Master-General of the Ordnance

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The Master-General of the Ordnance (MGO) was an important British military position before 1855, when its duties were largely abolished. Usually held by a serving General, the Master-General of the Ordnance was responsible for all British artillery, engineers, fortifications, military supplies, and much else, and was not subordinate to the Commander in Chief, the titular head of the British military. The position was frequently a cabinet level one, especially in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Board of Ordnance, which had its headquarters in the Tower of London, was abolished in 1855, but the title of Master-General still exists as the title of the Fourth Military Member of the Army Board, who oversees procurement and research and development and usually holds the rank of Lieutenant General.

Masters-General of the Ordnance, 1544–1855

William Berkeley, 1st Lord Berkeley
Sir John Duncombe
Thomas Chicheley
  • Sir Thomas Chicheley 1670–1679
  • in commission 1679–1682
Sir John Chicheley
Sir William Hickman, 2nd Bt.
Sir Christopher Musgrave
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