Naval Works Department
Naval Works Department
Admiralty%20Flag%2019th%20Century.gif
Preceded by None
Country United Kingdom
Founded 1796
Abolished 1813
Headquarters Whitehall, London, England
Head Civil Architect and Engineer of the Navy
Deputy Head Various
Role Management of Civil Engineering Works
Affiliations Royal Navy
Parent Department Department of Admiralty
Succeeded Department of the Surveyor of Buildings

The Naval Works Department was the former British Admiralty department responsible for managing and maintaining all civil engineering works in the Royal Navy dockyards it was established on the 25th March 1796 until 1813 when it was replaced by the new Department of the Surveyor of Buildings when the Admiralty decided to direct its function more towards Naval Architectural Works. The department was administered by the Inspector-General for Naval Works who's title was later changed to Civil Architect and Engineer of the Navy.

1) History

In 1796 the Admiralty established a Naval Works Department headed by an Inspector General for Naval Works and administered by the Board of Admiralty from 1796 to 1806 who's tile was then by the Civil Architect and Engineer of the Navy. In 1813 the department was abolished and replaced by the Department of the Surveyor of Buildings. The department primarily dealt with constructing new civil engineering works in the Royal Navy Dockyard's such as the church at Chatham Dockyard but was also responsible managing and maintaining existing dockyards, buildings and industrial works. The department was abolished in 1813 when the Admiralty started to directing attention towards architectural works which saw the creation of a new post and department under the Surveyor of Buildings to oversee this transition this in turn led to the creation of a new specialist Architectural and Engineering Works Department in 1837 to be headed by a Director of Naval Works.

2) Head of Department (1796-1807)

2.1) Office of the Inspector General of Naval Works

This office, to which appointment was made by Admiralty warrant, was created in 1796 with a salary of £750. (fn. 1) In 1807 it was transferred from the Admiralty to the Navy Board and given the title of Civil Architect and Engineer of the Navy.

  1. Mr Samuel Bentham (1796-1807)

2.2) Subsidiary Offices under the Inspector-General of Naval Works

Office of the Architect and Engineer of Naval works
This office was created in 1796. In 1807 responsibility for the Naval Works Department transferred from the Admiralty under the Board of Admiralty to the Navy Board when the officer holder was renamed Assistant Civil Architect and Engineer of the Navy.

Office holders issued by Admiralty warrant included:

  1. Mr. S. Bunce, 25 March 1796 – 3 January 1804.
  2. Mr. Edward Holl, 3 January 1804 – 1807.

Office of the Chemist of Naval Works
This office was created in 1796. In 1807 responsibility for the Naval Works Department transferred from the Admiralty under the Board of Admiralty to the Navy Board when the office was abolished.

Office holders issued by Admiralty warrant included:

  1. Mr. J. Sadler, 25 March 1796 – 1807

Office of the Mechanist of Naval Works
This office was created in 1796. In 1807 responsibility for the Naval Works Department transferred from the Admiralty under the Board of Admiralty to the Navy Board when the officer holder was renamed Mechanist under the Civil Architect and Engineer of the Navy.

Office holders issued by Admiralty warrant included:

  1. Mr. S. Reke, 25 March 1796 – 25 October 1799.
  2. Mr. S. Goodrick, 25 October 1799 – 1807.

Office of the Metal Master of Naval Works
The office was created in 1803. In 1807 responsibility for the Naval Works Department transferred from the Admiralty under the Board of Admiralty to the Navy Board when the office was abolished.

Office holders issued by Admiralty warrant included:

  1. Mr. W. E. Sheffield, 26 April 1803 – 1807.

Office of the Secretary of Naval Works
The office was created in 1796. In 1807 responsibility for the Naval Works Department transferred from the Admiralty under the Board of Admiralty to the Navy Board when the office was renamed Extra Assistant to the Civil Architect and Engineer of the Navy.

Office holders issued by Admiralty warrant included:

  1. Mr. J. Peake, 25 March 1796 – 1807

3) Head of Department from (1808-1813)

3.1) Office of the Civil Architect and Engineer of the Navy

  1. Sir, Samuel Bentham. 3 December 1808 – 25 November 1812

3.2) Subsidiary Offices under the Civil Architect and Engineer of the Navy

Office of the assistant Civil Architect and Engineer of the Navy
The office was created in 1808 when responsibility for the Naval Works Department transferred from the Admiralty under the Board of Admiralty to the Navy Board when the office was renamed assistant civil architect and engineer of the navy.

Office holders included:

  1. Mr. Edward Holl, 29 December 1808 – 1812.

Office of the Draftsmen to the Civil Architect and Engineer of the Navy
In 1805 following the abolition of the office of the Inspector General of Naval Works the draft men's office ceased to exist after which three new assistant draftsmen posts were created in its place. In 1809, during restructuring talks between the Board of Admiralty Admiralty and the Navy Board, the three assistants were re-appointed as Draftsmen to the Civil Architect and Engineer of the Navy when his office was abolished in 1812 the draftsmen's function was transferred to the Department of the Surveyor of Buildings.

Office holders included:

  1. Mr. W. Miller, 12 April 1809 – 5 June 1809.
  2. Mr. W. Heard, 5 June 1809 – 5 June 1809.
  3. Mr. G. Ainslie, 5 June 1809 – 1812.

Office of the Mechanist under the Civil Architect and Engineer of the Navy
The office was created in 1808 when responsibility for the Naval Works Department transferred from the Admiralty under the Board of Admiralty to the Navy Board when the office was renamed mechanist under the civil architect and engineer of the navy from mechanist of naval works.

Office holders included:

  1. Mr. S. Goodrick, 29 December 1808 – 1812.

Office of the Extra Assistant to the Civil Architect and Engineer of the Navy
The office was created in 1808 when responsibility for the Naval Works Department transferred from the Admiralty under the Board of Admiralty to the Navy Board when the office was renamed extra assistant to the civil architect and engineer of the navy from secretary of naval works.

Office holders included:

  1. Mr. J. Peake, 29 December 1808 – 1812.

3.2.1) Support Offices of the Naval Works Department

Draftsmen Office (1796-1805)
The office was established in 1796 and then abolished in 1805.

  1. Mr. J. Burr, 25 March 1796 – 1805

Clerical Office, (1796-1807)
A clerical support office was established in the Naval Works Department in 1796. In 1807 when responsibility was transferred from the Board of Admiralty to the Navy Board, the office of the first clerk of naval works was renamed Clerk to the Secretary of the Navy Board, whilst the office of the second clerk of naval works was abolished.

Office of the First Clerk

  1. Mr. T. Darch, 25 March 1796 – 5 January 1801.
  2. Mr. R. Upsal, 5 January 1801 – 5 July 1804.
  3. Mr. H. Rodgers, 5 July 1804 – October 1807.

Office of the Second Clerk

  1. Mr. J. Heidekoo, 25 March 1796 – 22 May 1797.
  2. Mr. R. Upsal, 22 May 1797 – 5 January 1801.
  3. Mr. W. Heard, 5 January 1801 – 30 January 1806.
  4. Mr. D. Drummond, 30 January 1806 – October 1807.

Messengers Office, (1796-1807)
The office was created in May 1796 and transferred from the Admiralty Office to the Navy Office in 1807.

  1. Mr. J. Fetter, 13 May 1796 – 14 July 1803.
  2. Mr. J. Fetter, 14 July 1803 – October 1807.

4) Sources

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Works_Department_(Royal_Navy)
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