One of the great contemporary resources that informs us about events on that fateful day is commonly referred to as the Cowdray engraving. This engraving is a copy of a painting commissioned sometime between 1545 and 1548 by Sir Anthony Browne, Master of the King’s Horse (shown riding a white horse behind the King in the centre of the image). The colourised version of the engraving, also known as "The Encampment of the English Forces near Portsmouth" was one of a set of five images from Cowdray House that would have depicted historical events that Sir Anthony Brown took part in. It is remarkably accurate in its depiction of both Southsea and Portsmouth. The image owes its existence to the Society of Antiquaries who commissioned the engraving as the original painting was destroyed in a fire at Cowdray House in 1778.
The engraving is littered with details alluding to the battle and what was happening in Portsmouth on the day the Mary Rose sank. For example, right at the centre of the image we can see two of the masts of the Mary Rose sticking out of the water. To the right of this, in all its grandeur, is the Kings flagship the Henry Grace à Dieu (which translates to "Henry, Thanks be to God"). Just below the Mary Rose masts is Southsea Castle, where men can be seen manning the fortification’s cannons, carefully watching the French fleet.
A cook with a cauldron bubbling away can be spotted, perhaps preparing food for the group of soldiers massed on Southsea Common. The men are carrying pikes - the likes of which were found on the seabed with the Mary Rose. The town of Portsmouth can also clearly be seen to the right; landmarks such as the Round Tower and Square Tower, as well as Portsmouth Cathedral, make piecing together the topography remarkably clear.