Friday, October 9, 2009

Five things you probably didn’t know about the Mary Rose

I got this email this morning about the Mary Rose. Wouldn't you have loved to see Henry VIII's face when the ship sank?

1. The debate continues as to why the Mary Rose mysteriously sank off the Portsmouth coast in 1545. Four of the suggested possibilities are:
- Too many cooks and not enough skilled seamen on board.
- Poor communication and slow responses from an international crew.
- A hole made by a French cannonball in battle led to the Mary Rose taking water onboard.
- The Mary Rose was too top heavy and keeled over when changing course.

2.On 19th July 1545 Henry VIII was watching his fleet set sail to battle the approaching French and saw the Mary Rose sink. So did the wife of Vice Admiral Sir George Carew, who was on board – not surprisingly, she fainted.

Maybe it is my morbid curiosity, but I find facial reconstruction technology utterly fascinating. I think the guy to the right looks a little like Richard Gere minus the full beard. Maybe? ok I have had better calls.

3. Scientists have used Facial Reconstruction technology to illustrate the facial features of the crew of the Mary Rose from skulls found on board (shown above).

4. As well as iron bolts The Mary Rose was held together by thousands of wooden pegs – each one made by hand.

5. Celebrated Marine Artist Geoff Hunt researched the Mary Rose for 113 hours before he began his new painting of the ship, unveiled earlier this year. His research revealed that King Henry VIII’s flagship had one more fighting castle deck than had previously been thought, fuelling speculation that it was the ship’s top heaviness that may have led to her mysterious sinking (shown here).

Not too shabby of a painting eh? Here is some more info about the Mary Rose:

1 comment:

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Thanks for the interesting article on the Mary Rose. JM Barrie actually wrote a play about the ship.