The New World Tapestry

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cene Two
    1602-03 PANEL



Shown at the top of this scene is Otley Hall, home of the Gosnolds in Suffolk (which is open to the public on various days of the year by its private owners. It’s situated eight miles from Ipswich)

Taking 32 settlers with him on his voyage across the Atlantic Gosnold encounters contrary winds which drive him to the Azores. From there he sails a little north of west then strikes out boldly across the ocean to become the first Englishman to sail directly to the American coast thereby saving a thousand miles in distance and at least  a week in sailing time.

Once there he goes fishing off a Cape which is so abundant with cod that he immediately names it Cape Cod. His activities are of great interest to the natives and, as the main scene shows, his crewmen get busy salting the catch to use as a welcome addition to their food supply.

Gabriel Archer (arms shown here) is on the voyage and he, together with John Brereton (scene three) will record accounts of the voyage.

Archer was a gentleman. Born circa 1575 in Mountnessing in Essex, the third son of John Archer of Welland, Worcester, a line from the Umberslade Warwickshire Archers. He attended St John’s College, Cambridge, graduated 1591 and entered Gray’s Inn, London, 15 March 1593 but appears not to have been called to the Bar. He is shown later in the Tapestry, 1607 panel, scene one in the incident at Cape Henry landings when he, an Archer is ironically shot through both hands by Indian arrows.

Captain Bartholomew Gilbert (arms shown here) is co-captain of the Concord on this voyage and in charge of providing stores and victuals. A kinsman of Gosnold and a member of the Goldsmiths Company of London, he is thought to be related to Margery Gilbert of Sussex who is married to Affabel Partridge Esquire of London, Principal Goldsmith to the Queen.

Gilbert’s role in the expedition is to be prepared to take the Concord  back to England in July for further supplies while the settlers establish themselves in their new surroundings, clear land, plant crops and see to their safety precautions.

tapestry photo 1602-3 scene two

SQUILL  Scilla.  Neither the Spring Squill nor the Autumn Squill impressed the ancients. ‘They are too local, though they wash their blue across acres of sea turf’.

LILY OF THE VALLEY  Convallaria majalis.  ‘It without doubt strengthens the brain, and renovates a weak memory’. Gerard.

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