19 July – Mary Boleyn, a new queen, the Mary Rose and a noble imp

Jul19,2019 #!9 July

19th July is a very busy day in terms on “on this day in Tudor history” events, so I thought I’d give you brief details on four of the events, along with links for further reading and today’s “on this day” video.

On this day in history, 19th July 1543, Mary Stafford (née Boleyn), wife of William Stafford, died. She was in her early 40s. Mary was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, and his wife, Elizabeth Howard. She was the granddaughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, and was also the sister of the late Queen Anne Boleyn and George Boleyn, Lord Rochford.

At the time of her death, Mary was married to William Stafford, but had previously been married to William Carey, a member of Henry VIII’s Privy Chamber and an Esquire of the Body. She had two children during the course of her first marriage: Catherine, born in around 1524, and Henry, born in 1526. Carey died of sweating sickness in June 1528 and Mary went on to marry Stafford secretly and without her family’s permission in 1534.

Read more…

On this day in history, the 19th July 1545, Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose, sank right in front of his eyes in the Battle of the Solent between the English and French fleets.

We still do not know exactly why the Mary Rose sank, all we know for certain is that the English fleet moved out to attack the French fleet in the late afternoon of the 19th as “a fitful wit sprang up” and that something went wrong as the ship carried out a turning manoeuvre.

Read more…

On this day in Tudor history, 19th July 1584, three-year-old Robert Dudley, Baron Denbigh, son of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and his wife, Lettice (Knollys), died at Wanstead. He was laid to rest in the Beauchamp Chapel of the Collegiate Church of St Mary in Warwick, and his tomb pays tribute to “the noble imp”.

And also on this day in Tudor history, 19th July 1553, thirteen days after the death of her half-brother, Edward VI, Mary was proclaimed queen in place of Queen Jane.

Photos of the tomb of Robert Dudley, Baron Denbigh, copyright Tim and Claire Ridgway.

Related Post

34 thoughts on “19 July – Mary Boleyn, a new queen, the Mary Rose and a noble imp”
  1. Alex Hildred, one of the principal researchers and divers on the Mary Rose was a guest a couple of weeks ago on Natalie Grueninger’s podcast ‘Talking Tudors’. A lot of very interesting and up to date information. Well worth a listen.

  2. I loved the Mary Rose the couple of times we went and the theories are still debated about her sinking. The new environment for her is so much better. It must have been horrible to watch as she tried to struggle towards the sand banks and then keeled over and her crew struggled in the waters. Henry was at Southsea Castle with Lady Carew and saw his men falling under the waters. Many were trapped on the ship under the defence roping and couldn’t therefore escape and few people could probably swim. Numbers are not totally known but she was expanded to hold more guns and possibly more men, although the top heavy theory is probably nonsense. However, she was a man of war with a capacity estimated to be between 450 and 500 men at arms out of which 37 people survived. Some 110 skeletons have been fully recovered and examined by the museum and a documentary on this was on a few days ago on one of the history channels. Our scientific knowledge is developing all of the time so we know quite a bit, like a number came from the South Mediterranean and served as mercenaries on the ship, a number were over six foot tall, especially the trained bowmen, we know about their diseases, if they had been injured before or had health problems in life, other jobs they had on the ship and we can of course make three d models of the skulls and the faces of the crew. A few full scale models of the crew have been made to bring the life on board to life and these are very realistic so you can see the clothing and there are interactive displays and it is wonderful. The personal items really hit home about how people lived, their games, pipes, things people carved, kits given to them with their fork and spoon and religious items and carvings. The crew ate of plates provided by the government, drank out of mugs provided with HR on them, but they found chess pieces and bones used in gambling and all sorts of things. The canon were my favourite, so fine and well made and decorative.

    It must have been terrible to watch how those men drowned and couldn’t get out and imagine the Captain’s wife watching as her husband drowned, Peter Carew who wasn’t very experienced and may have made errors which contributed to the sinking of the Mary Rose. He was a noble so didn’t have the best opinion of his crew whom he is reported by his brother to have said were uncouth and a mob of unruly low lifes or similar words. Basically he couldn’t understand them as many probably babbling in a number of languages added to the smoke and chaos in the battle. If she was hit and one theory is that she was hit or suffered damage as the fleet could not sail for some time as it was a very still day, then after she fired, with her gunports open, a wind caught her on the turn and she took on too much water and down she went. She keeled to one side and her crew was trapped. One source from the Chowdry Painting shows her being fired on by low barges with small canons close up to her and the French Ambassador said she was hit and so it is possible that she was hit beneath the waterline and the English covered it up by claiming she was keeled by a sudden wind. Historians will tell you that we don’t know the cause because they all have their own pet theory and I have always criticised this because in reality it is just a stubbornness to accept new evidence, which does suggest she was hit.

    One of those whose skeleton was recovered, was well attired with a fabulous sword and he is assumed to be Sir Peter Carew, the commander and a few months after the recovery a memorial service was held in Latin and the old Catholic rites. The Mary Rose was always a great ship, Henry’s favourite, his flagship and named for the Virgin Mary, not his sister, unfortunately, as we love romantic myths. She gave the country over 30 years of service and her crew were hardworking, well trained and not low life as Carew claimed. They were paid by the government and well equipped as well. Many signed on again and again and Henry was actually generous to his soldiers and sailors. He paid well in advance and mercenaries signed on regularly because of it. Henry made certain his crew and ships were well equipped with the very best weaponry and he mapped the coastline as well as building strong defences. He might not have been a great husband but he took a personal interest in his military and naval forces and financial and weapons capabilities. He wasn’t negligent when it came to his ships and crew. However, he made a mistake of judgement when he approved the appointment of Carew but he trusted his men and the ability of his crews and the efficiency of the ship and her weaponry.

    Rest in peace, the crew and commander of the Mary Rose, who were lost on this day July 19th 1545 and who were later found and now rest in honour. Amen

    1. I read a book a few year ago by A. J. Stirling, the lead forensic biologist on the remains of the crew. ‘The Men of the Mary Rose’. So fascinating how she pointed out the wear on the bones due to their different jobs on board. Also discovered through genetics that the crew was from all over. Not just England and western Europe. One of the items that Alex Hildred brought up in the interview was that recently in an old home in England with some papers that were discovered was found a list of the crew.

      A story that really touches me is the wife of Captain Carew with the king watching her sink. Watching that ship go down had to be a terrible sight, even for the French.

  3. I saw the tomb of the Little Imp the young son of Lettice and Robert Dudley in the Beauchamp Chapel at the Collegiate Church in Warwick a couple of weeks ago, a few days after we visited the castle. It’s a very impressive Church and the Chapel houses the tombs of Richard Beauchamp the father in law of the Kingmaker, the tomb of Robert Dudley and Lettice himself, very elaborate and Ambrose Dudley. The boy was about nine when he died.

    Lettice Knowlys Devereaux was of course the widow of the Earl of Essex and related to Queen Elizabeth and a former royal favourite, but she secretly married Robert in 1578 and fell out of favour. Her own son was the famous or infamous Robert Deavereaux, 2nd Earl of Essex who became the lover of Queen Elizabeth and who was executed for his rebellion in 1601.

    The tombs are very worthy of a visit as is the hospital and alms houses foundation made by Robert Dudley as Earl of Leicester in the city and the nearby Kenilworth at which Dudley put on a grand fireworks party to entertain his guest, the Queen.

    1. The tomb is beautiful and the words ‘noble imp’ describe perfectly the love and reverence this little child inspired from his grieving parents, he was the product of a passionate union between two of the most beautiful and arresting people of the Elizabethan court, the Earl and Countess of Leicester, Robert Dudley son of a convicted traitor and Lettice Knolleys the granddaughter of Mary Boleyn the one time mistress of Henry V111, the one legitimate heir of Leicester, he had fathered a bastard child on a Lady Douglas some years before and which caused her sister out of envy to quarrel and bicker with her, both ladies were known to fight over the queens favourite and then of course there was Elizabeth’s extraordinary preference for her master of horse, he had apartments next to her at court and whenever she went travelling, their strange love affair was the talk of England and Europe and we ask ourselves, were they really lovers in the biblical sense or was it just a charade like the troubadours of old, a love not consummated but merely spoken of like words in a poem, maybe it was a mystical kind of love as we know Elizabeth prided herself on her image of the virgin queen, and Leicester merely flattered her image that of an omnipotent being, as her father thought of himself, Elizabeth’s first experience of sexual attraction was at the clumsy hands of her stepfather who made her feel embarrassed and awkward, too young to handle the situation she found herself in she nevertheless found him attractive as she was known to blush when his name was mentioned, the aftermath left her shaken and her reputation more than a little sullied, Leicester was a fascinating enigmatic man, in one portrait we can see he was very handsome, and his forceful personality seems to jump out from the canvas, he was dark and saturnine looking and in the painting he wears a light blue outfit and white lacy ruff which contrasts well with his darkness, William Cecil nicknamed him ‘the gypsy’ and he was envied and feared for the influence he had over the Queen, I have always found Leicester fascinating for two reasons, because he was the queens possibly only true love and he had inherited his fathers lust for power and secondly, he has a reputation for something more sinister- was he a murderer? Did he arrange to have his young wife killed so he could marry the queen, it was a scandal at the time but his reputation did not seem to worry the Douglas sisters or Lettice Devereux who promptly married him, Elizabeth never forgave her cousin who was younger than her and more attractive two good reasons to earn her dislike, but proof of her adoration for Leicester she forgave him and to spite Lettice had her banished from court and kept her husband at her side so he could carry out his duties, their son was born however but sadly this ‘noble imp’ died in infancy, one wonders what sort of man he would have made having two such tempestuous people as his parents, his paternal lineage alone stood him out from other men, he could have forged a worthy career and made a name for himself had he lived, Leicester died after the defeat of the armada and yet Lettice lived till she was in her early nineties an extraordinary feat for a Tudor woman, she lived through several monarchs and her son the dashing young Earl of Essex became another victim of ambition, his blood spilled on tower green just as his great great aunt Anne Boleyn’s had, Leicester’s bastard son I believe married then deserted his wife and fled to Italy with his young mistress, his lineage could well continue to this day.

  4. Hail to Queen Mary Tudor, true born daughter of Henry Viii and Queen Katherine of Aragon on this date 1553, true Queen of England and may the parties go on forever.

    Mary was greeted with wild celebrations. Jane was greeted with silences and confusion. Free beer, free food, free wine, free bonfires, free money. Mass was being sung everywhere before it was officially granted and the people were happy. Mary would soon be back in her capital and life was back to normal. Nobody knew who Jane was. Now the person everyone wanted and expected was being proclaimed and that’s how it should have been. A toast to Queen Mary!

  5. No Royal naval officer / seamen exults at the sight of an enemy ship floundering, for the ships own countrymen it must be totally devastating, I watched a docu on the Falklands war some time ago and they told how when the General Belgrano was hit the crew simply stayed silent, they were seamen, sailors they do not celebrate a ship going down, and when we consider the loss of life to but that’s war for you that’s how it is in England but possibly the French celebrated after all, the Mary Rose had taken part in two French naval battles, and the two countries were at war, there are a number of theories on why she sunk as Bq says I heard when she was first brought up from the Solent they believed the fault was, she was top heavy and therefore not sea worthy, but she could have been flooded with water after being hit, there are still disputes over why the Titanic sank, we know she struck the iceberg but I heard one theory that it could have been caused by a fire starting in the ships boiler room, the sea is so very very cold and drowning must be a filthy way to die, the mud and water fills up the lungs and we do not know how long it takes for the drowning victim to expire, but it may take just a few minutes, I visited Portsmouth but did not see the Mary Rose, but the Victory and we were taken round the famous ship and below deck, we also saw the beautiful quarters panelled in polished mahogany where Nelson and his officers dined and discussed the tactics for the famous battle of Trafalger, I did not know it at the time but later I found out one of my uncles was a lieutenant on the Victory and took part in the battle, he was known afterwards as one of the heroes of Trafalger, in some of the paintings of the battle he is seen holding Nelsons body as he lay dying and it was his idea to pickle the dead Admirals body in brandy so it would be preserved on the journey home, he kept his breeches as a relic and after left them to his daughter, who in her will bequeathed them to the maritime museum in Greenwich, but I must not digress, as we are in the 16thc and discussing that dreadful moment when Henry V111 saw the pride of his fleet sink to her watery grave, and heard the dreadful sounds of the dying cries of her crew as they went down with her, to lose a ship is a dreadful loss of morale and that it was the flagship of the navy doubly so, a sad day for England indeed and yet the navy expanded under the reign of Henry V111 and during Mary 1sts reign as well, during the battle of the Spanish Armada Englands ships were designed very differently and were nimble and much faster than the heavy Spanish galleons, maybe the builders decided after the loss of the Mary Rose that it was time for a new ship building design.

    1. According to Alex Hildred the ship was perfectly seaworthy. She said that it is most certain that what happened was the she had finished firing her starboard guns and as she was wheeling around to fire her port batteries her sails caught a strong gust of wind heeling her over to starboard dipping the gun ports into the water flooding the ship.

      Accounts I’ve read do mention celebration by the French but I’m guessing just for an enemy ship knocked out of action.

    2. The Mary Rose was modified a few years before her sinking but she was modified to make her faster and hold bigger guns, not more men. The theory of her being top heavy goes back to the first investigation and there is no other evidence, beyond the test to back it up. They added weight based on their idea she was carrying 600 men or even 800, which is ridiculous, she wouldn’t have sailed with that amount of men and gone down in 1538 when the modifications took place. Some historians jumping on the experiment declared it proven as a fact but they had no accurate records of how many were on board in 1545. With 600 to 800 men she simply couldn’t carry the guns and over 100 of them were raised with her. She was armed to the teeth, not manned to the teeth. People still had to manoeuvre in battle: the space was cramped enough, especially in battle order with the panels removed for more room for the guns, without putting too many soldiers on board. 450 to 500 appeared to be her full capacity and that was more than enough, so that theory goes out of the window and it was dismissed by more realistic investigations since then. I have seen the Alex Hilliard documentary, in fact it might be the most recent one recorded, she is excellent. Henry made sure his pride and joy was sea worthy, which is why she was upgraded. She was modified to carry the most up to date weapons. What happened was obviously a freakish event, the chaos of battle and a weather change as well as possible shot damage under the waterline all contributed as she turned to fire again. She was very manoeuvrable and apparently she was trying to save her crew by heading to the sand bank to flounder. That would prevent her from sinking. Then repairs could be done and the crew rescued. However, she didn’t have time before she keeled. This is based on eye witness reports of her position and normal navigation at the time. Obviously they knew the waters of the Solvent well enough to know what to do in an emergency. It was really quick whatever happened but there is evidence that some repairs were going on during the battle so something happened before sailing. I haven’t heard anything about the French celebration either, but the report by their Ambassador on board their ship can’t be totally ignored and let’s face it, whose going to admit Henry’s flagship had been hit, even by a single shot?

      The various theories, especially ones which can be tested more accurately now are always fascinating and the Titanic is a classic as to how evidence jumps out from the documents at the time over 100 years later. We can now test things which were covered up in the enquiries, such as the coal bunker fire, burning for days before the Titanic sailed and put out only hours before she sank. We are not talking about a coal bunker in the normal sense but huge ones well over the size of a couple of decks. One was on fire, up against her hull and the steel was hot and recent experiments show it could have contributed to the damage because the steel platelets were not as good standard as first believed. Hitting the berg at 22 to 24 knots in a manoeuvre designed to miss, allowing it to scrape along the side of the ship, popping the metal and bolts for 300 feet was helped by the steel being further weakened by the fire on board. Her bulkheads didn’t go all the way up as she was modified for larger ball rooms. Her life boats were regulation, but originally double the amount (36 rather than 16 and 4 collapsible) were ordered but removed for more room on the promenade deck. Remember the dimwits believed for some reason that Titanic was unsinkable, which of course is nonsense, but she had everything possible in technology as well as comfort, or so they thought. However, as you can see safety here is compromised in favour of luxury for her millionaire customers. I am guessing similar mythology surrounded the Mary Rose. Here was a flagship, a man of war which had been in service since 1510. She had survived fights and skirmishes other vessels had been lost in and inflicted damage on several French ships. She was the symbol of English navel power at this time and had something of a remarkable reputation. She had been in service much longer than most warships of her day. Even a breath of rumours that she was damaged in a fire fight or even worse, before she could fire and her reputation was destroyed along with Henry’s and England’s. The French had a perfect motivation to claim the Mary Rose was hit and the English the perfect one to cover it up, it was the wind. The truth is probably something in the middle. A small stone shot was most likely not enough to cause serious damage and in normal circumstances easily repaired but in the heat of battle, and this was a serious and dangerous fire fight against a large French and Imperial attack force, bent on invasion, repairing damage was virtually impossible. The fleet was harassed on all sides with French men at arms and German gallias long barge vessels which could go in and out of the fleet with ease and loaded with small canons, fire at close range, causing damage in the lower decks. After firing the Mary Rose turned to fire again on the starboard side and that’s when it all went wrong. Within a few moments she keeled and we now know her gunports were still open. Even if she did turn into a sudden wind and found it hard to keep her balance and instead attempting to reach ground flooded through her open ports, a hole in her lower bow would have contributed to her sudden demise.

      To the horror of those on shore and even those on board other ships the sight of men dying in the waters of the Solent must have been terrible. The cries of dying human beings is nothing to celebrate. To the French she might have been a symbol of terror and destruction but there is a tradition of respect at sea. To the English she was the symbol of pride and power and personally for the King, she was his favourite ship. More importantly though the national loss was horrendous and those poor souls were gone forever.

        1. Hi Michael, yes, it was called The Skeletons of the Mary Rose: The New Evidence and it was on in March but I think its on y tube or on downloads on the discovery channel.

        2. Actually it was on More Four last week so should be available on All4. Hope you find it.

        3. Just watching the documentary now and one of the first divers in the earliest dive to recover the canon was called Jacques Francis and he was African. I am not that surprised as I know about black people in Tudor England, but most people don’t know this and more importantly he wrote a testimony in his own words because his employer was tried for theft. He was about 20 years old, born in Papua New Guinea and came to work because of his special skills in diving, possibly as a pearl diver.

          A few early attempts have been made to salvage the Mary Rose, the first was two weeks after her sinking when Charles Brandon was put in charge of a commission to raise the ship. A crane cradle was suggested but the expense and dangerous nature of the recovery was too much so it was never tried. What was used in 1982? A cradle and crane, obviously with the dangers worked out scientifically. Imagine free diving in 1547 without air apparatus and bringing up canon. The historians believed he could only dive for a few moments at most. Three D skull reconstruction and DNA genome studies and isotopes from the teeth, all helped to show who was from where. Apparently now they have named 157 individuals with 99 people still unnamed. The next step is to find living descendants from Lieutenant Granville. It’s a wonderful documentary. I won’t tell you what they find so you will have to watch it.

  6. Thank you for the info on the Dudleys. This was my Dudley English Ancestry. Robert Dudley was a name that has continued until my grandfather Robert Dudley. The family that came in the early 1600’s also has the name of Ambrose, easy to remember. I enjoyed the info you wrote and really need to get back into the Dudley family records. It was done for the most part and so I never worked on the family. But now I can see that you have posted some names on Dudley that I can see has new information. I think now there is so much more to learn about these families and more information coming available . More later. Thank You Again.

  7. A lot certainly did happen on this day in Tudor England, Mary 1st the eldest surviving child of Henry V111 by his first queen Katherine from Aragon was proclaimed queen and bonfires were lit and people toasted their new sovereign, the traitor Dudley was clapped in irons along with his sons and Lady Jane Grey was also lamenting the loss of her crown in the Tower, after reading the will of Edward V1 and the will of Henry V111, the arguments for and against both queens, I cannot make up my mind was was the rightful successor to Edward and who was the usurper, Eric Ives was in no doubt that Jane was the true queen and therefore Mary the usurper and the legal wrangling over Edwards will continues to this day, but Jane was unknown to the people who she would come to regard as her subjects during her brief reign, she was as Bq attest’s met with stony silence, she was a relation of her whom they thought of as their true queen and that was all they knew, they saw a short young girl a teenager with the tawny hair and pale complexion of the Tudors ride past on her way to the Tower to claim it as her own, they gaped at her in silence, now Mary they had grown up with, everywhere she went she had been met with enthusiasm, more so during the unhappy days when she was seperated from her mother, she was Henry V111’s daughter they did not want some girl as their queen some had never even heard of, when Dudleys coup failed it was a joyous day and the people celebrated in the streets, free drink and merry making, meanwhile poor Jane who was not yet twenty was alone in her fine apartments in the Tower, she had been deserted by the councillors those who had pledged their loyalty to her were now pledging their loyalty to another queen, she ounce controlled the Tower now it was her fortress, the Earl of Dudley had prostrated himself at Marys feet but his plea for mercy went unanswered and he was to lose his life taking with him, that of his young son Guildford and Jane, his other sons Ambrose and Robert were to be released and found favour in the court of Elizabeth 1st, Mary had vanquished her enemies and maybe she fancied both her parents were looking down at her smiling, her sheer tenacity and courage had given her the strength to overcome her enemies and her rein started off victoriously, this is what I find so sad about Englands first queen, her reign started off with so much hope and yet when she died there were few who mourned her, however this was Marys day and whoever was the true queen, we cannot be in any doubt that by sheer valour alone Mary did deserve her sovereign title.

  8. To the entire human race, Happy Moon Landing Weekend. Today American people will celebrate the first man on the Moon 50 Years Ago 1969 and British People tomorrow. For everyone in whatever time zone you experienced this wonderful moment, enjoy and realise there are no limits to what we can achieve. For the generations too young to remember, enjoy the videos and films and documentary programmes. And remember we are going back and then on to Mars. Lets hope we are all watching that launch live very soon.

    Happy Moon Day.

    1. There are many people here in the states that do not believe we landed in 1969. To them I pose this question: If we did not why didn’t the Russians call us out at the time? They knew what we were doing and we knew what they were doing. After Russia launched Sputnik in 1957 and later Yuri Gagarin the idea of going to the moon was proposed as something we could beat them at and that was the sole purpose for going at the time. Lunar exploration didn’t become important until the later missions.

      1. Hi Michael, yes, we have seen the conspiracy theories and Buzz punched one apparently, good for him. Just think, there must have been a few million people involved over the years putting men and women into space and men on the moon. The scientists, the people who made the suits, engineers, astronauts, astronomers, the people who built the rockets, mission control, even the people who made the freeze dried food, people working in hundreds of supply industries and the tea ladies. That is one huge conspiracy.

        As you said the Russians would have had a great time with a fake moon landing. These people are cranks with nothing better to do. Perhaps President Trump could gather up all of the conspiracy theorists and moon and holocaust deniers and make them feed the homeless and hungry or scrub floors or clean homes or work in his slavery camps where he keeps refugees. I don’t mind proper scientific examination of such ideas but the loons behind them really need to get a life.

        1. Agreed. What doesn’t help is that NASA had never put out any publications touting their success. It took magazines like Look, Life, National Geographic etc to tell the story. The same goes today. think if NASA had told their own story it would have silenced the doubters almost immediately.

    2. Incredible feat our distant ancestors when they gazed at the moon would never have believed it possible that one day man would walk on her surface.

  9. Thank you so much BQ for that information on the Mary Rose. The best news I had heard in a long time was about identifying the crew. It always bothered me that so many brave men perished on her and only her captain was known. I have 2 large format books published by The Mary Rose Trust ( I believe there are 4). ‘Mary Rose Your Noblest Shippe’ also has a folder of scale drawings of what it is surmised she looked like and the other is two volumes ‘Weapons of War-The Armaments of the Mary Rose’. It has a CD with video of the repro cannons firing and slides of other artifacts. All are hardcover and in slipcases. They are scholarly works and very interesting. I got them from Amazon about 5 yrs ago for $50 each. Reg price at the time was $80.

    1. That set of books are excellent. The Men of the Mary Rose: Raising the Dead is also very good. I think they have only identified the men since they recently found new archives and DNA. They obviously knew who was on board at the time, but stuff gets lost over time. It is amazing to see how many different nationalities were on board. We lose stuff from the last decades, let alone from 500 years, but it does seem daft that we didn’t know for so long. It was a miracle bringing the amount of the ship up as we did as well as her crew. I think they are going to do DNA tests on all the remains so I am guessing another book is in the wind. You can’t beat a DVD and films though. Talking about miracles, I am just watching a documentary on Apollo 13 and how they were almost lost, it was harrowing. Getting them back safe was amazing. Of course if they had kept going after the 9th and final time, we would have a base there now and on Mars. Yes, its expensive, but so is war. Space v War; I go with Space. It’s incredible what we can achieve when we put our minds to it.

      1. We can thank president Nixon for cancelling the Apollo moon program. The American public had lost interest by the end of Apollo 17 in December 1972 so I don’t think politically he had much choice. The last Apollo mission was Apollo/Soyuz in 1975 when American and Soviet spacecraft docked in Earth orbit and the crews shook hands. That was amazing as we had been mortal enemies with the Soviet Union since the end of WWII. One of the Apollo crew was Deke Slayton. He was one of the original Mercury 7 from the early 1960’s but he had never gotten to go previously due to what the doctors at the time called ‘heart palpitations’. So nice he finally got to go into space.

        I watched a documentary on the raising of The Mary Rose. So nerve wracking wondering if it will make it all the way to the surface or if the cradle or cable will snap. Added pressure of Prince Charles being on site. You should he very proud of this. Not only the engineering to bring up something of that scale but so heavy and waterlogged after 5 centuries. So wonderful after all this time the men came home. I’ll never get the chance to visit the museum but the website is amazing so I will visit it vicariously through that. According to Alex Hildred there are still plans to bring up the bow section. I would love to see that.

        1. There is a ship which belonged to Thomas Gresham, a money man or broker which sank in the 1530s which is in what they call a salt water museum, in other words preserved in dock but you have to dive in a vessel to explore it. That must be a marvellous experience. The items are partly below and partly in a museum. I can’t recall the full story but I remember a very short documentary some time ago. She sank because she had too many urns on board with cargo. He apparently made a mint as a broker and then a huge loss when she sank. Of course she was overshadowed by the Mary Rose. I love the documentaries on those huge Roman and Greek ships with all those huge urns carrying wine and lots of other goods and stuff. It’s amazing how huge some were. One was some kind of super tanker and the equivalent of an aircraft carrier, she was loaded with that much weaponry and could carry smaller craft to land on land. You need your imagination but we have the plans and engineers believe it was possible. Imagine also the equivalent of the Titanic in Roman times, found under a lake in Italy. Nero owned both of them. Mussolini drained the lake and raised them. The museum was hit by the allies but the ships were somehow put back together using technology and are now in a new museum in Sicily (mainland not island). Ocean going ships from 3000 B.C and the Egyptian shipping was second to none. Huge stone obelisks taken down the nile on barges. We have done some stuff in history, without the help of Aliens, because it’s impossible and that is what humans do, the impossible. We climbed Everest because it was dangerous and there. We went to the Moon because the Russians went into space but we were working on it any. Mars is next and a base on the Moon in five years time. It sounds mad but if we did it once we can do it again. There was a joke on Twitter in May when we were going to the European Cup final and the airlines put their prices up that if the final was on the Moon Scousers would find a way to get there and take over. It’s true we probably would. Oh well have to go, somewhere less exciting, Tescos, who will probably have a store on the Moon one day, as we need some food. Cheers for now.

  10. Hi BQ. I had not heard the story of Gresham’s ship. Very interesting. I’m certainly sorry for his loss. Here in the U.S. in our Great lakes which are very deep and fresh water there are preserved ships sitting on the bottom from the war of 1812. Masts, rigging, everything due to the lack of sunlight and very cold temperatures. I believe one of those ships that was a bit closer to shore (The Niagara) was raised sometime after the turn of the 20th century and refurbished but was eventually lost again. There is however a replica of her that still plies the lakes.

    1. That sounds very interesting, Michael, she must give a good idea of the colonial ships in their hey day. I imagine she looks something like the Alabama. These were the finest ships, the most beautiful and the most elegant. The combination of sail and canon, slim and beautiful but deadly, these clippers were fast and wonderful at the same time. This is my favourite era of sail and warship. We have the tall ships here on their around the world race every couple of years and you can’t but fall in love with them. This was the golden age of sail.

      1. You can find photos of her online of both the original and replica. Also pics of the Great Lakes wrecks sitting on the bottom. I have a friend who lives in Buffalo NY. This is on the Eastern side of Lake Erie and was a shipbuilding center for the British fresh water Navy during the War of 1812. Some very interesting history in that area.

        1. Thanks, yes, saw a photo on line. The replica looks lovely. I would love to sail on her. In 1798 the Mentor built by Peter Baker sailed from Liverpool to take the French ship Carnatic, bound for Boston, the richest prize of the war and her gold added up to £750,000. Numerous ships have since been called the Carnatic including an immigration vessal bound for Boston in 1848. The last Carnatic was built in Liverpool in 1957. More interesting though is the spoils of war, which built our local student University halls indirectly and parish Church directly. A manor house stood were the halls are named after the Carnatic, an extremely large manor house, plus rumours abound that some of our famous waterfront owes its existence to the gold from the Carnatic. French sailors of course were kept prisoners in the Tower of London and in the Tower of Liverpool, the private property of Lord Stanley and in the port jails. The songs John Paul Jones and Ally Ally O of course are from this period. Privateers had a rather successful career during this period and of course we supplied both sides during the American Civil War. Paintings can be seen on line. The Mentor looked as if she would sink, but instead the Carnatic was captured. She was a French Indiaman from the East India wars but her gold was bound for American soil. Peter Baker was sitting pretty when he hauled her home.

  11. The ‘Talking Tudors’ podcast posted 7/27 had a very interesting guest, Miranda Kaufmann discussing Black Tudors (also the name of a book she wrote). Quite enlightening.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *