The encampment of the British forces near Portsmouth. 1545

Depicted is the ‘Battle of the Solent’ between French and English forces- an attack by the former as a response to Henry VIII capture of Boulogne in 1544. Although a victory for the English, the action is chiefly remembered today for the loss of one of Henry VIII largest vessels, the Mary Rose, as shown here at centre. The original image appeared in the form of a wall painting at Cowdray House in Sussex, the home of Sir Anthony Browne, Master of Horse for King Henry VIII. The Sherwin brothers, who specialised in historic engravings, were commissioned by the Society of Antiquaries to take a record of this wall painting in 1773 and the image was engraved on to copperplates shortly after. The print was published in 1778 and became the sole record of the scene after the interior of Cowdray House was destroyed by fire in 1793.

A large scale colour copy of the scene can be seen at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth.

Artist / Maker
Engraved by James Basire after the drawing by John and Charles Sherwin 1778.
Burlington House