Harwich Dockyard

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HM Dockyard, Harwich
Harwich, Essex
Harwich treadwheel crane.jpg
Seventeenth-century dockyard crane on Harwich Green
Site information
OperatorNavy Royal, (1546-1660), Royal Navy (1660-1717)
Controlled byThe Navy Board (1652-1717).
Site history
In use1326-1829

Harwich Dockyard was a Royal Navy dockyard at Harwich in Essex. It was originally established during the reign of Edward II, in 1326, and was enlarged during the reign by Elizabeth I of England.[1] The dockyard closed in 1829.

History[edit]

The Royal Navy Dockyard was originally established during the reign of Edward II in 1326, and was enlarged during the reign by Elizabeth I of England. By 1652 it was ideally positioned for readying the fleet in the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the seventeenth century. Thereafter its importance waned; it ceased to operate as a Royal Dockyard in 1713, but was leased to a succession of private operators under whom naval and commercial shipbuilding continued. The Navy maintained a small storage and refitting base there until 1829.[2] One unusual structure surviving from the dockyard is a very rare treadwheel crane of 1667, which was in use until the early twentieth century before being re-sited on Harwich Green in the 1930s.[3] The dockyard bell, dating from 1666, is preserved on the original site, which still operates as a commercial port (known as Navyard since 1964).[4]

A wooden board on the dockyard gate lists some 58 Men-of-war built at the Old Naval Yard there from 1660-1827.[5] During the First World War a flotilla, the Harwich Force, was based at the port. During the Second World War parts of Harwich were again requisitioned for naval use, and ships were based at HMS Badger, a shore establishment on the site of what is now Harwich International Port. Badger was decommissioned in 1946, but the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service maintained a headquarters on the site until 1992.[6]

Administration of the dockyard and other key officials[edit]

The Master Shipwright was the key official at the royal navy dockyards until the introduction of resident commissioners by the Navy Board after which he became deputy to the resident commissioner. 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.

Resident Commissioner of the Navy, Harwich Dockyard[edit]

  1. 1664-1668, Captain John Taylor [7]

Master shipwright, Harwich Dockyard[edit]

Post holders included:[8][9]

  1. 1664-1668, Anthony Deane
  2. 1668-1677, Isaac Betts
  3. 1694-1695, Robert Shortis
  4. 1695-1698, Thomas Podd
  5. 1702 Jan-Nov, Benjamin Rosewell
  6. 1702-1705, John Lock
  7. 1705 Mar-Nov, Jacob Ackworth
  8. 1705-1706, Fisher Harding
  9. 1706-1709, John Poulter
  10. 1709-1711, John Naish
  11. 1711-1717, Paul Stigant
  12. 1753-1759, Robert Grassingham

Clerk of the Cheque, Harwich Dockyard[edit]

Post holders included:[10]

  1. 1722 Jan-Jun, Charles Aleyn
  2. 1722-1728, James Banks
  3. 1728 Mar-Sep, Thomas Colby
  4. 1728-1756, George Bagnold
  5. 1756-1765, George Purvis

Storekeeper, Harwich Dockyard[edit]

Post holders included:[11]

  1. 1722 Jan-Jun, Charles Aleyn
  2. 1722-1728, James Banks
  3. 1728 Mar-Sep, Thomas Colby
  4. 1728-1756, George Bagnold
  5. 1756-1765, George Purvis
  6. 1765-1766, Charles Howard

Ships built at the dockyard[edit]

Date Ship Notes Ref
1678 HMS Restoration third rate, 70 guns. [12]
1679 HMS Breda third rate, 70 guns. [12]
1679 HMS Sandwich second rate, 90 guns. [12]
1680 HMS Albemarle second rate, 90 guns. [12]
1694 HMS Ipswich third rate, 70 guns [12]
1696 HMS Yarmouth third rate, 74 guns. [12]
1810 HMS Vengeur third rate, 74 guns. [12]
1812 HMS Scarborough third rate, 74 guns. [12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carry, L. H. ST C. (January 1927). "HARWICH DOCKYARD". The Mariner's Mirror. 13 (2): 167–171. doi:10.1080/00253359.1927.10655415.
  2. ^ "Research guide B5: Royal Naval Dockyards". National Maritime Museum. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  3. ^ Historic England. "Old naval yard crane (1187899)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Harwich Quay". Harwich & Dovercourt. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  5. ^ "The Old Naval Yard Harwich Quay". Geograph. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  6. ^ "The First World War 1914-1918". Harwich & Dovercourt. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  7. ^ Carry p. 167.
  8. ^ Harrison, Simon (2010–2018). "Master Shipwright at Harwich Dockyard". threedecks.org. S. Harrison. Retrieved 4 January 2019.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  9. ^ The House of Commons, 1660-1690. Martlesham, Suffolk, England: Boydell & Brewer. 1983. p. 200. ISBN 9780436192746.
  10. ^ Harrison, Simon (2010–2018). "Clerk of the Cheque at Harwich Dockyard". threedecks.org. S. Harrison. Retrieved 4 January 2019.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  11. ^ Harrison, Simon (2010–2018). "Storekeeper at Harwich Dockyard". threedecks.org. S. Harrison. Retrieved 4 January 2019.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Carry pp. 170-171.

Coordinates: 51°56′40″N 1°17′24″E / 51.94452°N 1.29010°E / 51.94452; 1.29010