NAVAL HISTORY -- ENGLAND, 18th-Century.  Manuscript review (unsigned) in twenty-one volumes of the state of the English navy circa 1758, including historical references, abstracts of naval statutes and orders, lists of the establishment, copies of patents, tables of expenditure, criticisms of  malpractices and recommendations for reforms, covering every aspect of the administration of the navy, fair copy written in a mid-18th-century secretarial hand in brown ink, some words in red, margins ruled in red, indices of chapters in volumes I - XIX, altogether approximately 1,794 pages, folio (388 x 260 mm), on leaves numbered on recto and verso, numerous blanks, watermark of Jean Villedary [Churchill, 407 (1758)], bound in 21 volumes, contemporary English blue goatskin gilt, borders of interlinking floral tools, enclosed by outer borders of shell, crescent, pomegranate and star tools, gilt board edges and turn-ins, upper boards lettered with indices of contents, spines gilt in
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NAVAL HISTORY -- ENGLAND, 18th-Century. Manuscript review (unsigned) in twenty-one volumes of the state of the English navy circa 1758, including historical references, abstracts of naval statutes and orders, lists of the establishment, copies of patents, tables of expenditure, criticisms of malpractices and recommendations for reforms, covering every aspect of the administration of the navy, fair copy written in a mid-18th-century secretarial hand in brown ink, some words in red, margins ruled in red, indices of chapters in volumes I - XIX, altogether approximately 1,794 pages, folio (388 x 260 mm), on leaves numbered on recto and verso, numerous blanks, watermark of Jean Villedary [Churchill, 407 (1758)], bound in 21 volumes, contemporary English blue goatskin gilt, borders of interlinking floral tools, enclosed by outer borders of shell, crescent, pomegranate and star tools, gilt board edges and turn-ins, upper boards lettered with indices of contents, spines gilt in compartments and numbered in one, gilt edges (extremities lightly rubbed and scuffed, some minor scuffing to boards and light chipping to spine ends). A remarkably comprehensive account, by an unidentified author, of the English Navy on the threshold of the Seven Years War, touching upon every aspect of naval administration and combining historical references with practical information and suggestions, probably intended for the use of a senior member of the Admiralty during a period of reform and the regularisation of naval practices. The subjects of the twenty-one volumes include: Volume I 'Dominion of the Sea'; II 'State of the Colonies in North America'; III 'Naval Statutes'; IV 'Lord High Admiral Vice & Rear Admiral, their powers and authorities and duties'; V 'High Admiral; Judge; Register' etc; VI 'Pirates Oyer & Terminer Cinque Ports Letters of Marque Prizes'; VII 'Trinity House'; VIII 'Of Shipbuilding'; IX 'Admiral'; X 'Raising Seamen'; XI 'Sea Pay Naval Estimates'; XII 'Plantations Pensions Passes'; XIII 'Miscellanes [sic]'; XIV 'Victualling Office Ordnance Office'; XV 'Naval Stores'; XVI 'Marines'; XVII 'Navy Board'; XVIII 'Yard Officers Ordinary'; XIX 'Convoys Cruizers [sic]'; XX 'Greenwich Hospital'; XXI 'On Pressing'. The opening chapter of volume I, 'Of the Sovereignty of Great Britain in the four seas', is a historical aperçu, followed by explanations of 'Kings Chambers', 'Salutes', 'Fishery', 'Searching Foreign Ships for Seamen'. The second volume quotes a report of 1721 to George I on the state of the plantations in America, with recommendations for checking French encroachments. The 'Naval Statutes', cited from the reigns of Edward I to George II, refer to subjects such as 'Wreck', 'Piracy', 'Desertion', 'Pressing', 'Maimed Marines' and similar. In volume IV, on the powers and duties of the Lord High Admiral, Vice and Rear Admirals, the author observes that their patents should be enrolled while volume V quotes patents, statutes and regulations for officers and Admiralty officials. Many entries refer to financial abuses from the late 17th-century on. Current malpractice in shipbuilding is noted in vol. VIII: 'I find as far back as 1673 the abuse of having too many cabbins in our ships complained of, and resolved to be retrenched'; 'In 1690, I find a strict Order that no Ornamental or other Extra work should be done to ships fitting out, without particular order for it' ; 'At other times, when there is a present want of small ships, the surveyor ... goes into the Merchants Yards to see what Ships are fitt to be bought. This is an unhusbandly way, for ... the owners will always on such occasions exact in the Price'. A passage on Pursers (vol. IX, page 235) records dismissals for taking money instead of beer from a contractor and other frauds in 1716, 'It is my Opinion, that there should be an Ecrivain, instead of a Purser, in Ships of the 5th and 6th Rate, to take care of Provisions with a salary from the Crown'. In 1709 'Mr Smart Chaplain of the Assurance was left behind when the ship went on a voyage to Turkey yet received pay for the whole voyage'. 'Lord Nottingham Lord High Admiral, gave a Patent to his cook to appoint all cooks in the Navy'; Officers have been paid in advance for voyages they did not make, and admirals drawn their half-pay while being in public employment. In 1697 the Marquis of Carmarthen was paid as a Rear Admiral 'though not one'. On the Admiralty office: 'We seem to neglect the Forms of business too much, which yet are so essential to the office, that they are the only Arguments which can justify what is done'. Among several references to Pepys, one mentioning the bequest of his books to Magdalene College, Cambridge, it is proposed to purchase back from the College 'several curious ones relating to Navigation' for the use of the Admiralty. Discussion of 'Naval Stores' includes details of trials of New England timber; a chapter on the dockyards includes a chart of the numbers of workmen employed and their pay, and a suggestion that ships should be preserved from decay by laying them up in sheds, thus allowing the circulation of air. A short account of the Greenwich Hospital is followed by a description of the Hotel des Invalides and its endowment. The relatively small number of references dated to the 1740s and the plentiful blank leaves suggest that it may have been intended to add to the work and update it. The latest dates cited are for men mustered in 1748 (41,377 and 5496 marines), and the 'ordinary estimate' for 1749 (Vol. XI, pages 119, 153-154). The work has a distinguished naval provenance. It was formerly in the library of John Clevland (1707?-1763), M.P. for Saltash and Sandwich, Joint Secretary of the Admiralty from August 1746, assisting Thomas Corbett, and sole Secretary from 1751. His earlier experience was as Clerk of the Accounts in the Commission. His father, William Clevland (d.1735) served with Sir Cloudesley Shovel, and from 1718-1732 was Comptroller of the Navy's accounts, and his son was Secretary of Greenwich Hospital. The compilation of the manuscript is almost certainly associated with the reforms of Admiral Lord [George] Anson (1697-1762), First Lord of the Admiralty from 1751. Anson's appointment to the Admiralty Board in 1745 marked a new era in naval administration, and by 1747 he was complaining to Clevland of many shortcomings, in the dockyards and elsewhere. He revised methods of promotion, resisted recommendations of favour and interest, established uniforms for officers, reorganised the corps of marines, overhauled the dockyards and improved the administration of supplies and brought the standards and reputation of the service to a higher level. He was 'unquestionably the ablest, strongest, and most responsible administrator since Pepys' (G.J. Marcus. A Naval History of England, vol. I, 1961, page 364). (21)

Details
NAVAL HISTORY -- ENGLAND, 18th-Century. Manuscript review (unsigned) in twenty-one volumes of the state of the English navy circa 1758, including historical references, abstracts of naval statutes and orders, lists of the establishment, copies of patents, tables of expenditure, criticisms of malpractices and recommendations for reforms, covering every aspect of the administration of the navy, fair copy written in a mid-18th-century secretarial hand in brown ink, some words in red, margins ruled in red, indices of chapters in volumes I - XIX, altogether approximately 1,794 pages, folio (388 x 260 mm), on leaves numbered on recto and verso, numerous blanks, watermark of Jean Villedary [Churchill, 407 (1758)], bound in 21 volumes, contemporary English blue goatskin gilt, borders of interlinking floral tools, enclosed by outer borders of shell, crescent, pomegranate and star tools, gilt board edges and turn-ins, upper boards lettered with indices of contents, spines gilt in compartments and numbered in one, gilt edges (extremities lightly rubbed and scuffed, some minor scuffing to boards and light chipping to spine ends).

A remarkably comprehensive account, by an unidentified author, of the English Navy on the threshold of the Seven Years War, touching upon every aspect of naval administration and combining historical references with practical information and suggestions, probably intended for the use of a senior member of the Admiralty during a period of reform and the regularisation of naval practices.

The subjects of the twenty-one volumes include: Volume I 'Dominion of the Sea'; II 'State of the Colonies in North America'; III 'Naval Statutes'; IV 'Lord High Admiral Vice & Rear Admiral, their powers and authorities and duties'; V 'High Admiral; Judge; Register' etc; VI 'Pirates Oyer & Terminer Cinque Ports Letters of Marque Prizes'; VII 'Trinity House'; VIII 'Of Shipbuilding'; IX 'Admiral'; X 'Raising Seamen'; XI 'Sea Pay Naval Estimates'; XII 'Plantations Pensions Passes'; XIII 'Miscellanes [sic]'; XIV 'Victualling Office Ordnance Office'; XV 'Naval Stores'; XVI 'Marines'; XVII 'Navy Board'; XVIII 'Yard Officers Ordinary'; XIX 'Convoys Cruizers [sic]'; XX 'Greenwich Hospital'; XXI 'On Pressing'.

The opening chapter of volume I, 'Of the Sovereignty of Great Britain in the four seas', is a historical aperçu, followed by explanations of 'Kings Chambers', 'Salutes', 'Fishery', 'Searching Foreign Ships for Seamen'. The second volume quotes a report of 1721 to George I on the state of the plantations in America, with recommendations for checking French encroachments. The 'Naval Statutes', cited from the reigns of Edward I to George II, refer to subjects such as 'Wreck', 'Piracy', 'Desertion', 'Pressing', 'Maimed Marines' and similar. In volume IV, on the powers and duties of the Lord High Admiral, Vice and Rear Admirals, the author observes that their patents should be enrolled while volume V quotes patents, statutes and regulations for officers and Admiralty officials.

Many entries refer to financial abuses from the late 17th-century on. Current malpractice in shipbuilding is noted in vol. VIII: 'I find as far back as 1673 the abuse of having too many cabbins in our ships complained of, and resolved to be retrenched'; 'In 1690, I find a strict Order that no Ornamental or other Extra work should be done to ships fitting out, without particular order for it' ; 'At other times, when there is a present want of small ships, the surveyor ... goes into the Merchants Yards to see what Ships are fitt to be bought. This is an unhusbandly way, for ... the owners will always on such occasions exact in the Price'. A passage on Pursers (vol. IX, page 235) records dismissals for taking money instead of beer from a contractor and other frauds in 1716, 'It is my Opinion, that there should be an Ecrivain, instead of a Purser, in Ships of the 5th and 6th Rate, to take care of Provisions with a salary from the Crown'. In 1709 'Mr Smart Chaplain of the Assurance was left behind when the ship went on a voyage to Turkey yet received pay for the whole voyage'. 'Lord Nottingham Lord High Admiral, gave a Patent to his cook to appoint all cooks in the Navy'; Officers have been paid in advance for voyages they did not make, and admirals drawn their half-pay while being in public employment. In 1697 the Marquis of Carmarthen was paid as a Rear Admiral 'though not one'. On the Admiralty office: 'We seem to neglect the Forms of business too much, which yet are so essential to the office, that they are the only Arguments which can justify what is done'.

Among several references to Pepys, one mentioning the bequest of his books to Magdalene College, Cambridge, it is proposed to purchase back from the College 'several curious ones relating to Navigation' for the use of the Admiralty.

Discussion of 'Naval Stores' includes details of trials of New England timber; a chapter on the dockyards includes a chart of the numbers of workmen employed and their pay, and a suggestion that ships should be preserved from decay by laying them up in sheds, thus allowing the circulation of air. A short account of the Greenwich Hospital is followed by a description of the Hotel des Invalides and its endowment.

The relatively small number of references dated to the 1740s and the plentiful blank leaves suggest that it may have been intended to add to the work and update it. The latest dates cited are for men mustered in 1748 (41,377 and 5496 marines), and the 'ordinary estimate' for 1749 (Vol. XI, pages 119, 153-154).

The work has a distinguished naval provenance. It was formerly in the library of John Clevland (1707?-1763), M.P. for Saltash and Sandwich, Joint Secretary of the Admiralty from August 1746, assisting Thomas Corbett, and sole Secretary from 1751. His earlier experience was as Clerk of the Accounts in the Commission. His father, William Clevland (d.1735) served with Sir Cloudesley Shovel, and from 1718-1732 was Comptroller of the Navy's accounts, and his son was Secretary of Greenwich Hospital.

The compilation of the manuscript is almost certainly associated with the reforms of Admiral Lord [George] Anson (1697-1762), First Lord of the Admiralty from 1751. Anson's appointment to the Admiralty Board in 1745 marked a new era in naval administration, and by 1747 he was complaining to Clevland of many shortcomings, in the dockyards and elsewhere. He revised methods of promotion, resisted recommendations of favour and interest, established uniforms for officers, reorganised the corps of marines, overhauled the dockyards and improved the administration of supplies and brought the standards and reputation of the service to a higher level. He was 'unquestionably the ablest, strongest, and most responsible administrator since Pepys' (G.J. Marcus. A Naval History of England, vol. I, 1961, page 364). (21)
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