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William the Conqueror’s Ship

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The Bayeux tapestry is probably our earliest trustworthy authority for a British ship, and it gives a considerable number of illustrations of them, intended to represent in one place the numerous fleet which William the Conqueror gathered for the transport of his army across the Channel; in another place the considerable fleet with which Harold hoped to bar the way. The one we have chosen is the duke’s own ship; it displays at its mast-head the banner which the Pope had blessed, and the trumpeter on the high poop is also an evidence that it is the commander’s ship.