The New World Tapestry

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cene Five
    1602-03 PANEL



Gosnold returns to England and first docks at Exmouth on July 23 where, in this fanciful picture he’s met by Raleigh. He’s not given the great welcome he expects from Sir Walter who points out that he has trespassed on his land in America, which is from north latitude 34º to 45º, so his cargo is seized. However the voyage has not been fruitless. It will show those who follow after, the more direct route to America and it arouses great interest in more attempts at colonisation.

Please click back to Scene 4.

The two butterflies at the top of this scene are: left, male High brown Fririllary – Argynnis adipp. Right, male Red Admiral – Vanessa atalanta.

Gosnold’s voyage to Cape Cod may have brought Raleigh good fortune but the late Queen’s favourite’s luck has run out with James I who hates him and has him hauled up in Court at Winchester in Hampshire on 17 November. The charge? High treason.

Raleigh is shown seated on a stool which he has requested because the leg wound he received on the attack on Cadiz in 1596 is still troubling him. He sits between two Gentlemen Pensioners. The King’s portrait is on the wall as is the wicker basket to catch the head after the headsman’s axe has severed it from its body, if the accused is found guilty. By the look of the chopping block which the axe is embedded in, it has been used very recently.

Facing Raleigh and seated behind a cloth-covered desk that has the initials of the monarch on it, i.e. JR – Jacobus Rex – King James, are his three judges, two of whose coat-of-arms are shown displayed around the scene. Sir John Popham and Sir John Hele.

Popham is England’s Lord Chief Justice and as such he is the presiding judge here sitting in the centre of the trio. A fascinating character he’s a prime mover in the colonising attempts in America, being the chief shareholder in the Plymouth Adventurers Company (see panels 1606 and 1607-8).

It is rumoured that as a dissolute youth he was involved in a lawless band of villains who indulged in highway robbery. However what is on record is that he attended Oriel College Oxford and was later called to the Bar. He owns Littlecote House in Wiltshire (1606 panel) and Kimbolton Castle in Cambridgeshire and is hugely wealthy.

Mystery also will surround his death in 1607 in a hunting accident in what is known as Popham’s Pit – for his body is never found. His ornate canopied tomb in St John the Baptist Church in Wellington Somerset only contains the bones of his wife.


tapestry photo 1602-3 scene five

ARCHANGEL   Galeopsis vera.   ‘Stamped with vinegar, and applied in the manner of a pultis taketh away Wens and hard swellings, the King’s evil, inflammation of the kernels under the eares and jawes’.  Gerard

MARJORAM  Origanum angliam.   Given in wine is a remedy against the bitings and stingings of venomous beasts, and cureth them that have drunke Opium, or the juice of blacke poppy ’. Gerard.

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