12 Days of Christmas

Powder Ladle (Pear wood) Remains of up to 21 Powder Ladles were recovered from the Mary Rose. They were used to load powder, most likely in a canvas pouch or cartridge, into a muzzle loading gun. The actual ‘ladle’ part was made of iron or, in this case, copper which was less likely to generate a… Read more »

Carpenter’s chest with dove-tail joints This chest was found in the Carpenters’ cabin and contained a variety of personal items, including finger rings, pewter plates, a book, some lead weights and dice in a leather pouch, and the sundial in a box.   Dovetail joints were uncommon in carpentry of 16th Century Britain, suggesting that… Read more »

French Ware Bottle This wicker-covered whiteware flask was found on the Orlop Deck of the Mary Rose, in a chest believed to have belonged to one of the officers.  The style is similar to others produced at the time in Martincamp, a pottery making village in the Beauvais region of France, so these bottles were… Read more »

Boatswain’s Call This silver boatswain’s call and was recovered from the main deck of the Mary Rose. The silk ribbon is original.   Despite the colloquial term we used above, not all calls were worn by boatswains. During this period, the call whistle was worn as a badge of office by officers such as the… Read more »

Ornate Ring While many silver rings were found on the Mary Rose, this one, found on the orlop deck in association with a paternoster and a number of silver coins, is one of the more ornate designs. Although it has been heavily corroded during its time under the sea, you can still make out some… Read more »

Arrow Fletching Although none of the actually fletching (the feathers) has survived on the thousands of examples recovered from the Mary Rose, but Toxophilus: The Art of Shooting, written in 1545, states that that goose feathers were the best ones for fletching, so it’s likely that ours used them too. The glue that was used in… Read more »

Swan Symbols on a Pewter Plate This is one of two pewter saucers that feature a a double-struck makers mark, featuring a swan. The Swan was used on cloths seals in Valenciennes, France, during this time, so maybe these were French? They also have a strengthening bead and groove around the upper rim, a feature… Read more »

Butter Churn This staved barrel, made of oak and ash closely resembles a Butter Churn, although there has been some doubt that butter would have been made on board ship.   We know dairy was part of a Tudor sailor’s daily ration, each man being issued with 6oz (170g) of butter and 12oz (340g) of… Read more »

Lady on a Knife Handle   This knife handle, found in a chest on the main deck of the Mary Rose, features a decorative hexagonal copper alloy end cap. Two of the sides feature human figures, a gentleman and a lady. There are various interpretations of these figures, from them being the knife’s owner and… Read more »

Lord Lisle’s Plate While we found a number of  pewter plates featuring the initials GC, relating to Admiral George Carew, the commander of the Mary Rose on her final day, we also found some plates with the mark of Viscount Lisle, also known as John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. We know he wasn’t on the Mary… Read more »