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List of Lord High Admirals (United Kingdom)

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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.

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

Contents

HistoryEdit

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 1512Edit

Lord Admirals of England, 1512-1638Edit

Lord High Admirals of England, 1638–1708Edit

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

(1602–1668)
1638 1642
  Francis Cottington
1st Lord Cottington
PC

(c. 1579–1652)
1643 1646
  Prince James
The Duke of York
KG

(1633–1701)
1660 1673 [11]
  King Charles II
(1630–1685)
1673 1673
  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
(1630–1685)
1684 1685
  King James II
(1633–1701)
1685 1688
  King William III
(1650–1702)
1689 1689
  Arthur Herbert
1st Earl of Torrington

(c. 1648–1716)
1689 1689
  Thomas Herbert
8th Earl of Pembroke
KG PC

(c. 1656–1733)
1701 1702
  Prince George
The Duke of Cumberland
KG PC

(1653–1708)
1702 1708

Lord High Admirals since 1708Edit

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
  Queen Anne
(1665–1714)
23 October
1708
1708 [11]
  Thomas Herbert
8th Earl of Pembroke
KG PC

(c. 1656–1733)
1708 1709
  Office in commission 1709 10 May
1827
  Prince William Henry
The Duke of Clarence

(1765–1837)
10 May
1827
19 September
1828
[13]
  Office in commission 19 September
1828
1 April
1964
[14]
  Queen Elizabeth II
(born 1926)
1 April
1964
10 June
2011
[15]
  Prince Philip
Duke of Edinburgh

(born 1921)
10 June
2011
Incumbent [5]

See alsoEdit

SourcesEdit

  • 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.

ReferencesEdit

  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.