Posted on August 1, 2018
For the French, or rather for the people of Brittany, the Cordelière has mythic status. She was the flagship of the duchy’s last independent ruler and revered heroine, the Duchess Anne. And she was captained up until the moment of sinking (and his death) by another Breton hero, Hervé de Portzmoguer, a kind of patriot-corsair. His Frenchified name Primauguet is still given to vessels of the French navy to this day. The Regent was, in its day, every bit as important as its sister ship the Mary Rose, which was famously raised from the Solent 36 years ago and is now on display in Portsmouth. If anything, the Regent was the bigger ship. And if Henry VIII’s Mary Rose is anything to go by, then this would be a stupendous find indeed. The trouble is no-one knows exactly where the Battle of Saint-Mathieu took place. It was during one of the lesser-known wars between England and an alliance of France and a still-independent Brittany.