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97 CHAPTER 5 “And Greedily Deuoured Them” The Cannibalism Discourse and the Creation of a British Atlantic World, 1536–1612 JESSICA S. HOWER At the start of 1536, London was pulsating with activity: the court of HenryVIII (r.1509–1547) was teeming with new servants and favorites and Parliament was busily churning out one transformative piece of legislation after another. In January, the death of Henry’s first queen, Katherine of Aragon, seemed to momentarily free England from the threat of imminent war with the Catholic powers of Europe that had haunted the kingdom ever since the break with Rome.1 In early February, chief minister Thomas Cromwell took aim at the “abomi­ nation of religious persons throughout this realm” through the Protestant-­ leaning Ten Articles, the dissolution of the lesser monasteries , and “an Acte extynguysshing the auctoryte of the Busshop of Rome.”2 Near the center of much of it was Anne Boleyn, Henry’s evangelically inclined, polarizing second wife and a major part of his dispute with the papacy.Anne had enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence , and with the death of her predecessor and her latest pregnancy, she seemed poised to exert even more influence. Also part of this changing world of late 1535 and early 1536 was Londoner Richard Hore, “a man of goodly stature and of great courage,and giuen to the studie of Cosmographie.”3 Like Anne, he enjoyed royal patronage,“assisted by the kings fauour and good countenance,” as well as by“gentlemen of the Innes of court, and of the Chancerie, and diuers others of good 98 “And Greedily Deuoured Them” worship,desirous to see the strange things of the world,”to undertake “a voyage of discouerie vpon the Northwest parts of America.”4 The very same courtly atmosphere that empowered Queen Anne and pushed the English Reformation forward facilitated Hore’s travel. His was one of the first British Atlantic ventures of the century and, more significantly,the first of consequence since Parliament’s 1533 declaration in the preamble to the Act in Restraint of Appeals to Rome that “this Realme of Englond is an Impire, and so hath ben accepted in the worlde, governed by oon Supreme heede and King having the Dignitie and Roiall Estate of the Imperiall Crowne.”5 The voyage lived up to its weighty moment, one in which royal personnel and faction, cultural and intellectual currents, spiritual and ecclesiastical tumult, and theories of sovereignty and supremacy had produced a landmark assertion of empire and, under its auspices, a new church and state at home and a new adventure abroad. Both Anne’s much-­ studied queenship and Hore’s overlooked crossing came out of a now explicitly imperial Tudor world, as Parliament’s pronouncement harbored implications and applications throughout the Atlantic world.Probing both their fates proves revealing. Setting out in late April 1536 after taking communion (one of only three sacraments the Ten Articles upheld) with two ships and over 100 men, Hore sailed some two months before nearing Cape Breton, then disembarked on the “Island of Penguin,” a place that was exciting both for its nourishing animals and for its name, which sounded enough like Welsh to convince eager Britons of Tudor primacy over at least part of the New World.6 From there, Hore proceeded to “Newfoundland,” traversing the region John Cabot had claimed for HenryVIII’s father,HenryVII (r.1485–1509) in the 1490s. At last Hore spotted“the natural people of the countrey,that they had so long and so much desired to see.”7 But the auspicious start soon turned sour: some of the voyagers promptly “manned out a ship-­ boat to meet them and to take them,” but “the Sauages fledde and escaped,” leaving Hore’s men to rummage through their leftovers. However, before long, “lying there[,] they grew into great want of victuals.”8 Meanwhile, at home, Anne had miscarried, butted heads with Cromwell over foreign policy and monastic assets,and run afoul of Henry and others at court.9 Two mid-­ 1530s Henrician stars were “And Greedily Deuoured Them” 99 falling,following very different but nearly concurrent downward paths on opposite sides of the Atlantic. In Newfoundland, the travelers were starving. In the account of the voyage printed by Elizabethan polymath Richard Hakluyt in 1598–1600, a list of progressively unsavory foodstuffs followed—­ a “hunger topos”akin to those in early writings about Jamestown in the next century.10 One of Hore’s company evidently resorted to the...


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