Another “Mary Rose” is found….


I well remember all the excitement when Henry VIII’s Mary Rose was found and brought to the surface for the first time since his reign. The event was broadcast live and we watched as she reappeared inch by slow inch. Yes, it was quite a story. But then, Henry VIII (love him or hate him) has what might be called “pulling power”.

Now we have another royal ship found beneath the waves—further out at sea than the Mary Rose and actually found in 2007 but kept quiet—the Gloucester, which was bringing to England the brother of Charles II, James, Duke of York (later James II). Hundreds of people died when the Gloucester went down, but James escaped, as you can read here.

Henry I (the White Ship, in which his only legitimate son drowned) and Henry V (the Holighost) are also connected with prominent lost vessels.

The Gloucester isn’t going to be raised to the surface like the Mary Rose, and James II wasn’t exactly a popular or successful monarch, and was religiously divisive too, so I can’t imagine that the discovery of this ship is going to arouse as much intense interest as Henry VIII’s vessel. OK, yes, Henry was religiously divisive too, but even so to this day he manages to always be at the forefront. Poor old James can’t claim such limelight.

Mind you, to call him poor old James II is to overlook the apparent circumstances of his departure from the ship. The details are listed in the above article. They certainly show he had scant respect for human life.

There will be an exhibition at Norwich Castle Museum next year and a permanent museum in Great Yarmouth, although the wreck is closer to Cromer.

Here is a comparison with the Mary Rose exhibition at Portsmouth, Raedwald at Sutton Hoo and Richard III at Leicester.

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