Published in 2017, The Warship Anne covers the building, history and archaeology of one of the most important shipwrecks along the southern coast of England. All the numerous illustrations are printed in full colour. She was lost in 1690 after the Battle of Beachy Head defending the country from invasion. Sadly, her remains and the men who died aboard her are now largely forgotten. The battle prevented a French invasion which, had it been successful, would have dramatically and permanently changed English and European history. The exiled Catholic King James II would have been restored to the throne, his Catholic faith almost certainly imposed and the country dominated by the French.
Not so many years ago the methods of seventeenth century ship construction was little understood. A study of the subject soon revealed the overwhelming and complete archive left to us by the bureaucracy of Samuel Pepys, Secretary to King Charles II’s Admiralty Commission that sat between 1673 and 1679. In addition, there are many ship models surviving from the period, drawings by the Dutch artists, the Van de Veldes, a couple of contemporary books and finally, archaeological remains. The most useful being those of the Anne, one of the thirty ships constructed by Charles II as part of the 1677 building programme. This study eventually resulted in a book, Restoration Warship, published in 2009.
Anne was built midway between the Mary Rose and Victory and is the outstanding example of a warship from that era. The whole of the lower hull survives intact and is the most substantial known remaining shipwreck from the Navy of Charles II and Samuel Pepys. It is all the more important as she had not been rebuilt or altered. Today, the Anne is owned by a charitable trust that runs the Shipwreck Museum in Hastings Old Town.
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