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National Maritime Museum

Yates, James Alfred (1852-1941)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 YAT

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Yates, James Alfred (1852-1941)

Date(s): [20th century]

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 2 boxes

Name of creator(s): Yates | James Alfred | 1852-1941 | Naval Architect


Administrative/Biographical history:

Yates entered the Royal School of Naval Architecture, South Kensington in 1871. His first appointment was as draughtsman and assistant foreman at HM Dockyard Portsmouth. In 1875 he was appointed supernumerary draughtsman at the Admiraly. Yates was then appointed foreman of Pembroke Dockyard 1878-1884. During this time, he was involved in the building of the turret battleship HMS EDINBURGH. In 1884 Yates became Principal Admiralty Overseer for the building of HMS BENBOW. On appointment to the rank of Constructor, Yates was appointed to Chatham Dockyard, where he remained until 1888, when he was transferred to Devonport Dockyard, being made Chief Constructor there in 1892. In 1892-93 he served as Admiralty Inspecting Officer, for the ships being fitted out for the "Special Service Squadron", under the Northbrook programme. In 1893 he was appointed Chief Constructor, Chatham Dockyard and then transferred to Portsmouth in 1895. During these years Yates launched 11 important vessels, including some built under the Fisher programme. In 1902 he was appointed Civil Assistant at Chatham and in 1906 he went to Glasgow as Senior Constructive Officer for the Clyde and Barrow districts. He retired in 1912, but was recalled to the Admiralty, 1916-1918, for special duties in connection with shipbuilding for World War One.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of James Alfred Yates. A large part of the material consists of documents and notes gathered by Ruby Yates, in preparation for the article published in the Mariner's Mirror. The article, "From wooden walls to dreadnaughts in a lifetime" was based on Yates' "Memories" and other manuscripts, which his daughter, Ruby, found amongst his papers. The papers include autobiographical material, notebooks, transcripts of talks, correspondence, certificates, ephemera and printed books.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were bequeathed to the Museum by Miss Ruby Yates and Dame Frances Yates, James Yates' daughters.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Oct 2011.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2010-08-26

Architectural drawing | Drawing | Graphic arts
Documents | Information sources
Naval history | History
Shipbuilders | Skilled personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People

Personal names
Yates | Dame | Frances Amelia | 1899-1981 | historian of ideas
Yates | James Alfred | 1852-1941 | Naval Architect

Corporate names