This roll was one of three presented to Henry VIII in 1546 by Anthony Anthony, an official of the ordnance.
The illuminated manuscripts provide a visual record of all the ships in Henry’s navy at the end of his life, interspersed with a list of their seamen and armaments. This roll shows the galleasses – large, fast, heavily armed three-masted galleys.
The other two rolls, which depict the warships, pinnaces and row barges, were bound in one volume after Charles II gave them to Samuel Pepys. The Pepys volume is now in the Pepys Library in Magdalene College, Cambridge.
The Anthony Roll is available to view in its entirety on the British Library's Digitised Manuscripts website.
- Article by:
- Brian Cummings
- Power, politics and religion, Shakespeare’s life and world
Brian Cummings explores the radical religious reforms enacted in Shakespeare's lifetime, and the traces of religion that exist in his plays from Measure to Measure to Hamlet.