(CNN)A warship carrying about 330 people -- including James Stuart, future King of England -- ran aground and sank on May 6, 1682. Now the shipwreck's location has finally been revealed off the coast of England 340 years later.
Unopened wine bottles still on board a royal ship 340 years after it sank
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When the HMS Gloucester sank, it became half buried in the seabed. There was no formal passenger manifest, but it's estimated that 130 to 250 crew and passengers drowned.
Stuart, who would be crowned James II as King of England and King of Ireland and James VII as King of Scotland almost three years later, was nearly one of those casualties.
At the time of the calamity, the then-Duke of York was a Catholic heir to the Protestant throne during a time of both political and religious tension. His near miss stands out in British history, as does the significant loss of life.
"Because of the circumstances of its sinking, this can be claimed as the single most significant historic maritime discovery since the raising of the Mary Rose in 1982," Claire Jowitt, professor of English and history at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, said in a statement.
"The discovery promises to fundamentally change understanding of 17th-century social, maritime and political history."
Artifacts have already been collected and conserved from the site, such as clothing, shoes, navigational and naval equipment, and lots of wine bottles -- including some that remain unopened.