Sunday, July 19, 2009

On This Day in Tudor History:

July 19, 1545, Henry VIII's Navy flagship The Mary Rose sank in the Solent Channel killing all but 35 of the crew on board.
During battle with the French the ship capsized due to a combination of poor design, open gun ports, bringing the ship about too quickly and bad luck. Other theories have stated the presence of Spanish mercenaries among the crew may have caused language communications problems in part leading to the gun ports being left open. Oddly, many sailors at that time could not swim: being superstitious, they regarded this as tempting fate!
On 11 October 1982 the wreck was lifted from the water by a team led by the Royal Engineers. Along with remains of around half the crew, a great number of artefacts were uncovered during excavation, including navigational and medical equipment, carpentry tools, guns, longbows, arrows with traces of copper-rich binding glue still remaining on the tips, cooking and eating utensils, lanterns, backgammon boards, playing dice, logs for the galley's ovens, and even a well-preserved shawm, a long lost predecessor of the oboe, from which a fully functioning model has since been replicated. These artefacts, and the wreck itself, are displayed at the Mary Rose museum located on the Royal Naval base in Portsmouth, England. The Mary Rose is the only 16th-century warship in the world to be recovered and put on display. The Mary Rose was likely named for Henry's sister - not his daughter as previously believed.

On July 19, 1553, Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII, replaced Lady Jane Grey as Queen of England. This day was, therefore, day 9 in the reign of "The Nine Days Queen" and the official date from which the reign of Queen Mary I is dated.
After being on the run from the machinations of the Duke of Northumberland, John Dudley, Mary had found sufficient support to ride into London in a triumphal procession. Parliament then declared Mary the rightful queen and denounced and revoked Jane's proclamation as having been coerced. Mary imprisoned Jane and her husband in the Gentleman Gaoler's apartments at the Tower of London, although their lives were initially spared. The Duke of Northumberland was executed on 21 August 1553.

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