This text was copied from Wikipedia on 17 July 2024 at 4:11AM.

Office of the Treasurer of the Navy
Navy Board flag
Department of the Admiralty
Member ofNavy Board (1546–1832)
Reports toFirst Lord of the Admiralty
NominatorFirst Lord of the Admiralty
AppointerPrime Minister
Subject to formal approval by the King-in-Council
Term lengthNot fixed (typically 3–7 years)
Inaugural holderWilliam Gonson
Sir Henry Parnell was the last Treasurer of the Navy

The Treasurer of the Navy,[1] originally called Treasurer of Marine Causes[2] or Paymaster of the Navy,[3] was a civilian officer of the Royal Navy, one of the principal commissioners of the Navy Board responsible for naval finance[4] from 1524 to 1832. The treasurer was based at the Navy Pay Office.


Originally established in 1524, the first holder of the post was William Gonson; he held the office for twenty years until 1544.[5] Although a member of the board, his office was semi-autonomous. The office-holder was responsible for the direction and control of the finance of the Royal Navy. The office was a political appointment and frequently was held by up-and-coming young politicians who would later go on to hold more important positions. Before 1832 all accounts were dealt with by a number of different offices and officials. The Treasurer of the Navy originated during the reign of Henry VIII. He was the senior member of the Navy Board responsible for all Navy accounts; he gradually withdrew during the seventeenth century from the board's day-to-day affairs and his office, and the Navy Pay Office, came to be regarded as entirely separate from the Navy Office. The Treasurer of the Navy survived the re-organisational changes of 1832, but the office was abolished in 1835 and its duties were transferred to the Paymaster General's' Office.

Treasurers of the Navy 1524–1836

Notable holders of this post included:[6]

Service Name Notes
1524–October 1544 Vice-Admiral, Sir William Gonson [7][8]
October 1544–December 1545 Captain John Wynter merchant and sea-captain of Bristol[9]
25 Apr 1546–8 Jul 1549 Robert Legge
8 Jul 1549–18 Nov 1577 Benjamin Gonson[10]
18 Nov 1577–26 Nov 1577 Benjamin Gonson and John Hawkins
26 Nov 1577–12 Nov 1595 John Hawkins Knighted 26 July 1588
22 Dec 1598–26 Apr 1604 Fulk Greville[11]
26 Apr 1604–11 May 1618 Sir Robert Mansell
11 May 1618–5 Apr 1627 Sir William Russell created baronet 12 March 1627
5 Apr 1627–21 Jan 1630 Sackville Crowe created baronet 8 July 1627
1630–1639 Sir William Russell
1639–1642 Sir William Russell and Henry Vane
1642–1646 Sir William Russell and Sir John Penington (Royalist)
1646–1654 Sir William Russell (Royalist)
1645–1650 Sir Henry Vane (Parliamentary)
1648–1650 Richard Fanshawe (Royalist)
1651–1660 Richard Hutchinson (Parliamentary)
1660–1667 Sir George Carteret
1667–1668 Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Anglesey
1668–1671 Sir Thomas Osborne and Sir Thomas de Littelton, Bt
1671–1673 Sir Thomas Osborne
1673–1681 Edward Seymour
1681–1689 Anthony Carey, 5th Viscount Falkland
1689–1699 Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford
1699–1710 Sir Thomas de Littleton
1710–1711 Robert Walpole
1711–1714 Charles Caesar
1714–1718 John Aislabie
1718–1720 Richard Hampden
1720–1724 George Byng, 1st Viscount Torrington
1724–1734 Pattee Byng, 2nd Viscount Torrington
1734–1742 Arthur Onslow
1742 Thomas Clutterbuck
1742–1743 Sir Charles Wager
1743–1744 Sir John Rushout, 4th Baronet
1744–1749 George Bubb Dodington
1749–1754 Henry Legge
1754–1756 George Grenville
1756 George Bubb Dodington
1756–1762 George Grenville
1762–1765 William Wildman Barrington, 2nd Viscount Barrington
1765–1770 Richard Howe, 4th Viscount Howe
1770–1777 Sir Gilbert Elliot, 3rd Bt
1777–1782 Welbore Ellis
1782 Isaac Barré
1782–1783 Henry Dundas
1783–1784 Charles Townshend
1784–1800 Henry Dundas Except 1 January 1786 – 18 August 1802
1800–1801 Dudley Ryder
1801–1803 Charles Bragge
1803–1804 George Tierney
1804–1806 George Canning
1806–1807 Richard Brinsley Sheridan
1807–1818 George Rose
1818–1823 Frederick John Robinson
1823–1827 William Huskisson
1827–1828 Charles Grant
1828–1830 William Vesey Fitzgerald
1830 Thomas Frankland Lewis
1830–1834 Charles Poulett Thomson
1834–1835 William Lowther, Viscount Lowther
1835–1836 Sir Henry Parnell

Departments and offices under Treasurer



  1. ^ Mackenzie, Sir George (1 January 1821). "The Royal naval and military calendar: and national record for 1821". Google Books. Printed for the author. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  2. ^ Knighton, C. S.; Loades, David (2016). Elizabethan Naval Administration. Routledge. p. 5. ISBN 9781317145035.
  3. ^ Knighton, C. S.; Loades, D. M. (2011). The Navy of Edward VI and Mary I. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 570. ISBN 9781409418474.
  4. ^ "Navy Board: Navy Pay Office: Treasurer's Out-Letters". National Archives, 1807–1830, ADM 15. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  5. ^ Hill Miller, Helen (1985). Captains from Devon: the great Elizabethan seafarers who won the oceans for England. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. p. 33. ISBN 9780912697277.
  6. ^ Sainty, J. C. (January 2003). "Navy Treasurer c. 1546–1836". Institute of Historical Research, University of London. Archived from the original on 27 June 2018.
  7. ^ Knighton, C. S.; Loades, D. M. (2011). The Navy of Edward VI and Mary I. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 570. ISBN 9781409418474.
  8. ^ Miller, Helen Hill (1985). Captains from Devon : the great Elizabethan seafarers who won the oceans for England. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. p. 33. ISBN 9780912697277.
  9. ^ Knighton, C. S.; Loades, D. M. (2011). The Navy of Edward VI and Mary I. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 570. ISBN 9781409418474.
  10. ^ Bennell, John (2004). "Gonson, William (d. 1544)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/47400. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  11. ^ "Greville, Fulke (GRVL568F)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  12. ^ Cock, Randolph; Rodger, N. A. M. "A Guide to the Naval Records in the National Archives" (PDF). University of London. p. 221. Retrieved 8 January 2019.


External links

7 Annotations

First Reading

vincent  •  Link

1660 Carteret, Sir George, 1st Bart note he had the position from 1650…
previous ;
1645 Vane, Sir Henry, Kt. Appointed by parliament.
Gt. 24 July 1645 (AO 1/1706/90; accounted 13 May 1645-31 Dec. 1650 (ibid.; AO 1/1707/93).
1651 Hutchinson, Richard Appointed by parliament.
Gt. 1 Jan. 1651 (AO 1/1707/94); accounted to 7 July 1660 (AO 1/1710/101).
1660 Carteret, Sir George, 1st Bart. Appointed by the King in exile.
Gt. for life 5 Jan. 1650 (AO 1/1710/104); accounted from 1 July 1660 (AO 1/1710/102); surr. 29 June 1667 (C 75/5 no. 13).
This office had come into existence by 1546 when its holder was granted a salary by letters patent under the great seal. Thereafter the office itself was granted in this fashion. Except where otherwise specified tenure was during pleasure. The patent salary, originally 100 marks, was raised. Hutchinson was appointed at

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Navy Debt 1660: Expenses 1659

House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 12 November 1660 | British History Online
"Navy and Army Debts.

Sir Thomas Clergys reports from the Committee appointed to examine the Debts of the Navy and Army, and other publick Debts of the Kingdom, an Estimate of the Charge of the Navy and Army; being as followeth; viz.

The Estimate of the Debts of the Navy, in Charge before his Majesty's coming in.

For Discharge of the Officers and Mariners Wages, Provision of Victuals, and Stores, and to the Office of the Ordnance; and the ordinary and extraordinary Expences of the several Yards; the Account is estimated to Six hundred Seventy-eight thousand Pounds:

Whereof the Officers and Mariners Wages, to the Tenth of November, is exactly stated (over and above the Fiveand-twenty Ships now under Consideration, and besides that Number of Ships his Majesty receives into his Pay) to amount to Two hundred Forty-eight thousand Fortynine Pounds Eight Shillings.

The Commissioners for disbanding the Army have estimated what Money they conceive will be brought in upon the Bill for Poll Money, and the Assessments; and compute that there will be wanting, to disband the remaining Part of the Army, and such of the Five-and-twenty Ships which are yet not discharged, the Sum of Four hundred Twenty-two thousand Eight hundred and Nineteen Pounds.

His Majesty's Commissioners for managing the Affairs of the Navy do also offer, to be humbly represented to the Consideration of the House, that all his Majesty's Stores are now empty, both of Victual, and all other Necessaries, for the Fleet; and that the Charge of renewing them will amount to Two hundred thousand Pounds.

Which raises the whole Sum to 1,300,819 l. 8s. 0d.
Of which Sum that which will require a present Supply and Advancement, to pay off the Officers and Mariners, and totally disband the Army, is 670,868. 8. 0."…

House of Commons Journal Volume 7: 7 April 1659 | British History Online
"In the Pay of the ordinary Guards and Fleets at Sea, and Building of Ships, by way of Estimate yearly, as followeth; that is to say;

£. s. d.
For the Charge of Seven thousand Five hundred Men, to be employed in Fifty Ships, for a Summer's Guard for seven Months, at Four Pounds a Man by the Month 210,000 -- --
For the Charge of Five thousand Two hundred and Fifty Men, to be employed in Thirty-five Ships, for a Winter's Guard for Seven Months, at Four Pounds a Man by the Month 147,000 -- --
For Building of Ships yearly 40,000 -- --
In the Pay of the Commissioners of the Admiralty, and the Commissioners of the Navy, and the Treasurers of the Navy 7,744 -- --
In the Pay of the Standing-Officers belonging to the Yards, and of Ships in Harbours 3,628 6 10
In the Pay of the Officers and Seamen employed in the Looking-to of Ships in Docks, and otherwise unemployed 45,613 13 9
The whole Charge of the Navy by the Year 453,986 -- 7"

The whole page linked below is a fascinating statement income and expense for the whole of England for the year.…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Payments to December 5th. 1660

House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 29 December 1660 | British History Online
"September 3d, 1660.

At the Committee for Publick Debts, &c.

Resolved, That Colonel Birch do, with all convenient Speed, report to the House the Estimate of the Debt of his Majesty's Navy, now received from Sir George Cartrett, as well for Stores of all Sorts, as for Wages due; being a Debt, they humbly conceive, fit to be taken care for by the Parliament.

The general State of the Debts upon the Account of his Majesty's Navy, until Twenty-fourth June last past, required from us, the principal Officers and Commissioners of his Majesty's Navy, together with the Increase of the growing Charge of Wages and Victuals, to the Fleet unpaid, until this present Fifth of December 1660.

For the Wages of the Officers and Mariners, serving on board the Seventeen Ships, which yet remain unpaid, of the Twenty-five heretofore directed by the Parliament to be paid out of the Poll Bill, with the Increase of their Charge, to the Fifth of December £. s. d.
128,030 - -
For the Wages of the Officers and Mariners in Eighty-four Ships more, which are yet also in Pay, with the Increase of their Charge, unto the Fifth of December, abating the Thirty-six Ships for the Winter Guard, from the Twenty-fourth of June 1660, which is to be borne by his Majesty 258,459 - -
For the Wages unto the Officers and Workmen of his Majesty's Yards at Deptford, Woolwich, Chatham, Portsmouth, and Harwich; as also unto Ship-keepers of the Ships riding in those Harbours, to the Twenty-fourth of June 1660, per Estimate 42,463 10 -
£. 428,952 10 -
For Bills, regularly passed in this Office, for Provisions delivered, and Service done, from the Year 1657, to the Twenty-fourth June 1660, the Particulars whereof are contained in a Book herewith presented; besides other Bills of the like Nature, which, by reason of the short Warning given, could not be brought in from remote Parts to be therein inserted, which may amount unto, per Estimate, 20,000 l. the Sum of 128,078 13 10

For so much due unto several Persons on the Account of Victuals by them delivered unto his Majesty's Ships, as appears by an Account produced unto us under the Hand of the present Surveyor of Marine Victuals £. s. d.
40,664 19 6
For so much due unto several Persons for Provisions bought of them at Plymouth, to supply the western Squadron between the 20th of June 1659, and 24 June 1660 3,187 - 3
More due to the Agent of Plymouth; by a Bill signed by the late Commissioners of the Navy for maintaining of Prisoners there to the 21 February 1659 999 6 9
For so much demanded by the Bailiffs of Yarmouth as disbursed, according to Certificate upon the like Account 22 1 8
£. 172,952 1 7
For so much due to Robert Russell, David Davison, Thomas Carter, John Young, and Thomas Hodskins, for Provisions delivered into the Office of the Ordnance omitted in their Account; and therefore by his Majesty's special Command here inserted, the Sum of 11,529 14 11
For so much due unto several Persons for entertaining of sick and wounded Men set on Shore from several of his Majesty's Ships, according to an Account produced unto us by the Commissioners for Sick and Wounded, the Sum of 5,936 19 1
Excise Money to answer this. For so much disbursed by the present Treasurer of the Navy out of his Majesty's Revenue, upon Account of victualling of the Navy, 41,473£. 13s. out of which abating, for his Majesty's Charge upon the 36 Ships, 16,607£. so remains due 24,866 - -
For so much paid more to divers Persons in Part of their Debts upon Bills bearing Date before 24 June 1660, in Consideration of the most Part of those Goods found in Store, and to advance further Credit for the same Persons for the Navy's Use 9,483 3 2
£. 51,815 17 2
For several Debts on Bills not yet brought in, by reason of the remote Living of the Proprietors, who have not had timely Notice to produce their Debts, per Estimation 20,000 - -

£. 428,952 10 -
172,952 1 7
51,815 17 2
20,000 - -
£. 673,720 8 9
More unpaid upon old Freight of Ships employed in the Years 1642, 1643, and 1644, not included in the abovesaid Sum 26,000 - -

Resolved, That Colonel Birch do, with all convenient Speed, also report to the House the Estimate of the Debts now standing charged on his Majesty's Exchequer, under Four Heads, as it is now received from Sir Philip Warwicke, Secretary to the Treasury, as Debts fit for the Parliament's Care, except such Part thereof as appears to have been charged by the pretended Protectors, or other Authority, betwixt the Time of the pretended Restauration of the Exchequer by Oliver in the Year 1653, and the First of March last; a List of which Debts is also to be reported for the Parliament's further Direction.

At the Committee for publick Debts.

September 3d, 1660."…

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Treasurers of the Navy 1667-

1667 Anglesey, Arthur (Annesley) 1st Earl of
Gt. for life 2 July 1667 (C 66/3092 no. 10); suspended 2 Nov. 1668 (C 66/3103 no. 18); vac. by 5 July 1673 (Gt. to Seymour).
1668 Osborne, Sir Thomas, 2nd Bart.
Littelton, Sir Thomas, 2nd Bart.
Gt. of execution of office during suspension of Anglesey 4 Nov. 1668 (C 66/3103 no. 18); vac. by 3 Oct. 1671 (Gt. to Osborne).
1671 Osborne, Sir Thomas, 2nd Bart.
Gt. of execution of office during suspension of Anglesey and of rev. of office after same 3 Oct. 1671 (AO 1/1713/112); accounted to 12 July 1673 (ibid.).…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

OOOPS ... that should be July 1660 of course, not 1667! Sorry.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.



  • Dec



  • Aug