July 19 - 1545 - The Sinking of the Mary Rose

The Mary Rose was the largest, most impressive ship in the English Navy when it was built early in the reign of King Henry VIII in 1510. It would go on to serve in a variety of conflicts that England fought for the next three decades, being so important that it was actually completely refitted and rebuilt in 1536. As a carrack, it was a massive ship that also was one of the first capable of firing a broadside with a series of cannons along its side, thanks to newly created gunports. By 1545, it found itself engaged in a battle in the Solent, the straits dividing the Isle of Wight from the southern coast of Hampshire, against a small French fleet. For some reason, it began tilting to its starboard side, which made water rush through the gunports and doomed the Mary Rose. Of the 400 men on board, only about 30 survived. Yet it was not really the sinking that made the Mary Rose remarkable, but its raising some four centuries later made it much more historically significant. The materials found inside the ship gave a new perspective on life in Tudor England and early modern maritime technnology.

William Floyd