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Ensign of the Royal Navy
Reports toResident Commissioner of the Navy
AppointerBoard of Admiralty

The Master-Attendant was British officer appointed to Royal Navy Dockyards. He was one of the Principal Officers of the Yard from 1630 until 1875 when his title was changed to Staff Captain (Dockyard) e.g. Staff Captain, Portsmouth Dockyard. The post holder was appointed by the Board of Admiralty but reported to the Navy Board from 1630 to 1832.[1]


The Master-Attendants role to expedite, and assist at, the fitting-out or dismantling, removing or securing vessels at the port. He is particularly to observe, that his/her Majesty's ships are securely moored; and for this purpose he was expected frequently to review the moorings which are sunk in the harbour, and observe that they are kept in proper repair to be always ready when occasion requires. It was also the Master-Attendant's duty to visit all the ships in ordinary, and see that they are frequently cleaned and kept in order; and to attend at the general musters in the dock-yards, taking care that all the officers, artificers, and labourers, registered in the navy-books, are present at their duty. The Master-Attendant was also responsible for dockyard and harbour security.[2]

Locations of Master Attendants

  1. Antigua Dockyard
  2. Chatham Dockyard
  3. Deptford Dockyard
  4. Gibraltar Dockyard
  5. Halifax Dockyard
  6. Harwich Dockyard
  7. Jamaica Dockyard
  8. Kinsale Dockyard
  9. Lisbon Dockyard
  10. New York Dockyard
  11. Plymouth Dockyard
  12. Port Mahon Dockyard
  13. Portsmouth Dockyard
  14. Sheerness Dockyard
  15. Woolwich Dockyard


  1. "Research guide B5: Royal Naval Dockyards". London: Royal Museums Greenwich. 11 June 2002. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  2. Davies, J. D. (2008). Pepys’s Navy: Ships, Men and Warfare 1649-89. Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing. p. 188. ISBN 9781783830220.