Dog from the Mary Rose shipwreck to be unveiled

This year’s Crufts dog show will have what is probably its oldest ever dog on show. The dog, named Hatch, is from the 16th century and is believed to have died in 1545 when her ship, the Mary Rose, sank in the Solent Channel near the Isle of White.

hatch at cruftsHatch’s skeleton will be on show at Crufts this year, before returning to the south coast where she will be displayed in the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth. Hatch was believed to have been responsible for catching rats aboard the Mary Rose. It was common at the time for crews to use dogs, instead of cats, because cats were believed to bring bad luck upon the ships.

Although Hatch didn’t do much for the crew of the Mary Rose.

She has been named Hatch because of where she was found on board the ship, near a hatch door that led to the carpenter’s cabin. Hatch’s skeleton has taken many years to reconstruct and it is now ready to be unveiled to the world.

Hatch was a mongrel and was only two years old. According to experts, the formation of her skeleton suggests that she spent almost all of her life confined to the ship’s smallest and darkest areas.

John Lippiett is the proud chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust. He enthused:

We are delighted to bring Hatch, the world’s oldest lost sea dog, to the world’s premier dog show, so that visitors can meet an ancestor of their much loved pets.

Hatch is just one of 19,000 extraordinary Tudor treasures recovered with the wreck of the Mary Rose, but she has never been on display in Portsmouth simply because we have not had the room.

The Kennel Club is equally thrilled to have Hatch appearing at this year’s Crufts dog show, as Caroline Kisko comments:

It is fantastic to host Hatch before she finally returns home. She is undoubtedly the oldest, most unusual and most historically important exhibit that we have ever had at DFS Crufts and her tragic story is bound to fascinate visitors. We are delighted to have her with us – after nearly 500 years of loyal service she is due a little ‘shore leave’!

It isn’t truthfully known why the Mary Rose, the flagship of Henry VIII, sank off the south coast – but you can be sure that it was nothing to do with rats!



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