Open main menu

Wikipedia β

The First Lord of the Admiralty,[1] or formally the Office of the First Lord of the Admiralty,[2] was the political head of the Royal Navy who was the government's senior advisor on all naval affairs and responsible for the direction and control of Admiralty Department as well as general administration of the Naval Service of the United Kingdom, that encompassed the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines and other services. It was one of the earliest known permanent government posts, apart from being the political head of the Royal Navy the post holder simultaneously held the title of the President of the Board of Commissioners for Exercising the Office of Lord High Admiral (known as the Board of Admiralty). The office of First Lord of the Admiralty existed from 1628 until it was abolished when the Admiralty, Air Ministry, Ministry of Defence and War Office were all merged to form the new Ministry of Defence in 1964.

Office of the First Lord of the Admiralty
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Seal of H.M. Government
Department of the Admiralty
Member of Board of Admiralty
Reports to Prime Minister
Nominator Prime Minister
Appointer Prime Minister
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
Term length Not fixed (typically 3–7 years)
Inaugural holder Richard Weston, 1st Earl of Portland
Formation 1628–1964

Contents

HistoryEdit

In 1628, during the reign of Charles I, the Duke of Buckingham, Lord High Admiral of England, was assassinated and the office was placed in commission, under the control of a Board of Commissioners.

The first such First Lord of the Admiralty was Richard Weston, 1st Earl of Portland, who was appointed in 1628 the First Lord was not always a permanent member of the board until the Admiralty Department was established as an official government department in 1709[3] with the First Lord as its head, it replaced the earlier Office of the Admiralty and Marine Affairs,.[4] During most of 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.

After the Revolution, in 1690, a declaratory Act was passed, during the reign of William and Mary, Parliament passed the Admiralty Act, vesting in the Commissioners the powers formerly held by the Lord High Admiral of England.[5] and at this point became a permanent Cabinet position.

The Admiralty Commission was dissolved in 1701, but was reconstituted in 1709 on the death of Prince George of Denmark,[3] who had been appointed Lord High Admiral. The office has been held in commission from that time onwards, however, except for a short period (1827–28) when the Duke of Clarence was Lord High Admiral. The Board of the Admiralty comprised a number of “Lords Commissioners” headed by a First Lord.[5]

From the early 1800s the post was always held by a civilian[6] (previously flag officers of the Royal Navy also held the post). In 1832 First Lord Sir James Graham instituted reforms and amalgamated the Board of Admiralty and the Navy Board. By the provisions of the Admiralty Act of 1832, two Lords in committee could legalize any action of the Board.[7]

In 1868 Prime Minister, William Gladstone appointed Hugh Childers First Lord, who would introduce a new system at the Admiralty. However these changes restricted communication between the board members who were affected by these new regulations and the sittings of the Board were discontinued altogether. This situation described was further exacerbated by the disaster of HMS Captain in 1870, a poorly-designed new vessel for the navy.

The responsibility and powers of the First Lord of the Admiralty were laid down by an Order in Council dated 14 January 1869,[8] and a later Order (19 March 1872) made the First Lord responsible to the Sovereign and to Parliament for all the business of the Admiralty. However, by describing the Lords of the Admiralty as the "assistants" of the First Lord,[9] and by specifically defining their duties, had, in fact, partially disabled the collective power of the Board .

In 1931, for the first time since 1709, the First Lord was not a member of the cabinet.[10] 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.

Responsibilities and dutiesEdit

Between 1800 and 1912 included:[11]

First Lords of the Admiralty of England, 1628–1701Edit

First Lords of the Admiralty of Great Britain, 1709–1801Edit

First Lords of the Admiralty of the United Kingdom, 1801–1964Edit

Portrait Name Term of office Political party Ministry
  John Jervis
The Earl of St Vincent
1801 1804 Whig Addington
(I & II)
  Henry Dundas
The Viscount Melville
1804 1805 Tory Pitt V
  Charles Middleton
The Lord Barham
1805 1806 Tory
  Charles Grey
Viscount Howick

MP for Northumberland
1806 1806 Whig All the Talents
(I & II)
  Thomas Grenville
MP for Buckingham
1806 1807 Whig
  Henry Phipps
The Lord Mulgrave
1807 1810 Tory Portland
(II & III)
Perceval
  Charles Philip Yorke
MP for St Germans
1810 1812 Tory
  Robert Dundas
The Viscount Melville
1812 1827 Tory Liverpool
(I–V)
  None
Prince William Henry
The Duke of Clarence

as Lord High Admiral
1827 1828 Canning
(CanningiteWhig)
Goderich
(CanningiteWhig)
  Robert Dundas
The Viscount Melville
1828 1830 Tory Wellington
  Sir James Graham Bt
MP for Cumberland until 1832
MP for East Cumberland from 1832
1830 1834 Whig Grey
(I–III)
  George Eden
The Lord Auckland
1834 1834 Whig
Melbourne I
Wellington Caretaker
  Thomas Robinson
The Earl de Grey
1834 1835 Conservative Peel I
  George Eden
The Lord Auckland
1835 1835 Whig Melbourne
(II & III)
  Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound
The Earl of Minto
1835 1841 Whig
  Thomas Hamilton
The Earl of Haddington
1841 1846 Conservative Peel II
  Edward Law
The Earl of Ellenborough
1846 1846 Conservative
  George Eden
The Earl of Auckland
1846 1849 Whig Russell
(I & II)
  Sir Francis Baring Bt
MP for Portsmouth
1849 1852 Whig
  Algernon Percy
The Duke of Northumberland
1852 1852 Conservative Who? Who?
(I & II)
  Sir James Graham Bt
MP for Carlisle
1852 1855 Peelite Aberdeen
(PeeliteWhig)
Palmerston
(I & II)
  Sir Charles Wood Bt
MP for Halifax
1855 1858 Whig
  Sir John Pakington Bt
MP for Droitwich
1858 1859 Conservative Derby III
  Edward Seymour
The Duke of Somerset
1859 1866 Liberal Palmerston
(III & IV)
Russell III
  Sir John Pakington Bt
MP for Droitwich
1866 1867 Conservative Derby IV
  Henry Thomas Lowry-Corry
MP for Tyrone
1867 1868 Conservative
Disraeli I
  Hugh Childers
MP for Pontefract
1868 1871 Liberal Gladstone I
  George Goschen
MP for City of London
1871 1874 Liberal
  George Ward Hunt
MP for Northamptonshire North
1874 1877 Conservative Disraeli II
  William Henry Smith
MP for Westminster
1877 1880 Conservative
  Thomas Baring
The Earl of Northbrook
1880 1885 Liberal Gladstone II
  Lord George Hamilton
MP for Ealing
1885 1886 Conservative Salisbury I
  George Robinson
The Marquess of Ripon
1886 1886 Liberal Gladstone III
  Lord George Hamilton
MP for Ealing
1886 1892 Conservative Salisbury II
  John Spencer
The Earl Spencer
1892 1895 Liberal Gladstone IV
Rosebery
  George Goschen
MP for St George Hanover Square
1895 1900 Conservative Salisbury
(III–V)

(Cons.Lib.U.)
  William Palmer
The Earl of Selborne
1900 1905 Liberal Unionist
Balfour
(Cons.Lib.U.)
  Frederick Campbell
The Earl Cawdor
1905 1905 Conservative
  Edward Marjoribanks
The Lord Tweedmouth
1905 1908 Liberal Campbell-Bannerman
(I & II)
  Reginald McKenna
MP for North Monmouthshire
1908 1911 Liberal Asquith
(I–III)
  Winston Churchill
MP for Dundee
1911 1915 Liberal
  Arthur Balfour
MP for City of London
1915 1916 Conservative Asquith IV
(Lib.Cons.Lab.)
  Sir Edward Carson
MP for University of Dublin
1916 1917 Conservative Lloyd George
(I & II)

(Lib.Cons.Lab.)
  Sir Eric Geddes
MP for Cambridge
1917 1919 Conservative
  Walter Long
MP for Westminster St George's
1919 1921 Conservative
  Arthur Lee
The Viscount Lee of Fareham
1921 1922 Conservative
  Leo Amery
MP for Birmingham Sparkbrook
1922 1924 Conservative Law
(I & II)
Baldwin I
  Frederic Thesiger
The Viscount Chelmsford
1924 1924 Labour MacDonald I
  William Bridgeman
The Viscount Bridgeman

MP for Oswestry until 1929
Viscount Bridgeman from 1929
1924 1929 Conservative Baldwin II
  A. V. Alexander
MP for Sheffield Hillsborough
1929 1931 Labour MacDonald II
  Sir Austen Chamberlain
MP for Birmingham West
1931 1931 Conservative 1st National
(Lab.Nat.Cons.Lib.Nat.
Lib.
  Bolton Eyres-Monsell
The Viscount Monsell

MP for Evesham until 1935
Viscount Monsell from 1935
1931 1936 Conservative 2nd National
(Lab.Nat.Cons.Lib.Nat.
Lib. until 1932
)
3rd National
(Cons.Lab.Nat.Lib.Nat.)
  Sir Samuel Hoare Bt
MP for Chelsea
1936 1937 Conservative
  Duff Cooper
MP for Westminster St George's
1937 1938 Conservative 4th National
(Cons.Lab.Nat.Lib.Nat.)
  James Stanhope
The Earl Stanhope
1938 1939 Conservative
  Winston Churchill
MP for Epping
1939 1940 Conservative Chamberlain War
(Cons.Lab.Nat.Lib.Nat.)
  A. V. Alexander
MP for Sheffield Hillsborough
1940 1945 Labour Churchill War
(All parties)
  Brendan Bracken
MP for Paddington North
1945 1945 Conservative Churchill Caretaker
(Cons.Lib.Nat.)
  A. V. Alexander
MP for Sheffield Hillsborough
1945 1946 Labour Attlee
(I & II)
  George Hall
The Viscount Hall
1946 1951 Labour
  Frank Pakenham
The Lord Pakenham
1951 1951 Labour
  James Thomas
The Viscount Cilcennin

MP for Hereford until 1955
Viscount Cilcennin from 1955
1951 1956 Conservative Churchill III
Eden
(I & II)
  Quintin Hogg
The Viscount Hailsham
1956 1957 Conservative
  George Douglas-Hamilton
The Earl of Selkirk
1957 1959 Conservative Macmillan
(I & II)
  Peter Carington
The Lord Carrington
1959 1963 Conservative
  George Jellicoe
The Earl Jellicoe
1963 1964 Conservative

Boards, departments and offices under the First LordEdit

Fictional First LordsEdit

 
W. H. Smith portrayed in a Punch cartoon from 13 October 1877 when First Lord, saying: "I think I'll now go below." In Pinafore, Sir Joseph Porter similarly sings: "When the breezes blow / I generally go below".

The "Radical" First Lord, and a major character, in Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), is Sir Joseph Henry Porter, KCB. W. S. Gilbert wrote to Arthur Sullivan he did not intend to portray the real-life then First Lord, the bookseller and newsagent W. H. Smith, a Conservative,[48] although some of the public, including Prime Minister Disraeli (who later referred to Smith as "Pinafore Smith"), identified Porter with him.[49] The counterparts shared a known lack of naval background. It has been suggested the character was drawn on Smith's actual "Radical" predecessor of 1868–71, Hugh Childers.[50]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Eberle, Sir James (2007). Wider horizons: naval policy & international affairs. Roundtuit Publishing. p. 1. ISBN 9781904499176. 
  2. ^ Pryde, E. B. (23 February 1996). Handbook of British Chronology. Cambridge University Press. p. 135. ISBN 9780521563505. 
  3. ^ a b Blake, Nicholas; Lawrence, Richard (2005). The Illustrated Companion to Nelson's Navy. Stackpole Books. p. 8. ISBN 9780811732758. 
  4. ^ Knighton, C. S.; Loades, David; Loades, Professor of History David (29 April 2016). Elizabethan Naval Administration. Routledge. p. 8. ISBN 9781317145035. 
  5. ^ a b Hamilton, Admiral Sir. Richard. Vesey, G.C.B. (1896). Naval Administration: The Constitution, Character, and Functions of the Board of Admiralty, and of the Civil Departments it Directs. George Bell and Sons, London.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  6. ^ Constable, Archibald (1861). The Edinburgh Review, Or Critical Journal: ... To Be Continued Quarterly. Austrian National Library, 4 November 2013. p. 291. 
  7. ^ (eISB), electronic Irish Statute Book. "electronic Irish Statute Book (eISB), Admiralty Act, 1832". irishstatutebook.ie. Government of Ireland, 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017. 
  8. ^ Hamilton, C. I. (2011). The making of the modern admiralty : British naval policy-making 1805-1927. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 153. ISBN 9780521765183. 
  9. ^ Marder, Arthur (19 June 2014). From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow: Volume II: To The Eve of Jutland 1914-1916. Seaforth Publishing. p. 268. ISBN 9781848321632. 
  10. ^ Cannon, John; Crowcroft, Robert (2015). The Oxford Companion to British History. Oxford University Press. p. 5. ISBN 9780199677832. 
  11. ^ Archives, The National. "Organisation of Admiralty Business". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. National Archives, 1885-1923, ADM 116/3392. Retrieved 8 March 2017.   This article contains text from this source, which is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0. © Crown copyright.
  12. ^   Lee, Sidney, ed. (1899). "Weston, Richard (1577-1635)". Dictionary of National Biography. 60. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 364. 
  13. ^   "Bertie, Robert". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  14. ^ a b c Thomas Mason, Serving God and Mammon: William Juxon, 1582–1663 (ISBN 0-87413-251-7)
  15. ^ N.Y.), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York; Baetjer, Katharine (2009). British Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575-1875. Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 19. ISBN 9781588393487. 
  16. ^ Phillips, G. (29 November 2012). Rutland. Cambridge University Press. p. 132. ISBN 9781107696419. 
  17. ^ Stewart, William (28 September 2009). Admirals of the World: A Biographical Dictionary, 1500 to the Present. McFarland. p. 163. ISBN 9780786482887. 
  18. ^ Cannon, John; Crowcroft, Robert (2015). The Oxford Companion to British History. Oxford University Press. p. 714. ISBN 9780199677832. 
  19. ^ Murray, J. (1859). Correspondence of Charles, First Marquis Cornwallis. J. Murray. p. 2. 
  20. ^ Fieldgate, Barrie (2007). The Captain's Steward: Falklands, 1982. Melrose Press. p. 305. ISBN 9781905226467. 
  21. ^ Aldridge, David Denis (2009). Admiral Sir John Norris and the British Naval Expeditions to the Baltic Sea 1715-1727. Nordic Academic Press. p. 286. ISBN 9789185509317. 
  22. ^ Macaulay, Thomas Babington, Baron Macaulay (1915). The History of England: From the Accession of James the Second, Volume 6. Macmillian. p. 3018. 
  23. ^ Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 4, Admiralty Officials 1660-1870
  24. ^ Childs, John (1991). The Nine Years' War and the British Army, 1688-1697: The Operations in the Low Countries. Manchester University Press. p. 353. ISBN 9780719034619. 
  25. ^ Winfield, Rif (10 March 2010). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1603-1714: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 9781783469246. 
  26. ^ Holmes, Geoffrey (1987). British Politics in the Age of Anne. A&C Black. p. 541. ISBN 9780907628736. 
  27. ^ Aldridge, David Denis (2009). Admiral Sir John Norris and the British Naval Expeditions to the Baltic Sea 1715-1727. Nordic Academic Press. p. 286. ISBN 9789185509317. 
  28. ^ Stewart, William (28 September 2009). Admirals of the World: A Biographical Dictionary, 1500 to the Present. McFarland. p. 28. ISBN 9780786438099. 
  29. ^ Howard, Joseph J.; Crisp, Frederick A. (1 September 1997). Visitation of England and Wales Notes: Volume 6 1906. Heritage Books. p. 172. ISBN 9780788407031. 
  30. ^ Cunningham, George Godfrey (1853). A History of England in the Lives of Englishmen. A. Fullarton. p. 169. 
  31. ^ a b Sainty, J. C. "'Alphabetical list of officials: K-Z', in Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 4, Admiralty Officials 1660-1870". british-history.ac.uk. Originally published by University of London, London, 1975, pp. 135–159. Retrieved 9 March 2017. 
  32. ^ Newman, Gerald; Brown, Leslie Ellen (1997). Britain in the Hanoverian Age, 1714-1837: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 619. ISBN 9780815303961. 
  33. ^ Woodward, Bernard Bolingbroke; Cates, William Leist Readwin (1872). Encyclopedia of Chronology: Historical and Biographical. Longmans, Green and Company. p. 1246. 
  34. ^ Stewart, William (28 September 2009). Admirals of the World: A Biographical Dictionary, 1500 to the Present. McFarland. p. 9. ISBN 9780786482887. 
  35. ^ Winfield, Rif (12 December 2007). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714-1792: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth Publishing. p. viii Introduction. ISBN 9781783469253. 
  36. ^ Watson, John Steven (1960). The Reign of George III, 1760-1815. Clarendon Press. p. 613. ISBN 9780198217138. 
  37. ^ Kane, Joseph Nathan; Aiken, Charles Curry (2005). The American Counties: Origins of County Names, Dates of Creation, and Population Data, 1950-2000. Scarecrow Press. p. 123. ISBN 9780810850361. 
  38. ^ a b c Chatham.), William Pitt (1st earl of (1838). Correspondence, ed. by [W.S. Taylor and J.H. Pringle] the executors of his son John, earl of Chatham. Oxford University. p. xxi Introduction. 
  39. ^ Beatson, Robert (1788). A Political Index to the Histories of Great Britain and Ireland: Or, A Complete Register of the Hereditary Honours, Public Offices, and Persons in Office, from the Earliest Periods to the Present Time. G. G. J. & J. Robinson. p. 320. 
  40. ^ Watson, John Steven (1960). The Reign of George III, 1760-1815. Clarendon Press. p. 623. ISBN 9780198217138. 
  41. ^ Laurens, Henry (1980). The papers of Henry Laurens. Univ of South Carolina Press. p. 56. ISBN 9780872493858. 
  42. ^ Bandhauer, Andrea; Veber, Maria (2009). Migration and Cultural Contact: Germany and Australia. Sydney University Press. p. 214. ISBN 9781920898632. 
  43. ^ Haydn, Joseph (1851). The Book of Dignities: Containing Lists of the Official Personages of the British Empire ... from the Earliest Periods to the Present Time ... Together with the Sovereigns and Rulers of Europe, from the Foundation of Their Respective States; the Peerage of England and Great Britain ... Longmans, Brown, Green and Longmans. p. 286. 
  44. ^ Bolton, Carol (3 June 2016). Letters from England: By Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella. Routledge. p. 508. ISBN 9781317242918. 
  45. ^ Haydn, Joseph Timothy; Beatson, Robert (1851). Beatson's Political index modernised. The book of dignities; containing rolls of the official personages of the British empire, together with the sovereigns of Europe, the peerage of England and of Great Britain; and numerous other lists. Oxford University. p. 286. 
  46. ^ Nichols, John (1835). The Gentleman's Magazine. E. Cave. p. 546. 
  47. ^ Hawkins, Anne (17 June 2016). Letters of Seamen in the Wars with France, 1793-1815. Boydell & Brewer. p. 482. ISBN 9781843838968. 
  48. ^ Jacobs, Arthur (1986). Arthur Sullivan - A Victorian Musician. Oxford University Press. p. 114. ISBN 0-19-282033-8. 
  49. ^ Arthur Sullivan, A Victorian Musician. p. 115. 
  50. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 11. Oxford University Press. 2004. p. 445. Article on Childers by William Carr, rev H. C. G. Matthew.

AttributionEdit

This article contains some text from: Vesey, Richard Sir, Admiral, (1896), Naval Administration: The Constitution, Character, and Functions of the Board of Admiralty, and of the Civil Departments it Directs, George Bell and Sons, London. Now in the public domain.

SourcesEdit

  • Hamilton, C. I. (2011). The Making of the Modern Admiralty: British Naval Policy-Making, 1805-1927. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521765183.
  • Rodger, N. A. M., The Admiralty (Lavenham, 1979)
  • Sainty, J. C. Admiralty Officials, 1660–1870 (London, 1975)

External linksEdit