Dog bones from the Mary Rose go on display

In 1545, during the battle of the Solent the great ship the Mary Rose sank beneath the waves. It had taken part in 33 years' of battle, and sank whilst engaging a French invasion fleet.

However, by most accounts it sank due to misfortune and negligence, keeling over shortly after firing its guns on one side and attempting to turn, as it caught a gust of wind.

When the ship was raised in 1982, artefacts including clothing, jewellery, furniture, musical instruments, medical equipment and weapons were found well preserved.

However, a unique addition to the Mary Rose Exhibition has now been completed. The skeleton of a dog - nicknamed 'Hatch' by museum staff - have been put back together and will now go on show later this month.

The bones of the unfortunate dog were found trapped in a doorway. It was probably used to catch rats - a relentless problem on ships at the time - and the best option captains would have tolerated, as cats were seen as bad luck.

The bones will go on show on March 26 at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Those interested in Tudor memorabilia will be excited to know that the letter Henry VIII sent to the Pope to try to initiate a divorce with his first wife Catherine of Aragon is available for sale. A document signed by his father Henry VII is also on the market.


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