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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
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
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
Appointer Prime Minister
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
Term length Not fixed (typically 3–7 years)
Inaugural holder Benjamin Gonson
Formation 1546-1869

Contents

HistoryEdit

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 [1]. In 1859 the name of the office was changed to Controller of the Navy [2] 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):

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

TimelineEdit

  • 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

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Lavery, The Ship of the Line, p96
  4. ^ a b c Lavery, The Ship of the Line, p106 and p124
  5. ^ a b c Lambert, The Last Sailing Battlefleet, p59
  6. ^ Lambert, The Last Sailing Battlefleet, p65
  7. ^ Lambert, The Last Sailing Battlefleet, p59, 65 and p66
  8. ^ Lambert, The Last Sailing Battlefleet, p65 and p66
  9. ^ Lambert, The Last Sailing Battlefleet, p67 and 68
  10. ^ Lambert, The Last Sailing Battlefleet, p56

SourcesEdit

AttributionEdit

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.

External linksEdit