Captain Thomas Hanham comes from Wimborne in Dorset in southern England
and Wimborne Minster is pictured here. Prior to Henry VIII’s time a Minster was the church of a monastry. Nowadays ‘Minster’
denotes a cathedral or other large and important church and Wimborne’s houses the tombs of many of the most influential
families in the county, including the Hanhams. The Hanhams are Wimborne’s Lords of the Manor and Deans Court their stately home. It has acres of delightful gardens and is close to the centre
of the town.
Sea Captain and member of the Plymouth Adventurers
Company, Thomas Hanham is a grandson of old Sir John Popham for his mother is Popham’s daughter, Penelope. It is not
surprising, therefore, to keep things nicely ‘in the family’ when fortunes are to be made, that he is chosen by
Sir John to command the second of the Company’s ships to explore Virginia’s coast this year.
Hanham is joined on the expedition by another sea captain, Martin Pring of Bristol, a
man already much experienced in the New World. In 1603, backed by Bristol merchants, Pring was captain on an exploration voyage
to North Virginia and next, in 1604 to Guiana in South America. However, this year he is acting as Hanham’s navigator.
They are lucky men for, unlike Challons, they avoid hostile Spanish ships then land in the territory that later will be known
as Maine and carry out surveys along the coast. The survey, as pictured, uses today’s state-of-the-art technology. Pring
is shown doing the practical work whilst Hanham records their discoveries in great detail to make up his report to present
to the Company at the year’s end.
Watching all the many comings and
goings in Plymouth is John Maddock. He is the town council’s Treasurer and, as a merchant himself, he has a special
interest in the busy port, for if the Plymouth Company’s Virginian colony succeeds the town will quickly become rich
This tapestry panel was stitched in Bideford, North
Devon and in tribute, Ford House there is featured. Its 17th century owner was John Strange, one time mayor of the town, who,
as a boy, went bird nesting on the cliffs, fell, broke his arm and bumped his head.