P4: Trinity House

There were other Societies of Mariners known as Trinity Houses, at Newcastle, Scarborough, Hull, Dover, Leith and Dundee. These evolved in slightly different ways and had different degrees of authority. The Institution at Dover, for example, was not a Corporation but a "Court of Loadsmanage" with a Commission from the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, a lodeman or loadsman being a pilot. Along with lighthouses and charitable work, pilotage has consistently been one of the main roles of the Trinity Houses. Whormby, an 18th century historian who was a Clerk to the Deptford Trinity House, said that the Trinity House of Dover had no grants from the Crown and the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports had no Patents relative to that Department. Dover was a centre of pilotage for many years, but it came to an end with an Act of Parliament in 1853 and the Trinity House of Dover disappeared. The work was then consolidated within the pilotage of the Trinity House of Deptford Strond.

Pepys wrote that the Hull Trinity House "began from themselves" in 1354, whilst the first Charter of the Trinity House of Newcastle dates from 5th October 1536, about five years earlier than the Charter for Hull on 7th November 1541.

In Scotland, the Trinity House of Leith owed its beginning to the charitable spirit of the seafaring men of the port who, aware that their fortunes were subject "to hourly hazards and the fear of extreme poverty and beggary", resolved to impose a levy of twelve pennies Scots on every ton of merchandise loaded or unloaded by Scottish ships at the port of Leith for the relief of the poor, the aged, and the infirm. It is uncertain when this resolution was made or when the first collection of the levy called the "prime gilt" was made, but it is suggested to stem from 1380. On May 10 1566, Mary Queen of Scots granted a precept under the Privy Seal ratifying and confirming "the gift, foundation and erection of the hospital and of the prime gilt."