Commander-in-Chief of the Forces

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The Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, or just the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C), was the professional head of the British Army from 1660 until 1904, when the office was replaced by the Chief of the General Staff, soon to become Chief of the Imperial General Staff (from 1909).

From the passing of the War Office Act 1870, as part of the Cardwell reforms, the C-in-C was made subordinate to the Secretary of State for War.

In most instances, Commanders-in-Chief of the Forces were not cabinet members. Instead, the British Army was represented variously in government by the Paymaster of the Forces (Paymaster-General), Master-General of the Ordnance, Secretary at War, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, Secretary of State for War, and from 1964, together with the other services, by the Secretary of State for Defence.

Officeholders[edit]

General-in-Chief Command (1660–1793)[edit]

Rank Name Image In office Reference
General George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle George Monck 1st Duke of Albemarle Studio of Lely.jpg 3 August 1660 – 3 January 1670 [1]
Vacant 3 January 1670 – 30 March 1674
General James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth James Scott, Duke of Monmouth and Buccleuch by William Wissing.jpg 30 March 1674 – 1 December 1679 [2]
Vacant 1 December 1679 – 3 June 1690
General John Churchill, 1st Earl of Marlborough John Churchill Marlborough porträtterad av Adriaen van der Werff (1659-1722).jpg 3 June 1690 – 30 April 1691 [3]
General Meinhardt Schomberg, 3rd Duke of
Schomberg
Meinhardtschomberg.jpg 30 April 1691 – 1691 [4]
Vacant 1691 – 24 April 1702
General John Churchill, 1st Earl of Marlborough John Churchill Marlborough porträtterad av Adriaen van der Werff (1659-1722).jpg 24 April 1702 – 1708 [3]
Vacant 1708 – 1 January 1711
General James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde by Michael Dahl.jpg 1 January 1711 – 1714 [5]
Vacant 1714 – 1 January 1744
Field Marshal John Dalrymple, 2nd Earl of Stair John Dalrymple 2nd Earl of Stair (1673-1747) General and Diplomat.jpg 1 January 1744 – 1744 [6]
Field Marshal George Wade Attributed to Johan van Diest - Field-Marshal George Wade, 1673 - 1748. Commander-in-chief in Scotland - Google Art Project.jpg 1744 – 1745 [7]
Vacant 1745 – 1745
General Prince William, Duke of Cumberland Cumberland-Reynolds.jpg 1745 – 24 October 1757 [8]
Field Marshal John Ligonier, 1st Earl Ligonier 1st Earl Ligonier.jpg 24 October 1757 – 1759 [9]
Vacant 1759 – 13 August 1766
General John Manners, Marquess of Granby MarquessOfGranby.JPG 13 August 1766 – 1769 [10]
Vacant 1769 – 19 March 1778
Field Marshal Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst Amherst.jpg 19 March 1778 – 29 March 1782 [11]
Field Marshal Henry Seymour Conway Field Marshal Conway.jpg 29 March 1782 – 21 January 1793 [12]

Commander-in-Chief (1793–1904)[edit]

Rank Name Image In office Reference
Field Marshal Jeffery Amherst, 1st Lord Amherst Amherst.jpg 1793 – 1795 [13]
Field Marshal Prince Frederick, Duke of York Frederick, Duke of York in Garter Robes.jpg 1795 – 1809 [14]
General Sir David Dundas Daviddundas.JPG 1809 – 1811 [15]
Field Marshal Prince Frederick, Duke of York Frederick, Duke of York in Garter Robes.jpg 29 May 1811 – 22 January 1827 [16]
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington Sir Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.png 22 January 1827 – 22 January 1828 [17]
General Rowland Hill, 1st Lord Hill General Sir Rowland Hill (1815).jpg 22 January 1828 – 15 August 1842 [18]
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington Sir Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.png 15 August 1842 – 14 September 1852 [19]
Field Marshal Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge Henryhardinge.jpg 28 September 1852 – 5 July 1856 [20]
Field Marshal Prince George, Duke of Cambridge George 2nd Cambridge.png 5 July 1856 – 1 November 1895 [21]
Field Marshal Garnet Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley Garnet Wolseley.jpg 1 November 1895 – 3 January 1901 [22]
Field Marshal Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts Earl Roberts of Kandahar.jpg 3 January 1901 – 12 February 1904 [23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "George Monk". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Meinhardt Schomberg, 3rd Duke of Schomberg". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 4948. p. 1. 3 January 1711. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  6. ^ "John Dalrymple, 2nd Earl of Stair". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Heathcote, p. 286
  8. ^ "Prince William, Duke of Cumberland". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Heathcote, p. 203
  10. ^ "John Manners, Marquess of Granby". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  11. ^ Heathcote, p.25
  12. ^ Heathcote, p.94
  13. ^ "Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  14. ^ Glover, (1973), p.128
  15. ^ "Sir David Dundas". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16487. p. 940. 21 May 1811. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: no. 18327. p. 153. 23 January 1827. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  18. ^ "Rowland Hill". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  19. ^ The London Gazette: no. 20130. p. 2217. 16 August 1842. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21362. p. 2573. 28 September 1852. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  21. ^ Heathcote, p. 142
  22. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26676. p. 5923. 1 November 1895. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  23. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27263. p. 83. 4 January 1901. Retrieved 21 January 2014.

Sources[edit]

  • Glover, Richard (1963). Peninsular Preparation: The Reform of the British Army 1795–1809. Cambridge University Press. 
  • Heathcote, Tony (1999). The British Field Marshals 1736–1997. Pen & Sword Books Ltd. ISBN 0-85052-696-5. 

External links[edit]