Member of Parliament’s appointment himself.

Pory then is among the 300 men and boys the  Yeardleys take with them in the Company’s ships setting out from London on January 29. However, any hopes of a quick voyage fade as they encounter frequent heavy weather crossing the Atlantic. Weeks turn into months but eventually they arrive at Jamestown on April 29, to be greeted with great joy when Yeardley proclaims to the colonists their new rights and privileges and the end to things such as martial law. No such welcome from the Indians of course. The new Governor has brought yet more invaders to steal yet more land, by guile or force. Worse still, the interlopers bring new, unknown fatal diseases. These pestilences are now rampant, wiping out the native people by the score. None is safe. The white men’s plague is rife. No wonder that Opechancanough, Powhatan’s brother, refuses to visit the colony to treat with Yeardley.

This scene is based on one more of John White’s illustrations of native American life at Roanoke when he was Governor (see 1587 panel). It shows a charnel house where Indians laid out their dead, watched over by a carved figure of a spirit.


CHICKWEED  Stellaria media.  ‘Little birdies in cages’ are refreshed with it, ‘when they loath their meate’ Gerard.

OPIUM POPPY  Papaver.  ‘The use of the Poppie is verie evill dangerous and especially Opium…it will cause a man to sleepe too much as though he had the Lethargie… the forgetful sickness’. Henry Lyte.

AVENS  Geum urbanum The rootes taken up in Autumne and dried, do keep garments from being eaten with Mothes’ Gerard.

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