Navy Board In-letters project


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Our team of four Navy Board In-letters volunteers: Derek, Roger, Terry and David have provided full page summaries for five of our volumes from the archive. The collection is a series of volumes (ADM/A/1758-ADM/A/3115) and the volunteers have been producing calendars/brief descriptions of the content for the years 1688 to 1691, during the reign of William III and starting with the Glorious Revolution. The project is intended to be on-going and we will see more volumes being summarised as the project progresses.

The page level descriptions are now available via our archive catalogue:!asearch;idNumber=ADM%255C0A%255C01758*. This link is a search set up to browse all of the pages within ADM/A/1758 (to do this type ADM/A/1758* in the search and browse box AND tick the finding reference box).

The volumes uploaded so far are ADM/A/1758; ADM/A/1759; ADM/A/1760; ADM/A/1768 and ADM/A/1776 and total 1834 records. The summaries provide a useful insight into the administration of the Navy during this time of major change. It is interesting to see the names of important individuals revealed plus the names of many ships of the period such as the Royal Charles and also the Charles Galley. These searches can be carried out by typing, for example, ‘adm/a AND Royal Charles’ into the search and browse box.

Illuminations at the Admiralty

‘Illumination at the Admiralty’ PAD1371

One of the letters from the first volume is by Samuel Pepys and has been summarised as:

At the request of Mr. Fletcher, Carver to the Navy at Deptford and Woolwich, this serves to accompany a Bill by him some time since lodged in my hands, for work done for the use of this Office by command of the late King. The first particular whereof, namely a Shield with the Imperial Crown and Anchor of Admirals, has been erected a year or two; the other, viz; the King's whole Arms designed for the Pediment, being not finished till a little before the late great Revolution, has been prevented in being set up in its place, and so remained in Mr. Fletcher's own hands, ready (as he tells me) to be placed wherever you shall be pleased to direct it.

His late Majesty's Warrant to your Board for Mr. Fletcher's satisfaction for this work having been long in my hands for his calling for, I do herewith also at his request transmit to you and remain.

Your most faithful and humble servant.

ADM/A/1758/355            [dated 27 April 1689].

Pepys is essentially finally getting round to returning the warrant to the Navy Board, having been removed from office as Secretary to the Admiralty in February 1689.

One of our volunteers, David Rowlinson, has singled out an interesting page entry (ADM/A/1762/99) which is part of the next volumes in line to be added to our archive catalogue. This relates to six seamen who thought that life in the Dutch navy would be preferable and deserted their ship. The Admiralty response is uncharacteristically lenient but doubtless they did not wish to upset the new king.

"14 August 1689

William Bartlet, John Witts, John Hawes, J Bowen, Edward Roman and Edward Mory, seamen of the MARY, upon His Majesty coming to England, left the ship and entered themselves on board two Dutch men of war and were entered as "Run" on the MARY'S books. You are directed to take off the "Run" and to pay them what is due them for their service in the MARY."

Mike Bevan