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New Forest timber and the Navy


 Place of publication is London unless otherwise stated.





Coats, A. V., ‘The oeconomy of the navy and Portsmouth: a discourse between the civilian naval administration of Portsmouth dockyard and the surrounding communities, 1650-1800’, D. Phil. thesis, University of Sussex, 2000.

Flower N., 'An historical and ecological study of inclosed and uninclosed woods in the New Forest, Hampshire', Ph.D. thesis, University of London, 1977. (Copy in University of Southampton library)

Holland, A.J. 'Shipbuilding, mainly for the crown, in the Southampton area 1650-1820',   MA thesis, University of Southampton, 1961.

Knight, R.J.B. ‘The Royal Dockyards in England at the time of the War of American Independence’, Ph.D. thesis, London, 1972.

Williams, M.J. 'The naval administration of the fourth Earl of Sandwich', D. Phil. Thesis, University of Oxford, 1962.

Wright, P. 'The British naval port system '. Ph.D. thesis, University of Southampton, 1994.

Young, J.D. 'An Economic History of Woodlands in Southern England, 1700-1914',   Ph.D. thesis, University of Reading, 1984.



Parliamentary Papers


Committee Who Were Appointed to Enquire in What Manner His Majesty's Navy May be More Effectually Supplied with Naval Stores. Journals of the House of Commons (1803 reprint) 38, 1116-7. 20 June 1782. …And also, That there  be laid before this House, at the Beginning of the next  Session of Parliament, an Account of the Quantities of Oak,  Elm, Beech, and Fir Timber, the Growth of this Kingdom,  delivered into His Majesty's several Dock Yards between the  1st Day of January 1772 and the 1st Day of January 1782;  distinguishing each Sort, and the Year, and the Value: Also an  Account of the Quantities of Oak, Elm , Beech, and Fir Timber,  of Foreign Growth, imported into this Kingdom between the 1st  Day of January 1772 and the 1st Day of January 1782,  distinguishing the Places from whence they came, the Sort, the  Year, and the Value. [never published; but see NMM. ADM/BP/3-6a]

‘First report of the commissioners of his Majesty's woods, forests, and land revenues; in obedience to the Acts of 34 George III. Cap.75. and 50 George III. Cap.65’. 1812 [second report 1816 etc]. Also published as Parliamentary Papers.

‘How His Majesty’s navy may be better supplied with timber’, 1771, Reports of Committees to the House of Commons 1715-1801, vol. III, pp. 15-72, 1803.

PP. HC. 1802-3 (109) iv, 173. Commission of naval enquiry, 3rd report: contracts-blockmakers, coopers.

PP. HC 1806, (3), v, 1. Committee for revising affairs of the navy. 11, general instructions for officers of the dockyards: 18, resident commissioner: 25, masters attendant: 39, master shipwright: 53, clerk of the check: 66, storekeepers: 78, clerks of survey: 88, clerks at ropeyards.

PP, HC. 1806, (8) v, 1. Report of the committee on the revision of the system of receipt and expenditure and government of the civil departments of the navy; 1st report- dockyards.

 PP, HC. 1806, (309) vii, Reports on Fees, gratuities, perquisites and emoluments which are or have been lately received in the several public offices. Reports made between the years 1786 and 1788 on… the Admiralty, Treasury of the Navy, Commissioners of the Navy, Dockyards, 1793:

             -Third Report upon the Office of the Treasurer of the Navy, 10th January 1788:

 - Fourth Report upon the Office of the Treasurer of the Navy, 10th January 1788:

 - Fifth Report upon the Office of the Commissioners of the Navy, dated 14th February 1788:

 - Sixth Report upon the Dock Yards, 10th March 1788: 

 - Seventh Report upon the Office for the Care of sick and wounded Seamen, 20th March 1788:

             - Eighth Report upon the Victualling Office, 17th April 1788:

 - Ninth Report upon the Naval and Victualling Departments established at Foreign or distant Ports, 1st May 1788.

PP, HC. 1854, (377) x, 193. Report from the Select Committee on Crown Forests: together with the proceedings of the Committee, minutes of evidence, appendix and index.

'Report of the Committee Who Were Appointed to Enquire in What Manner His Majesty's Navy May be More Effectually Supplied with Naval Stores', Journals of the House of Commons (1803 reprint)  38, 1116-1117. 1782

'State and condition of woods, forests, and land revenue of the Crown and to sell or alienate fee farm and other unimproveable rents. 11th Report. Supply of naval timber', Journals of the House of Commons (1803 reprint), Vol. 43, 559-632. 1788. Reprinted in Lambert, S. (ed.), House of Commons Sessional papers of the 18th century, vols. 76-8, Wilmington VA, 1975 with the following three reports. All 17 reports were published separately as one volume.

'State and condition of woods, forests, and land revenue of the Crown and to sell or alienate fee farm and other unimproveable rents. 6th Report. Alice Holt and Woolmer forests', Journals of the House of Commons (1803 reprint), Vol. 45, 120-180. 1790.

'State and condition of woods, forests, and land revenue of the Crown and to sell or alienate fee farm and other unimproveable rents. 5th Report. New Forest', Journals of the House of Commons (1803 reprint), Vol. 44, 552-639. 1789.

'State and condition of woods, forests, and land revenue of the Crown and to sell or alienate fee farm and other unimproveable rents. 13th Report. Bere Forest', Journals of the House of Commons (1803 reprint), Vol. 47, 1030-1062. 1792.

'State of timber for, and means by which a better supply may be obtained for the Navy', Journals of the House of Commons (1803 reprint), vol. 33, 365. 1771.

'The First Report of the Surveyor General of His Majesty's Land Revenue, in obedience to the Directions of an Act of Parliament, passed in the Thirty-fourth Year of His Majesty's Reign, intituled, ''An Act for the better Management of the Land Revenue of the Crown, and for the Sale of Fee Farm and other unimproveable Rents"', Journals of the House of Commons (1803 reprint) Vol. 53, 180-229. 1798.

'Timber importation. Petition of master shipwrights, mastmakers, carpenters and joiners of London and Westminster', Journals of the House of Commons (1803 reprint) Vol. 19, 267. 1719.



Printed primary sources


Barnes, G. R., and Owen, J. (eds.) The private papers of John, Earl of Sandwich: First Lord of the   Admiralty, 1771-1782. Navy Records Society, vols. 69, 71, 75, 78, 1938-47.

Baugh, D. (ed.), Naval administration 1715-1750. Navy Records Society, vol. 120, 1977.

Bentham, S., Answers to the Comptroller's Objections, &c. &c. [A reply to the objections raised by the Comptroller of the Navy to an Admiralty report on a plan of reforms in the management of the dockyards.], 1800.

Bonner-Smith, D. (ed.). Letters of Admiral of the Fleet the Earl of St. Vincent whilst First Lord of the Admiralty, 1801-1804. Navy Records Soc. vols. 55, 61. 1922-27. 

Coke, E. and Prynne, W. Brief animadversions on amendments of, & additional explanatory records to, the Fourth part of the Institvtes of the lawes of England: concerning the jvrisdiction of courts, compiled by the late famous lawyer, Sir Edward Cooke … 1669.

Historical Manuscripts Commission. House of Lords MSS, N.S. 7, 1706-8.

Knight, R.J.B. (comp.), Portsmouth dockyard papers 1774-1783: The American war. Portsmouth Record Series, Portsmouth, 1987.

Knight, R.J.B. (comp.), Shipbuilding timber for the British Navy: Parliamentary papers, 1729-1792. Scholars' facsimiles & reprints, vol. 482, Delmar NY, 1993.

Laughton, J.K. (ed.), Letters and papers of Charles, Lord Barham Admiral of the Red Squadron 1758-1813. Navy Records Society, vols. 38 & 39, 1907-11.

Manwood, J. A treatise of the laws of the forest wherein is declared not only those laws, as they are now in force, but also the original and beginning of forests, and what a forest is in its own proper nature, and wherein the same doth differ from a chase, a park or a warren, with all such things as are incident or belonging thereunto, with the several proper terms of art : also a treatise of the pourallee, declaring what pourallee is, how the same first began, what a pouralee-man may do, how he may hunt and use his own pourallee, how far he may pursue and follow after his chase : together with the limits and bounds, as well of the forest, as the pourallee / collected, as well out of the common laws and statutes of this land, as also out of sundry learned ancient authors, and out of the assises of Pickering and Lancaster, by John Manwood ; whereunto are added the statutes of the forest, a treatise of the several offices of verderors, regardors and forestors, and the courts of attachmente.  (1665 edition).

Nichols, T. Observations on the propagation and management of oak trees in general: but more immediately applying to His Majesty's New Forest in Hampshire...for the use of the navy: in a letter addressed to...John, Earl of Chatham. Southampton, 1791.

Nichols, T. Methods proposed for decreasing the consumption of timber in the navy by means of prolonging the duration of our ships of war: with observations on fastening ships with iron knees: to which are added, some general remarks on the present timbered state of the kingdom. Southampton, 1793.

The Oeconomy of his Majesty's Navy Office containing the several duties of the Commissioners and principal Officers thereof. Being the first rules established for them by ... the Duke of York ... and continu'd in force to this day. 1717.



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Online  (as at 30 August 2004)


Report of the Committee Who Were Appointed to Enquire in What Manner His Majesty's Navy May be more effectually Supplied with Naval Stores. 1782.

The Admiralty 1775 to 1783.