In-Letters: 1776-1833

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LMR .G7A3G7I5
Category: Military
Creator: Great Britain. Admiralty. Royal Greenwich Hospital (ADM 65)
Description: Electronic textual records (3 volumes) ; 158 files; 10.7 GB; 300ppi colour TIFF
            There have been various administrative bodies heading the Royal Navy, including the Board of Admiralty, secretaries of state, and the Navy Board. The Board of Admiralty was the body in command of the Royal Navy for most of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries and consisted of members known as Lords Commissioners or Sea Lords, headed by the First Lord of the Admiralty. The Admiralty as a board acted as the political representatives of the Navy, and its members were mostly politicians. The Navy Board initially was responsible for the administrative affairs of the naval service and advising the Board of Admiralty. After the mid-17th century its role was gradually reduced until its responsibilities focused largely on the building and repairing of ships, running the dockyards, and administering supplies. 

Greenwich Hospital, located in London, was created in 1694 with the principal aims to relieve and support seamen serving on board ships belonging to the Royal Navy who, by reason of age, wounds, or other disabilities, were prevented from further service and the ability to maintain themselves. Also included sustaining widows of seamen, and maintenance and education of children of seamen. How it was funded is relative to these purchased volumes. Sources of income came from fundraising, a lottery, prize money from enemy ships captured in naval wars, and fines and confiscated wealth, such as from piracy. Also included funds from the Chatham Chest - an early form of insurance for seamen, which required sailors to pay six pence a month into a 'pension fund.' This fund was later transferred to the Greenwich Hospital.

ADM 65 as a whole (112 volumes) contains letters from the Admiralty to the Governor of the Royal Greenwich Hospital and others: letters received by the treasurer and deputy treasurer; letters from public offices, the solicitor, the Receivers of the Northern Estates and others; letters as to the admission of pensioners, etc.            

See Microforms staff for digital material.

Contains volume 60, letters received by the Treasurer (1776-1813); volume 69, the book in which are entered letters received by the Deputy Treasurer (1826-29); and volume 75, index to the book in which are entered letters received by the Deputy Treasurer (1828-1833), arranged by author of correspondence. These records deal with the fiscal administration of the hospital and so relate to facets of its funding sources and its role to care for its members - pensioned or deceased seamen and their families. Government agencies contributed to the correspondence, including Customs at various English ports, Navy Commissioners, and the Navy Paymasters Office. Based on the index in volume 75, specific subject matter includes prize affairs (forfeited and unclaimed shares of freight and prize money, seizures, prize bills); salaries and wages (including unclaimed) of employees and seamen; Bank of England (accounts and transactions); hospital tenants and leases (some pertain to arrears and causes, northern estates); women's allowances; pensions (regulations, bills, women, effects left by pensioner, superannuation); six pence seaman's duty on wages; staff appointments and deputations; freight on vessels and irregularities; North and South Foreland lights (part of the lighthouses in southeast England); excise bills; and "slave" vessels and rewards. Letters relating to unclaimed wages of Barzillai Mosher, a seaman from Nova Scotia, are dated 1829 Feb. 18. in the deputy treasurer's book.


Originals are held by The National Archives in London, England.

Archival Ref. No.:

TNA ADM 65/60, 69, and 75.

Finding Aids:

Index available in volume 75 for letters received by deputy treasurer between 1828 and 1833, arranged by author of letter. Includes main subject of each letter. (The Loyalist Collection only holds deputy treasurer's in-letters, 1826-1829.)

Electronic Finding Aid Record:

Further Reading:

Randolph Cock and N. A. M. Rodger, "A Guide to the Naval Records in The National Archives," Institute of Historical Research, 2008.


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