More than 30 years after it was raised from the seabed – and almost 500 years since it sank – the secrets of Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose, are being revealed to the public – along with the faces of its crew.
The Anglophilic Anglican has not been posting much that is either Anglophilic or Anglican, of late! I shall try to correct that imbalance: one should not stick one’s head in the ground, especially at a time of crisis for the Western world; but on the other hand, man cannot live by politics alone, either – at least not without going stark raving crazy!
At any rate, I would love to visit the Mary Rose Museum – dedicated to King Henry VIII’s flagship, sunk in 1545 and raised in 1982 – in Portsmouth, England, one day:
“Every artefact on show here is an original piece found with the wreck. Some of the cannons were still sticking out of the gunports when it was discovered in 1971.
“The Mary Rose was raised from the seabed of the Solent in 1982, and has been on display before, but it is only now that insights into life on board are being shown to the public.
“Forensic scientists, more used to working with murder victims, have recreated the faces of seven of the about 500 men who died when the ship sank in 1545.
“The new Mary Rose Museum has been dedicated to them, and it is through them the story of the ship is now being told.”
As I say, I would love to visit, some day! I do hope I get back to England, before I die…
[Sadly, it is not possible to utterly evade politics even in something like this. One of the lead stories on the museum website asks “Were the crew of the Mary Rose white Englishmen or did diversity reign on board Henry VIII’s favourite warship?” – a question which is more provocative than its answer.
Although it is certainly interesting that analysis of a couple of the remains found indicate (if that analysis and the conclusions drawn from it are accurate) that they may have been from North Africa, the fact that it’s a lead story, and includes the rather absurd question about “did diversity reign” (no, it did not) is disappointing… though hardly surprising.
It suggests that the goal is not merely pointing out an interesting finding, but demonstrating, for the benefit of the guardians of political correctness, that even Tudor Britain was not lily-white.
Of course, the individuals in question were not sub-Saharan Africans, but Berbers or Moroccans – so they might not, in life, have been too distinguishable from the rest of the crew. As, indeed, the accompanying picture on the website indicates: if the artistic reconstruction is accurate, that individual could as easily have been Welsh as Moroccan. In other words, to the casual observer, they would probably have appeared “white.” Hardly “diversity reigning.”
Nor would it be surprising if they were from abroad: even then, Britain, as a sea-faring nation, had contacts and relations with many parts of the globe, and it is hardly a shock that denizens of foreign lands would take service – whether as archers or seamen – with what was clearly a rising maritime power!]