Chatham Dockyard, 1815-1865: The Industrial Transformation, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Chatham Dockyard, 1815-1865

The Industrial Transformation, 1st Edition

Edited by Philip MacDougall


428 pages

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Paperback: 9781911423836
pub: 2019-04-30
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pub: 2009-05-01
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By the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the seven home dockyards of the British Royal Navy employed a workforce of nearly 16,000 men and some women. On account of their size, dockyards add much to our understanding of developing social processes as they pioneered systems of recruitment, training and supervision of large-scale workforces. From 1815-1865 the make-up of those workforces changed with metal working skills replacing wood working skills as dockyards fully harnessed the use of steam and made the conversion from constructing ships of timber to those of iron. The impact on industrial relations and on the environment of the yards was enormous. Concentrating on the yard at Chatham, the book examines how the day-to-day running of a major centre of industrial production changed during this period of transition. The Admiralty decision to build at Chatham the Achilles, the first iron ship to be constructed in a royal dockyard, placed that yard at the forefront of technological change. Had Chatham failed to complete the task satisfactorily, the future of the royal dockyards might have been very different.


’It is possible to dip into individual topics, as well as read complete chapters more systematically. Overall the book gives an excellent insight into a neglected but worthwhile topic.’ EH.NET ’All in all, the volume is exceptionally well edited, and makes a substantial contribution to the industrial history of southeast England.’ The Northern Mariner

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction; Towards Achilles: shipbuilding and repair; Improving the facilities; Manufacturing and the move to steam power; Storage, security and materials; Economics, custom and the workforce; Local management; Central management; Appendices; Documents and sources; Index.

About the Editor

Dr Philip MacDougall is a leading naval dockyard historian. He frequently contributes to a range of journals on the subject and is the author of a number of books looking at both specific dockyards and the role of the yards in more general terms. His research is chronologically and geographically wide-ranging, with a great deal of his current work directed towards the naval shore-based facilities of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires together with those of other Mediterranean seapowers. Dr MacDougall isa founder and originating member of the Naval Dockyards Society.

About the Series

Navy Records Society Publications

The Navy Records Society was established in 1893 to print unpublished manuscripts and rare works of interest to naval historians and enthusiasts. To date it has published nearly 150 scholarly volumes, each edited and introduced by a leading authority in the appropriate field. The volumes form a unique and invaluable resource for serving officers, scholars and all those interested in the Naval History of Great Britain and the development of naval power in the Modern World.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Military / General