Treasurer of the Navy

The Treasurer of the Navy[1] originally called Treasurer of Marine Causes[2] also originally called Paymaster of the Navy[3] was a civilian officer of the Royal Navy, he was one of the principal commissioners of the Navy Board responsible for naval finance[4] from 1524 to 1832. The treasurer was based at the Navy Pay Office.

Office of the Treasurer of the Navy
Navy Board flag
Department of the Admiralty
Member ofNavy Board (1546-1832)
Reports toFirst lord of the Admiralty
NominatorFirst lord of the Admiralty
AppointerPrime Minister
Subject to formal approval by the King-in-Council
Term lengthNot fixed (typically 3–7 years)
Inaugural holderWilliam Gonson


Originally established in 1524 the first post holder was William Gonson he held the office for twenty years until 1544.[5] Although a member of the board his office was semi-autonomous. The office-holder was responsible for the direction and control of naval finance of the Royal Navy. The office was a political appointment and frequently was held by up-and-coming young politicians who would later go on to hold more important positions. Before 1832 all accounts were dealt with by a number of different offices and officials. The Treasurer of the Navy originated during the reign of Henry VIII. He was the senior member of the Navy Board responsible for all Navy accounts, he gradually withdrew during the seventeenth century from the board's day-to-day affairs and his office, and the Navy Pay Office, came to be regarded as entirely separate from the Navy Office. The Treasurer of the Navy survived the re-organisational changes of 1832, but his office was abolished in 1835 when his duties were transferred to the Paymaster General's' Office.

Treasurers of the Navy: 15241835


Service Name Notes
1524October 1544 Vice-Admiral, Sir William Gonson [7][8]
October 1544December 1545 Captain John Wynter merchant and sea-captain of Bristol[9]
25 Apr 15468 Jul 1549 Robert Legge
8 Jul 154918 Nov 1577 Benjamin Gonson[10]
18 Nov 157726 Nov 1577 Benjamin Gonson and John Hawkins
26 Nov 157712 Nov 1595 John Hawkins Knighted 26 July 1588
22 Dec 159826 Apr 1604 Fulk Greville[11]
26 Apr 160411 May 1618 Sir Robert Mansell
11 May 16185 Apr 1627 Sir William Russell created baronet 12 March 1627
5 Apr 162721 Jan 1630 Sackville Crowe created baronet 8 July 1627
16301639 Sir William Russell
1639-1642Sir William Russell and Henry Vane
1642-1646Sir William Russell and Sir John Penington (Royalist)
1646-1654Sir William Russell (Royalist)
1645-1650Sir Henry Vane (Parliamentary)
1648–1650Richard Fanshawe (Royalist)
1651-1660Richard Hutchinson (Parliamentary)
1660-1667Sir George Carteret
1667-1668Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Anglesey
1668-1671Sir Thomas Osborne and Sir Thomas de Littelton, Bt
1671-1673Sir Thomas Osborne
1673-1681Edward Seymour
1681-1689Anthony Carey, 5th Viscount Falkland
1689-1699Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford
1699-1710Sir Thomas de Littleton
1710-1711Robert Walpole
1711-1714Charles Caesar
1714-1718John Aislabie
1718-1720Richard Hampden
1720-1724George Byng, 1st Viscount Torrington
1724-1734Pattee Byng, 2nd Viscount Torrington
1734-1742Arthur Onslow
1742Thomas Clutterbuck
1742-1743Sir Charles Wager
1743-1744Sir John Rushout, 4th Baronet
1744-1749George Bubb Dodington
1749-1754Henry Legge
1754-1756George Grenville
1756George Bubb Dodington
1756-1762George Grenville
1762-1765William Wildman Barrington, 2nd Viscount Barrington
1765-1770Richard Howe, 4th Viscount Howe
1770-1777Sir Gilbert Elliot, 3rd Bt
1777-1782Welbore Ellis
1782Isaac Barré
1782-1783Henry Dundas
1783-1784Charles Townshend
1784-1800Henry Dundas Except 1 January 1786 - 18 August 1802
1800-1801Dudley Ryder
1801-1803Charles Bragge
1803-1804George Tierney
1804-1806George Canning
1806-1807Richard Brinsley Sheridan
1807-1818George Rose
1818-1823Frederick John Robinson
1823-1827William Huskisson
1827-1828Charles Grant
1828-1830William Vesey Fitzgerald
1830Thomas Frankland Lewis
1830-1834Charles Poulett Thomson
1834-1835William Lowther, Viscount Lowther
1835-1836Sir Henry Parnell

Departments and offices under Treasurer



  1. Mackenzie, Sir George (1 January 1821). "The Royal naval and military calendar: and national record for 1821". Google Books. Printed for the author. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  2. Knighton, C. S.; Loades, David (2016). Elizabethan Naval Administration. Routledge. p. 5. ISBN 9781317145035.
  3. Knighton, C. S.; Loades, D. M. (2011). The Navy of Edward VI and Mary I. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 570. ISBN 9781409418474.
  4. Archives, The National. "Navy Board: Navy Pay Office: Treasurer's Out-Letters". National Archives, 1807-1830, ADM 15. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  5. 1899-1995., Miller, Helen Hill, (1985). Captains from Devon: the great Elizabethan seafarers who won the oceans for England. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. p. 33. ISBN 9780912697277.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  6. Sainty, J.C. "Navy Treasurer c. 1546-1836 Institute of Historical Research". University of London, January 2003.
  7. Knighton, C. S.; Loades, D. M. (2011). The Navy of Edward VI and Mary I. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 570. ISBN 9781409418474.
  8. Miller, Helen Hill (1985). Captains from Devon : the great Elizabethan seafarers who won the oceans for England. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. p. 33. ISBN 9780912697277.
  9. Knighton, C. S.; Loades, D. M. (2011). The Navy of Edward VI and Mary I. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 570. ISBN 9781409418474.
  10. Bennell, John (2004). "Gonson, William (d. 1544)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/47400. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  11. "Greville, Fulke (GRVL568F)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  13. Cock, Randolph; Rodger, N. A. M. "A Guide to the Naval Records in the National Archives" (PDF). University of London. p. 221. Retrieved 8 January 2019.


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