Royal Armouries

Ordnance Office Posts

A description of the offices and posts within the Ordnance Office and related departments.

Assistant Clerk

Lowest-ranking clerical officer of the Civil establishment.


Department responsible for recording the administrative business of central government and for producing official documents on its behalf.

Chief Clerk

Deputy-head of one of the Ordnance Office departments.

Civil Establishment of the Ordnance

Permanent non-military employees of the Ordnance Office based at the Tower of London Pall Mall Woolwich or at a home or foreign station.

Clerk of Deliveries

Senior Officer responsible for issuing stores.

Clerk of Ordnance

Senior Officer responsible for the drawing up and auditing all departmental accounts and drafting contracts.

Clerk of the Establishment

Salaried official holding a permanent appointment within the Ordnance Office.

Clerk of the Works

Responsible for the facilities and buildings management of Ordnance Office and stores accommodation at Tower.

Constable of the Tower

The monarch’s direct representative at the Tower of London.


Department primarily responsible for collecting royal revenues and auditing financial accounts of royal officials and public servants.


Craftsman responsible for carrying out minor repairs cleaning and oiling firearms.

Great Wardrobe

Principal medieval department responsible for the storage and expenditure of the royal household until the early fourteenth century.


Responsible for domestic management in Ordnance Offices at the Tower and at Pall Mall.

Junior Clerk

Middle-ranking clerical officer.

Lieutenant General of Ordnance

Deputy-head of the Ordnance Office and officer responsible for Royal Military Academy and Royal Laboratory.

List of Candidates

List of prospective candidates for employment maintained on behalf of the Master General of Ordnance.

Master General of Ordnance

Head of the Ordnance Office and commanding officer of the Military Establishment of the Ordnance Office appointed by royal letters patent.

Military Establishment of the Ordnance

Members of the Royal Artillery Royal Engineers and Gentlemen Cadets (Royal Military Academy).


Responsible for general facilities management in Tower Offices and at Pall Mall.

Ordnance Labourer

General support staff assigned to different Ordnance departments.

Ordnance Messenger

Responsible for delivering messages between the Tower Pall Mall and other Ordnance Office establishments.

Ordnance Office

The government department responsible for the supply and procurement of military supplies to British forces and for the construction and maintenance of military establishments in Britain and abroad.

Ordnance Survey

Initially part of the Ordnance Office and based at the Tower of London this department developed from the surveying activities of Royal Engineers and Corps of Military Surveyors in the eighteenth century until it was established as a government department.

Pall Mall

Central London location of the Board of Ordnance the Secretary’s department and the department of the Inspector-General of Fortifications.

Principal Storekeeper

Senior Officer responsible for managing all stores issuing contracts conducting surveys of stores.

Privy Wardrobe

The royal department responsible for storing the monarch’s personal possessions particularly arms armour and other military equipment.

Record Office

Responsible for the care historic documents of the crown law courts and central government at the Tower of London.

Royal Arsenal

Ordnance establishment located at Woolwich on the south bank of the Thames responsible for developing manufacturing proofing and storing arms and ammunition and educating military cadets.

Royal Carriage Department

Ordnance department based at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich responsible for the production of gun carriages.

Royal Engineers

Regiment of military engineers formed in 1717 whose commander-in-chief was the Master-General of the Ordnance until the abolition of the Ordnance Office in 1855 when it was fully integrated into British armed forces.

Royal Laboratory

Ordnance department based at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich responsible for the development and manufacture of ammunition.

Royal Military Academy

Part of the military establishment of the Ordnance Office based at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich responsible for educating and training gentlemen cadets to become officers of the Royal Artillery or Royal Engineers.

Royal Military Repository

Museum established at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich in 1778.

Senior Clerk

Top-ranking clerical officer.

Surveyor General of Ordnance

Senior Officer responsible for the quality and efficiency of Ordnance Office supplies of arms and military equipment.

Temporary Clerk

Non-permanent clerical officer and not part of the Civil Establishment.

Treasurer of Ordnance

Senior Officer responsible for Ordnance Office finances until the office was abolished in 1837 and the functions transferred to the Paymaster General’s Office.