The Mary Rose was an English Tudor carrack warship and one of the first to be able to fire a full broadside of cannons. The Mary Rose was well equipped with 78 guns (91 after an upgrade in 1536) and was the pride of the English fleet. Built in Portsmouth, England (1509–1510) she was thought to be named after King Henry VIII's sister Mary and the rose, the Tudor emblem. She was one of the earliest purpose-built warships to serve in the Royal Navy; it is thought that she never served as a merchant ship. She displaced 500 tons (700 tons after 1536), was 38.5 m long and 11.7 m beam and her crew consisted of 200 sailors, 185 soldiers, and 30 gunners. After serving for over thirty years, she sank in the Solent during an engagement with the French fleet on 19 July 1545. The surviving section of the ship was raised in 1982 and is now on display in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard along with an extensive collection of well preserved artefacts.
The Mary Rose served as the flagship of Admiral Sir Edward Howard in the Italian Wars and was frequently engaged. On 10 August 1512 she was the flagship of an English fleet of 50 ships that attacked the French at Brest in Brittany. The Mary Rose attacked the French Marie la Cordelière, the flagship of Admiral Ren de Clermont; in the battle the Marie la Cordelière was crippled and the Mary Rose was damaged and ran aground. The Marie la Cordelière then came under fire from the Mary James, the Sovereign, and the Regent, eventually blowing up with the loss of more than a thousand men. Thirty-two French ships were taken or destroyed in the battle. After the death of Edward Howard in 1513, the Mary Rose became the flagship of Lord High Admiral Sir Thomas Howard.
In 1528 and again in 1536 the Mary Rose was rebuilt, having her displacement increased from 500 to 700 tons and now mounting 91 guns. The refits are thought to have added an extra deck, making her top-heavy and liable to increased tendencies to roll over steeply in heavy seas.