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The Earliest Mention of the Mary Rose

The Mary Rose, from the Anthony Roll
Image courtesy of the Magdalene College Library, Cambridge

While  documentation exists to show that the Mary Rose was originally ordered in January 1510, she appears not to have had a name at the time.


Indeed, it wouldn’t be until 18 months later that we get the first mention of the Mary Rose by name, in a somewhat rambling letter from Robert Brigandine, Clerk of the Kings ships in  Woolwich, to Richard Palshide, a Southampton Customs officer, dated 9th June 1511…


(We’ve emboldened the mentions of the Mary Rose, as it’s a fair slog!)


Right worshipful sir, I heartily recommend me unto you, daily desiring to hear of your good welfare, furthermore desiring your mastership that for the indenture of parchment that I delivered unto you there may be made another new, extending to the whole sum of money as it specifieth of bearing the date and time according; but whereas it specifieth several sums of money, so much to the Sovereign spent and so much to the Mary Rose and Peter Pomegranate, I would not have it so, but the said whole sum of the indenture delivered by Master Dawtrey and by you unto me in general, as well for the repairing of the Sovereign as for the new making of the Mary Rose and Peter Pomegranate jointly together, and moreover that it will please you I maybe recommended unto Master Dawtrey, desiring his mastership and you both that I may have the copy of the warrant whereby I received money of you for the keeping and of certain reparations done on the Regent in Ludivico de La Fava his time, and in as goodly haste as may be possible you would vouchsafe that the said indenture, and also copy of the warrant may be delivered unto the bringer hereof [or to my wife or John Peryn I pray you] for the expedition of my account, as my very especial trust is in your mastership, as knoweth God, whom I beseech preserve you and all yours. Amen.


Written at Woolwich, the 9th day of the month of June

By your own Robert Brigandine, Clerk of Ships


Of course, there are a number of theories about who “Mary Rose” was, you can find out about some of them in our “Who Was Mary Rose?” blog.

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