Surveyor-General of Victuals

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Office of the Surveyor-General of Victuals
Flag of the Navy Board 1578 to 1706.gif
Navy Board Flag (1660 to 1706)
Department of the Admiralty
Member ofNavy Board (1550–1679)
Reports toSenior Commissioner Navy Board
NominatorLord High Admiral of England
AppointerLord High Admiral of England
Subject to formal approval by the King-in-Council
Term lengthNot fixed (usually for life)
Inaugural holderEdward Baeshe

The Surveyor-General of Victuals also known as the General-Surveyor of Victuals was a civilian officer in the Royal Navy who was a former member of the Council of the Marine from 1560 to 1660 then the Navy Board from 1660 until 1679, he was responsible for managing the supply of food, beverages and other provisions for the Royal Navy. The office was replaced by the Victualling Board in 1683. The Surveyor-General was based at the Navy Office


The post evolved from a much early official known as the Keeper of the Kings Storehouses the office was formally established in 1550 the post holder was also known as the Surveyor-General of Victuals [1] who was a principle member of the Navy Board, with the exception of Edward Baeshe the first Surveyor of Navy Victuals until 1560 the office was always held jointly for life by two men if one died the surviving office holder would temporarily hold the post until a new appointee was announced. The Surveyor was head of the Marine Victuals Office within the Office of Admiralty and Marine Affairs [2] and the victualling service of the Navy until 1679 when the office is abolished and replaced by a larger body known as the Victualling Board in 1683 run jointly by commissioners.


The Surveyor of Victuals was officially responsible for the:

Office Holders


Post vacant till 27 November 1635

  • John Crane, 28 November 1635 – 24 October 1660,[14]
  • Denis Alderman Gauden 24 October 1660 – 22 October 1667 and Samuel Pepys, 1665 (jointly)[15]
  • Sir Denis Alderman Gauden, Kt, 23 October 1667 – 1677.[16]
  • John Godwin, 1677 – 10 February 1679.[17] dies March 1688.


Note: Below is a timeline of responsibility for victualling for the Royal Navy.[18] As listed under headings in Royal Navy Lists:

  • Navy Board, Surveyor-General of Victuals, 1550-1679
  • Navy Board, Victualling Board (Board of Victualling Commissioners), 1683-1832
  • Board of Admiralty, Department of the Comptroller of Victualling and Transport Services, 1832-1869
  • Board of Admiralty, Victualling Branch, 1870-1878
  • Board of Admiralty, Victualling Department, 1878-1964
  • Ministry of Defence, Navy Department, Victualling Department, 1964-1970


  1. Hamilton, Sir Vesey (1896). "Chapter VI: The Director of Victualling". Naval Administration.
  2. Knighton, C. S.; Loades, David; Loades, Professor of History David (Apr 29, 2016). Elizabethan Naval Administration. Routledge. p. 8. ISBN 9781317145035.
  3. Sainty, J.C. "Surveyor of Marine Victuals 1550-c. 1679 , Institute of Historical Research". University of London, 2003. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  4. Ferris, John P.; Thrush, Andrew. "QUARLES, Sir Robert (1581-1639), of Stewards, Romford, Essex , History of Parliament Online, CUP, The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629,". British Parliament, 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  5. Edward Bashe dies 1587
  6. Quarles dies 1599
  7. Darrel is knighted 24 July 1603
  8. Bludder is knighted 1604
  9. Bludder dies 1612
  10. Darrell dies 1623
  11. "Dabbe-Dirkin', Alumni Oxonienses 1500-1714 (1891)". pp. 366–405. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  12. Apsley dies 1630
  13. Darell dies 1635
  14. Crane dismissed by monarch 1660
  15. Macdonald, Janet W. (2010). The British Navy's Victualling Board, 1793-1815: Management Competence and Incompetence. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer. p. 8. ISBN 9781843835530.
  16. Gyford, Phil. "Alderman Sir Denis Gauden (Navy Victualler) (Pepys' Diary)". The Diary of Samuel Pepys. Pepys Dairy, 2003–2012. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  17. No further occurrence of post after 1679
  18. Archives, The National. "Records of Victualling Departments". National Archives, 1660-1975. Retrieved 6 June 2017.