Admiral-Superintendent, Portsmouth Dockyard

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Admiral-Superintendent, Portsmouth Dockyard
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Ensign of the Royal Navy
Department of Admiralty, (1832-1964), Navy Department, (1964-1971)
Reports toSecond Sea Lord
NominatorFirst Lord of the Admiralty, Second Sea Lord
AppointerFirst Lord of the Admiralty, Secretary of State for Defence
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
Term lengthNot fixed (typically 2–4 years)
Inaugural holderRear-Admiral Frederick Lewis Maitland

The Admiral-Superintendent, Portsmouth Dockyard[1] was the Royal Navy officer in command of the Portsmouth Dockyard, then later Portsmouth Naval Base from 1832 to 1971. Prior to this date a Resident Commissioner of the Navy supervised the senior staff and work of the dockyards on behalf of the Navy Board. In 1971 command responsibility for dockyards was widened include a local area command structure, initially under the designation Flag Officer, Portsmouth and Admiral Superintendent [2][3] In September 1971 admiral superintendents ceased to be a Royal Navy appointment and were instead restyled as port admirals.


Rear-Admiral Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland by Henry Meyer English in 1816. Courtesy of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.He was the 1st Admiral-Superintendent, Portsmouth Dockyard

From 1546 until 1832 prime responsibility for administering Royal Navy Dockyards lay with the Navy Board, and an official known as the Resident Commissioner of the Navy representing the board. These commissioners were former naval officers usually holding the rank of Captain though now employed as civilian employees of the Navy Board and not active sea officers [4] in charge of the day-to-day operational running of the dockyard and superintendence of its sea officer and ratings staff, following the abolition of that navy board its functions were merged within the Department of Admiralty and a new post called Admiral-Superintendent was created the post holder usually held the rank of Rear-Admiral though sometimes Commodore and Vice-Admiral. His immediate subordinate was an officer known as the Captain of the Dockyard (or Captain of the Port from 1969). This followed the appointment of a (civilian) Chief Executive of the Royal Dockyards in September 1969[5] and the creation of a centralised Royal Dockyards Management Board that were responsible for the civilian functions and staff at dockyards.[6] In May 1971 admirals with responsibility for dockyards were designated a larger area of command at which point this post was renamed Flag Officer, Portsmouth and Admiral Superintendent until July 1971. Admiral Superintendents ceased to be appointed in the royal navy on 15 September 1971, and all existing post-holders were renamed Port Admirals.

Office Holders

Post holders included:[7]

  1. Rear-Admiral Frederick Lewis Maitland, June 1832–July 1837
  2. Rear-Admiral the Hon. Duncan Playdell Bouverie, July 1837–August 1842
  3. Rear-Admiral Hyde Parker C.B., August 1842–October 1847
  4. Rear-Admiral William Henry Shirrell, October 1847–December 1847
  5. Rear-Admiral Henry Prescott, December 1847–October 1852
  6. Rear-Admiral Arthur Fanshawe, October 1852–November 1853
  7. Rear-Admiral William Fanshawe Martin, November 1853–February 1858
  8. Rear-Admiral the Hon. George Grey, February 1858–February 1863
  9. Rear-Admiral George Elliot, February 1863-June 1865
  10. Rear-Admiral George G. Wellesley, June 1865–June 1869
  11. Rear-Admiral Astley Cooper Key, July 1869–June 1870
  12. Vice-Admiral Sir William Loring, June 1870–November 1871
  13. Rear-Admiral William Houston Stewart, November 1871–April 1872
  14. Rear-Admiral Sir Francis Leopold McClintock, April 1872–April 1877
  15. Vice-Admiral the Hon. Fitzgerald A.C. Foley, April 1877–April 1882
  16. Rear-Admiral John D. McCrea, May 1882–March 1883
  17. Rear-Admiral Frederick A. Herbert, April 1883–November 1886
  18. Rear-Admiral John Ommanney Hopkins, November 1886–August 1888
  19. Rear-Admiral William E. Gordon, August 1888–May 1891
  20. Rear-Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher, May 1891–February 1892
  21. Rear-Admiral Charles George Fane, February 1892–February 1896
  22. Vice-Admiral Ernest Rice, February 1896–September 1899
  23. Rear-Admiral Pelham Aldrich, 1 September 1899 – 1 September 1902
  24. Vice-Admiral Reginald F.H. Henderson, 1 September 1902 – February 1905[8]
  25. Rear-Admiral Sir Henry D. Barry, February 1905–November 1906
  26. Vice-Admiral Charles G. Robinson, November 1906–May 1909
  27. Vice-Admiral F. Alban A. G. Tate, May 1909–May 1912
  28. Rear-Admiral Herbert L. Heath, May 1912–August 1915
  29. Rear-Admiral Arthur W. Waymouth, August 1915–January 1917
  30. Rear-Admiral Charles L. Vaughan-Lee, January 1917–April 1920
  31. Rear-Admiral Sir Edwyn S. Alexander-Sinclair, April 1920–September 1922
  32. Vice-Admiral Sir E. Percy F.G. Grant, September 1922–January 1925
  33. Rear-Admiral Bertram S. Thesiger, January 1925–May 1927
  34. Vice-Admiral Leonard A. B. Donaldson, May 1927–May 1931
  35. Vice-Admiral Sir Henry K. Kitson, May 1931–September 1935
  36. Vice-Admiral Sir Robert R. Turner, September 1935–November 1940
  37. Vice-Admiral Sir Marshal L. Clarke, November 1940–November 1945
  38. Vice-Admiral Sir L. Vaughan Morgan, November 1945–July 1949
  39. Vice-Admiral William Y. La R. Beverley, July 1949 – October 1951
  40. Rear-Admiral A. Gordon V. Hubback, October 1951 – October 1954
  41. Vice-Admiral Jocelyn S.C. Salter, October 1954 – October 1957
  42. Rear-Admiral John H. Unwin, October 1957 – January 1961
  43. Rear-Admiral Sir John S.W. Walsham,Bt, January 1961 – January 1964
  44. Rear-Admiral Joseph L. Blackham, January 1964 – May 1966
  45. Rear-Admiral Richard C. Paige, May 1966 – July 1968
  46. Rear-Admiral Arthur Mackenzie Power, July 1968 – May 1971
  47. Rear-Admiral Peter George La Niece, May 1971 – July 1971 (as 1st Flag Officer Portsmouth and final Admiral Superintendent Portsmouth)


  1. "Royal Naval dockyard staff". The National Archives, UK, 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  2. Mackie, Colin, (2017), Royal Navy Senior Appointments, Gulabin, pp. 101-102.
  3. Archives, National. "Records of the Ministry of Defence Records of Administrative Departments DEFE 69, Ministry of Defence, Navy, Registered Files and Branch Folders, Flag Officer,Portsmouth". National Archives. National Archives. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  4. Archives, The National, Royal Naval dockyard staff, Accessed, 21 March 2017}}
  5. House of Commons, 15 October 1968, Naval Dockyards Chief Executive, Hansard.
  6. House of Commons, 27 July 1971, Royal Dockyards, Hansard.
  7. Mackie, Colin, (2017), Royal Navy Senior Appointments, Gulabin, pp. 101-102.
  8. The Times Newspaper, Naval and Military Intelligence, Tuesday, 2 September 1902, page. 4. issue. 36862