Greenwich Hospital. 216

Greenwich Hospital.

Captains, Trinity House, and other Gentlemen, or some of them; To meet together from time to time, for the executing of this Commission. As, to consider of proper Methods to be observed in executing the same, by empowering Seven or more of them (whereof one or more to be of the Privy Council, of the Commissioners of the Treasury, &c.) to call others to their Aid and Assistance, and to appoint and constitute Sub-Committees, and to call to them the King's Surveyor General of his Works, and other Artists, to consider what Part of the Structures and Buildings now standing, will be unfit or not serviceable for the Hospital; and in what manner such of the present Structure as shall be thought fit to stand may be fitted and prepared for Use and Service: Likewise to prepare Models of the Building, with such Schemes and Draughts as may best explain the same; and to present such Models and Schemes to the King for his Royal Approbation. Likewise to prepare a Charter or Charters of Foundation, and also such Statutes, Constitutions and Orders, as may be proper for it; and to receive the King's Yearly Allowance towards this Building; and also all Gifts and Subscriptions, Sums of Money, Goods, or Chattels, Manors, Lands, Rents, or other Matters or Things whatsoever, that any other well disposed Persons shall contribute towards it.

And that the King's Intentions in the Premisses might be the better known, the Commissioners were moreover to cause publick Notification of these Intents to be made in their Places, or by such Ways and Means as they should think fit. And to certify to the Commissioners of the Treasury, the Names of Persons that shall subscribe, or contribute, with the Sums of Money, Goods, Chattels, &c. so given.

John Evelyn, Senior, Esq; is nominated and appointed in these Letters Patents, to be Treasurer and Receiver General of all the Money, or other Profits subscribed or contributed for the Building, Furnishing or Endowing of the said Hospital. For which he is to have 200l. Yearly. And upon his Death or Removal, the Commissioners to appoint one or more fit Persons for Treasurer. And divers other particular Orders and Directions are given the Commissioners, for the speedier and more honest and effectual Execution and Establishment of this charitable Work.

Evelyn, First Treasurer.

For the carrying on and perfecting this Work, the King gave 2000l. Yearly, payable out of the Exchequer, on the Feast of the Birth of our Lord, or at other times as the Commissioners should think convenient.

After this Commission, the Parliament made an Act for the more effectual forwarding this excellent and royal Design, and bringing it to perfection, and providing a sufficient Endowment of it. The Sum of which Act was, "That every able Mariner, Seaman, Waterman, Fisherman, Lighterman, Bargeman, Keelman, or Seafaring Man, being above the Age of Eighteen, and under the Age of Fifty, that should be willing to enter and register himself, for the Service of his Majesty, his Heirs, and Successors in the Fleet, giving his Christian and Surname, Age and Place of Abode, unto an Officer appointed by the King for the Registring of Seamen at the Navy Office in London: And these so Registred to be ready upon Orders, issuing from the Lord High Admiral, from time to time in in each Year, for the Service of the Fleet: That these thus entred (not being above the Number of 30000) should receive the Bounty of Forty Shillings Yearly over and above their Pay; and besides many other Privileges and Benefits there mentioned, granted to these Registred Seamen, above others not Registred, should be admitted and placed in the said Hospital, and be provided each, during his Life, with convenient Lodging, Meat, Drink, Clothing, and other Necessaries; upon a Certificate of the Captain, Master, and Surgeon of the Ship, under their Hands, of their being disabled for future Service, unto the Governor of the Hospital. And the Widows of such as should be slain or drowned in the Sea Service; and their Children, being not of Ability to provide comfortably for themselves, should be received into the Hospital, and there be provided for, and the Children have Education, according as the Hospital should be capable to receive them, and as the Revenues thereof would extend."

Settled by Act of Parliament.

A Register of Seamen.

"And for the providing a sufficient Revenue for this Hospital, it was enacted in the same Act, That every Seaman that should serve his Majesty, his Heirs, and Successors, in any of his Ships, should allow out of his Wages 6d. per mensem, for the better Support of the said Hospital, and to augment the Revenues thereof."

Again, by an Act the year after, viz. 1697. It was declared and enacted, "That each Person registred should enjoy the Benefit of Greenwich Hospital, and be received into it in Succession one after another, as the Person Registred shall be and appear in Course and Order of time to be upon the Register Book; and the Widows and Children of the Persons longest registred, always to be preferred. And that such Seamen, who are 50 Years of Age, if they have served in any of his Majesties Ships for Seven Years before, might register themselves."

They had about 10 or 12 Years ago, admitted into the Hospital an 100 poor decayed Seamen; now the Number of them is increased to 400. Who have a common Table, and eat together, and have about 20l. a Year allowed each. It is said that there is 6000l. a Year allotted now to bear the Expences of the Hospital. The whole Revenue coming in from the Seaman's Pay amounts to 14000l. per Annum; that is, reckoning 6d. a Month out of every Seaman's Wages. And the Captains and Officers pay no more. It would have given more Content, and have much advanced the Revenue, if the Tax had been laid with more Equality. This stately Hospital is designed to contain 2000 Men.

It was reckon'd divers Years ago to have cost about 50000l. in Building; and may cost 15000l. more, before it be finished.

In the Month of December, Anno 1705, it was resolved, That an Hundred Seamen more, besides those already taken into this Royal Hospital; such namely, as had been disabled in the Service of the Navy, should be received in there, and provided for. And his Royal Highness, Lord High Admiral of England, commanded Notice to be given thereof in the Gazette; That all such Persons, whose Condition intitled them to the Benefit of the said Hospital, might attend at the Admiralty Office on Friday the 28th of the said Month.

An Hundred disabled Seamen received, An. 1705.

John De la Fountain, deceased, An. 1708. an honourable Gentleman of Leicestershire, gave to this Royal Hospital 2000l. Mr. Osbaldston, late of Highgate, deceased, bequeathed about 22000l. to this and another charitable Fund, viz. For the Augmentation of small Vicarages.

Gifts to this Hospital by De la Fountain, and Osbaldston.

For a List of the present Commissioners, Directors and Officers of this Hospital, I refer the Reader to the Present State of Great Britain, set forth, Anno 1716.

Q. Anne issued out a Commission, Dated Apr. 8. Anno Reg. tertio, for the carrying on and finishing the Building of the said Royal Hospital, for Relief of the indigent and disabled Seamen; ac-

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