The Many Faces of Tudor England | The Mary Rose
The Many Faces of Tudor England

A new exhibition

18th March - 31st December 2019

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Tudor England - As you never expected it!
Just who crewed the Mary Rose? 

Discover a whole new view of Henry VIII’s navy with our exciting exhibition, using the latest scientific and genealogical research to show us who really crewed the Mary Rose. 


You’ll never look at Tudor England the same way again!

Men Of The Mary Rose
Who actually crewed the Mary Rose?
Written sources show the Mary Rose had a cosmopolitan crew throughout her long history.

There was a Spanish surgeon recorded on board the Mary Rose in 1513, and that same year, gunners from Gdansk were transported on the Mary Rose to fight the Battle of Flodden. Also, the only known survivor of the sinking was a Fleming who provided eyewitness testament as to what happened on that day in 1545.

With no crew lists, we know only the names of the Captain, Vice Admiral Sir George Carew and an officer, Roger Grenville. Both died in the tragic sinking.  A ‘Nye Coep’ may have been the cook – we have his name on several objects. 

With so little written information on who the other crew members were, study of the 179 individuals excavated from the wreck of the Mary Rose, whose bones and teeth reveal secrets of how they lived, enable us to tell those missing stories.

The Mary Rose research team examine human remains so we can better understand the men of Tudor England
Using science to uncover history!
Journey with us whilst we use science to explore who some of them were, what they looked like, where were they were born and what their genetic heritage was.

You are what you eat (and drink)                 

The food you eat and the water you drink contain clues about your life. Chemical elements such as carbon, nitrogen, strontium oxygen and sulphur found within food and water leave chemical signatures.  Called isotopes, these get stored within our living tissues, such as bones and teeth.

Carbon and nitrogen tells us about diet, including the amount of fish, meat and dairy produce and the types of plants eaten.

Strontium provides information about rock formations in any particular area, sulphur tells us about how close to the coast an individual was raised and oxygen reflects the climate of that area.

Once teeth have formed in childhood, their chemical signatures do not alter.  To find out about where our crew were born, we took collagen and enamel from their teeth.

Learn more about archaeology at The Mary Rose
The Many Faces of Tudor England Exhibition
The Many Faces of Tudor England Exhibition
The Many Faces of Tudor England Exhibition
The Many Faces of Tudor England Exhibition
The Exhibition
Filling our Admiral's Gallery, "The Many Faces of Tudor England" features new information and interactive displays about the men who fought for Henry VIII.

Admission to the exhibition is free with a valid Mary Rose ticket, available either at our main visitor centre at the entrance to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, at the museum entrance, or online, where you can save 20% on the total price of your ticket.

Book tickets today!

Discover the secrets of Tudor Life at The Mary Rose

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Discover more about Tudor England with our events!

Diver’s Daughter – A Tudor Story 17 Aug - 17 Aug 2019
Meet the author

Meet award-winning author Patrice Lawrence and get a signed copy of her new book, Diver’s Daughter – A Tudor Story! This story is a gripping adventure inspired by the story of the Mary Rose and is part of the VOICES series, which aims to highlight authentic, unsung stories of our...

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England's Other Countrymen 11 Oct - 11 Oct 2019
A talk and book signing with Dr Onyeka Nubia

Tickets include 

  • 1 hour lecture by Dr Onyeka Nubia followed by Q&A,
  • A book signing by the author of England’s Other Countrymen: Black Tudor Society, which will be available to purchase on the day.
  • Tea/coffee afterwards and a look at the brand new The Many Faces of...
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