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Henry Grâce à Dieu


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In her day the largest warship in the world, was launched at Erith, in Kent, in June 1514. She was in her time, and still is, widely known under the name Great Harry. She was built by William Bond, master shipwright, directed by Robert Brygandine, clerk of the ships, at the command of Henry VIII, and was probably of 1,000 tons, although some contemporary accounts give the figure of 1,500. She had four pole masts, each, except the bonaventure mizzen, with two circular tops, and set three square sails on fore- and main-masts and lateen sails on mizzen and bonaventure mizzen. She had a complement of 700 men and was armed with 21 heavy guns of ‘brass’, which in those days meant bronze, and a light armament of 231 weapons of various types, mainly murderers. She was accidentally destroyed by fire at Woolwich in August 1553.

Subjects: Maritime History.


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