Note on editorial method

Pages xi-xii

Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 7, Navy Board Officials 1660-1832. Originally published by University of London, London, 1978.

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Note on Editorial Method

This volume is designed to make available lists of those who served as officials of the Navy Board between the Restoration in 1660 and the abolition of the Board in 1832. The term Navy Board has been understood to cover the Principal Officers and Commissioners of the Navy, their Secretaries, Clerks and other officials who were employed in the Navy Office. Thus the Treasurers of the Navy and their officials, the Commissioners of the Navy and their Clerks resident at the out-ports or at various dockyards and stations overseas have been excluded from these lists. Also excluded are the staffs of various other agencies concerned with naval administration, the Admiralty, the Victualling Board, the Transport Boards, the Commissioners for Sick and Wounded Seamen, the Registry Office and the Slop Office. With the exception of the Messenger, the domestic staff of the Navy Office has not been included in this volume.

The material is presented in three parts: an introduction, lists of appointments and an alphabetical list of officials. The purpose of the introduction is to provide a short account of the institutional development of the Board. The lists of appointments give the dates of appointment of the Board's officials. They are preceded by introductory notes which bring together information concerning such matters as the method of appointment and the remuneration of the officials.

The sole purpose of the alphabetical list is to provide a summarised account of the offices held by each individual within the Navy Office, and no biographical information has been included unless directly relevant to this purpose. Thus dates of death are included only if the official was in office at his death. Appointments to offices outside the Navy Office have been ignored, unless they occasioned, or can reasonably be held to have occasioned, the departure of the official from the Navy Office. Where an individual held an additional office within the Navy Office, 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 abolition of the Board in 1832 have not been continued beyond this point.

References have been concentrated in the alphabetical list. Where printed calendars of manuscript material exist they have been used as authorities provided that the calendaring is sufficiently full. In the case of changes of name or variant spellings of name, appropriate cross-references have been inserted. Unless otherwise noted, information concerning baronets has been taken from the Complete Baronetage (ed. G.E.C. 5 vols. Exeter 1900-6) and Burke's Peerage and Baronetage.

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 Admiralty warrant, the date is that of the instrument. Where appointment was by order in council or Board minute, it is that of the order or minute. From 1660 until 1796 the Clerks of the Navy Board were appointed by the Principal Officer and Commissioner by whom or in whose Office they were employed. The authority for the appointment of a Clerk was the letter sent by the Principal Officer and Commissioner to the Treasurer of the Navy requesting payment of salary to the Clerk. Where the date of the letter is known, it is normally taken to have been the date of appointment. There was, however, often a considerable discrepancy between the date of the letter requiring payment of salary and the date from which the Clerk was to be paid. If this discrepancy was greater than three months, the day from which the salary was paid is taken to have been the date of appointment. 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 failing this information, by reference to the earliest and latest date at which he is found occupying a particular office. When a salary was paid from a quarter day, only an approximate date of appointment has been entered in the lists of appointments. Thus the date of appointment of an official paid from Midsummer 1660 appears as 'c. June 1660'. 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 or later date.