On This Day in Trinity House History – 28 February

1720

The Corporation inherits the Goxhill Estate

The land comprising the Lincolnshire estate came to the Corporation under the Will of Captain Robert Sandes, with a Trust for poor seamen, their widows and orphans, maintained by the Corporation.

The estate now totals 565 acres of farms and outlying pastures, and neighbouring village Goxhill.

On This Day in Trinity House History – 26 February

1745

The Elder Brethren order an inspection of the Naze Tower

Trinity House Court Minute:

“Pursuant to the last court of 26 Jan. the board considered of alterations as there proposed of the Beacon at the Naze Land, and a letter was ordered to be sent to Mr. Richman a carpenter (and the Overseer of ye Lights) at Harwich to survey the said Beacon, to send up its dimensions, and to signify if it is in good condition, or ruinous, if ever it was whitened, and of what colour it is now.”

Naze Tower, Walton-on-the-Naze. This distinctive landmark was built in 1721 by Trinity House as a beacon for shipping.

Naze Tower, Walton-on-the-Naze. This distinctive landmark was built in 1721 by Trinity House as a beacon for shipping.

On This Day in Trinity House History – 24 February

1683

Admiral George Legge, 1st Baron Dartmouth, speaks up for Trinity House

Trinity House Court Minute:

“The Court was Informed That on the 16th instant when the Deputy Master & some of the Brethren had been before the King & Councell in vindication of their Report about Tinmouth Light after they were gone out of the Councell Chamber the Lord of Dartmouth, Master of the Ordnance a Nobleman of great knowledge in Sea Affairs stood up & prayed his Majesties Leave to make a motion That he did humbly conceive would be much for his Majesties Service (to witt) That his Majestie was continually troubled with Suits of Private persons for Erecting Lights to their private advantage. It was therefore to be wish’d no Encouragement might be given to such Suits, he being of opinion that the benefit of all Lighthouses Should go to the Poor aged & decayed Seamen, and to that end the Trinity-house ought to have the sole management of Erecting Lighthouses”

George Legge, 1st Baron Dartmouth, by the British printmaker Peter Vandrebanc. Engraving. 489 mm x 349 mm. Courtesy of the British Museum, London.

George Legge, 1st Baron Dartmouth, by the British printmaker Peter Vandrebanc. Engraving. 489 mm x 349 mm. Courtesy of the British Museum, London.

On This Day in Trinity House History – 18 February

1659

The Elder Brethren put an end to extravagant dinners

Trinity House Court Minute:

“After this day the Clerk is to provide for the Corporation three dishes of good meat and not to exceed unless upon Quarter Day or upon special occasions.”

The above came, much in the same way as the forfeiture of 2d. for pipe smoking during Court, as a way of stamping out the bad habits that had been brought into the house when a Parliament-appointed committee governed the activities of the Corporation during the Interregnum, and had allowed standards and manners to lapse between 1648 and 1659. Presumably the Parliament-appointed committee had indulged in somewhat extravagant dinners in the absence of the Elder Brethren.

For more on the disruption caused by the aftermath of the English Civil War, see On This Day in Trinity House History – 2 February.

On This Day in Trinity House History – 17 February

1958

First issue of Trinity House’s Flash Magazine

After the displacement and change of the war years and the great surge of progress and activity that came thereafter, it became necessary for the Corporation to create an in-house journal to keep its far-flung workforce informed. Flash magazine was first typed up in 1958 on folded sheets, providing news, entertainment and notices for the services’ numerous goings-on and staff initiatives.

Deputy Master Sir Gerald Curteis’ foreword for the inaugural 1958 issue read:

FLASH is, I am sure a good idea. Its aim, very briefly, is to help you towards a better understanding and knowledge of our Service, to interest and I hope, in places, to amuse you.

It is not, of course, an original idea: many Organisations have their own Journals; but it is the first time in our long history that the Trinity House has made this venture.

Ours is a Service of great historical, practical and technical interest, but its nature requires the wide dispersion of its personnel. 1700 of us serve the Corporation in various ways and places – many leading austere, lonely and disciplined lives at isolated Stations on and around our Coasts. But, separated though we are, the activities of everyone of us are directed to one end – Service to the Mariner, and the object of this Magazine is to try, as it were, to bring us more together and to remind us that we belong to one Service.

We must wonder from time to time what is happening elsewhere in the Service and at the Trinity House, and vvhat is being done to keep everything up-to-date, improve amenities, and so on. FLASH will give this information. I welcome it, and wish it great success.”

On This Day in Trinity House History – 15 February

1662

Samuel Pepys sworn a Younger Brother of Trinity House

From Samuel Pepys’ diary:

“With the two Sir Williams [Penn and Batten] to the Trinity House; and there in their society had the business debated of Sir N Crisp‘s sasse [a sluice or floodgate] at Deptford. After dinner I was sworn a Younger Brother; Sir W Rider being Deputy Master for my Lord of Sandwich; and after I was sworn, all the Elder Brothers shake me by the hand; it is their custom it seems.”

Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys

On This Day in Trinity House History – 13 February

1745

The Elder Brethren put in an order for buoy chain

Trinity House Court Minute:

“Notice having been given for proposals to be offered to the board this day for making buoy chains in the following manner:-

That every chain of twelve fathoms long shall not exceed 4ct. 2qrs. 0lbs
That the fidd plate and forelock shall not exceed 56 lbs.
That the shackle shall not exceed 16 lbs.
That there not be less than 42 links in a fathom.
and that there shall be four swivels in a twelve fathom chain,
and all the Iron that shall be made use of be first Ore Grounds Iron, particularly marked (L),
Three tenders received, one at five pence a pound and two at sixpence, and the former was accepted.”

Buoy chain testing on THV Galatea copyright Trinity House

Buoy chain testing on THV Galatea copyright Trinity House