The various palaces and estates of the royal household were managed by the Office of Works, headed by a Surveyor-General. Each location was supervised by a Clerk of the Works, usually with the assistance of a Labourer in Trust. The Clerk of the Works was responsible for construction, maintenance, decoration, and repair, and dealing with the various contractors who would do the actual work. The minutes of the weekly meeting of the Board of Works for February 24, 1761 note:
Order’d that Joshua and William Kirby be joint Clerks of the Works and Storekeepers at Richmond and Kew in the Room of John Smith Upon the Establish’d Salary and Allowances of the Clerkship at Kensington Palace
And John Smith to be Clerk of the Works at Kensington Palace in the Room of John Vardy, Upon the Established Salary and Allowances of Richmond and Kew.
John Vardy, who had been Clerk of the Works successively at Greenwich, Hampton Court, Whitehall and St. James’s, and Kensington since 1736, disappears from the official record.
The warrants of appointment were signed on March 3, 1761.
Thomas Worsley Esqr. Surveyor General of all his Majesty’s Works
To all to whom these Presents come Greeting. Know ye that by virtue of the power & Authority to me given by the Kings Most Excellent Majesty under the great Seal of Great Britain dated the 15th December 1760. I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint Joshua Kirby and William Kirby to be joint Clerks of the Works and Storekeepers at Richmond & Kew, in the room of John Smith. To have hold exercise and enjoy the said Office & Employment (upon the Establishment of the Clerkship at His Majesty’s Palace at Kensington) with all Wages, Profits, Lodgings, Priviledges and advantages whatsoever to the said Office & Employment belonging or in any wise Appertaining. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & Seal this 3d day of March in the first year of His Majesty’s Reign. Anno Domini 1761.
Thomas Worsley (seal)
We do hereby approve of Joshua Kirby and William Kirby as Qualified for the employment of joint Clerks of the Works and Storekeepers at Richmond & Kew.
Henry Flitcroft (Comptroller), Stephen Wright (Deputy Surveyor), and William Oram (Master Carpenter) were the remaining three members of the Board of Works.
Kirby and his son held the position until their respective deaths.
For related posts, see the Office of Works and Kew category.