The New World Tapestry

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cene Four
    1621-23 PANEL


(Left of scene 3). Ironmonger Thomas Weston, the unsavoury grasping merchant who gave the Saints so much trouble before they left Southampton two years ago (1620 panel, scene 2), is up to his underhand tricks again. He is sending ships to New Plymouth with more vagabonds and ne’er-do-wells among the passengers than genuine, hardworking potential settlers. Now he arrives himself with another shipment of drunken thieving layabouts. The Governor, foreseeing problems, packs them off to start a plantation in the north but even there they cause so much trouble that Weston is arrested a year later and together with many of his yobbos, deported back to England aboard the ship Susan (left of this scene). Back in England outrage at the news of the Jamestown massacre causes the London Virginia Company to instruct Governor Wyatt thus: ‘But for a full securing of yourselves, and a certain destroying of them, we conceive no means so proper, nor expedient, as to maintain continually certain bands of men of able bodies, and inured to the Country, of stout minds and active hands, that may from time to time (in severed [separate] bodies) pursue and follow them, surprising them in their habitations, intercepting them in their hunting, burning their towns, demolishing their temples, destroying their canoes, plucking up their weirs, carrying away their corn, and depriving them of whatsoever may yield them succour or relief; by which means in a very short while both your just revenge and your perpetual security might be certainly effected.’

As soon as reports of the massacre at Jamestown reach New Plymouth they determine to pre-empt any similar carnage in their territory. As shown, they are forewarned of Indian resentment by being presented with arrows wrapped up in a snakeskin.  Squanto says ‘they mean war.’ The Pilgrims counter the threat by wrapping up a barrel of gunpowder also in a snakeskin and giving it to the Indians. Standish, the Pilgrims’ soldier commander, then mounts a small expedition to track down and kill Wituwamet, the Indian chief, to frighten and subdue the tribes. This he does, cutting off Wituwamet’s head to display on a pole, stabbing two other Indians to death and hanging a fourth.


FRENCH LUNGWORT  Pulmonaria Gallica.  ‘Is good against the internal inflammations and hot distempers of the heart.’  Gerard.

HORSE CHESTNUT  Castanea Equina cum flore.   An Electaurie of the meale of Chestnuts and hony is very good against the cough and spitting of blood.’ Gerard.

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