Weapons of Warre
When the Mary Rose sank in 1545 she took to the bottom of the Solent the largest and most comprehensive collection of guns and weapons of the sixteenth century to have been in use and survived. The assemblage is enormously important for the understanding of Tudor warfare. This great warship sailed into battle carrying everything from bows to bronze cannons, pikestaffs to powder flasks, arrows to armour. At least ten different types of bronze and iron guns were recovered from the wreck, together with hundreds of shot made of iron, lead and stone, and all the associated paraphernalia. Chests of longbows and arrows were lying on her upper decks ready for use; incendiary devices and canisters full of lethal fragments of flint had been prepared for firing at French ships; dozens of staff weapons - bills, pikes and halberds - were on hand to repel boarders and engage the enemy at close range. Some of the men were in armour, others clad in leather jerkins carried swords and daggers for hand-to-hand combat. Weapons of Warre provides, for the first time, a real insight into the armoury and fighting capabilities of a Tudor warship in battle. A detailed introduction is given to all the ordnance from the the great guns to incendiary devices and a notable collection of hand-guns. The unique assemblage of longbows, arrows and staff weapons are examined, along with the armour and hand weapons which provide a more personal glimpse of some of the men on board. The archaeological evidence is combined with what is known from historical sources and surviving contemporary collections to paint a fascinating picture of how the Mary Rose worked as a fighting unit and to provide a comparison between warfare on land and at sea.