The New World Tapestry

Home | *NEW* 1619 Panel | History | Tapestry Panels 1583 - 1603 | Tapestry Panels 1605 - 1618 | Tapestry Panels 1619 - 1642 | Tapestry Exhibition | Adventurers for Virginia | Colour Codes | Gallery 1 | Gallery 2

Back to 1607 Menu


cene Five
         1607 PANEL



Believe it or not but according to Smith, as his pursuers close in on him he ties his Indian guide to his wrist by his buckler to prevent him absconding then puts up an heroic fight. However, he is overpowered when he steps into a bogmire. His captors then take him before Powhatan, paramount chief of a number of tribes who holds him prisoner until January 5th when he orders the Captain to be clubbed to death. Smith is placed over two large stones but, before any fatal blows are administered, Powhatan’s 12-year daughter Pocahontas rushes from her father’s side, places her head over Smith’s and offers her life for his if Powhatan with spare the Englishman. Incredibly, the Chief relents, decides to make Smith his friend and to seek peace with the English by gifts of generous supplies for him to take back to Jamestown Fort. The victuals are welcome but not Smith, for he is threatened with hanging for the loss of his companions. However, this is immediately forgotten when suddenly Newport returns from England with his vital supplies of food and equipment.

As illustrated in the top scene, this year John Harvard is born in Southwark in London. John is the son of a butcher and will decide, in 1637, to emigrate to Massachusetts. He dies a year later, leaving his fortune to set up a College, later the University that bears his name today. Harvard’s story is on the 1635 panel of the Tapestry. Regarding the Killigrew obelisk that stands near the docks in Falmouth in Cornwall, it celebrates the Killigrew family who founded the fortunes of the town by foreign trading. Robert Killigrew is a backer of the London Virginia Company and so his coat of arms is depicted here. John Smith’s arms incorporate 3 Turks heads representing the Turkish champions he killed in single combat fighting in Europe.

Powhatan’s cloak symbolically honours him in Anglo American history. It survives today, having come into the possession of John Tradescant Junior  (1642 panel) who bequeathed it to his neighbour Elias Ashmole. On Tradescant’s death Ashmole displayed it in his new museum, the Ashmolian in Oxford.


1607 scene five tapestry photo

PRIMROSE  Primula Vulgaris.  In the Middle Ages a concoction made from Primroses was used as a remedy for gout and rhumatism, its flowers also employed in preparing love potions. Anon.

PLANTAIN Plantago major. Useful for healing wounds or curing external injuries, Plantain is also good against ulcers and sores. Dioscorides.

Click here for further Wikipedia information