The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth has taken delivery of a group of rare artefacts recovered from the wreck of the famous eighteenth century warship HMS Invincible.
Recovered from the watery depths of the wreck site of HMS Invincible these sailor’s possession have lain on the seabed floor for over 200 years.
The handful of everyday artefacts including shoes, tankard and grapeshot have been gifted to The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard by Arthur Mack, who found the underwater wreck nearly 40 years ago.
Considered by many to be one of the most significant warships ever built, she made by the French in 1744 and captured by the British on the 3rd May 1747. HMS Invincible’s 74-gun capacity and extended deck design was copied globally and her class became the backbone of the Royal Navy up to the end of the sailing navy and the beginning of the age of steam.
The ship sank in February 1758 when she hit a sandbank in the East Solent. It is said invincible remained upright for three days, so unlike the other famous Solent wreck, the Mary Roee, the crew managed to escape before she sunk beneath the waves.
A keen fisherman, Arthur (83) from Eastney in Portsmouth was on the water in 1979 when his nets snagged on something underwater.
“As we pulled them up,” he recalled, “they brought up a large piece of timber with wooden treenails and iron bolts – so we knew we were talking about a wooden ship.
“My friends John Broomhead and Cdr John Bingeman helped identify the wreck as HMS Invincible and the rest, as they say, is history.”