The New World Tapestry

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cene Three
    1605 PANEL


The two butterflies at the top are, left the male Brimstone (Gonepterx rahmi. On the right the female Bergers Clouded Yellow Colias australis.

The instruments shown are, on the left a linstock; a wooden tool used by gunners to hold the burning fuse in an end shaped like a clenched fist. The spike on the other end is to stick in the ground or deck to keep the burning fuse out of harm’s way. On the right a steelyard, a quadrangular bronze bar beaten into a flat strip of metal terminating in an elaborate fishtail and used to weigh provisions and other items.

(The mid-scene shows Weymouth, as a devout Christian planting a cross (on what is now Allen Island in Maine) in June. The cross has the letters IHS engraved on it from the old Greek word for Jesus, still used on gravestones today.

In the lower main scene Weymouth continues to explore the area noting the flora and fauna and when he comes into contact with the natives tries to impress them as a god with his ‘magical powers’.  This consists of magnetising his sword with a lodestone then picking up the Indians’ knives by its magnetic attraction. Note one of his crew holds the lodestone. His brief survey comes to an end and he sets out to return to England by mid-June – not as shown here July – it’s a mistake on the canvas.

Richard Aldworth of Aldworth in Berkshire (arms shown here) is another backer of Weymouth’s expedition and is a relation of Thomas Aldworth of Bristol named on the 1583 panel.

tapestry photo 1605 scene three

GROUNDSEL   Senecio vulgaris .  ‘The leaves stamped and strained into milk and drunke, helpeth the red gummes and frets in children’. Gerard.

CLOWN’S RINGWORT or LOUSEWORT  Pedicularis syvatica.  The plant was long held to infest sheep and other animals with lice, a belief that was supported by  Gerard.

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