Thursday, 15 March 2018

The navy dockyard at Portsmouth according to the Dockyard Politics and Patronage of 1854

Thanks to the fact that nowadays more and more books are digitized we are able to read books that are some times for decades no longer available for the public for several reasons. That's quite a pity while these books contains useful information while the archives are destroyed, incomplete or nor accessible.

P. 11: Ancient documents, preserved among the Public Records, indicate that a yard for Naval purposes existed here in the reign of Henry III., which in that of Henry VII. became the principal royal dockyard in England. Its harbour combines spaciousness with security, beyond any other in the kingdom; its length is 4½ miles, and its extreme breadth nearly the same distance. The Stores and Magazines are all on a grand scale. The wet basin and dry dock communicating with it are of the utmost importance, and do great credit to the genius of General Bentham, under whose superintendence they were undertaken and completed. The Metal Mills are constructed on an excellent plan, by which the old copper from ships of war is re-melted and re-manufactured. The matchless and complicated system of block-machinery invented by Sir I. K. Brunel, deserves the most attentive examination. The regular establishment in this yard, including the steam factories, employs 2000 men, though the works often require a larger number. The vote for their wages, in 1853, was £ 162,970, and the other annual expenses were estimated at £40,000, with the additional vote of £ 35,000 for new work and repairs.”

Dockyard Politics and Patronage: a collection of memoranda to assist future enquiries. London, 1854.