Saxton's Hampshire 1575

galleons In the sea on Saxton's map of Hampshire are various ships, small coastal craft and two carracks, 'galleons' to the layman. An expert opinion says they are 'not terribly competent representations' ... 'the artist perhaps had no direct experience ships of this type, but has had a stab at copying other depictions'... 'both vessels are of a type familiar at least a hundred, perhaps 150, years before the date of the map'.

The hull of the smaller carrack is clearly pointed at one end and flat at the other, where there is a stern rudder. It has two masts and a bow sprit: main mast and main topmast with square main sail and main topsail; mizzen mast with a lateen sail; bow sprit with a square sail.

The larger carrack looks more fierce to a lubberly eye, with fore and stern castles of several stages. It has 3 masts and bowsprit: fore main and fore top masts with square sails; main and main top masts with square sails; mizzen mast with a lateen sail; bow sprit with a square sail. Ratlines can be seen on the main mast rigging.

Most of the small coastal vessels have spritsails which as the commonest rig for small vessels at this period. It was later displaced by the gaff rig, though a survival of the sprit rig into the late 19th century was the Spithead wherry. One of the small craft has a square rig.

sea monsters

In the sea there are also a couple of unlikely fish. These cannot be identified with anything much real?
Unger, R W (ed): 1994: Cogs, Caravels and galleons, the Sailing Ship 1000-1650: Conway maritime Press (London)

MacKenzie, Iain (National Maritime Museum): 1998: personal communication

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