Original documents on the Naval career of Alfred Whitehouse 1847–1907
Including two original commissions, 1850 & 1858. Whitehouse became the Paymaster-in-Chief for the Navy
This is a collection of original and contemporary documents, concerning the career of the Paymaster-in-Chief of the Royal Navy, Sir Alfred Whitehouse.
Biography (from a later handwritten document in the collection): "The late Alfred Whitehouse Paymaster-in-Chief joined the Royal Navy in 1840, serving in the 'Winchester' flagship of the Cape Station 1842 to 1846. In 1856 he was appointed Paymaster of the 'Euryalus', the first ship in which HRH Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh served afloat. In 1861 he was apptd Paymaster of the Coast Guard ship 'Colossus', and in 1863 was made secretary to the Controller General of the Coast Guard. In 1869 on large reductions being made in that office, Mr Whitehouse was apptd to the 'Bristol', but before he could join received orders to return to the Admiralty and was placed in charge of the correspondence of the Coast Guard. In 1875 the department was re-established & Mr Whitehouse was reappointed secretary in which position he again served with HRH The Duke of Edinburgh who was Admiral Superintendent from 1876 to 1879. Mr Whitehouse who retired from the Royal Navy Reserve Office in 1885 after 22 years connection with it, was himself the son of a naval officer, and had two sons in the Royal Navy, and a grandson at present a midshipman, His second son, Sir George Whitehouse, KCB, being knighted on the successful comlpetion of the Uganda Railway".
The collection consists of:
Alfred Whitehouse's original Royal Navy Commission dated 2nd October 1850, appointing him Paymaster and Purser aboard the Sloop Scout, with Admiralty signatures.
Alfred Whitehouse's original Royal Navy Commission dated 22nd February 1858, appointing him Paymaster 3rd Class to HMS Euryalus, with Admiralty signatures.
A handwritten record of service on a Navy form, signed off by Wilfred Medd for the Accountant General of the Navy. The ships he served on between 1840 and 1885 are listed as: Victory, Sapphire, Atholl, Winchester, Ocean, Madagascar, Scorpion, Grecian, Euryalus, Victory, Fisgard, Colossus, President, Penelope, Hercules, Naval Reserves Office. His rank starts as Boy 2nd Class and rises to Paymaster-in-Chief.
An original handwritten letter from Whitehouse (as Paymaster) giving his opinion on a Navy circular. This is dated 1858/1860 as it was written from HMS Euryalus.
A handwritten copy (contemporary) of a letter dated 1847 from C E Trevelyan from Treasury Chambers acknowledging receipt of a report and expressing the Admiralty's satisfaction with AW's duty. Charles Edward Trevelyan was a civil servant and colonial administrator.
A handwritten copy (contemporary) of a letter dated 1848 from C E Trevelyan from treasury Chambers, again acknowledging receipt of a report and the Admiralty are looking favourably on promotion.
A handwritten copy (contemporary) of a letter from Dublin Castle dated 1848 recommending AW for a position in the Royal Navy. Signed by R J Routh.
An original 1861 Navy document appointing Whitehouse as Paymaster 3rd Class to HMS Colossus.
A typed letter signed, dated 2nd January 1907, from Evan MacGregor at the Admiralty expressing sympathy on the death of Alfred Whitehouse. MacGregor was the Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty from 1884 to 1907.
There are also two empty envelopes, sent, and stamped with official Admiralty marks, and two pieces of family ephemera, a receipt from an undertaker for a funeral, dated 1893, and a hand-drawn design for a memorial showing the top and side elevations, but with no indication who it was meant for.
The Commissions are in good plus condition. The copies of letters have tears to the folds and some age-related tanning, and scattered foxing. The letter from Whitehouse himself is badly torn with a blank segment missing to the lower half of the second sheet and foxed, but with no loss of text. The remaining documents have commensurate with age. Overall, an interesting collection of documents, detailing a Naval career in the Victorian era.
Further photographs are available on request.