Testing an Elizabethan Cannon

A replica Elizabethan cannon, based on the one raised from the wreck off Alderney that I have blogged about before, has been test fired.

From The BBC:

The English navy at around the time of the Armada was evolving revolutionary new tactics, according to new research.

Tests on cannon recovered from an Elizabethan warship suggest it carried powerful cast iron guns, of uniform size, firing standard ammunition.

“This marked the beginning of a kind of mechanisation of war,” says naval historian Professor Eric Grove of Salford University.

“The ship is now a gun platform in a way that it wasn’t before.”

Until now, it was thought Queen Elizabeth was using the same cannon technology as her father, Henry VIII. His flagship, the Mary Rose, was ultra-modern for its day.

It is known that during Elizabeth’s reign, English sailors and gunners became greatly feared. For example, at the beginning of Henry VIII’s reign, the English fleet was forced to retreat from heavily armed French galleys.

By the time of Elizabeth, even Phillip of Spain was warning of the deadly English artillery. But no-one has ever been able to clearly show why this was.

The new research follows the discovery of the first wreck of an Elizabethan fighting ship off Alderney in the Channel Islands, thought to date from around 1592, just four years after the Spanish Armada

Full article – with video
(and I’m totally amused by the fact that the volume on the video player goes to 11)

If you’re in the UK and missed the initial airing of the Timewatch episode, you can watch it at the Timewatch website.

And here is an interesting related article from The Times Online:
Mystery of Francis Walsingham and the sunken canon

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