Office of the Comptroller of the Navy
Office of the Comptroller of the Navy
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Department Navy Office
Member of Navy Board
Reports to First Lord of the Admiralty
Nominator First Lord of the Admiralty
Appointer Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Term Length Not fixed
Inaugural holder John Hopton
Final holder Rear-Admiral Hon. George Dundas
Formation 1512–1832

This article is about the period from 1561-1832. For the article about the new Controller of the Navy, see Third Sea Lord.

The Comptroller of the Navy originally called the Clerk Comptroller of the Navy was originally a principal member of the English Navy Royal, and later the British Royal Navy, Navy Board. From 1512 until 1832, the Comptroller was mainly responsible for all British naval spending and directing the business of the Navy Board from 1660 as its chairman. The position was abolished in 1832 when the Navy Board was merged into the Board of Admiralty.

1) History

The post was originally created in 1512 during the reign of Henry VIII of England when the post holder was styled as the Clerk Comptroller until 1545 in 1561 the name was changed to Comptroller of the Navy. He presided over the Board from 1660, and generally superintended the business of the Navy Office, and was responsible for the offices dealing with bills, accounts and wages during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. By the eighteenth century the principal officer responsible for estimating annual stores requirements, inspecting ships' stores and maintaining the Fleet's store-books and repair-bills was the Surveyor of the Navy; however, his duties passed increasingly to the Comptroller of the Navy during the latter half this period. The office of Surveyor did not altogether disappear. In 1832 the Comptroller's department was abolished following a merger of the Navy Board with the Board of Admiralty and the Surveyor was made the officer responsible under the First Naval Lord for the material departments, and became an adviser to the Board of Admiralty. In 1860 the name of the office was changed to Controller of the Navy and in 1869 his office merged with the office of the Third Naval Lord and then became known as Third Naval Lord and Controller of the Navy, he became independent of the First Naval Lord and himself a member of the Board of Admiralty.

2) Office holders

2.1) Clerk Comptroller of the Navy

  1. John Hopton, 1512-1524
  2. Vice-Admiral, Sir Thomas Spert, 1524-1540
  3. John Osborne, 1540-1545
  4. William Broke, 1545-1561

2.2) Comptroller of the Navy

  1. Vice-Admiral, William Holstocke, 1561–1580
  2. William Borough, 1580–1598
  3. Sir Henry Palmer 1598–1611
  4. Sir Guylford Slingsby, 1611–1631
  5. Sir Henry Palmer, 1632–1641
  6. Vice-Admiral, Sir George Cateret, 1641–1642
  7. Sir Robert Slingsby, 1st Baronet, 31 August 1660 - 28 November 1661
  8. Vice-Admiral, Sir John Mennes, 28 November 1661 – 15 April 1671
  9. Sir Thomas Allin, 15 April 1671 – 28 January 1680
  10. Thomas Hayter, 28 January 1680 - 2 February 1682
  11. Vice-Admiral, Sir Richard Haddock, 2 February 1682 – 1686
  12. Post vacant 1686-1688
  13. Admiral, Sir Richard Haddock, 12 October 1688 – 16 March 1715
  14. Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Wager, 16 March 1715 – 23 April 1718
  15. Thomas Swanton, 23 April 1718 - 9 February 1723
  16. Vice Admiral James Mighells, 9 February 1723 – 27 April 1734
  17. Captain Richard Haddock, 27 April 1734 – 27 March 1749
  18. Captain Savage Mostyn, 27 March 1749 – 28 February 1755
  19. Edward Falkingham, 28 February 1755 - 25 November 1755
  20. Captain Charles Saunders, 25 November 1755 – 24 June 1756
  21. Captain Digby Dent, 24 June 1756 - 29 December 1756
  22. Captain George Cockburne, 29 December 1756 – 6 August 1770
  23. Captain Sir Hugh Palliser, 6 August 1770 – 12 April 1775
  24. Captain Maurice Suckling, 12 April 1775 – 7 August 1778
  25. Admiral Charles Middleton, 7 August 1778 – 29 March 1790
  26. Captain Sir Henry Martin, 29 March 1790 – 25 September 1794
  27. Captain Sir Andrew Hamond, 25 September 1794 – 3 March 1806
  28. Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Thompson, 3 March 1806 – 20 June 1806
  29. Admiral Sir Thomas Byam Martin, 20 June 1806 – 2 November 1831
  30. Rear-Admiral Hon. George Dundas, 2 November 1831 - June 1832

In 1832 the post of Comptroller of the Navy was abolished and duties passed to the Surveyor of the Navy.

3) Department of the Comptroller of the Navy

4) Sources

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comptroller_of_the_Navy_(Navy_Board)
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