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1685 - Plan to Save Navy

Early in November Samuel Pepys requested Sir Anthony Deane to propose a plan to save the Navy. His report was that out of a total of 179 ships of all sizes 142 were unfit for service. He proposed that for regular quarterly payments amounting to £400,000 (less than was currently being wasted by the Navy Board) he would repair all ships, equip a peacetime guard of 4,000 men in winter and 6,000 in summer. Financing was to be spread over 3 years during which time he would build two ships a year and complete three new 4th rates on the stocks. Deane, with a family of 15 children asked for a salary of £1,000 a year with was eventually approved after the Lord Treasurer tried to get him to accept £500 a year. A Royal Warrant was issued and the Dockyards were galvanised into activity completing the whole programme months ahead of schedule.

£12,185 voted by Parliament to the spent on a new dock, wharves and storehouses in the Dockyard. One dry dock repaired and a further dry dock added together with 20 new storehouses and additional wharves. (See 1689). King James I inspected the Dockyard accompanied by Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn.

It was reported that 32 Men of War in harbour but unfit to sail. 18 Frigates hastily made ready for sea to trap the Duke of Monmouth in Lyme Bay.

Navy consisted of 179 ships and lesser craft of 103,558 tons in total. Only 37 ships were fit for service.

Camber Bastion and magazine built at about this date. (Site of new housing development in Oyster Street).