List of Lord High Admirals (United Kingdom)

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Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom
Flag of the Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom.svg
Flag of the Lord High Admiral
Prince Phillip of Edinburgh.jpg
Incumbent
The Duke of Edinburgh

since 2011
Appointer Monarch
Formation 22 February 1385
First holder The Earl of Arundel
Deputy Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom

The Lord High Admiral (of England, Great Britain and then the United Kingdom, beginning in the 14th century) [1] is the titular head of the Royal Navy. Most have been courtiers or members of the Royal Family, and not professional naval officers. The office of Lord High Admiral is one of the nine English Great Officers of State.

History[edit]

The office was created in England late 14th century sometime between 1405/06 and 1412 the two existing older naval commands that of the Admiral of the North and Admiral of the West were unified with this office.[2]

During the reign of Henry VIII (1509–47) the English Navy had expanded to a point where it could not be to be managed by a single Lord High Admiral alone, therefore day-today management of the navy was handed over to a committee that later became known as the Navy Board. The navy board had Samuel Pepys as one of its members during the reign of Charles II (1660–85), and it ran side-by-side with the Board of Admiralty.[3]

From the early 17th century onwards, when an individual Lord High Admiral was appointed, there was also a Council of the Lord High Admiral which assisted him to perform some of the duties of the Admiralty. When this office was not occupied by an individual, it was "put into commission" and exercised by a Board of Admiralty headed by a First Lord of the Admiralty this was the usual arrangement from 1709 until it was merged with the Admiralty in 1832.

However, the office of Lord High Admiral, which, except for brief periods during its long history, had remained extant, and was not abolished as an official naval post until 1964.[3] In 1964, the office of First Lord of the Admiralty was also abolished and the functions of the Lords Commissioners of Admiralty were transferred to the new Admiralty Board becoming a sub-committee (Navy) of the tri-service Defence Council of the United Kingdom. At the same time, the ancient title of Lord High Admiral was then resumed by the sovereign personally.

Elizabeth II held the title for the next 47 years, until in 2011 she conferred the office upon her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh as part of the celebrations for his 90th birthday.[4] The Queen chose this title to honour her husband with as he served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, and gave up a promising naval career to support her as consort.[5]

High Admirals of England, Ireland and Aquitaine 1385 to 1512[edit]

Name Term of Office Ref
Richard FitzAlan
10th Earl of Arundel
1385 1388 [6]
Edward
1st Earl of Rutland & Cork
Duke of Abermarle
1390 1397 [7]
John Beaufort
1st Earl of Somerset
1397 1398 [8]
Thomas Percy
1st Earl of Worcester
1398 1400 [9]
Thomas Plantagenet
1st Duke of Clarence
1404 1405 [10]
John Beaufort
1st Earl of Somerset
1406 1407 [6]
Edmund Holland
4th Earl of Kent
[6]
1407 1408 [6]
Thomas Beaufort
1st Duke of Exeter
1408 1426 [6]
John of Lancaster
1st Duke of Bedford
1426 1435 [6]
John Holland
2nd Duke of Exeter
1435 1447 [6]
William de la Pole
1st Duke of Suffolk
1447 1450 [6]
Henry Holland
3rd Duke of Exeter
1450 1460 [6]
Richard Neville
16th Earl of Warwick
1461 1462 [6]
William Neville
1st Earl of Kent
1462 1462 [6]
Richard Plantagenet
1st Duke of Gloucester
1462 1470 [6]
Richard Neville
16th Earl of Warwick
1470 1471 [6]
Richard Plantagenet
1st Duke of Gloucester
1471 1483 [6]
John Howard
1st Duke of Norfolk
1483 1485 [6]
John de Vere
13th Earl of Oxford
1485 1512 [6]

Lord Admirals of England, 1512-1638[edit]

Name Term of Office Ref
Sir Edward Howard 1512 1513 [6]
Thomas Howard
2nd Earl of Surrey
1513 1525 [6]
Henry FitzRoy
1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset
1525 1536 [6]
William FitzWilliam
1st Earl of Southampton
1536 1540 [6]
John Russell
1st Lord Russell
1540 1542 [6]
John Dudley
1st Viscount Lisle
1542 1546 [6]
Thomas Seymour
1st Lord Seymour of Sudeley
1546 1549 [6]
John Dudley
1st Earl of Warwick
1549 1550 [6]
Edward Clinton
9th Lord Clinton
1550 1554 [6]
William Howard
1st Lord Howard of Effingham
1554 1558 [6]
Edward Clinton
1st Earl of Lincoln
1558 1585 [6]
Charles Howard
1st Earl of Nottingham

Baron Howard of Effingham before 1596
Earl of Nottingham from 1596
1585 1619 [6]
George Villiers
1st Duke of Buckingham
1619 1628 [6]

Lord High Admirals of England, 1638–1708[edit]

Portrait Name Term of Office Ref
Algernon Percy.jpeg Algernon Percy
10th Earl of Northumberland
KG

(1602–1668)
1638 1642
Francis Cottington, 1st Baron Cottington from NPG.jpg Francis Cottington
1st Lord Cottington
PC

(c. 1579–1652)
1643 1646
James II by Peter Lely.jpg Prince James
The Duke of York
KG

(1633–1701)
1660 1673 [11]
King Charles II by John Michael Wright or studio.jpg King Charles II
(1630–1685)
1673 1673
Rupert of the Rhine.jpg Prince Rupert
The Duke of Cumberland
KG PC FRS

(1619–1682)
1673 1679
In commission :[12]
William Brouncker, 2nd Viscount Brouncker
Sir Thomas Lyttleton
?1679 ?1684
King Charles II by John Michael Wright or studio.jpg King Charles II
(1630–1685)
1684 1685
James II by Peter Lely.jpg King James II
(1633–1701)
1685 1688
King William III of England, (1650-1702) (lighter).jpg King William III
(1650–1702)
1689 1689
Admiral Arthur Herbert, 1st Earl of Torrington by John Closterman.jpg Arthur Herbert
1st Earl of Torrington

(c. 1648–1716)
1689 1689
Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke by John Greenhill.jpg Thomas Herbert
8th Earl of Pembroke
KG PC

(c. 1656–1733)
1701 1702
George, Prince of Denmark by Michael Dahl.jpg Prince George
The Duke of Cumberland
KG PC

(1653–1708)
1702 1708

Lord High Admirals since 1708[edit]

Before 1707 a separate office of Lord High Admiral existed for Scotland, following the Act of Union 1707 all jurisdictions were placed under the office of Lord High Admiral of Great Britain.

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of Office Ref
Annavon GroßbritannienDahl.jpg Queen Anne
(1665–1714)
23 October
1708
1708 [11]
Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke by John Greenhill.jpg Thomas Herbert
8th Earl of Pembroke
KG PC

(c. 1656–1733)
1708 1709
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1816-1837).svg Office in commission 1709 10 May
1827
WilliamIVbyLonsdale.jpg Prince William Henry
The Duke of Clarence

(1765–1837)
10 May
1827
19 September
1828
[13]
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg Office in commission 19 September
1828
1 April
1964
[14]
Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007 edit.jpg Queen Elizabeth II
(born 1926)
1 April
1964
10 June
2011
[15]
Prince Philip March 2015 (cropped).jpg Prince Philip
Duke of Edinburgh

(born 1921)
10 June
2011
Incumbent [5]

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Houbraken, Jacobus. Thoyras, Paul de Rapin. Vertue, George. (1747). The History of England, A List of Admirals of England (1224-1745). England. Kanpton. P and J.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lord High Admiral's Divisions takes place at BRNC | Royal Navy". www.royalnavy.mod.uk. Ministry of Defence, 2 May 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2017. 
  2. ^ Durston, Gregory (2017). The Admiralty Sessions, 1536-1834: Maritime Crime and the Silver Oar. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 4. ISBN 9781443873611. 
  3. ^ a b Dear, edited by I.C.B.; Kemp, Peter (2007). "Lord High Admiral". The Oxford companion to ships and the sea (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199205684. 
  4. ^ "The Duke of Edinburgh Appointed Lord High Admiral". royal.gov.uk. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Prince Philip receives Navy title for 90th birthday". BBC News. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac Houbraken, Jacobus; Thoyras, Paul de Rapin; Vertue, George (1747). The History of England, A List of Admirals of England, 1228-1745. J. and P. Knapton. p. 271. 
  7. ^ Schomberg, Isaac (1802). Naval Chronology: Or, An Historical Summary of Naval & Maritime Events, from the Time of the Romans, to the Treaty of Peace, 1802. T. Egerton. p. 188. 
  8. ^ Schomberg, Isaac (1802). Naval Chronology: Or, An Historical Summary of Naval & Maritime Events, from the Time of the Romans, to the Treaty of Peace, 1802. T. Egerton. p. 188. 
  9. ^ Schomberg, Isaac (1802). Naval Chronology: Or, An Historical Summary of Naval & Maritime Events, from the Time of the Romans, to the Treaty of Peace, 1802. T. Egerton. p. 188. 
  10. ^ Schomberg, Isaac (1802). Naval Chronology: Or, An Historical Summary of Naval & Maritime Events, from the Time of the Romans, to the Treaty of Peace, 1802. T. Egerton. p. 188. 
  11. ^ a b National Archives, Kew, ref. ADM 4/410 List of the Lords High Admiral and Commissioners for executing that Office, which have been appointed since the year 1660 (1915)
  12. ^ "No. 1485". The London Gazette. 9 February 1679. p. 2. 
  13. ^ "No. 18360". The London Gazette. 11 May 1827. p. 1033. 
  14. ^ "No. 18506". The London Gazette. 19 September 1828. p. 1733. 
  15. ^ "No. 43288". The London Gazette. 3 April 1964. p. 2895.