Friday, 9 November 2012

Mary Rose what's in a name

I'm sure you all have had one of these in your pocket.
But have you noticed how the Royal Mint has been changing the designs on the back of them? and they are real cool!
The latest to date; which caught my eye, still has the silver coloured centre and a gold coloured ring around the outside, a nice looking coin! But what attracted me to it, was the design of the Mary Rose.

The Mary Rose Built in the early 1500 and rebuilt and rearmed in 1530. Classed as a Carrack.( Googal it )
She was named after King Henry V111's sister,  Mary Tudor later to be crowned the Queen of France.
The Mary Rose was considered the pride of King Henry V111s fleet and the second most powerful, they say "she was the Kings favourite in his fleet".
On the afternoon of the 19th of July1545. Mary Rose led the English fleet out of Portsmouth Harbour to meet the French fleet and it's said "under the watchful eye of the King"!
It was also said "that a strong wind healed her over! exposing her open lower gun ports to the open sea, she filled quickly and sank!"

The English Navy learnt many lessons from the accidental sinking of the Mary Rose and went on to develop ships that were faster and more manoeuvrable and not so top heavy,
The English Navy carried on their development of their sailing fleet, which contributed to the Victory against the Spanish Armada.

At the time of her sinking the Mary Rose had nearly 30 years of service and was really obsolete compared to the new 16th century Ships.
But she was one of the first ships to fire cannons from her deck with some success.
A number of attempts were made to recover her over the years and  were met with partial success, but on the 11 Oct 1982 she was raised (437 years after her sinking) and is undergoing conservation work in Portsmouth to this day, to allow the public to have a look into the past of the Navy.

The Mary Rose carried over 400 men on board, and apart from the cannons she also carried 50 handguns, 250 longbows, 300 pole arms and over 400 darts to be thrown from the rigging tops during an engagement, thousands of these artifacts have been recovered.

She was designed and expected to engage  the enemy ships at close quarters and fight their way on board and subdue them by force of arms! "How frightening is that?"

Her loss was a sad blow to the Navy and it was investigated.
They decided that crew were unable to get off the ship, due to deck rigging, that was put up to stop the enemy from getting aboard! tragically it also stopped the crew from getting off.As she filled with water due to the open lower gun ports going below the water line, but for a few of the crew that were in the rigging, all hands were lost.

Of course the King was already developing a new ship, armed entirely with guns, and more nimble under sail.

Most of these pieces come from my school days but I renewed my memories of them by reading the BBC Mary Rose by "Andrew Lambert" titled "A Great ship of King Henry V111" and I would recommend that as the place to go if you seek further details of a great story, from our maritime history.

I ask you; What's in a name?



  1. I've never heard of these coins or the Mary Rose. Thanks for this lens.

  2. These coins are new to me! What a fascinating post. Love learning new things!

    1. These coins are still use in the UK (5 to the £1) for such a nice coin they don't buy much, in fact their big brother the (£1) doesn't buy much? maybe a pint of milk? sign of the times. be well.Agman


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