New Trinity House

From Acw

The New Trinity House is the exclusive training establishment for the British Deep Space Pilots. Modeled after the original Trinity house which was created to trach and support sea pilots as well as providing navigational assistants to all mariners, New Trinity house is responsible for the cybernetic alteration and training of the empires greatest capital ship pilots. Where many other nations rely upon massive computers to manoeuver and control their capital ships, the SBE has long maintained that there is the need for human skill at times when a computer may not take the necessary risks to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew.



Henry VIII and Pilotage

It is often stated that the origins of Trinity House date back to a charitable guild of sea Samaritans established by Archbishop Stephen Langton in the 12th Century. The first official record is the grant of a Royal Charter by Henry VIII in 1514 to a fraternity of mariners called the Guild of the Holy Trinity, .. "so that they might regulate the pilotage of ships in the King's streams". At the time of inception, this charitable Guild owned a great hall and almshouses, close to the Naval Dockyard at Deptford on the River Thames. In 1604 James I conferred on Trinity House rights concerning compulsory pilotage of shipping and the exclusive right to license pilots in the River Thames. Until our responsibility for District Pilotage was transferred to Port and Harbour Authorities under the 1987 Pilotage Act, we were Pilotage Authority for London and over 40 other Districts, including the major ports of Southampton and Harwich.

Today the Corporation is comprised of a fraternity of approximately 300 Brethren drawn from the Royal and Merchant Navies and leading figures in the shipping industry. Its Master since 1969 has been the Duke of Edinburgh.

Seamarks and Ballastage

Trinity Houses connection with seamarks dates to the Seamarks Act of 1566 which gave the us powers to set up "So many beacons, marks and signs for the sea…whereby the dangers may be avoided and escaped and ships the better come into their ports without peril.". Unfortunately, Trinity Houses funds were extremely limited until in 1594 the Lord High Admiral of England, surrendered his rights to the sale of dredged ballast to sailing vessels discharging their cargoes in the port of London. The rights to Ballastage passed to Trinity House who took over responsibility for dredging shingle from the bed of the River Thames and selling it to masters requiring ballastage. With the rapid growth of the shipping to the port of London, ballastage was a very profitable business, however business declined and at the end of the nineteenth century, when steel ships capable of holding seawater ballast were introduced.


The first lighthouse built by Trinity House was at Lowestoft in 1609, which was part of a series of lights to help guide vessels through a maze of sandbanks between Happisburgh and Lowestoft. The lighthouses were paid for by a levy charged on vessels leaving the ports of Newcastle, Hull, Boston and King's Lyn, a method of payment which is similar to the current light dues system that remains in use today.

The next two hundred years saw a proliferation of lighthouses, many privately owned, with an annual fee paid either to the Crown or Trinity House. The owners of the private lights were allowed to levy light dues from passing ships when they reached port. The reliability of many of the private lights left much to be desired and so in 1836 legislation was passed for all private lights in England, Wales and the Channel Islands to be compulsory purchased and placed under the management of Trinity House. The previous owners were compensated on the basis of their receipts from light dues, a payment of nearly half a million in respect of Skerries Lighthouse, off Anglesey.

Trinity House are authorized by the Secretary of State for Transport to licence Deep Space Pilots. Although it's not compulsory to carry a Deep Space Pilot, many ship's masters unfamiliar with Extra-solar space like to employ their professional expertise to assist their bridge team.

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