During the night of the 25 November in 1120, a routine crossing of the English Channel went catastrophically wrong. The White Ship disaster saw approximately 300 people perish, including King Henry I’s only legitimate son and heir. Charles Spencer talks to Matt Lewis about the tragedy, which caused a dynastic disaster and uncertain turmoil in England and Normandy, 900 years ago. Find out the consequences of that fateful night, what was discovered during about a recent dive in the search for the White Ship, and why it’s believed Henry I is buried under a school in Reading.
Earl Spencer’s book, The White Ship: Conquest, Anarchy and the Wrecking of Henry I’s Dream, is out now.