The Mary Rose: What's in a Name?
The April issue of History Today carries an article on Henry VIII's favourite sister, Mary, a rather neglected Tudor in this most examined of dynasties. However, the piece gets off to a rather unfortunate beginning:
"Mary Rose, after whom the famous flagship was named..."
It didn't take long for our readers and professional historians alike to point out the muddled thinking behind this. On Tuesday this week, @petricat666 commented on Twitter:
@HistoryToday I just wish you had not titled it Mary Rose.That's what novels call herThe Mary Rose Trust says ship not named for her— Diane Wilshere (@petricat666) March 27, 2012
The next day Tudor historian Suzannah Lipscomb (@sixteenthCgirl) expanded on the theme:
The Mary Rose Museum (@MaryRoseMuseum) then chimed in with some useful information about the Peter Pomegranate:
The Pomegranate was the symbol of the house of Aragon, and the Peter Pomegranate was renamed the Peter in 1536.— Mary Rose Appeal (@MaryRoseMuseum) March 28, 2012
The "Peter" is more likely to be Saint Peter, pretty much everyone agrees with that!— Mary Rose Appeal (@MaryRoseMuseum) March 28, 2012
Hopefully that's cleared the matter up! Although, as the Mary Rose Museum wisely notes:
However, the Mary Tudor theory won't go away, and may have some merit, but then we know all about persistent myths! #maidenvoyage— Mary Rose Appeal (@MaryRoseMuseum) March 28, 2012
After all her help, it would be churlish not to mention that Suzannah has a new book, The Visitor's Companion to Tudor England, out this month. There's more on the Peter Pomegranate, and other ships in Henry VIII's navy, at the Navy Record Society website.
Read Mary, Queen of Hearts in the April issue of History Today, out now.
From The Archive
The Tudor warship Mary Rose sank in 1545 whilst leading the attack against a French invasion fleet in the Solent. Four and a half centuries later, it was raised from the depths and now lies in drydock at Portsmouth.
David Childs argues that Mary Rose, the Tudor battleship which was raised twenty-five years ago this month, represented the beginning of British naval greatness.
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