Navy Office

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Navy Office
Navy Board Flag 1832 new version.jpg
Flag of the Navy Office in 1832 shown for illustrative purposes
Government Office overview
Formed1546
Preceding Government Office
Dissolved1832
JurisdictionEngland Kingdom of England
Kingdom of Great Britain Kingdom of Great Britain
United KingdomUnited Kingdom
HeadquartersDeptford (1578-1600)
Tower Hill, City of London (1600-1656)
Crutched Friars, Seething Lane, City of London (1656-1788)
Somerset House (1789-1832); Whitehall, City of Westminster, London
Government Office executive
Parent departmentAdmiralty Office (1546–1578)
Admiralty and Marine Affairs Office(1578–1690)
Department of Admiralty (1690–1832)

The Navy Office was the government office charged with responsibility for day-to-day civil administration of the British Royal Navy from (1546-1832). It originally contained all the executive members of the Council of the Marine then later Navy Board and various other departments and offices. The day-to-day business of the Navy Office was originally administered by the Clerk of the King's Ships later called the Clerk of the Navy. In 1660 the former office holders title was altered to Clerk of the Acts who remained responsible for the organisation of the office and management of its staff until 1796, when that office was abolished its duties were assumed by three separate committees, the Committee for the Accounts of the Navy, the Committee for the Correspondence of the Navy and the Committee for the Stores of the Navy. In 1817 a fourth committee was created the Committee for the Transports and Victualling of the Navy following the abolition of the Transport Board. Each committee was presided over by the Comptroller of the Navy. In 1829 the committee system was abandoned and the former Principal Officers and Commissioners of the Navy were reinstated. It was one of two government offices (the other being the Admiralty) that were jointly responsible for naval affairs. In 1832 following reforms of the HM Naval Service the Navy Office was abolished all of its functions and staff were unified with the Admiralty.

History

The Navy Office was originally located close to Deptford Dockyard for most of the sixteenth century.[1] It later moved to collection of offices in the Tower Hill area of London until around 1654. The office then moved to a new building at the crossroad of Crutched Friars and Seething Lane. Until 1628 following the creation of the Board of Admiralty the Navy Office was an independent advisory office to the Admiralty and Marine Affairs Office, after 1628 it became a subsidiary office.[2] In 1673 the office was destroyed by a fire and a new building was constructed to house its staff that took 10 years to complete. The Navy Office continued to be based in Tower Hill until 1786 when it relocated to a much large office space at Somerset House where it remained until it was abolished in 1832. The primary executive committee within the office was the Navy Board and the various offices of its principal commissioners. However the Treasurer of the Navy although a principal member of the board administered a separate Navy Pay Office. From 1567 until 1660 the office was administered by the Comptroller of the Navy. In 1660 the Clerk of the Acts became responsible of the administration of the Navy Office. In 1796 day to day management of the Navy Office was placed under the supervision of three Committees for Accounts, Correspondence and Stores. Throughout its history its clerical supporting staff consisting of chief clerks then first, second and third class clerks were assigned to the various offices and departments within the Navy Office. In 1808 the Naval Works Department was relocated from the Admiralty to the Navy Office. A Ticket and Wages Branch was formed in 1829. In 1832 the Navy Office and subsequently the Navy Board were abolished its functions were then transferred to the Department of Admiralty under supervision of the Board of Admiralty.[3]

Organisation of the Navy Office

The Navy Office provided accommodation for the Commissioners of the Navy Board and senior clerical and secretarial staff, as well as office space. Different branches, departments and offices were located within different parts of the Navy Office in London, England. Royal Navy Dockyards both in the United Kingdom and overseas were also part of this office. whilst all different in name they were collectively called the Departments of the Navy Office in official reports.[4]

Departments of the Navy Office

The Navy Office consisted of a number of specific component parts that included:[5] [6]

Executive Boards

The Navy Board and formerly known as the Council of the Marine or Council of the Marine Causes (1546-1660) was the executive committee charged with the day-to-day civil administration of the Navy Royal later Royal Navy between 1546 and 1832. Its principal officers and commissioners were headquartered in the Navy Office.

  1. Navy Board [6]

Executive Committees

  1. Council of the Marine
  2. Committee for the Accounts of the Navy
  3. Committee for the Correspondence of the Navy
  4. Committee for the Stores of the Navy
  5. Committee for the Transports and Victualling of the Navy

Branches and Offices

  1. Allotment Office (1795-1822) [6]
  2. Bill Office
  3. Contract Office (1803-1832) later became the Contract and Purchase Department [6]
  4. Draftsmen Office
  5. Fee Office (controlled by the Receiver of Fees and Paymaster of Contingencies) [7]
  6. Office for Current Business (1686-1688) [6]
  7. Office for Examining Accounts Incurred (1686-1689) [6]
  8. Office for Examining Storekeepers Accounts (1671-1796) [6]
  9. Office for Examining Treasurers Accounts (1667-1796) [6]
  10. Office for Examining Victualling Accounts (1667-1796) [6]
  11. Office for Foreign Accounts (1807-1829) [8]
  12. Office for Old Accounts (1686-1688) [6]
  13. Office for Bills and Accounts (1686-1832) [6]
  14. Office of the Clerk Comptroller of the Navy (1546-1561)
  15. Office of the Comptroller of the Navy (1561-1832) [6]
  16. Office for Seamen's Wages (1688-1829) [9]
  17. Office of the Assistant Comptroller of the Navy (1682-1691) [10]
  18. Office of the Assistant Clerk of the Acts and Secretary to the Navy Board (1680-1832) [6]
  19. Office of the Clerk of the Acts [6]
  20. Office of the Deputy Comptroller of the Navy (1793-1816, 1829-1832)
  21. Office of the Counsel to the Navy Board (1673-1696)
  22. Office of the Counsel for the Affairs of the Admiralty and Navy (1696-1832)
  23. Office of the Surveyor-General of Victuals (1550–1679)
  24. Office of the Messenger to the Navy Board (1660-1832) [11]
  25. Office of the Paymaster of the Marines (1831-1832) [6]
  26. Office of the Paymaster of Widows Pensions (1732-1834)
  27. Office of the Private Secretary to the Comptroller of the Navy (1794-1832) [12]
  28. Office of the Private Secretary to the Deputy Comptroller of the Navy (1829–1832)
  29. Office of the Superintendent of Transports (1829-1831) [6]
  30. Slop Office [13]
  31. office of the Solicitor for the Affairs of the Admiralty and Navy (1692-1698)
  32. Office of the Solicitor to the Admiralty and Navy (1703-1828)
  33. Stores Office (1796-1832) [6]
  34. Office of the Surveyor of the Navy [14]
  35. Transport Branch (1817-1832)
  36. Ticket Office (1660-1829)[6]
  37. Ticket and Wages Branch (1829-1832)

Departments

  1. Accounts Department
  2. Department of the Accountant-General of the Navy (1829-1832) [6]
  3. Department of the Storekeeper-General of the Navy (1829-1832) [6]
  4. Department of the Surveyor of Buildings (1807-1832) [6]
  5. Naval Works Department (1808-1813) [6]
  6. Payments Department

Dockyards

Oversight of all Royal Naval Dockyards that were part of the Navy office were normally supervised by a Navy Board Resident Commissioner of the Navy at their respective yards, these Commissioners did not normally attend Navy Board meetings in London; nevertheless they were full members of the navy board. After the abolition of the navy board and subsequently navy office in 1832 responsibility for the management of the dockyards passed to the Board of Admiralty until 1964.

United Kingdom and Ireland Dockyards

  1. Portsmouth Dockyard, (1496-1832)
  2. Woolwich Dockyard,(1512-1832)
  3. Deptford Dockyard, (1513-1832)
  4. Chatham Dockyard, (1567-1832)
  5. Dover Dockyard, (1606-1920, 1939-1945)
  6. Kinsale Dockyard, (1647-1812)
  7. Harwich Dockyard, (1652-1829)
  8. Sheerness Dockyard, (1665-1832)
  9. Deal Dockyard, (1672-1864)
  10. Plymouth Dockyard, (1689-1832)
  11. Leith Dockyard, (1720-1877)
  12. Milford Dockyard, (1797-1814)
  13. Pembroke Dockyard, (1815-1832)
  14. Devonport Dockyard, (1843-1832)

Other minor yards (with some permanent staff and minor repair/storage facilities, but without dry docks etc.) were established in a number of locations over time, usually to serve a nearby anchorage used by Naval vessels.

  1. Falmouth Dockyard, (1858-1945)
  2. Great Yarmouth Dockyard


Oversea's Dockyards

  1. Jamaica Dockyard, Port Royal, Jamaica, (1675-1729, 1749-1832)
  2. Cadiz Dockyard, ((1694-1696)
  3. Lisbon Dockyard, (1704-1814)
  4. Gibraltar Dockyard, Gibraltar, (1704-1832)
  5. Port Mahon Dockyard, Menorca, Spain, (1708-1812)
  6. Antigua Dockyard, (1728-1882)
  7. Port Antonio Dockyard, Jamaica, (1729-1749)
  8. Louisbourg Naval Shipyard, (1745-1768)
  9. Halifax Dockyard, Canada, (1759-1832)
  10. Navy Island Naval Shipyard, Canada, (1763-1818)
  11. New York Dockyard, (1775-1784)
  12. Martinique Naval Yard, (1775-1802)
  13. Barbados Dockyard, (1779-1783, 1810)
  14. Kidderpore Dockyard. (1780-1949)
  15. Kingston Naval Yard. Canada, (1789-1853)
  16. Naval Shipyards York, Canada, (1790-1817)
  17. Malta Dockyard, (1791-1832)
  18. Toulon Dockyard, (1793-1794)
  19. Ajaccio Dockyard, Ajaccio, Corsica, (1794-1799)
  20. Bermuda Dockyard, Bermuda, (1795-1832)
  21. Cape Town Dockyard, (1795-1814)
  22. Amherstburg Dockyard, Canada (1796-1813)
  23. Madras Dockyard, India, (1796-1813) staff and work transferred to Trincomalee.
  24. Cape Nicholas Naval Yard. (1798)
  25. Prince of Wales Island Yard, (1798-1816)
  26. Trincomalee Dockyard, Ceylon, (1813-1832)
  27. Bombay Dockyard, India, (1813-1832)
  28. Penetanguishene Naval Yard (1813-1834)
  29. Cape of Good Hope Dockyard, (1814-1914)
  30. Quebec Naval Shipyard. (1814-1834)
  31. Ascension Dockyard, (1816-1832)

Services

  1. Transport Branch (1817-1832) provided its own transport service for the board.

Autonomous Components of the Navy Office

  1. Navy Pay Office (1546-1832)
  2. Sick and Hurt Office (1653-1806)
  3. Transport Office (1686-1817)
  4. Victualling Office (1653-1832)

References

  1. Rodger, N.A.M. (2004). "Administration 1509 to 1574". The safeguard of the sea : a naval history of Britain. Vol 1., 660-1649. London, England: Penguin. p. 230. ISBN 9780140297249.
  2. Rodger, N.A.M. (2004). "Administration 1509 to 1574". The safeguard of the sea : a naval history of Britain. Vol 1., 660-1649. London, England: Penguin. p. 228. ISBN 9780140297249.
  3. "Navy Board, In-Letters And Orders, 1688-1815 - National Maritime Museum". collections.rmg.co.uk. Royal Museums Greenwich. 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  4. Fourth Report of the Commissioners for Revising and Digesting the Civil Affairs of His Majesty's Navy. London: Admiralty Office. 1806. p. 9.
  5. Collinge, J.M. (1978). "Index of offices: British History Online". www.british-history.ac.uk. Institute of Historical Research, University of London. p. 153. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 Collinge, John Michael (1978). "Index of Offices". Navy Board officials, 1660-1832. London: University of London, Institute of Historical Research. p. 153. ISBN 0901179531.
  7. Office, Admiralty (1814). "Navy Office". The Navy List. London, England: John Murray. p. 131.
  8. Office, Admiralty (1814). "Navy Office". The Navy List. London, England: John Murray. p. 131.
  9. Office, Admiralty (1814). "Navy Office". The Navy List. London, England: John Murray. p. 131.
  10. Collinge, John Michael (1978). Navy Board officials, 1660-1832. London: University of London, Institute of Historical Research. p. 29. ISBN 9780901179531.
  11. Collinge, John Michael (1978). Navy Board officials, 1660-1832. London: University of London, Institute of Historical Research. p. 80. ISBN 9780901179531.
  12. Collinge, John Michael (1978). Navy Board officials, 1660-1832. London: University of London, Institute of Historical Research. p. 77. ISBN 9780901179531.
  13. Office, Admiralty (1814). "Navy Office". The Navy List. London, England: John Murray. p. 131.
  14. The Royal kalendar: and court and city register, for England, Scotland, Ireland, and the colonies . London: W. Stockdale. 1765. p. 133.