Naval re­sources

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In the years be­fore he went mad, our long­est-serv­ing king, Ge­orge III, was in no two minds about the best tac­tic to pre­serve Bri­tain’s over­seas pos­ses­sions: main­tain­ing a su­pe­rior navy. Ho­ra­tio Nelson joined the Royal Navy in 1771, and proved his salt dur­ing the French Revo­lu­tion­ary Wars from 1793. Ser­vice records of of­fi­cers who took to the seas from 1756 are held at TNA and can be found at na­tion­alarchives.gov.uk/ help-with-your-re­search/ re­search-guides/royal-navy­of­fi­cers-ser­vice-records-17561931 and on Ances­try.co.uk, which has also digi­tised medal rolls from 1793. Pen­sion records from 1789 for Royal Navy rat­ings and Green­wich Hos­pi­tal School ap­pli­ca­tions for their chil­dren can be searched by name at na­tion­alarchives.gov.uk/ help-with-your-re­search/ re­search-guides/royal-navyrat­ings-be­fore-1853.

Dur­ing the 18th cen­tury, Wil­liam Pitt the Younger in­creased taxes to raise funds for fre­quent mil­i­tary cam­paigns against France. Death duty was in­tro­duced from 1796 as a form of in­her­i­tance tax. In­dexes to reg­is­ters at TNA con­tain­ing in­for­ma­tion about ben­e­fi­cia­ries are on na­tion­alarchives.gov. uk/help-with-your-re­search/ re­search-guides/death­du­ties-1796-1903 and also at Find­my­past.co.uk. Win­dows were taxed through­out the cen­tury, and lists of pay­ments may be found in county ar­chives.

A land tax was in­tro­duced in 1692 specif­i­cally to fi­nance war with our French neigh­bours,

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