Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom

Lord High Admiral of the
United Kingdom
Flag of the Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom.svg
Flag of the Lord High Admiral
Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007 edit.jpg
Incumbent
Queen Elizabeth II

since 9 April 2021
Appointer HM The Queen
Term length At Her Majesty's Pleasure
Formation 22 February 1385
First holder The Earl of Arundel
Deputy Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom

The Lord High Admiral (of England beginning in the 14th century, later of Great Britain and then the United Kingdom)[1] is the ceremonial 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

In 1385 Edward, Earl of Rutland, was appointed Admiral of England, uniting the offices of Admiral of the North and Admiral of the West, dating from 1294. From 1388 the offices of Admiral of the North and of the West were again distinct, though often held by the same man, until "Admirals of England" were appointed continuously from 1406.[2] The titles "High Admiral" and "Lord Admiral" were both used, eventually combining in "Lord High Admiral". The Lord High Admiral did not originally have command at sea, but had jurisdiction over maritime affairs and the authority to establish courts of Admiralty.[3]

During the reign of Henry VIII (1509–47) the English Navy had expanded to a point where it could not be managed by a single Lord High Admiral alone, therefore day-to-day 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.[4]

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, was not abolished as an official naval post until 1964.[4] 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. The ancient title of Lord High Admiral was 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, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to celebrate his 90th birthday.[5] Philip had served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, but gave up a promising naval career to support Elizabeth as her consort.[6] Upon his death the title was subsumed back into the Crown. [7]

High Admirals of England, Ireland and Aquitaine 1385 to 1512

Lord Admirals of England, 1512–1638

Lord High Admirals of England, 1638–1707

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 [12]
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:[13]
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).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 28 June 1707

Lord High Admirals of Great Britain

Before 1707 there was an office of Lord High Admiral of 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
George, Prince of Denmark by Michael Dahl.jpg Prince George
The Duke of Cumberland
KG PC

(1653–1708)
28 June 1707 28 October 1708
Annavon GroßbritannienDahl.jpg Queen Anne
(1665–1714)
23 October
1708
1708 [12]
Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke by John Greenhill.jpg Thomas Herbert
The Earl of Pembroke
KG PC

(c. 1656–1733)
1708 8 November 1709
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1816-1837).svg Office in commission 8 November 1709 31 December
1800

Lord High Admirals of the United Kingdom

Portrait Name
(birth–death)
Term of office Ref
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1816-1837).svg Office in commission 1 January
1801
10 May
1827
WilliamIVbyLonsdale.jpg Prince William Henry
The Duke of Clarence

(1765–1837)
10 May
1827
19 September
1828
[14]
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg Office in commission 19 September
1828
1 April
1964
[15]
Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007 edit.jpg Queen Elizabeth II
(born 1926)
1 April
1964
10 June
2011
[16]
25.Jun.2015 Prince Philip in Frankfurt.jpg Prince Philip
The Duke of Edinburgh

(1921–2021)
10 June
2011
9 April
2021
[17]
Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007 edit.jpg Queen Elizabeth II
(born 1926)
9 April
2021
[18]

Former command flags

Tudor period

The earliest known instructions given to the Lord Admiral to fly command flags were given by King Henry VIII in 1545 the Lord Admiral was ordered to fly the flag of the arms of the King on the top of the main masthead with the flag of the cross of Saint George on the top of the front (fore) masthead.[19]

See also

References

  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. ^ 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 ad 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.
  3. ^ Kemp, Dear; Kemp, Peter, eds. (2007). "Lord High Admiral". The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea (2 ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780191727504.
  4. ^ 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.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "The Duke of Edinburgh Appointed Lord High Admiral". royal.gov.uk. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Prince Philip receives Navy title for 90th birthday". BBC News. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Lord High Admiral - a Freedom of Information request to Royal Navy". WhatDoTheyKnow. 2021-06-15. Retrieved 2021-08-05.
  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. Sir Nicholas Tamworth, Admiral of the North.
  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. Sir Nicholas Tamworth, Admiral of the North.
  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. Sir Nicholas Tamworth, Admiral of the North.
  11. ^ 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. Sir Nicholas Tamworth, Admiral of the North.
  12. ^ 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)
  13. ^ "No. 1485". The London Gazette. 9 February 1679. p. 2.
  14. ^ "No. 18360". The London Gazette. 11 May 1827. p. 1033.
  15. ^ "No. 18506". The London Gazette. 19 September 1828. p. 1733.
  16. ^ "No. 43288". The London Gazette. 3 April 1964. p. 2895.
  17. ^ "https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11437314"
  18. ^ "Lord High Admiral - a Freedom of Information request to Royal Navy". WhatDoTheyKnow. 2021-06-15. Retrieved 2021-08-05.
  19. ^ Perrin, W. G. (William Gordon) (1922). "Flags of Command". British flags, their early history, and their development at sea; with an account of the origin of the flag as a national device. Cambridge, England: Cambridge : The University Press. p. 77.

Sources

  • 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.

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