Department of the Surveyor of Dockyards

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Department of the Surveyor of Dockyards
Board of Admiralty Flag 19th to early 20th Century.gif
Department overview
Formed1872
Preceding Department
Dissolved1885
Superseding department
JurisdictionGovernment of the United Kingdom
HeadquartersEmsworth, England
Department executive
  • Surveyor of Dockyards
Parent DepartmentDepartment of Admiralty

The Department of the Surveyor of Dockyards and previously known as the Dockyard Branch was the British Admiralty department responsible for civil administration of Royal Naval Dockyards, the building of ships, the maintenance and repair of ships at dockyards and factories, and the supervision of all civil dockyard personnel. The department was administered by the Surveyor of Dockyards and existed from 1872 until 1885 when it was replaced by the Department of the Director of Dockyards.

History

Originally, responsibility for the civil management of Royal Navy Dockyards lay with the Navy Board, and in particular the Surveyor of the Navy who supervised the Navy Board's resident commissioners of the navy based at each individual yard. Following the abolition of the Navy Board in 1832, responsibility for administration of the yards passed to the Board of Admiralty. The resident commissioners were replaced by yard superintendents, however they were primarily responsible for military administration of the yards.

The Surveyor of the Navy survived the re-organisation until 1869, when his office was merged with that of the Third Naval Lord to become Controller of the Navy. Between 1850 and 1861, the dockyards had been subject to an investigation into management practices; the committee responsible for the investigation concluded that under the existing system was completely inefficient. In 1872, to ease the burden of work on the Controller and to action reforms suggested by the inquiry, a Surveyor of Dockyards was appointed to answer these criticisms. He was originally supervised by the Director of Naval Construction, who was responsible for both design and construction, and also dockyard work. In December 1885 the post of Surveyor of Dockyards was abolished and replaced by by the Department of the Director of Dockyards.

Head of Department

Surveyor of Dockyards

  1. Sir Frederick Barnes, 1872 - December 1885.

Timeline

  • Navy Board, Surveyor of the Navy, Dockyard Commissioners, 1546-1832
  • Board of Admiralty, Surveyor of the Navy, Dockyard Branch, 1832-1860
  • Board of Admiralty, Department of the Surveyor of Dockyards, 1872-1885
  • Board of Admiralty, Department of the Director of Dockyards, 1885-1958
  • Board of Admiralty, Department of Dockyards and Maintenance, 1958-1964
  • Ministry of Defence, Navy Department, Department of Dockyards and Maintenance, 1964-1968
  • Ministry of Defence, Navy Department, Chief of Fleet Support Department, Department of Dockyards, 1969-1971.