Note on editorial method

Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 4, Admiralty Officials 1660-1870. Originally published by University of London, London, 1975.

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'Note on editorial method', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 4, Admiralty Officials 1660-1870, (London, 1975), pp. xiii-xiv. British History Online [accessed 17 June 2024].

. "Note on editorial method", in Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 4, Admiralty Officials 1660-1870, (London, 1975) xiii-xiv. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024,

. "Note on editorial method", Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 4, Admiralty Officials 1660-1870, (London, 1975). xiii-xiv. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024,

Note on Editorial Method

This volume is designed to make available lists of the officials who served in the Admiralty between the Restoration in 1660 and the year 1870 which witnessed the introduction of the system of open competition for entrants into the Civil Service. The term Admiralty has been understood to cover the Secretaries, Clerks and other officials in the immediate service of the Lord High Admiral or Commissioners of the Admiralty. Also included are the staffs of the Marine, Marine Pay and Naval Works Departments of the Admiralty and the officials of the Admiralty court. The lists do not cover the officials of the various other agencies concerned with naval administration, the Navy Board, the Victualling Board, the Transport Boards or the Commissioners of Sick and Wounded nor do they include the staffs of the Principal Officers of the Navy at Somerset House who took over the functions of the Navy and Victualling Boards after their suppression in 1832.

The material is presented in four parts: an introduction, lists of appointments, periodic lists of officials and an alphabetical list of officials. The purpose of the introduction is to provide a short account of the development of the Admiralty during the period in order that the various offices and grades may be related to their general context. The lists of appointments give the dates of appointments to these offices and grades. They are preceded by introductory notes which bring together information concerning such matters as the method of appointment, remuneration and the relevant statutes and minutes. The periodic lists enable the complete establishment to be seen at selected dates.

The alphabetical list is not intended to be a biographical index. Its purpose is confined simply to providing summarised accounts of the offices held by each individual within the Admiralty during the period. No information has been included unless it is directly relevant to this purpose. Thus dates of death are only included if the individual in question was in office at his death. Appointments to offices outside the Admiralty have been ignored unless they occasioned, or can reasonably be held to have occasioned the departure of the official from the Admiralty. In general the accounts of the careers of the 'political' officials, the Lord High Admiral and the Members of his Council, the Commissioners and, during the nineteenth century, the First Secretary, have been confined to a simple statement of their periods of service in these offices; information concerning resignations and retirements is provided only in the case of those holding 'permanent' offices. Where an individual held an additional office within the Admiralty such as a private secretaryship, which was not directly related to the ordinary course of promotion, the details of his period of service in this additional office have been placed in a separate paragraph. The accounts of the careers of those who were in office at the end of 1870 have not been continued beyond this point.

All reference have been concentrated in the alphabetical list except in the cases of the Commissioners and Members of the Lord High Admiral's Councils where they are included in the relevant lists of appointments. Where printed calendars of manuscript material exist they have been used as authorities provided that the calendaring is sufficiently full. Peers and holders of courtesy titles have been indexed under their titles. In the case of changes of name or status appropriate cross-references have been inserted. Unless otherwise noted, information concerning peers and baronets has been taken from the Complete Peerage (ed. G.E.C. 2nd ed. 13 vols. London 1910–59), the Complete Baronetage (ed. G.E.C. 5 vols. Exeter 1900–6) and Burke's Peerage.

Certain conventions have been adopted for dating appointments. The year is taken to have begun on 1 January throughout the period. In the case of those offices which were conferred by an instrument, whether this took the form of letters patent under the great seal or under the seal of the Admiralty court, Admiralty commission or Admiralty warrant, the date is that of the instrument. Where appointment was by Admiralty order or minute, it is that of the order or minute. The task of determining the periods of service of 'political' officials presents considerable difficulty particularly in the nineteenth century when their appointments were frequently canvassed in newspapers and elsewhere several days before their formal entry into office. For the sake of consistency the latter date has been adopted throughout the period. All officials are taken to have remained in office until the appointment of their successors unless there is clear evidence to support the selection of an earlier date. Where there is no indication of the date of appointment of an individual, his period of service is dated by reference to the time during which he received a salary or other remuneration or, failing this information, by reference to the earliest and latest date at which he is found occupying a particular office. Before 1714 there was often a considerable discrepancy between the date of the order requiring the payment of the salary of an official and the date from which that official was to be paid and until this year both dates are included in the alphabetical list; thereafter the discrepancy is usually small or non-existent and, where available, the date of the order or minute alone has been selected.