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Royal Navy: Central Administration

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0064 CAD
Held at: National Maritime Museum
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Full title: Royal Navy: Central Administration
Date(s): 1558-1850
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 5 1/2ft: 168cm
Name of creator(s): Royal Navy


Administrative/Biographical history:

Royal Navy: Administration - Volumes relating to central administration


Scope and content/abstract:

The fifty-nine volumes in this class are mainly official and relate to the central administration of the Navy, 1558 to 1850. They consist principally of instructions, accounts, reports, legal opinions and treatises. There are nine volumes of instructions, 1660 to 1718. Two volumes describe the duties of the Lord High Admiral, 1673; eight contain copies of the instructions to the Navy Board, 1662; six, those to the Victualling Board, 1701 and 1715 to 1718; and two, those to the Sick and Hurt Board, 1684 to 1699 and 1703. A manuscript index of official Admiralty papers compiled ca.1694 contains references to instructions and to other Admiralty correspondence. Among the financial accounts are an early Treasury account book, 1572 to 1573; a report on naval estimates, 1654; and estimate of the charge of the Navy, 1684; and estimates of the naval debt, 1712 to 1720, which details the Treasurers who held money and the amounts invested in South Sea stock. A volume of notes on the office of Treasurer of the Navy, 1650 to 1698, includes an account of permitted perquisites. Accounts relating to the Ordnance Board consist of a 'computation of the ordinary annual charge within the office of his Majesty's Ordnance', 1679; six volumes giving stores issued, received and surveyed, 1576, 1595, 1599, 1635 to 1637, 1644 to 1649 and 1650 to 1651. In addition there is a volume of papers relating to fortifications in the Thames area, 1667 to 1703; and the minutes of the Ordnance Board, 1679 to 1680. Other accounts, dealing with stores, are contained in 'The Boke of Victuellinge', 1558, which details victualling stores issued to ships at sea and in harbour, listed under their ports in a chronological order. There is a contract for victualling the navy 1677 to 1678, and statistics relating to victualling, c 1684. The reports, or volumes related to reports, have a parliamentary origin. They include one of the papers referred to in the investigation into merchant shipping losses by the Lord High Admiral to the House of Lords in 1707; the proceedings of the committee of the House of Commons, 1744, which examined naval officers on the 'miscarriage' of the Mediterranean fleet at Toulon; ten volumes contain the reports produced between 1785 and 1788 by the Commissioners 'appointed to inquire into Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites and Emoluments which are, or have been lately, received in the several public offices'. In addition, there is the appendix to the fifteenth report of the Commissioners for Revising and Digesting the Civil Affairs of the Navy on the proposal for a new eastern dockyard, 1807, which was never printed. The legal opinions consist of judges' 'arguments', 1637 to 1639, relating to the 'ship money' case. Also of a legal nature is an account of the charges against Edward Cecil, Lord Wimbledon (1572-1638), on the Cadiz expedition, 1625. The treatises include a copy, c 1630, of Captain Sir Henry Mainwaring's (1587-1653) 'Discourse' on his piratical activities and a copy, c 1615, of Soveraignty of the Seas of England' by Sir John Borough, Keeper of the Records in the Tower of London (d 1643)

Access & Use

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Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

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Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Edited by Sarah Drewery, Jun 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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