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Six wooden trenchers, small square wooden plates used for eating, were recovered from the Mary Rose, the one illustrated being made of oak.

It is also the most decorated, with a zig-zag patterned border. There are scratches on the surface, suggesting it was used as a cutting board for whatever was placed on it.

Trenchers were often made of bread in this period (and maybe many were on the Mary Rose, although they would have broken up very quickly post-sinking), but wooden ones were common too, especially at sea. There is a popular myth about trenchers, claiming that they are the source of the term “Square Meal”.  There is no mention of the term in any Royal Navy records or logs, and it seems to have originated in the US in 1856, and just means a fair (as in fair and square) meal.