Mary Rose Shipwreck
The Mary Rose Shipwreck
The Mary Rose ship was in service between 1511 - 1545 and provided a useful Tudor warship in the wars of 1512 & 1522 with the French and in the Battle of the Solent, also known as the Battle Of Spithead, where she she was sunk in 1545. In 1545 the French launched an invasion fleet against the English which led to the shipwreck of the Mary Rose.
The Mary Rose Shipwreck - The Sinking of the Mary Rose
The Mary Rose was the flagship commanded by Vice Admiral Sir George Carew ((1504–1545). On 19 July 1545 Mary Rose sailed out of Portsmouth to engage the French invasion fleet watched by King Henry VIII and prominent members of the Tudor court. The French had 30,000 soldiers in more than 200 ships and the English had just 80 ships and 12,000 soldiers. .The Mary Rose fired a broadside at the enemy and was turning to fire the other broadside when water flooded into her open gunports and the ship suddenly capsized. The lower gunports were only 16 inches above the waterline so that water rushed in and the ship sank. The full reason for her sinking was not certain but it was known that she was overloaded with extra soldiers - the ship was built for a crew of 400 but 700 men were on the boat when she sunk. Another factor could have been a sudden gust of wind which made the ship keel over. It was really unusual for a warship to sink and Tudor people living at the time wrote about the Mary Rose and drew pictures of her providing valuable information regarding what the Mary Rose looked like. When the ship sank people tried to lift her, but they only managed to raise the masts. She lay on the seabed for over 400 years until a fishing net became caught on the shipwreck.
Discovery of the Mary Rose Shipwreck by John Deane in 1836
On June 16, 1836 the Mary Rose shipwreck was discovered when a fishing net caught on the wreck. A diver called John Deane recovered timbers, guns, longbows, and other items from the shipwreck but the location of the shipwreck was forgotten after John Deane stopped work on the site of the Mary Rose shipwreck in 1840.
Rediscovery of the Mary Rose Shipwreck in 1966 headed by Alexander McKee
A new search was started by Alexander McKee in 1965 and the Mary Rose shipwreck was rediscovered on 14th May 1966 with the collaboration and sonar equipment provided by Professor Harold E. Edgerton (MIT) and John Mills (EG & G).
In 1979 the Mary Rose Trust was formed to excavate the wreck. During the course of nearly 30,000 dives approximately 20,000 artefacts were recovered from the Mary Rose shipwreck. Over 600 volunteer divers assisted in excavating the Mary Rose shipwreck. The diving conditions were extremely difficult with poor visibility and the strong tide of the Solent. The Mary Rose shipwreck was also locked in mud and silt and lying in 14m of water. Following the extensive diving work careful preparation was made to lift the hull off the seabed as one piece.
Raising of the Mary Rose
After being lifted off the seabed the wreck of the Mary Rose was placed on a cradle before being raised by a giant floating crane on 11 October 1982 and towed to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. To prevent the Mary Rose shipwreck from drying out, and the timbers from crumbling, it was sprayed continuously with cold water. In 1994 work began on coating the timber with waxy polymers to preserve it and enabling the long process of controlled drying. Alexander McKee, the man who led the team to rediscover the Mary Rose shipwreck, died in 1992, aged 74. It was ten years after the Mary Rose shipwreck had been raised.
Mary Rose Shipwreck
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