List of the First Lords of the Admiralty

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This is a List of First Lords of the Admiralty of England, Great Britain and then the United Kingdom. The earlier Lords High Admiral were mostly courtiers or members of the Royal family. When the office of Lord High Admiral was "put into commission" it was exercised by a board of Lords Commissioners (or "Sea Lords") headed by a First Lord of the Admiralty, and not by a single man. The office of First Lord remained a political one which did not need to be filled by a professional naval officer, although it sometimes was.

The first such First Lord of the Admiralty was Richard Weston, 1st Earl of Portland, who was appointed in 1628. In the 17th century and the early 18th century, it was not invariable for the Admiralty to be in commission, so there are gaps in the list of First Lords, and a small number of First Lords were for a time Lord High Admiral.

In 1964, the office of First Lord of the Admiralty was abolished, the last holder being the second Earl Jellicoe, the son of Admiral of the Fleet Earl Jellicoe, and the functions of the Sea Lords were then transferred to the Admiralty Board, which forms part of the tri-service Defence Council of the United Kingdom.

First Lords of the Admiralty of England, 1628–1701[edit]

Name Entered office Left office
The Earl of Portland[1] 1628 1635
The Earl of Lindsey[2] 1635 1636
William Juxon, Bishop of Lincoln[3] 1636 1638
The Earl of Northumberland
(Lord High Admiral 1638–1642)
1642 1643
The Lord Cottington 1643 1646
Sir Henry Capell 1679 1681
The Earl of Nottingham 1681 1684
The Earl of Torrington
(Lord High Admiral 1689)
1689 1690
The Earl of Pembroke 1690 1692
The Lord Cornwallis 1692 1693
The Viscount Falkland 1693 1694
The Earl of Orford 1694 1699
The Earl of Bridgewater 1699 1701

First Lords of the Admiralty of Great Britain, 1709–1801[edit]

Name Entered office Left office
The Earl of Orford 1709 1710
Sir John Leake 1710 1712
The Earl of Strafford 1712 1714
The Earl of Orford 1714 1717
The Earl of Berkeley 1717 1727
The Viscount Torrington 1727 1733
Sir Charles Wager 1733 1742
The Earl of Winchilsea 1742 1744
The Duke of Bedford 1744 1748
The Earl of Sandwich 1748 1751
The Lord Anson 1751 1756
The Earl Temple 1756 1757
The Earl of Winchilsea 1757 1757
The Lord Anson 1757 1762
The Earl of Halifax 1762 1762
Hon. George Grenville 1762 1763
The Earl of Sandwich 1763 1763
The Earl of Egmont 1763 1766
Sir Charles Saunders 1766 1766
Sir Edward Hawke 1766 1771
The Earl of Sandwich 1771 1782
The Viscount Keppel 1782 1783
The Viscount Howe 1783 1783
The Viscount Keppel 1783 1783
The Viscount Howe 1783 1788
The Earl of Chatham 1788 1794
The Earl Spencer 1794 1801

First Lords of the Admiralty of the United Kingdom, 1801–1964[edit]

Name Entered office Left office
The Earl of St Vincent 1801 1804
The Viscount Melville 1804 1805
The Lord Barham 1805 1806
Viscount Howick 1806 1806
Thomas Grenville 1806 1807
The Lord Mulgrave 1807 1810
Charles Philip Yorke 1810 1812
The Viscount Melville 1812 1827
HRH The Duke of Clarence
(Lord High Admiral)
1827 1828
The Viscount Melville 1828 1830
Sir James Graham, Bt 1830 1834
The Lord Auckland 1834 1834
The Earl de Grey 1834 1835
The Lord Auckland 1835 1835
The Earl of Minto 1835 1841
The Earl of Haddington 1841 1846
The Earl of Ellenborough 1846 1846
The Earl of Auckland 1846 1849
Sir Francis Baring, Bt 1849 1852
The Duke of Northumberland 1852 1852
Sir James Graham, Bt 1852 1855
Sir Charles Wood, Bt 1855 1858
Sir John Pakington, Bt 1858 1859
The Duke of Somerset 1859 1866
Sir John Pakington, Bt 1866 1867
Hon. Henry Lowry-Corry 1867 1868
Hugh Childers 1868 1871
George Goschen 1871 1874
George Ward Hunt 1874 1877
W. H. Smith 1877 1880
The Earl of Northbrook 1880 1885
Lord George Hamilton 1885 1886
The Marquess of Ripon 1886 1886
Lord George Hamilton 1886 1892
The Earl Spencer 1892 1895
George Goschen 1895 1900
The Earl of Selborne 1900 1905
The Earl Cawdor 1905 1905
The Lord Tweedmouth 1905 1908
Reginald McKenna 1908 1911
Winston Churchill 1911 1915
Arthur Balfour 1915 1916
Sir Edward Carson 1916 1917
Sir Eric Geddes 1917 1919
Walter Long 1919 1921
The Lord Lee of Fareham 1921 1922
Leo Amery 1922 1924
The Viscount Chelmsford 1924 1924
William Bridgeman
(Viscount Bridgeman from 1929)
1924 1929
A. V. Alexander 1929 1931
Sir Austen Chamberlain 1931 1931
Sir Bolton Eyres-Monsell
(Viscount Monsell from 1935)
1931 1936
Sir Samuel Hoare, Bt 1936 1937
Duff Cooper 1937 1938
The Earl Stanhope 1938 1939
Winston Churchill 1939 1940
A. V. Alexander 1940 1945
Brendan Bracken 1945 1945
A. V. Alexander 1945 1946
The Viscount Hall 1946 1951
Lord Pakenham 1951 1951
James Thomas
(Viscount Cilcennin from 1955)
1951 1956
The Viscount Hailsham 1956 1957
The Earl of Selkirk 1957 1959
The Lord Carrington 1959 1963
The Earl Jellicoe 1963 1964

References[edit]

  1. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1899). "Weston, Richard (1577-1635)". Dictionary of National Biography 60. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 364. 
  2. ^  "Bertie, Robert". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  3. ^ Thomas Mason, Serving God and Mammon: William Juxon, 1582–1663 (ISBN 0-87413-251-7)