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Hatch, the Mary Rose dog

The ship's dog, nicknamed Hatch by our team, is one of the more popular exhibits at The Mary Rose, popular with all ages!

But who was he, and why was he on board the Mary Rose?

What breed was Hatch?
Hatch can’t be attributed to a specific breed, most of which originated after 1545.

DNA analysis undertaken by the University of Portsmouth looked at which modern breeds he was closest related to, and classed him as a terrier-type, most closely related to the modern Jack Russell terrier.

He also shows similarities with whippets, so we refer to him as a terrier/whippet mongrel.

Where was Hatch found?
‘Hatch’ was mostly found outside the Carpenter’s cabin, with some of his bones inside.

Despite stories claiming he was trapped in the door, he probably died fully outside the cabin, with some parts being pulled inside post-death by marine scavengers.

Because of where he was found, we refer to him as the carpenter's dog, and he shares a display case in the museum with the master carpenter's chest.

Why a ship's dog?
While today we think of the ships cat as being more traditional, dogs were used on board ships for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, contrary to popular belief, cats aren’t that good at ratting, as many rats are big enough to fight back. Dogs such as terriers were considered to be much better for the task, and still are in some circles.

Secondly, Pope Innocent VIII had declared cats to be unholy in 1484, and the companions of witches, so owning one was generally considered unlucky, not to mention likely to get you in a lot of trouble. This opinion ended in England around 200 years later.

A Dog's Tale
A perfect bedtime story for young children

A story about Hatch's first day on the Mary Rose is available to download.

Make your own Hatch
Download and make your own model of Hatch!

We recommend printing him onto card, so he stands up more easily.

Follow Hatch on Twitter
Hatch acts as our museum mascot and ambassador on Twitter, reaching new audiences around the world.

Hatch has received praise from organisations like the Maritime Pets Museum, the Front of House Museums blog, Proud of Portsmouth and the South East Museums Development Programme.

He's also active in the #MuseumMascot community, similarly developed for audience engagement purposes, from locations such as the Grant Museum at UCL, Waddesdon Manor, the Horniman Museum, Wollaton Hall and HMS Unicorn to name a few, and he’s picked up quite a following in the US museum community, with followers from Museum Hack in New York to Mark the Mammoth in Ohio. 

Follow Hatch

Come to the Mary Rose and meet Hatch, as well as see many of the thousands of other objects recovered from the seabed

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