The Mary Rose

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The Mary Rose

The combination of many factors led to the sinking of the Mary Rose in 1545. Theories include a French cannon, a structural change in the ship, inexperienced or unruly crew and an unexpected gust of wind. However it was a combination of these factors that caused the Mary Rose to sink. Firstly, a French cannon firing into the ship was a possible factor in the sinking of the Mary Rose due to the ship going off to fight the French. However, there have been no discovered holes in the ship to support this theory. Secondly, there was a structural change of the ship after it had been completed. King Henry VIII ordered the ship to be constructed in 1509 but in 1536 the Mary Rose was upgraded to 700 tons and fitted with more efficient guns. This structural change and access weight may have not have been calculated into the original structure of the ship correctly, causing the ships centre of gravity to be off and making the ship more venerable to keeling over. Thirdly, the ship was said to have had inexperienced crew. It was stated by the captain of the Mary Rose’s brother that the crew was drunk at the time of sinking but it must be taken into consideration that this statement could have possibly been an attempt to cover up any bad decisions made by the captain. It is also believed that there were extra men brought upon the ship then first intended, adding to the weight, and again forcing the centre of gravity to be unbalanced. Fourthly, the gunports were found open which may indicate that they were open at time of sinking. It is believed that whilst the ship was turning the gunports were left open, allowing water to race in and eventually sink the ship. Although many have said the crew wouldn’t forget such an important thing, the pressure of the water alone would have kept them shut if they were indeed closed in the first place. Fifthly, it is believed that a gust of wind caused the ship to keel over. A witness to the event is believed to have said that...
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