Jamaica Dockyard

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H.M. Dockyard, Jamaica
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Part of Jamaica Station
North America, West Indies and Newfoundland Station
North America and West Indies Station
Port Royal, Jamaica
Site information
OperatorRoyal Navy
Controlled byThe Navy Board (1675-1832)
Board of Admiralty (1832-1905)
Site history
In use1675-1905
FateNaval Heritage Center

This article was created on Wikipedia by editors of Naval History Archive
Jamaica Dockyard also known as Port Royal Dockyard was a British Royal Naval Dockyard located at Port Royal, Jamaica. It was established 1675 and closed in 1905.

The dockyard was initially administered by officials and staff of the Navy Board then later the Board of Admiralty. It was part of the Jamaica Station (1675-1823), then the West Indies, Halifax and Newfoundland Station from (1823-1839) and finally the North America and West Indies Station from (1839-1905).


In 1675 the British first made use of a wharf at Port Royal and assigned a resident Naval Officer to superintend these facilities;. Following the 1692 earthquake, Port Royal never fully recovered from its preeminent position as a major commercial center. Despite this the dockyard served as the headquarters of the British Royal Navy in the Caribbean. From the eighteenth century until the and nineteenth century, various refurbishments and upgrade work were undertaken to improve its docks, facilities fortifications and. From 1735 new wharves and storehouses were built at this time, as well as housing for the officers of the Yard.

Over the next thirty years, more facilities were added: cooperages, workshops, sawpits, and accommodation (including a canteen) for the crews of ships being careened there. by the end of the 18th century a small Victualling Yard had been added to the east of the yard, prior to this ships had had to go to Kingston and other settlements to take on supplies) and in 1817 a Royal Naval Hospital was constructed the west of the yard. The dockyard and continued to be an important naval base until 1905 when it was closed.

The dockyard was first administered by the Navy Board and later Board of Admiralty until 1869 after which it was administered as part of the Department of the Director Dockyards of the Admiralty. It was a component part of the Jamaica Station until 1823 then part of the West Indies, Halifax and Newfoundland Station until 1839, then finally part of North America and West Indies Station until 1905.[1]

Administration of the dockyard

The Master Shipwright was usually the key official at the royal navy dockyards until the introduction of resident commissioners by the Navy Board who were responsible for administrating naval yards; after which he became deputy to the resident commissioner. In 1832 the post of Resident Commissioner of the Navy was usually replaced by the post of Admiral-Superintendent. However the commissioner was replaced later by a Commodore-in-Charge, Jamaica.

Superintendent, Jamaica Dockyard

Resident Commissioner, Jamaica

Master Shipwright, Jamaica Dockyard

Master Attendant, Jamaica Dockyard

Post holders included:

  1. 1728-1731, James Patterson
  2. 1731-1740, John Cock
  3. 1779, William Forfar
  4. 1814-1820 Francis Owen.
  5. 1820-1825, William Oliver.
  6. 1825-1828, William White.
  7. 1901-1905, Henry H. Hatchard

Storekeeper, Jamaica Dockyard

Post holders included:

  1. 1692, Edmond Allen (also Muster Master)[2]
  2. 1727-1729, John Potter.
  3. 1729 Aug-Sep, Nathaniel Shepherd.
  4. 1729-1736, Edward Chiles.
  5. 1736-1745, George Hinde
  6. 1745-1747, William Campbell.
  7. 1747-1750, Mathew Wallen.
  8. 1750/-1770, John Patterson.
  9. 1770-1775, James Burnett.
  10. 1775-1780, Samuel Holman.(also Muster Master)[3]
  11. 1780, Robert Lewis Allen.(also Muster Master)[4]

Naval Storekeeper, Jamaica


  1. 1814-1820, A. N. Yates.
  2. 1820-1825, Charles H. Smith.
  3. 1825-1828, Peter Mitch Magnan.

Commodore-in-Charge, Jamaica

Naval and Victualling Store Officer


  1. 1903-1905, J. H. Aitken Esq.

Chief Engineer, Jamaica


  1. 1903-1905, Engineer Lieutenant, Victor E. Snook.
  1. Cundall, Frank (1915). Historic Jamaica : With fifty-two illustrations. England: London : Published for the Institute of Jamaica by the West India Committee. p. xxii.
  2. Collinge, J.M. "Alphabetical list of officials: A-J British History Online". www.british-history.ac.uk. London, England.: University of London. pp. 81–116. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  3. Collinge. pp.81-116.
  4. Collinge. pp.81-116.