Henry V’s Holigost

I am trying to cut down on announcing archaeological discoveries (they’re not really “history,” eh?), but I can’t help but to share this one, in this 600th year of Agincourt:

Holigost, the warship that took Henry V’s fight to the French, discovered buried in mud after 600 years

Sarah Knapton, The Telegraph | October 13, 2015

The wreck of Henry V’s warship the Holigost, lost for hundreds of years, has been found deep in the mud of a Hampshire river.

The flagship of the Duke of Bedford was the second of four “great ships” built for Henry’s campaign against the French in the Hundred Years War, and joined the fleet a month after the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

Signs of its buried remains were spotted by the historian Ian Friel while studying aerial pictures of a medieval breaker’s yard at Bursledon on the Hamble, where Henry’s flagship, the Grace Dieu, had been found in the 1930s.

A subsequent search through records from the time revealed that the Holigost had indeed been laid up at the site.

Now Historic England, formerly English Heritage, is to launch a detailed archaeological investigation of the warship, which played a crucial role in two battles that broke French naval power and enabled Henry to conquer France in the early 15th century. Over the next few years, archaeologists will use sonar, remote-sensing, drone technology and dendrochronology — the study of tree rings — to learn all they can about the vessel.

“I am utterly delighted that Historic England is assessing the site for protection and undertaking further study,” Dr Friel said. “Further research leading to the rediscovery of the Holigost would be even more important than the identification of the Grace Dieu in the 1930s.

“The Holigost fought in two of the most significant naval battles of the Hundred Years War, battles that opened the way for the English conquest of northern France.”

The Holigost joined the royal fleet on November 17, 1415 and took part in operations between 1416 and 1420.

It served as the flagship of the Duke of Bedford at the battle of Harfleur in 1416, suffering serious damage, and was in the thick of the fighting off the Chef de Caux in 1417. It was also used in missions led by the earls of Devon and Dorset. It had been rebuilt from a large Spanish ship called the Santa Clara that was captured in late 1413 or early 1414, then acquired by the English Crown. The name of the ship is derived from Henry V’s personal devotion to the Holy Trinity.

More at the link.