English ship, c 1485.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
By the late 15th century, the three-masted ship had only just been introduced and topsails had not come into use. The model is based on a number of drawings from the British Museum manuscript 'Pageant of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick.' Beauchamp's armorial bearings are emblazoned on the mainsail, while the flags are those of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Although Beauchamp's journey was made early in the 15th century, the illustrations in the manuscript show characteristics of vesels of the late 15th century, when the drawings were made.