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Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

England’s Maritime Heritage Revealed in a New Online Project

Published: 20 November 2013Origin: History
Medieval mediterranean map

New historical research at the University of Southampton will give new insights into how England’s maritime history and seafaring communities developed.

New historical research at the University of Southampton will give new insights into how England’s maritime history and seafaring communities developed.

Dr Craig Lambert has been awarded almost £250,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to create an interactive online database of shipping and ports from the early 15th century to Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the world in 1577. He will work with maritime archaeologist Professor Jon Adams and the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute on the three year project.

Archive records suggest around 10,000 ships sailed along the coast and journeyed further afield taking wool to the Low Countries and bringing wine from southern France and Spain at that time. The database will list information about ships, crews, cargoes and ports, as maritime trade grew in importance during and after the Hundred Years War with France, aiding both researchers and members of the public.

“We have always been a maritime nation but many of the stories of ordinary people who sailed our seas have never been told,” says Craig. “Customs and tax records tell us much about the lives of ship owners, captains and crew; our investigations will reveal much about the personal lives of late medieval and Tudor seafarers.”
This research follows Craig’s earlier work at the University of Hull on English shipping between 1320 and 1400. The fruits of this project will be shared in a book and an exhibition at the city of Southampton’s SeaCity Museum.

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