When we think of Henry the eighth we generally think of his 6 wives. However, let’s not forget what a terrible King he truly was. Not only did he create the Church of England simply so he could get divorce and get married to Ann Boelyn (and then forget on his deathbed that he did and asked for a catholic funeral). He also got involved in several wars all of which were pointless and expensive. He didn’t even write Greensleeves although it’s claimed that he did. One of his biggest failures and embarrassments happened right in front of his eyes. The sinking of the Mary Rose, named after his daughter (another terrible monarch as well) was a castatorphie. Here’s how it happened.
Henry was keen to win back the bits of France that had been lost after the Hundred years war. At the time the 2 other powers in the world were the Holy Roman Empire and Spain. England’s Navy consisted of 2 ships and if it was going to mix it with these two heavy weights it needed more. Therefore a massive fighting Carrick ship was ordered by the crown to be built.
The Mary Rose was state of the art. All modern ship building techniques were poured into it. Huge amounts of English Oak were felled for it’s hull. You can bet that Timber Merchants Southampton way were excited by the prospect just as Timbo Timber Merchants in Southampton today would be.
After a huge refit the Mary Rose sailed out of Portsmouth ready to do battle in the Solent. Then, in full sight of the Monarch, it sank after firing its guns once. Like Henry VIII, it promised much at the beginning then delivered very little when it came to it.