Daily Event for November 25

November 25, 1120: The Blanche Nef (The White Ship) sailed from Barfleur, near Cherbourg in France. William of Malmesbury wrote "No ship ever brought so much misery to England. None was ever so notorious in the history of the world" Sailing as part of a royal flotilla, on board were William and Richard, the only legitimate sons of King Henry I. Also on board was an illegitimate daughter of the King named Maud. After some merriment at the send off it is possible the captain (who may have been intoxicated) wrecked the ship on the rocks (Le Raz de Catteville) in the English Channel. Prince William managed to escape the sinking ship, but returned to rescue his half sister Maud. Unfortunately both were killed. There was only one survivor, a man named Berold, a tradesman. Stephen, the cousin of the dead Princess Maud, had decided at the last minute not to take the ship, and later became King of England because William and Henry had both died on the ship.

© 2005 Michael W. Pocock