Admiralty

The Admiralty (officially the Admiralty Board) is a division of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence overseeing the affairs of the Royal Navy. The Admiralty Board replaced the Board of Admiralty (officially the Lords Commissioners for Exercising the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, etc.) when the functions of that office were incorporated into the Ministry of Defence in 1964.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Lord High Admirals, 1413-1628
3 Lords High Admiral and First Lords of the Admiralty, 1628-1709
4 First Lords of the Admiralty, 1709-1964
5 Admirals of the Fleet, 1795-1827
6 First Sea Lords, 1828-Present

History

The office of Admiral of England, or Lord Admiral and later Lord High Admiral was created in approximately 1400. In 1546 King Henry VIII established the Council of the Marine later to became the Navy Board to oversee administrative affairs of the naval service. Operational control of the Navy remained the responsibility of the Lord High Admiral, who was one of the nine Great Officers of State.

In 1628, Charles I put the office of Lord High Admiral into commission and control of the Royal Navy passed to a committee in the form of the Board of the Admiralty. Control of the Navy was passed to and from the board and the Lord High Admiral a number of times until 1709 when the powers of the Lord High Admiral were finally vested in the Board of Admiralty.

The Board of Admiralty consisted of admirals (known as Sea Lords) and civilian lords, normally politicians. The professional head of the Royal Navy was (and still is) known as the First Sea Lord. The civilian minister and president of the Board was known as the First Lord of the Admiralty.

In 1831 the Navy Board was abolished as a separate entity and its duties and responsibilities were given over to the Board of Admiralty.

In 1964 the Admiralty was subsumed into the Ministry of Defence along with the War Office and the Air Ministry. Within the expanded Ministry of Defence are a new Admiralty Board, Army Board and Air Force Board, each headed by the Secretary of State for Defence. (The new Admiralty Board was to have been called the Navy Board but for an amendment in the House of Lords).

The title of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom is now vested in the Sovereign. However, there continues to be appointed a Vice-Admiral and a Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom.

Lord High Admirals, 1413-1628

Lords High Admiral and First Lords of the Admiralty, 1628-1709

First Lords of the Admiralty, 1709-1964

Admirals of the Fleet, 1795-1827

First Sea Lords, 1828-Present

  • Sir George Cockburn 1828-1830
  • Sir Thomas Hardy 1830-1834
  • Sir George Dundas 1834
  • Sir Charles Adam 1834
  • Sir George Cockburn 1834-1835
  • Sir Charles Adam 1835-1841
  • Sir George Cockburn 1841-1846
  • Sir William Parker 1846
  • Sir Charles Adam 1846-1847
  • Sir James Dundas 1847-1852
  • Maurice Fitzhardinge-Berkeley, Lord Fitzhardinge 1852
  • Hyde Parker 1852-1854
  • Baron Fitzhardinge 1854-1857
  • Sir Richard Dundas 1857-1858
  • Sir William Martin 1858-1859
  • Sir Richard Dundas 1859-1861
  • Sir Frederick Grey 1861-1866
  • Sir Alexander Milne 1866-1868
  • Sir Sydney Dacres 1868-1872
  • Sir Alexander Milne 1872-1876
  • Sir Hastings Yelverston 1876-1877
  • Sir George Wellesley 1877-1879
  • Sir Astley Cooper-Key 1879-1885
  • Arthur Hood, Lord Hood of Avalon 1885-1886
  • Sir John Hay 1886
  • Arthur Hood, Lord Hood of Avalon 1886-1889
  • Sir Vesey Hamilton 1889-1891
  • Sir Anthony Hoskins 1891-1893
  • Sir Frederick Richards 1893-1899
  • Lord Walter Kerr 1899-1904
  • Sir John Fisher 1904-1910
  • Sir Arthur Wilson 1910-1911
  • Sir Francis Bridgeman 1911-1912
  • Prince Louis of Battenberg 1912-1914
  • Sir John Fisher 1914-1915
  • Sir Henry Jackson 1915-1916
  • John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe 1916-1917
  • Rosslyn Wemyss, Lord Wester Wemyss of Wemyss 1917-1919
  • David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty of the North Sea and Brooksby 1919-1927
  • Sir Charles Madden 1927-1930
  • Sir Frederick Field 1930-1933
  • Ernle Chatfield, Lord Chatfield 1933-1938
  • Sir Roger Backhouse 1938-1939
  • Sir Dudley Pound 1939-1943
  • Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope 1943-1946
  • Sir John Cunningham 1946-1948
  • Bruce Fraser, Lord Fraser of North Cape 1948-1951
  • Sir Rhoderick McGrigor 1951-1955
  • Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma 1955-1959
  • Sir Charles Lambe 1959-1960
  • Sir Caspar John 1960-1963
  • Sir David Luce 1963-1966
  • Sir Varyl Begg 1966-1968
  • Sir Michael Lefanu 1968-1970
  • Peter Hill-Norton, Lord Hill-Norton of South Nuffield 1970-1971
  • Sir Michael Pollock 1971-1974
  • Sir Edward Ashmore 1974-1977
  • Terence Lewin, Lord Lewin of Greenwich 1977-1979
  • Sir Henry Leach 1979-1982
  • John Fieldhouse, Lord Fieldhouse 1982-1985
  • Sir William Staveley 1985-1989
  • Sir Julian Oswald 1989-1993
  • Sir Benjamin Bathurst 1993-1995
  • Sir Jock Slater 1995-1998
  • Sir Michael Boyce 1998-2001
  • Sir Nigel Essenhigh 2001-2002
  • Sir Alan West 2002-present

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