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Deptford Yard

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Lat. 51&deg 29' N — Long. 00&deg 03' W, United Kingdom, England
Deptford Yard was one of the royal dockyards established to build and repair ships of the Royal Navy.

Deptford Yard was one of the royal dockyards established to build and repair ships of the Royal Navy. Founded in 1513, in the reign of Henry VIII, it was located on the south bank on the Thames. In 1742, Deptford became the headquarters of the Victualling Board, which had been established in 1684 to secure provisions to Royal Naval Vessels. Before this, private contractors supplied food and drink to vessels.

Deptford was chosen because it was about six and half kilometres downstream of London Bridge. Foodstuffs and stores bought at the capital’s markets could easily be transported to the yard by barge or wagon. Deptford was also conveniently situated for transporting supplies to dockyards further downstream, and to ships anchored on the Nore bank at the mouth of the Thames some eighty kilometres away.

In Cook’s day, the Deptford Yard had two docks that could repair up to three vessels at a time. However, victualling was the main function of the Deptford yard. During the course of the eighteenth century, naval wars resulted in the building of larger, more heavily armed vessels. Sailing these warships up river to Deptford was difficult because of the meandering course of the Thames, strong tides and what were often unfavorable winds. By the early 1770s, silting in the Thames had made it impossible for vessels larger than frigates to dock safely at the Deptford yard.

Related Entries for Deptford Yard
Parties: Royal Navy

Cultural Artefacts: Malt Wort

Natural Phenomena: Scurvy

People: McBride, David (1720 - 1769)

Places: England

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Prepared by: Turnbull, P.
Created: 2 October 2001
Modified: 9 December 2003

Published by South Seas, 1 February 2004
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: Paul.Turnbull@jcu.edu.au
Prepared by: Paul Turnbull
Updated: 28 June 2004
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-biogs-P000007

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