Surveyor of the Navy
The Surveyor of the Navy was a former principle commissioner and member of both the Navy Board from the inauguration of that body in 1546 until its abolition in 1832 and then a member Board of Admiralty from 1848-1859. In 1860 the office was renamed Controller of The Navy until 1869 when the office was merged with that of the Third Naval Lord's the post holder held overall responsibility for the design of British warships.
|Office of the Surveyor of the Navy|
Ensign of the Royal Navy
|Department of the Admiralty|
|Member of||Navy Board (1546-1832), Board of Admiralty (1832-1848)|
|Reports to||First lord of the Admiralty|
|Nominator||First lord of the Admiralty|
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
|Term length||Not fixed (typically 3–7 years)|
|Inaugural holder||Benjamin Gonson|
Although until 1745 the actual design work for warships built at each Royal Dockyard was primarily the responsibility of the individual Master Shipwright at that Royal Dockyard. For vessels built by commercial contract (limited to wartime periods, when the Royal Dockyards could not cope with the volume of work), the Surveyor's office drew the designs to which the private shipbuilders were required to build the vessels. From 1745 design responsibility was centred in the Surveyor's office, with the Master Shipwrights in the Dockyard responsible for implementation. In 1832 the Navy Board was abolished and all of its functions were brought under the sole control of the Board of Admiralty.
Before 1832 the building, fitting out and repairing of HM ships were the responsibility of the Navy Board. Originally the principal officer most concerned was the Surveyor of the Navy, who estimated annual stores requirements, inspected ships' stores and kept the Fleet's store-books and repair-bills. In the eighteenth century his duties passed increasingly to the Comptroller of the Navy. The office of Surveyor did not disappear, however, and after 1832, when the office of Comptroller was abolished, the Surveyor was made the officer responsible under the First Sea Lord for the material departments, and became a permanent member of the Board of Admiralty in 1848 . In 1859 the name of the office was changed to Controller of the Navy  until 1869 when the office was amalgamated with the office of the Third Naval Lord.
List of Surveyors 1546–1859Edit
In date order (note that the post of Surveyor was frequently shared, which enabled the Admiralty to have competitive designs prepared for evaluation):
- Benjamin Gonson 24 April 1546.
- Sir William Wynter 8 July 1549.
- Sir Henry Palmer 11 July 1589.
- Sir John Trevor 20 December 1598.
- Sir Richard Bingley 1611.
- Thomas Norreys 12 February 1619.
- Joshua Downing 1625.
- Sir Thomas Aylesbury 1628.
- Kenrick Edisbury 19 December 1632.
- William Batten 26 September 1638.
- John Holland 16 February 1649.
- George Payler 1654.
- Sir William Batten 20 June 1660.
- Thomas Middleton 25 November 1667.
- Sir John Tippetts 5 September 1672.
- Edmund Dummer 9 August 1692.
- Daniel Furzer 22 September 1699.
- Daniel Furzer and William Lee (jointly) 19 October 1706.
- Daniel Furzer (alone) 16 November 1714.
- Jacob Acworth 6 April 1715.
- Sir Jacob Acworth and Joseph Allin (jointly) 11 July 1745.
- Joseph Allin (alone) 16 March 1749.
- Thomas Slade and William Bately (jointly) 4 September 1755.
- Thomas Slade and John Williams (jointly) 28 June 1765.
- John Williams (alone) 22 February 1771.
- Sir John Williams and Edward Hunt (jointly) 11 April 1778.
- Edward Hunt and John Henslow (jointly) 13 December 1784.
- John Henslow (alone) 7 December 1786.
- John Henslow and William Rule (jointly) 11 February 1793.
- Sir William Rule and Henry Peake (jointly) 20 June 1806.
- Joseph Tucker and Robert Seppings (jointly) 14 June 1813. (Seppings became Sir Robert Seppings from 20 February 1822.
- Sir Robert Seppings (alone) 1 March 1831.
- Sir William Symonds, 9 June 1832-October 1847 
- Sir Baldwin Wake Walker 5 February 1848-1859.
List of controllers 1859-1869Edit
In 1859 the post of Surveyor of the Navy was changed to Controller of the Navy
In 1869 the post of Controller of the Navy's post was merged with the office of the Third Naval Lord
- Navy Board, Surveyor of the Navy, 1546-1832
- Board of Admiralty, Surveyor of the Navy, 1832-1859
- Board of Admiralty, Controller of the Navy, 1859-1912
- Board of Admiralty, Directorate of Naval Construction, 1913-1958
- Board of Admiralty, Ship Department, Naval Construction Division, 1959-1964
- Hamilton, Sir Richard Vesey (1896). Naval Administration: The Constitution, Character, and Functions of the Board of Admiralty, and of the Civil Departments it Directs. G. Bell and sons. pp. 34 to 36.
- Archives, The National. "Records of the Surveyor of the Navy and successors". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. National Archives, 1620-1979. Retrieved 5 June 2017.[File:UKOpenGovernmentLicence.svg|30px]] This article contains text from this source, which is available under the [Open Government Licence v3.0. © Crown copyright.
- Lavery, The Ship of the Line, p96
- Lavery, The Ship of the Line, p106 and p124
- Lambert, The Last Sailing Battlefleet, p59
- Lambert, The Last Sailing Battlefleet, p65
- Lambert, The Last Sailing Battlefleet, p59, 65 and p66
- Lambert, The Last Sailing Battlefleet, p65 and p66
- Lambert, The Last Sailing Battlefleet, p67 and 68
- Lambert, The Last Sailing Battlefleet, p56
- Lambert, Andrew The Last Sailing Battlefleet, Maintaining Naval Mastery 1815-1850, published Conway Maritime Press, 1991. ISBN 0-85177-591-8.
- Lavery, Brian (2003) The Ship of the Line - Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650-1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.
- Principal officers and commissioners, Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 7: Navy Board Officials 1660-1832 (1978), pp. 18–25. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=16833.
This article contains text from this source http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C712, which is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0. © Crown copyright.