As you know, here at the Anne Boleyn Files we are supporting the Mary Rose 500 Appeal so I thought you might be interested in knowing the following 5 things about Henry’s favourite warship:-

1. The debate continues as to why the Mary Rose mysteriously sank off the Portsmouth coast in 1545. Four of the suggested possibilities are:

  • Too many cooks and not enough skilled seamen on board
  • Poor communication and slow responses from an international crew
  • A hole made by a French cannonball in battle led to the Mary Rose taking water onboard
  • The Mary Rose was too top heavy and keeled over when changing course

2. On 19th July 1545 Henry VIII was watching his fleet set sail to battle the approaching French and saw the Mary Rose sink, so did the wife of Vice Admiral Sir George Carew, who was on board and who sank with his ship – not surprisingly, she fainted.

3. Scientists have used Facial Reconstruction technology to illustrate the facial features of the crew of the Mary Rose from skulls found on board.

faces of the crew

4. As well as iron bolts, the Mary Rose was held together by thousands of wooden pegs – each one made by hand.

5. Celebrated marine artist Geoff Hunt researched the Mary Rose for 113 hours before he began his new painting of the ship, unveiled earlier this year. His research revealed that King Henry VIII’s flagship had one more fighting castle deck than had previously been thought, fuelling speculation that it was the ship’s top heaviness that may have led to her mysterious sinking.

Geoff Hunt's painting of the Mary Rose

Help us raise money for the Mary Rose 500 Appeal, to help build the new Mary Rose museum, by donating at and supporting me in my diet and keep fit regime (boy, do I miss chocolate!) or by buying one of our pieces of special Mary Rose jewellery – see

Thanks to Charli of Bell Pottinger for the above information and photos.

The Mary Rose Trust is a Registered Charity No. 277503