After the the loss of the Mary Rose, the wind died down, leaving the English fleet unable to engage the French. However, Lord Admiral Lisle, the commander of the fleet on his flagship the Henry Grace à Dieu, was able to use the tides and currents to get the rest of the fleet into position, preventing the French admiral, Claude d’Annebault, from positioning his larger ships. As Lisle had the home advantage of access to supplies and reinforcements, he was prepared to stand his ground and take a defensive position, creating a deadlock. The French attempted to find an advantage at sea, but were thwarted at every step by Lisle’s skill, as well as the local weather and underwater geography.
The invasion of the Isle of Wight didn’t seem to be going well either. While the attacking troops had been deployed at several points along the coast to divide the defending forces, they didn’t, for some reason, venture inland or regroup. While they did gain some ground, especially around Bonchurch, the assaults elsewhere went less well. The troops who landed at Sandown decided to attack a newly built fort, which resulted in a hasty retreat after the death of the French commanders, while at Bembridge the assault had been badly organised, and an ambush by the defending English had caused panic amongst the French troops.
Discover the Battle of the Solent at The Mary Rose in Portsmouth, as our guides talk through the events leading up to the loss of the Mary Rose.