Barbados Dockyard

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HM Dockyard, Barbados
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Part of Barbadoes and Leeward Islands Station
(1743–1772)
Leeward Islands Station
(1772–1821)
Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown in Barbados
TypeNaval Base and Naval Dockyard
Site information
OwnerAdmiralty
OperatorRoyal Navy
Controlled byFlag of the Navy Board 1801 to 1832.jpg Navy Board (1718-1832)
Board of Admiralty Flag 19th to early 20th Century.gif Board of Admiralty (1832-1905)
Site history
In use1718-1905, 1914-1918, 1939-1945
Installation information
Past
commanders
Resident Commissioner Barbados

Barbados Dockyard or formally H.M. Dockyard, Barbados was a Royal Navy naval dockyard located at Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown, Barbados in the West Indies. It served as the primary shore establishment for both the Barbadoes and Leeward Islands Station, the Leeward Islands Station and the North America and West Indies Station. It was in operation from 1718 to 1905 before being sold to private owners the yard was requisitioned by the Department of Admiralty during World Wars One and Two.

The dockyard was managed and controlled by the Navy Board through its resident commissioner until 1832 then after the Board of Admiralty.

History

The three most tactically important islands the British utilized on the Leeward Islands Station were Antigua, Barbados and St. Lucia. These islands were used as naval bases to good effect, particularly during the second half of the eighteenth century when the naval campaigns during the second half of the century were focused in the Lesser Antilles.[1]

Barbados enjoyed an advantageous geographical position one hundred miles to the windward of the island chain yet was not naturally equipped to protect large fleets. Carlisle Bay, the only major bay in which ships could assemble, is situated in the south west of the island.[2]

The Royal Navy first established a yard in Barbados in 1718 dealing with naval stores and victuals for the ships, while businesses grew in nearby Bridgetown which offered services to naval and merchant vessels alike. Barbados provided a logistical centre for the Eastern Caribbean. During the Napoleonic Wars it was primarily used as a resupply yard. The Bridgetown Dry Dock was built in 1887, while the actual Screw Lifting Dock started construction in 1889 and was completed in 1893.[3]

The yard ceased to be used for naval purposes when the British withdrew between 1905 and 1906 and was taken over by private owners. During World War One the dockyard was requisitioned by the Admiralty and used as a coaling station in the Caribbean.It returned to private ownership during the interwar years. During World War Two the dockyard was requisitioned again and used by the British Navy for boat repairs.[4]

Administration of the Dockyard (Navy Board)

From 1546 until 1660 all Royal Naval Dockyards were administered by the Council of the Marine. From 1660 were administered by a resident commissioner who supervised the other senior officers of the yard on behalf of the Navy Board in London. By an Order in Council dated 27 June 1832 it transferred administrative control of the dockyards organisation to the Board of Admiralty, and the role of the Resident Commissioner of the Navy was abolished and replaced by either a Captain Superintendent or Commodore Superintendent or Admiral-Superintendent depending on the size of the naval dockyard.[5][6] In 1971 all remaining flag officer's titled as admiral superintendent were renamed Port Admirals.

Resident Commissioner Barbados

  1. 1779-1783 Captain John Laforey, (also commissioner at Antigua Dockyard).[7]
  2. 1803-1807 Captain Charles Lane, (ditto).[8]
  3. 1810-1817 Captain John Mason Lewis, (ditto).[9]

Master Attendant at Barbados

  • 1814, Mr A. Lockwood.[10]

Naval Storekeeper at Barbados

Ordnance Storekeeper at Barbados

  • 1814, R. Hudson.[13]

References

  1. Ward, Geoffrey. (2011). 'Nowhere is Perfect: British Naval Centres on the Leeward Islands Station During the Eighteenth Century' Caribbean Connections, Field Research Centre. University of the West Indies.
  2. Ward (2011).
  3. Ward (2011).
  4. Ward (2011).
  5. Writer.), E. MILES (Nautical; Miles, Lawford (1841). An epitome, historical and statistical, descriptive of the Royal Naval Service of England. By E. M., with the assistance of ... L. Miles ... With ... illustrations, etc. Ackermann & Company. p. 88.
  6. Archives, The National. "Navy Board and Admiralty: Yard Pay Books". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. The National Archives, 1660 to 1857, ADM 42. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  7. Harrison, Simon (2010–2018). "Commissioner of the Navy at Barbados & the Leeward Islands". threedecks.org. S. Harrison. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  8. Day, John Frederick. (April 2012). British Admiralty Control and Naval Power in the Indian Ocean (1793-1815) (Volume 1 of 2). Thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Maritime History. University of Exeter. p.133.
  9. Day. p.133.
  10. Office, Admiralty (December 1814). The Navy List. London: John Murray. p. 132.
  11. Navy List. Dec. 1814. p.132.
  12. Collinge, J.M. (1978). "Alphabetical list of officials: K-Z British History Online". www.british-history.ac.uk. University of London. pp. 116–152. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  13. Navy List. Dec. 1814. p.134.

Bibliography

  1. Harrison, Simon (2010–2018). "Commissioner of the Navy at Barbados & the Leeward Islands". threedecks.org. S. Harrison. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  2. Ward, Geoffrey. (2011). 'Nowhere is Perfect: British Naval Centres on the Leeward Islands Station During the Eighteenth Century' Caribbean Connections, Field Research Centre. University of the West Indies.