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Some account of the

and of the rise and progress of the
commercial Navy of Great Britain. 1834

SOURCE: The Saturday Magazine, No. 117. Supplement, April, 1834

The Trinity House is invested by its charter, (which was extended and confirmed by James the Second, in 1685,) with the power of erecting light-houses, and other sea-marks, and of fixing buoys on the coasts of this island ;— and all the light-houses, floating-lights, &c., except harbour-lights, from the Farn Islands off Northumberland, along the eastern, southern, and western coasts of England, to the extremity of North Wales, are the property of the corporation, with the exception of the light-houses at Tynemouth, Spurn (shore), Winterton and Orford, Harwich, Foreland, Dungeness, Longships, Smalls, Skerries, &c., which are partly public, and partly private property, The Trinity House is also invested, amongst other powers connected with maritime affairs, with those of regulating and licensing pilots for the Port of London; the examination of the mathematical scholars at Christ's Hospital, intended for the navy, and of the Masters of His Majesty's ships; of settling the rates of pilotage, and of fining unqualified persons either commanding or piloting ships; of the management and emoluments of the Ballast Office, for clearing and deepening the Thames, by taking up a certain quantity of ballast, for the supply of all ships that sail out of the river, at fixed rates; and of granting licenses to poor or infirm seamen, not free of the city, to navigate on the Thames. The revenues from these and other sources are extremely large; and may be computed to amount to at least 160,000l. per annum. A portion of this sum is devoted to charitable purposes; as independently of the maintenance of two Hospitals at Deptford, and 28 Alms' Houses; it is said, that nearly 3000 decayed seamen, or the widows and orphans of seamen, are annually relieved by the Corporation. The Old Trinity House was situated in Water Lane, near the Custom House, but this being found inconvenient, the present extensive and elegant structure of which we give an engraving, page 165, was erected in 1795, on Great Tower Hill. The elevation is of Portland stone, in the purest style of Grecian architecture, and the open and advantageous situation, gives full effect to the building, which is one of the finest in the metropolis.

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