1796 Naval Contract for Milford

In a move which historians agree is difficult to understand, the Navy Board contracted a private Dockyard at Milford to build 3 ships. The Dockyard, which had been established by Sir William Hamilton (husband of the infamous Emma) and his nephew, Charles Francis Greville, had neither the flat land nor the deep water required for launching ships, and it was an extremely difficult place to transport the necessary bulky supplies to. In addition, there was no local supply of the specialist skills required for the construction of ships. It is speculated that influence was brought to bear on the Navy Board, probably by Admiral Horatio Nelson because of his relationship with Emma Hamilton.