Clerk of the King's Ships

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Office of the Clerk of the King's Ships
Flag of the Council of the Marine 1545 to 1578.gif
Admiralty and Marine Affairs Office
Member ofOffice of the High Admiral of England
Reports toHigh Admiral of England
NominatorHigh Admiral of England
AppointerMonarch
Subject to formal approval by the King-in-Council
Term lengthNot fixed
Inaugural holderAlexander le Peyntour
Formation1320-1660

The Clerk of the Kings Ships also known as Clerk of the Ships and Clerk of the Navy [1] was originally one of the individual Offices of the Clerks of the Kings Marine consisting of four officials individually responsible for the civil administration of the English Navy later called the Navy Royal. By 1545 he was a principal member of the Council of the Marine. In July 1660 his title was changed to Clerk of the Acts.

History

The origins of the office, possibly in its original form though not conclusive dates from a very much earlier date, John, King of England who developed a royal fleet and the earliest known administrative structure for the English Navy, through his appointment of William of Wrotham in the early 13th century, William a naval administrator is said by modern historians to have had a "special responsibility for ports, customs, and the navy". Murray (1935), Oppenheim reprint, (1940), Lloyd (1970) and Runyan (1987) support the view that his office was continued down until the creation of the Navy Board in 1546 and the Clerk of the Act's and the Secretary of the Admiralty.[2] However a clear definition of Wrothams office is not conclusive and has been viewed by other sources such as Turner (1994) to be similar to that of the First Lord of the Admiralty.[3] King John's successor Henry III[4] continued refining the naval administration his fleets. However It was during Edward III's reign when a formal naval administration really began to evolve. It was possibly the oldest administrative appointment in connection with the Royal Navy, at first called Keeper of the King's Ports and Galleys during the thirteenth century and by the fourteenth, fifteenth and mid-sixteenth centuries called the Clerk of the King's Ships,[5]

Modern naval historians such as Nicholas A. M. Rodger notes in his book the Admiralty (1979) "Insofar as medieval Kings of England possessed a permanent administrator of their navies, he was the 'Clerk of the Kings Ships'. The post first appears in a distinct form under King John with William de Wrotham was Keeper of the Kings Ports and Galleys, the Clerk of the Kings Ships was not a one man department of state but a permanent office of the crown"[6] this official held, sometimes really and sometimes nominally, for a period of over 300 years the control of naval organisation until the formation of the Council of the Marine in 1546.[7]

Duties

The Clerk of the Kings Ships' duties were:[8]

  • Administration of ships of the Crown.
  • Repair of ships of the Crown.
  • Payments to all crews of the Crown's ships
  • Safekeeping of ships of the Crown.
  • Victualling of ships of the Crown.

Office Holders

Included:[9]

  1. Alexander le Peyntour, 1320-?[10]
  2. William de Clewre, 1336-1358 — (at various times individually or jointly with de Torskey and de Snetesham)[11]
  3. Thomas de Snetesham, 1336-1358 — (at various times individually or jointly with de Torskey and Haytfield)[12]
  4. Matthew de Torksey, 1336-1358 — (at various times individually or jointly with Snetesham and Haytfield)[13]
  5. John de Haytfield, 1358-1378 — (at various times individually or jointly with de Crull)[14]
  6. Sir Robert de Crull, 1359-1378— (at various times individually or jointly with de Haytfield)
  7. John Chamberlyn, 1398-1405[15]
  8. John Elmeton, 1409-1413.[16]
  9. William Catton, 18 July 1413 – 3 February 1420[17]
  10. William Soper, 3 February 1420 – 7 April 1442.[18]
  11. Richard Clyvedon, 7 April 1442 – 1460.[19]
  12. Piers Bowman, 1461-1479.[20]
  13. Thomas Rogers, 12 December 1480 d.1488
  14. William C'omersall, 1488-18 May 1495
  15. Robert Brygandine, 19 May 1495 – 1523
  16. Thomas Jermyn, and Vice-Admiral, William Gonson, 1523-1533, (jointly)
  17. Leonard Thoreton 1533-1538
  18. Sir Thomas Spert, 1538-1543
  19. Edmund Wynter, 1544-1545
  20. Vice-Admiral: Sir John Wynter 1545- d. 1546
  21. Richard Howlett, 24 April 1546- 10 October 1560.
  22. George Wynter, 10 October 1560 – 2 June 1567.
  23. Admiral: Sir John Hawkins, 2 June 1567, (appointed but did not succeed).
  24. George Wynter, 2 June 1567 – 24 March 1582.
  25. William Borough and Benjamin Gonson, 24 March 1582 – 6 July 1596.
  26. Sir Peter Buck and Benjamin Gonson, (jointly) 6 July 1596 – 17 April 1604.
  27. John Legatt, 17 April 1604, (appointed but did not succeed).
  28. Sir Peter Buck and Benjamin Gonson, (jointly) 17 April 1604 – 24 March 1605.
  29. Denis Flemming, 24 March 1605 – 15 February 1639.
  30. Denis Flemming and Thomas Barlow,[21] 16 February 1639 – 13 July 1660, (jointly)

Footnotes

  1. Childs, David (2009). Tudor Sea Power: The Foundation of Greatness. Seaforth Publishing. p. 298. ISBN 9781473819924.
  2. Runyan, Timothy J. (1987). Ships, Seafaring, and Society: Essays in Maritime History. Wayne State University Press. p. 42. ISBN 0814319912.
  3. Turner, Ralph V. (1995). King John (Repr. ed.). London [u.a.]: Longman. p. 128. ISBN 9780582067264.
  4. Runyan, Timothy J. (1987). Ships, Seafaring, and Society: Essays in Maritime History. Wayne State University Press. p. 43. ISBN 0814319912.
  5. Knighton, Dr C. S.; Loades, Professor David (Jul 28, 2013). The Navy of Edward VI and Mary I, Introduction. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. xxix. ISBN 9781409482406.
  6. Rodger, N. A. M. (1979). The Admiralty: Offices of State (First ed.). Lavenham: Terence Dalton Ltd. pp. 3–4. ISBN 9780900963940.
  7. Peck, Linda Levy (2003). Court Patronage and Corruption in Early Stuart England. Routledge. p. 112. ISBN 9781134870424.
  8. Bates, Robin (2008). Shakespeare and the Cultural Colonization of Ireland. Routledge. p. 28. ISBN 9781135905125.
  9. Andrews, M. Oppenheim ; with an introduction by K.R. (1988). A history of the administration of the Royal Navy and of merchant shipping in relation to the Navy from 1509 to 1660 with an introduction treating of the preceding period ([Repr.] ed.). Aldershot, England: Temple Smith. pp. 3–79. ISBN 9780566055720.
  10. Rose, Susan (2013). "3:Understanding the Naval Resources of the Crown". England's Medieval Navy 1066-1509: Ships, Men & Warfare. Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 9781473853546.
  11. "Edward III, Patent Rolls, Volume 9, 1351" (PDF). uiowa.edu. University of Iowa, p.129. 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  12. Vale, Brian (2017). The Naval Miscellany: Volume VIII. Taylor & Francis. p. 1. ISBN 9781351730839.
  13. Hewitt, Herbert James (1966). Organization of War under Edward III, 1338-62. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 70.
  14. Vale, Brian (2017). The Naval Miscellany: Volume VIII. Taylor & Francis. p. 1. ISBN 9781351730839.
  15. Rose, Susan (2013). England's Medieval Navy 1066-1509: Ships, Men & Warfare. Seaforth Publishing. p. 45. ISBN 9781473853720.
  16. Rose, Susan (2013). "3". England's Medieval Navy 1066-1509: Ships, Men & Warfare. Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 9781473853546.
  17. "CATTON, William (d.1431), of Winchelsea, Suss. | History of Parliament Online". historyofparliamentonline.org. The History of Parliament Trust 1964-2017. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  18. Clowes, Sir William Laird; Markham, Sir Clements Robert; Mahan, Alfred Thayer; Wilson, Herbert Wrigley; Roosevelt, Theodore; Laughton, Leonard George Carr (1897). "The Keeper of the Ships". The Royal Navy: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present: Volume I. London: S. Low, Marston and Company, limited. p. 115.
  19. Hewerdine, Anita (2012). "Naval and Military Activities". The Yeomen of the Guard and the Early Tudors: The Formation of a Royal Bodyguard. London: I.B.Tauris. p. 77. ISBN 9780857732101.
  20. Nelson, Arthur (2001). "The Navy Royal Prior to 1485". The Tudor navy : the ships, men and organisation, 1485-1603. London: Conway Maritime Press. p. 25. ISBN 9780851777856.
  21. Winfield, Rif (2010). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1603-1714: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth Publishing. p. xxii, Introduction. ISBN 9781783469246.

Bibliography

  1. Bates, Robin (2008). Shakespeare and the Cultural Colonization of Ireland. Routledge. ISBN 9781135905125.
  2. "CATTON, William (d.1431), of Winchelsea, Suss. | History of Parliament Online". historyofparliamentonline.org. The History of Parliament Trust 1964-2017.
  3. Childs, David (2009). Tudor Sea Power: The Foundation of Greatness. Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 9781473819924.
  4. "Edward III, Patent Rolls, Volume 9, 1351" (2017). PDF. uiowa.edu. University of Iowa.
  5. Hewitt, Herbert James (1966). Organization of War under Edward III, 1338-62. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 70.
  6. Knighton, Dr C. S.; Loades, Professor David (Jul 28, 2013). The Navy of Edward VI and Mary I, Introduction. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. xxix. ISBN 9781409482406.
  7. Oppenheim Andrews. M. with an introduction by K.R. (1988). A history of the administration of the Royal Navy and of merchant shipping in relation to the Navy from 1509 to 1660 with an introduction treating of the preceding period ([Repr.] ed.). Aldershot, England: Temple Smith.ISBN 9780566055720.
  8. Peck, Linda Levy (2003). Court Patronage and Corruption in Early Stuart England. Routledge. ISBN 9781134870424.
  9. Rodger, N. A. M. (1979). The Admiralty: Offices of State (First ed.). Lavenham: Terence Dalton Ltd. ISBN 9780900963940
  10. Rose, Susan (2013). "3:Understanding the Naval Resources of the Crown". England's Medieval Navy 1066-1509: Ships, Men & Warfare. Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 9781473853546.
  11. Rose, Susan (2013). England's Medieval Navy 1066-1509: Ships, Men & Warfare. Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 9781473853720.
  12. Runyan, Timothy J. (1987). Ships, Seafaring, and Society: Essays in Maritime History. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0814319912.
  13. Turner, Ralph V. (1995). King John (Repr. ed.). London [u.a.]: Longman. ISBN 9780582067264.
  14. Vale, Brian (2017). The Naval Miscellany: Volume VIII. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781351730839.