New York Dockyard

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HM Dockyard, New York
Flag of the Navy Board 1707 to 1800.gif
Part of North America Station
Turtle Bay, New York
TypeNaval Base and Naval Dockyard
Site information
OperatorRoyal Navy
Controlled byNavy Board Flag 1832 new version.jpg Navy Board
Site history
In use1775-1784
Installation information
OccupantsNorth America Squadron

New York Dockyard or formally His Majesty's Dockyard, New York was a Royal Naval Dockyard located in New York, British North America. It was initially a repair, maintenance and supply base of the North America Station from 1775 to 1784. The yard was managed by the Navy Board and operated by the Royal Navy.

History

The colonial economy of British North America offered an alternative solution to that of the West Indies for the repair of British warships. The vessels on the North American station could rely on the ports of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Norfolk and Charleston. They were able to provide commercial careening wharfs, as well as naval and victualling stores from colonial suppliers who had contracts with the Admiralty.[1]

The informal mechanism of using local commercial ports for careening, supply and repair was the most logical and economical method, for supporting the small number of ships stationed in these waters. However, with the war against France in the 1740s, and the creation of a separate naval command for North America, the establishment of an official naval base in the area would appear to have been inevitable.[2]

Costs may have increased, but control of resources was guaranteed ensuring the squadron’s vessels were available when required. Rear-Admiral of the Blue Peter Warren with his experience of British North America wrote to the Admiralty with many suggestions for careening bases. If all his suggestions had been acted on the coastline would have been littered with such facilities, but it presents an insight into contemporary colonial infrastructure.[3]

Warren reported that New York was a suitable place for fitting ships and sent a plan of a harbour on Long Island showing the capacity for large ships. The admiral further remarked that ships of 50 to 60 guns had in the past careened at New York. His views on Boston were less encouraging as although the tides allowed ships up to 50 guns to be cleaned, ice formation restricted operations in the winter. A formal base was not created at New York until Turtle Bay was utilised as such in the American War of Independence.[4]

Administration of the Dockyard and Key Personnel

Included:[5]

Master Attendant New York

  1. John Holman, 1 January, 1781 - 1783.
  2. Samuel Hemmans, 1783 - 28 January, 1784.

Master Shipwright New York

  1. Provo Wallis, 1 January, 1781 - 1783.

Principal Agent of Transports, New York

  1. Captain Thomas Tonken, 26 December, 1778 - 1782.[6]

References

  1. Day, John Frederick. (April 2012) ' British Admiralty Control and Naval Power in the Indian Ocean (1793-1815) (Volume 1 of 2)'. Submitted as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Maritime History, University of Exeter. p.51.
  2. Day, John Frederick. (April 2012) ' British Admiralty Control and Naval Power in the Indian Ocean (1793-1815) (Volume 1 of 2)'. Submitted as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Maritime History, University of Exeter. pp.52–53.
  3. Day, John Frederick. (April 2012). pp.52–53.
  4. Day, John Frederick. (April 2012). pp.52–53.
  5. Harrison, Simon (2010–2020). "New York Dockyard". threedecks.org. Cy Harrison. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  6. Harrison, Simon (2010–2020). "Principal Agent of Transports at New York". threedecks.org. Cy Harrison. Retrieved 15 June 2020.