Saved from the sea, the secret Tudor hoard of the Mary Rose


Blackleaf
#1
Built in Portsmouth exactly 500 years ago (1509-1510), the Mary Rose was the pride of the English fleet during the reign of Henry VIII.

She was originally equipped with 78 guns, but was upgraded in 1536 to 91 guns.

In 1545, during the Italian War which involved several European countries including England, King Francis I of France launched an invasion of England with 30,000 soldiers in 225 ships - larger than Spain's Armada which attempted to invade England in 1588. In comparison, the English had only 80 ships and 12,000 soldiers.

The two fleets met off the south coast of England in the Solent, the channel between the coast of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, in July 1545.

The Mary Rose fired a broadside at the enemy and was turning to fire the other broadside when water flooded into her open gun ports and she suddenly capsized. It is thought that because she was full of soldiers and their armour, she may have been too heavy. The battle, like the Italian War itself, was inconclusive (although the French, like the Spanish 43 years later, failed to invade England).

King Henry VIII was watching the action from nearby Southsea Castle and saw the Mary Rose sink. All but 35 of those onboard perished.

Her location was discovered in 1971 and she was raised in 1982.

She is now on display at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. But, until now, only a fraction of the 19,000 artefacts recovered with her have been on display.

Now, in an ambitious 35million project, a charity hopes to reunite the ship with her treasures and put them on display in Portsmouth.

These treasures include a sailor's comb (which still has nits embedded in it), shoes and boots, a beer tankard, a gold 1544 half sovereign, a syringe used to treat diseases such as syphilis, Europe's oldest Tudor fiddle and even the remains of a rat.


Saved from the sea, the secret Tudor hoard of the Mary Rose on display for the first time

By Beth Hale
12th October 2009
Daily Mail

She was the pride of Henry VIII's fleet.

After 34 years at sea and three wars, the Mary Rose was regarded by many as invincible.

But on July 19, 1545, as she defended England from a French invasion force, she sank - taking 500 men and a vast treasure trove with her to the seabed.

The ship was painstakingly recovered from the Solent in 1982. Yet only a fraction of her 19,000 artefacts have been displayed - until now.

Enlarge
Enlarge
A tankard used by sailors to drink their daily ration of gallon of beer (top) and a gold half sovereign dated 1544 and bearing the image of Henry VIII. It represented a month's pay for a sailor at the time

Enlarge
The remains of the Tudor flagship the Mary Rose. In an ambitious 35million project, a charity hopes to reunite the ship with her treasures and put them on display in Portsmouth


Henry VIII watched the ship go down from the shore. He had dined on board the night before

Revealed for the first time, these remarkably well preserved items give a fascinating insight into Tudor life.

They range from weaponry and medical instruments to clothes, tankards, and even a manicure set.

At the moment they are stored in five temperature- controlled storerooms not open to the public.

But in an ambitious 35million project, a charity hopes to reunite the ship with her treasures and put them on display in Portsmouth.

Earlier this year the Mary Rose Trust was awarded 21million of Lottery funding towards the project.

So far 10million of the remaining funds it needs has been raised.

Now the charity is launching a public appeal - the Mary Rose 500 appeal - for 500 individuals, schools, businesses and organisations to become the new 'crew' of the Tudor warship.

Each crew member will pledge to raise 500 towards a 250,000 target.

Enlarge
Some of the many dagger handles recovered from the ship

Enlarge
Leather shoes: Some of the more elaborate found on the ship had insoles and even heels. Others had holes cut out to ease the pain of bunions

Last night Rear Admiral John Lippiett, chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said: 'Although significant funding has been raised, and work on the new museum has already begun, the project cannot be completed without financial support from the public.

'Now is the time to help us secure the future of Henry VIII's favourite ship for generations to come.'

On the importance of the artefacts, he added: 'Nowhere else in the world is a single moment in Tudor life captured as it was with the Mary Rose.'

Enlarge
Enlarge
A selection of the many nit combs recovered from the ship (top) and a sailor's jerkin (bottom)


'Flower of all ships': The Mary Rose as depicted in a modern painting
Enlarge
This oil painting shows the HMS Mary Rose going down off Portsmouth

Known at the time as 'the flower of all ships that ever sailed', it is not known exactly why she sank.

The night before her last voyage, Henry VIII - who ascended to the throne in 1509 - had dined onboard and as she led 80 other ships into battle, he watched from the shore.

She fired a broadside at the enemy and was turning to fire the other broadside when water flooded into her open gun ports and the ship suddenly capsized. It is thought that --laden with soldiers and their armour --she may have been too heavy.

The ship was located in 1971 and in 1982 the hull was recovered and placed in a covered dry dock in Portsmouth, where it remains to this day.

The new museum housing the Mary Rose is due to be opened in time for the 2012 Olympics.

To find out about the Mary Rose appeal visit www.maryrose500.org

Enlarge

A sailor's boot taken from the Mary Rose and (bottom) the rat that couldn't get off the sinking ship. Rodent bones found on the ship

Enlarge
Enlarge
Part of a miniature manicure set used by the wealthier sailors to clean their nails (top) and a nit comb taken from the Mary Rose. Preserved nits were found still within it

Enlarge
Enlarge
A man bag including tie string base (top) and some of the many unidentified items (bottom)


Enlarge
A gavel used to get the attention of officers during dinner

Enlarge
Field bandages and a Syphilis syringue used to inject mercury to treat sexually transmitted diseases


Archers would have been positioned on the upper deck to fire down on the enemy. These are longbows retrieved from the ship

Enlarge

A sailor's bowl with his initials carved at the bottom and (right) this pictures shows Europe's oldest example of a Tudor fiddle and bow also retrieved from the ship

dailymail.co.uk
Last edited by Blackleaf; Oct 15th, 2009 at 01:14 PM..
 
coldstream
#2
Interesting!!.. i love the wooden tankard.. it'd look great on my mantle.

Everything looks in great shape, except the Mary Rose herself. I hope they build a replica to give a sense of scale. She must have been quite a sight under sail.
 
gopher
#3
I would like a tankard like that one as well!

Interesting tale.
 

Similar Threads

0
Viking Hoard found in Sweden
by Researcher87 | Nov 1st, 2006
0
Time traveller's guide to Tudor England
by Blackleaf | Sep 24th, 2006