On This Day in Trinity House History – 15 June


An Act of Parliament, the surveying of ships, income for London’s poor, work at the Ballast office and rent collecting in Southwark

Trinity House Court Minute:

“Ordered, That ColI. Thomas Middleton, Capt. John Limbery, Capt. Brian Harrison and Capt. Thos White doe take Mr. Ward with them to Serjeant Maynard to advise with him for the procuring of an Act of Parliament for the confirming of the purchase the Corporacon had taken from Mr. Christopher Merrick.

Ordered, That Captain Daniel Gates, Captain Tho. Harman, Captain William Haddock & Captain James Talbott doe take care of the surveying of all ships as well English as Strangers and to present every Saturday to the Wardens as well the Burthen as the number of the said ships that shall come into the said River of Thames.

Ordered, That Capt. Edmund Grove and Capt. John Proud doe take the care of delivering out the Junck to poor people, and also to receive the Oakum from them paying them for their labour And further to sell the said Oakum when occasion presents, and to take a young man to assist them.

Ordered, That the foure Wardens and their Deputies together wth. Sir William Batten and Captain Brian Harrison doe take the care of the Ballasting business and Refunders, and that they shall take advise and Counsell therein as they shall thinke fit and necefsary wch. charge is to be allowed by the Corporacon.

Capt. Thos. White was desired to goe along wth. the Clerke to receive the Rents of the Corporacon in Southwarke, and to observe what repairs are needfull.”

Plenty of work for the Elder Brethren of Trinity House to be getting on with, then.

The purchase from Christopher Merrick referred to in the first order is the land at Southwark that the Corporation’s Newington Estate would be later built on; the rents paid by the tenants of that estate would be a great benefit to the Corporation’s charitable works from that time to the present day. Today, the area has been refurbished and is now known as Trinity Village, a leafy, tranquil residential enclave in an historical conservation area a stone’s throw from the vibrant and increasingly fashionable London SE1.

The manual processing of “junck” (junk) for oakum refers to the old practice of untwisting lengths of used ship’s rope (junk) to salvage reusable materials.

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