Catalogue description Records of the Ordnance Office and its successors at the War Office

Details of Division within WO
Reference: Division within WO
Title: Records of the Ordnance Office and its successors at the War Office

Records of the Ordnance Office and its successors at the War Office relating to the supply of weapons for the army.


  • Board of Ordnance minutes, WO 47
  • Correspondence of the office, WO 44 and WO 46, with registers of in-letters, WO 45
  • Various registers, WO 54
  • Miscellanea, WO 55
  • Accounts of the treasurer and other accounting records, WO 48-WO 53
  • Warrants of Royal Approval, WO 370
  • Ministry of Supply, WO 185 and WO 286
  • Army Ordnance Corps, WO 111
  • Royal Engineers, demolition of the fortifications at Dunkirk, WO 124
  • Royal Engineers, Sheerness, letter book, WO 292
  • Director of Artillery, WO 196
  • Chemical Inspection Department, WO 278
  • Personnel and Office Management, WO 381
  • Royal Gunpowder Factory and successors, WO 385 and WO 397

Date: 1568-1983
Related material:

Correspondence and papers of John Pitt, second Earl of Chatham, as Master General of the Ordnance from 1801 to 1806, are in the John Rylands University Library, Manchester (English MS 1271).

See also Records of the Ministry of Munitions and successors, including papers of David Lloyd George: MUN

For records of the Committee of Imperial Defence, Principal Supply Officers Committee, see CAB 60

Records of the Principal Supply Officers' Committee are also in: SUPP 3

Separated material:

Plans of fortifications, etc, are in:

General Orders, 1805-1857, are in: WO 123


See also Ministry of Supply: Division within SUPP

and Division within SUPP

Further miscellanous Ordnance Office records are in PRO 30/37

Vouchers for agent's disbursements are in: WO 18

Records of service of the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers are in WO 69

WO 78

Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Ministry of Supply, 1939-1959

Ordnance Office, 1683-1855

War Department, 1855-1857

War Office, 1857-1964

Physical description: 23 series
Administrative / biographical background:

The offices of master and clerk of the Ordnance first appear early in the fifteenth century, and around them an Ordnance Office was gradually established at the Tower of London, where from 1429 there was also a separate Armoury Office. A reform of the Ordnance Office in 1543 added the offices of the lieutenant of the Ordnance, surveyor, storekeeper and clerk of deliveries. From the early seventeenth century the titles of master general and lieutenant general began to replace those of master and lieutenant. In 1671 the Armoury Office was abolished and its duties transferred to the Ordnance Office.

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