Woolwich Dockyard
HM Dockyard, Woolwich
720px-Naval_Ensign_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg.png
Type Naval Dockyard
Country United Kingdom
Founded 1512
Abolished 1869
Headquarters Woolwich, Kent, England
Operator Royal Navy
Controlled by Navy Board (1544-1832)
Controlled by Board of Admiralty (1832-1964)
Sub-component Artillery/Engineer Barracks
Sub-component Marine Barracks
Sub-component Royal Naval Barracks

Woolwich Dockyard formally known as H.M. Dockyard, Woolwich, also known as The King's Yard, Woolwich was an British naval dockyard along the river Thames at Woolwich in north-west Kent, England from 1512 to 1869.

1) History

Woolwich Dockyard formally known as H.M. Dockyard, Woolwich, also known as The King's Yard, Woolwich was an British naval dockyard along the river Thames at Woolwich in north-west Kent, England from 1512 to 1869. where a large number of ships were built from the early 16th century until the late 19th century. William Camden called it 'the Mother Dock of all England'.[1] By virtue of the size and quantity of vessels built there, Woolwich Dockyard is described as having been 'among the most important shipyards of seventeenth-century Europe'.[2] During the Age of Sail, the yard continued to be used for shipbuilding and repair work more or less consistently; in the 1830s a specialist factory within the dockyard oversaw the introduction of steam power for ships of the Royal Navy. At its largest extent it filled a 56-acre site north of Woolwich Church Street, between Warspite Road and New Ferry Approach; 19th-century naval vessels were fast outgrowing the yard, however, and it eventually closed in 1869 (though a large part of the site remained in military hands for a further century). The former dockyard area is now partly residential, partly industrial, with remnants of its historic past having been restored.

2) Administration of the Dockyard

From 1630 until 1688 the Master Shipwright was the key official in charge of the dockyard until the introduction of resident commissioners by the Navy Board after which he became deputy to the resident commissioner. The Commissioner of the Navy at Woolwich Dockyard held a seat and a vote on the Navy Board in London. In 1748 the dockyard was managed directly by the Navy Board,. In 1832 the post of commissioner was replaced by the post of superintendent, who was invested with the same power and authority as the former commissioners, "except in matters requiring an Act of Parliament to be submitted by the Commissioner of the Navy". On 5 September 1971 all Flag Officers of the Royal Navy holding positions of Admiral Superintendents at Royal Dockyards were restyled as Port Admirals.

3) Key Officials

3.1) Master-Shipwright, Woolwich Dockyard (1630-1688)

  1. 1630-1652 Peter Pett
  2. 1652-1668 Christopher Pett
  3. 1668-1675, Jonas Shish
  4. 1675-1678, Phineas Pett
  5. 1678-1685, Thomas Shish
  6. 1686-1688, Joseph Lawrence

3.2) Commissioner of the Navy at Woolwich Dockyard (1688-1828)

  1. 1688-1702 Baltasar St Mitchell
  2. 1702-1744 Henry Greenhill
  3. 1744-1745 Thomas Whorwood
  4. 1745- 1746 Edward Falkingham
  5. 1746-1747 James Compton
  6. 1747-1748 William Davies
  7. 1806-1828 Captain Charles Cunningham (also Commissioner at Chatham in March 1828)

Note: From 1748 to 1806 the yard was managed directly by the Navy Board.

3.2.1) Master-Shipwright, Woolwich Dockyard (1688-1866)

  1. Joseph Lawrence, 1688-1696.
  2. Samuel Miller, 1699-1697.
  3. William Lee, 1700-1701.
  4. Joseph Allin, November-March 1705.
  5. Richard Stacey, 1705-1709.
  6. Jacob Ackworth, 1709-1714.
  7. John Naish, 1714-1715.
  8. John Hayward, 1715-1727.
  9. John Hayward, 1727-1741.
  10. John Holland, 1742-1745.
  11. Thomas Slade Thomas, May 1752-June 1752.
  12. Thomas Fellowes, 1746-1752.
  13. Adam Hayes, June 1752-February 1753.
  14. Edward Allin, March 1753-December 1755.
  15. Israel Pownoll, December 1755-May 1762.
  16. Joseph Harris, June 1762-May 1767.
  17. William Gray, July 1767-July 1773.
  18. Nicholas Phillipps, 1773-1778.
  19. George White, January-April 1779.
  20. John Jenner, April 1779-December 1782.
  21. Henry Peake, December 1782-November 1785.
  22. Martin Ware, December 1785-March 1787.
  23. William Rule, April-August 1790.
  24. John Nelson, March 1787-March 1790.
  25. John Tovery, 1793-1801.
  26. Edward Sison, 1801-1816.
  27. Henry Canham, April 1816-July 1826.
  28. Oliver Lang, 1826-1828.

3.3) Officer-of-the-Ordinary, Woolwich Dockyard (1828)

  1. 1825-1828, Lieutenant Thomas Pearse

3.4) Captain-Superintendent, Woolwich Dockyard (1828-1866)

  1. 1828-1838, Captain Samuel Warren
  2. 1838-1841, Captain Philip Hornby
  3. 1841-1846, Captain Sir F. A. Collier
  4. 1846-1848, Captain Sir James. J. G. Bremer
  5. 1848-1852, Captain Henry Eden

3.4.1.) Master-Shipwright, Woolwich Dockyard (1828-1866)

  1. 1828-1853, Oliver Lang
  2. 1853-1859, William M. Rice
  3. 1859-1866, George Turner

4) Sources

  1. Admiralty, Great Britain. (1828 March). The Navy List. Principle Officers in the Dockyards and Establishments under the Navy Board. John Murray. London. England. p.121.
  2. Admiralty, Great Britain. (1834 March). The Navy List. Principle Officers in the Dockyards and Establishments under the Navy Board. John Murray. London. England. p.136.
  3. Admiralty, Great Britain. (1835 March). The Navy List. Principle Officers in the Dockyards and Establishments under the Navy Board. John Murray. London. England. p.135.
  4. Admiralty, Great Britain. (1840 November). The Navy List. Officers of the Dockyards. Simpkin Marshall & Co. London. England. p.135.
  5. Admiralty, Great Britain. (1841 August). The Navy List. Officers of the Dockyards. Simpkin Marshall & Co. London. England. p.265.
  6. Admiralty, Great Britain. (1843 August). The Navy List. Officers of the Dockyards. Simpkin Marshall & Co. London. England. p.263.
  7. Admiralty, Great Britain. (1844 February). The Navy List. Officers of the Dockyards. Simpkin Marshall & Co. London. England. p.263.
  8. Admiralty, Great Britain. (1847 December). The Navy List. Officers of the Dockyards. Simpkin Marshall & Co. London. England. p.236.
  9. Admiralty, Great Britain. (1848 December). The Navy List. Dockyards. John Murray. London. England. p.173.
  10. Admiralty, Great Britain. (1852 December). The Navy List. Dockyards. John Murray. London. England. p. 185.
  11. Clowes, Sir William Laird. (1897-1903). The royal navy, a history from the earliest times to the present. Volume II. S. Low Marston. London. England. p. 231.
  12. Clowes, Sir William Laird. (1897-1903). The royal navy, a history from the earliest times to the present. Volume III. S. Low Marston. London. England. p. 4.
  13. Clowes, Sir William Laird. (1897-1903). The royal navy, a history from the earliest times to the present. Volume IV. S. Low Marston. London. England. p. 152.
  14. Clowes, Sir William Laird. (1897-1903). The royal navy, a history from the earliest times to the present. Volume V. S. Low Marston. London. England. p. 5.
  15. Harrison, Simon. (2010-2018). "Master Shipwright at Woolwich Dockyard". https://threedecks.org/Woolwich Dockyard. S. Harrison.
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