[Trinity House.] The TEMORAL GOVERNMENT. [Their Use.]287

[Trinity House.] The TEMORAL GOVERNMENT. [Their Use.]

Their General Courts are accidental, as Occasion and Business requireth. But their constant Weekly Meetings for more ordinary Business are on Wednesdays and Saturdays, where the Master and Wardens, and some of the Brotherhood are present.

Their Courts.

The great Uses and important Services of this Corporation, will appear by some particular Account of the Businesses they are employed about, viz.

Their Use and Service.

That formerly most of the Sea Causes came down hither, which are now generally decided at Common Law; yet sometimes (though more sparingly) such Causes are brought before this Court to judge and conclude.

Sea Causes.

They hear and report such Maritime Causes as come referred hither from the Admiralty Court; though the final Determination thereof belong to the Judge of the Admiralty.

They examine and report to the Navy Board, if desired, the Fitness of Masters for the King's Ships; and certify what Rate the Ships are they take the Charge of. And give Certificates and Testimonials to the said Masters, under the Master and Wardens their Hands.

Masters of the King's Ships.

They Survey the Provisions of the Navy, and whatever else may belong to it.

Provision of the Navy.

They examine, authorize and appoint all Pilots under the Seal of the Corporation, as well for taking charge of the Royal Navy, as other Merchants Ships. They also send Pilots aboard the King's Ships from time to time, as they have Occasions for them.


They bind and enrol Apprentices to the Sea; though many, or most are bound elsewhere now a days.

Apprentices to the Sea.

They examine and certify the Proficiencies and Abilities of the Mathematical Children of the Royal Foundation of King Charles II. in Christ's Church Hospital, before they be bound out.

Mathematic Boys of Christ's-Church.

All Mathematical Teachers have their respective Qualifications and Learning examined and certified, who have been of late appointed aboard by the Lord Admiral, for the teaching of Volunteers that go aboard the King's Ships, which extend but to the Third Rate, and so downwards.

Mathematic Teachers aboard.

They are lyable at an Hours warning to serve the King at Sea, and to attend upon Summons at every Admiralty Sessions.

And further, for the good of Navigation, to them belong the Service and Power of erecting, placing, and maintaining several Light-Houses, Buoys and Beacons, or othr Sea-marks upon the Coasts of England, and in the Mouth of the River of Thames; and to alter and shift the same, as there may be Occasion from time to time, for the better security of Ships, according to an Act of the Eighth of Queen Elizabeth.

Light-houses, Buoys, &c.

For which End the Brethren do frequently Survey the North and South Channels leading to the River, and are watchful to observe the Alteration and Encrease of all such Lands and Shoals as may arise in the Channels, or in any Port or Harbour of this Kingdom; upon signification sometime from the Parliament, sometime from the Lord Admiral, or Commissioners of the Navy, and do accordingly erect their Buoys and Marks.

Survey the Channels.

Moreover, such Places and Towns at a further Distance, that are minded to have Buoys or Light-Houses for their Benefit, and do send to the House for that Purpose, upon their Desire and Contribution thereunto, the House doth place and erect them accordingly.

To them belong the sole Care and Power of ballasting all Ships going out of the River of Thames; which Ballast is to be taken from such Shelves as may be most dangerous for Ships, and for the better cleansing and deepening the River.


Further, upon request of Masters, and Merchants, concerned in the Loading of Ships coming into the River of Thames, they do certify the dead Fraught, or Goods damnified through ill Stowage or the like.

Dead fraught, Goods damaged.

Lastly, they give Licence to poor aged and maimed Mariners to row upon the River of Thames for their Livelyhood, exclusively of the Company of Watermen.

Licence to row.

After the Maintenance of their Buoys, Seamarks, &c. and other necessary Expences of the Corporation, the Remainder of their Revenue is applied wholly to the Relief of poor decayed Seamen, their Widows and Orphans, and none other.

Their Relief of poor Seamen.

They have eighty seven Almes Houses at Deptford and Mile-end: all built in a manner since the Restoration; wherein are harboured and maintained the like number of such, being poor decayed Masters or Pilots, and their Widows, and none else; at the monthly Allowance of 12, 16, and the Governours 21s. besides new broad Cloth given them every other Year; and Coals for Firing every Year.

Two Chaplains are likewise provided and payed by the Corporation, to read Prayers twice a Week or oftner to each Company of Almes People in their respective Chappels.

Besides whom, they relieve by monthly Pensions upwards of two Thousand other poor Seamen and their Widows; allowing some more, some less, according to their Necessity.

Relieve 2000 Persons, and more.

Which charitable Contributions in the whole amount to between 5000 and 6000l. per Annum, with some Repairs.

Their great Charities reach also further to all accidental poor Seafaring Men, or their Wives and Widows, whom they are satisfied to be Objects of Commiseration by reason of any Misfortunes of the Sea, whom they every Wednesday and Saturday relieve out of their Poors Box, which they have therefore for that Purpose always at hand. It is made of Brass, with two Keys, whereof the Master keepeth one; given by John Wodecote Master, Anno 1597, as is inscribed upon it; as also these three Sentences to the same import, in English, Dutch and French, viz. Remember the Poor. Ghedenct den Armen. Ayes Souvenance du Pouvre. That all those Nations to whom this Box should upon Occasion be offered by this Corporation, might be excited to bestow their Charity. So that if any Seamen hath been cast away at Sea, or are to travail to some distant Place or County to their own Dwelling, or are fallen Sick or the like, and bring good Testimonials thereof, they are ever relieved with Money, more or less, according to the Discretion of the Master, Wardens, and the rest of the Elder Brothers. But Christmas especially is a time that this Charity is most largely and universally distributed to all that come for an Almes, and bring Certificates either from Masters of Ships, or other substantial Persons of good Credit, that they are proper Objects of Charity. At Christmas 1705, they expended in this charitable way of Contribution above 200l. whereof twelve Hundred and more partook.

Accidental Poor.

Poors Box.

Their Benefits and Revenues (whereby they are able to do all this) ariseth from Light-money, Buoys, Beaconage, Ballastage, and from the Benefactions of the Brethren and others; which are contingent, and so no certain State to be made thereof.

Their Revenue.

In consideration of the weighty and necessary Services to the Publick from this eminent Corporation, and that they, their Ships, and Servants, are to be at his Majesty's Call; they have several Privileges and Immunities granted them; as to be exempted from serving in the Militia on Land