Captains, Trinity House, and other Gentlemen, or some of them; To meet together
time to time, for the executing of this Commission. As, to consider of proper
to be observed in executing the same, by empowering Seven or more of them
one or more to be of the Privy Council, of the Commissioners of the Treasury,
call others to their Aid and Assistance, and to appoint and constitute
and to call to them the King's Surveyor General of his Works, and other Artists,
consider what Part of the Structures and Buildings now standing, will be unfit
serviceable for the Hospital; and in what manner such of the present Structure
be thought fit to stand may be fitted and prepared for Use and Service: Likewise
prepare Models of the Building, with such Schemes and Draughts as may best
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
Statutes, Constitutions and Orders, as may be proper for it; and to receive the
Yearly Allowance towards this Building; and also all Gifts and Subscriptions,
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
in their Places, or by such Ways and Means as they should think fit. And 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,
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
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
Directions are given the Commissioners, for the speedier and more honest and
Execution and Establishment of this charitable Work.
Evelyn, First Treasurer.
For the carrying on and perfecting this Work, the King gave 2000l. Yearly,
of the Exchequer, on the Feast of the Birth of our Lord, or at other times as
Commissioners should think convenient.
After this Commission, the Parliament made an Act for the more effectual
this excellent and royal Design, and bringing it to perfection, and providing a
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
and register himself, for the Service of his Majesty, his Heirs, and Successors
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:
these so Registred to be ready upon Orders, issuing from the Lord High Admiral,
time to time in in each Year, for the Service of the Fleet: That these thus
being above the Number of 30000) should receive the Bounty of Forty Shillings
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
Life, with convenient Lodging, Meat, Drink, Clothing, and other Necessaries;
Certificate of the Captain, Master, and Surgeon of the Ship, under their Hands,
being disabled for future Service, unto the Governor of the Hospital. And the
of such as should be slain or drowned in the Sea Service; and their Children,
of Ability to provide comfortably for themselves, should be received into the
and there be provided for, and the Children have Education, according as the
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,
any of his Ships, should allow out of his Wages 6d. per mensem, for the better
of the said Hospital, and to augment the Revenues thereof."
Again, by an Act the year after, viz. 1697. It was declared and enacted,
Person registred should enjoy the Benefit of Greenwich Hospital, and be received
it in Succession one after another, as the Person Registred shall be and appear
Course and Order of time to be upon the Register Book; and the Widows and
of the Persons longest registred, always to be preferred. And that such Seamen,
are 50 Years of Age, if they have served in any of his Majesties Ships for Seven
before, might register themselves."
They had about 10 or 12 Years ago, admitted into the Hospital an 100 poor
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
Year allotted now to bear the Expences of the Hospital. The whole Revenue
from the Seaman's Pay amounts to 14000l. per Annum; that is, reckoning 6d. a
out of every Seaman's Wages. And the Captains and Officers pay no more. It
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
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
disabled in the Service of the Navy, should be received in there, and provided
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
Benefit of the said Hospital, might attend at the Admiralty Office on Friday the
the said Month.
An Hundred disabled Seamen received, An. 1705.
John De la Fountain, deceased, An. 1708. an honourable Gentleman of
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
and finishing the Building of the said Royal Hospital, for Relief of the
disabled Seamen; ac-