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Edward Rogers and Horner are not only brothers-in-law – Rogers having married
Katherine Popham, yet another of Sir John Popham’s daughters but he, like Horner, is a member of the
Plymouth Adventurers Company too, as the blue colour background code of their name labels shows. The Rogers live at Cannington
near Bridgwater in Somerset and the county has some really beautiful churches such as the one depicted here, Saint Mary’s
at Kingston St Mary. It is in these churches every Sunday that the Adventurers’ families all over the county gather
to worship and pray for the successful settlement of the English colony at Sagadahoc and, under their breaths, a bounteous
return on their investments. The two butterflies that are shown either side of St Mary’s are left, a female Marbled
White Melanargia Galathea and right, a male Small Heath Coenonympha Pamphilus. Like the hopes of Horner
and Rogers, the butterflies will be short-lived.
Churches throughout England exhibit many objects not of a religious nature that will
be of fascinating interest to future historians. Take hatchments for example. When a person of
rank dies and was armigerous – i.e. entitled to display a coat-of-arms on shields and banners, the custom is to paint
the design of their coat-of-arms onto a lozenge-shaped panel of canvas or wood, frame it and hang it outside their house front
as a sign of mourning. After an appropriate period of grieving has passed, the hatchment is then presented to their local
church. Such a hatchment is seen being prepared here. The artist is just putting the finishing touches to one for Sir John
Gilbert whose death at Compton Castle near Paignton in Devon is the final cause of the settlers at Sagadahoc deciding to return
home. The hatchment in a few weeks time will be moved from Compton to nearby Marldon church where two pieces of carving can
also be seen incorporating the family’s shield.
When news of Gilbert’s demise reaches Sagadahoc
in September it takes another four weeks to dismantle the settlement and prepare the ships, including the ‘Virginia’
for the return voyage before the colonists set sail for England to reach Plymouth by November’s end. However, though
Sagadahoc itself is a failure, Plymouth and dynamic Sir Ferdinande Gorges will play ever increasing roles in Virginia’s
and New England’s future success.