The White Ship

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    Malcolm Lewis

    An article in the London Daily Telegraph today 01/03/21 (“Earl takes diving lessons to join hunt for lost White Ship”) details information about Earl Spencer, the maritime history author, intending to try and find any remains of the “White Ship” which sank off Southampton on its voyage from Barfleur in France in November 1120 with the “cream of the English aristocracy on board including the heir to the throne” drowning all but one of the 300 on board. The treasure onboard was salvaged but many other items are believed still to be on the seabed.
    Apparently, it was called the White Ship because it was lime-washed as a preservative “instead of bitumen”. I have not heard of lime being used to protect wooden ships nor bitumen for that matter. At this date is this fact generally known and would William the Conqueror’s invasion fleet have been lime-washed in a similar manner?

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