The New World Tapestry

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cene Two
         1585 PANEL

Having left Plymouth on 19 April, Grenville takes his seven ships, with about 600 men, including 100 would-be colonists and crosses the Atlantic, bound for Virginia. 

En route he drops anchor in Guayanilla Bay, at Puerto Rico and stays from 15 until 29 May to set up a temporary camp to rest his crews, carry out minor repairs to some vessels and replenish his supplies of food and water. 

His fleet eventually arrives in Virginia at Roanoke Island in June and for the next two months he concentrates on the essential task of setting up a fort for the colonists to defend themselves in case of attack. By the end of August it is completed to his satisfaction and so he places Ralph Lane in command of the 107 colonists then departs for England to bring back further supplies and reinforcements. 

One of those settlers he has left behind is his half-brother  Sir John Arundell (arms shown here) who sets about with his fellow colonists to befriend the natives and learn as much about their lifestyle before expanding or revealing the real purpose of taking over their land by bargaining or more probably by force. 

The Indians’ lifestyle illustrated in this scene is based on the work of artist and future Governor of Roanoke, John White. He is shown seated on a log with paper, paints and brushes busily recording all he sees. (White’s drawings are the only reference we have today of how the Indians lived and dressed). In the background an Indian brave is about to set out and go hunting to feed his family. Another relaxes beside a camp fire, whilst in the foreground a man and his wife squat on a mat to enjoy their meal.

tapestry photo 1585 scene two

DOVE’S FOOT Geranium molle.  Used as a vulnerary ‘ a very gentle though martial plant’. Culpeper.

WILD PINK  Dianthus plumarius.  ‘They are not used in Physicke but external for their use in garlands and Nosegais ’. Gerard.

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