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Marine Society

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0064 MSY
Held at: National Maritime Museum
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Full title: Marine Society
Date(s): [1756-1978]
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 36ft : 1,087cm
Name of creator(s): Marine Society


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Marine Society was founded in 1756 by Jonas Hanway (1712-1786) and others to provide men for the Navy. While men going to sea were fitted out with clothing, boys were invited to attend the Society's office where they could obtain some basic education and wait until they were applied for by captains or masters. In its first year of activity the Society supplied the Navy with 1,961 men and 1,580 boys. In 1763 the Society almost ceased operation, though boys were still assisted in finding work ashore, such as ropemaking and boatbuilding. However from 1769 the income from a bequest was used by the Society to continue its work and in 1772 the Society was strengthened by an act of Parliament for incorporation. From 1786 boys were prepared for sea aboard a training ship; in 1862 the Warspite, a third rate built in 1807, was obtained from the Admiralty and, though other vessels succeeded it, the name of this ship was preserved. The Society continues to function and has recently absorbed a number of other marine charities that are concerned with serving seafarers. See J Hanway, 'The origin, progress and present state of the Marine Society' (London, 1770). There are also other books and pamphlets by Hanway on the Marine Society and related subjects.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of the Marine Society. They consist of: minutes, registers and accounts of the Marine Society, 1756 to 1978, and records of organizations absorbed by the Society, 1919 to 1977. The minutes include those of the General and Extraordinary Court of the Marine Society, 1777 to 1959, with indices 1777 to 1825; those of the Committee of Management, 1756 to 1975, with, from 1774 to 1949, an account of the Annual General Meeting; and indices, 1774 to 1907, 1933 to 1948; minutes of Sub-Committees, 1903 to 1961 and minutes of Routine Grants, 1955 to 1964. There are five related letterbooks, 1802 to 1892. The registers include: boys admitted, 1756 to 1763, 1889 to 1958; boys received and discharged from the Society's ship, 1786 to 1874; boys entered as servants in the King's ships, 1770 to 1873, with indices, 1770 to 1873; apprentices sent to merchant ships, 1772 to 1950, with indices, 1770 to 1838; landsmen volunteers, 1756 to 1814; girls apprenticed by the Marine Society, 1772 to 1957, and girls 'placed out' from the Hickes Fund, 1926 to 1978; awards of merit, 1898 to 1954; members of the Warspite Old Boys Association, 1917 to 1949. The accounts consist of: records of daily cash, 1772 to 1852; ledgers showing income and expenditure, 1756 to 1807, 1939 to 1962; cash accounts, balanced and signed by the Chairman, 1782 to 1785; an expenses book with quarterly abstracts of accounts, 1898 to 1903; six volumes of monthly cash accounts, 1801 to 1829; widow's pensions, Hawkins Trust, 1784 to 1849; annuities paid out for Admiral Duncan's victory, 1802 to 1877; one dividend ledger, 1903 to 1947; another containing accounts of Trusts, 1934 to 1964; cash paid, 1939 to 1970; another containing accounts of Trusts, 1934 to 1964; cash paid, 1939 to 1970; and cash received, 1949 to 1971. There are also seven volumes of subscription lists, 1769 to 1875, and two volumes recording donations and legacies, 1756 to 1880. Loose papers, letters and newspaper cuttings relating to the history of the Marine Society are contained in four volumes, 1756 to 1939. The records of organisations absorbed by the Marine Society include the records pf the Seafarers' Education Service. These consist of minutes of the management committee, 1919 to 1975; a register of members, 1947 to 1975; minutes of the Commission, 1946 to 1976. There are also minutes of the British Adoption Society, 1935 to 1975; minutes of the committee for the Sea War Library Service, 1940 to 1946; a volumes of minutes of the Trustees of the Merchant Navy Comforts Society, 1946 to 1977; and two volumes of this Society's Committee of Management, 1942 to 1950.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

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 Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The records were deposited on loan in 1957, 1960 and 1979.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 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:

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