Admiral of the Irish Sea

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Office of the
Admiral of the Irish Sea
Reports toHigh Admiral of England
NominatorMonarch of England
AppointerMonarch of England
Term lengthnot fixed
usually 1-2 years
First holderAdmiral Sir William de Leybourne
Final holderAdmiral Sir John de Roches
SuccessionAdmiral of the Irish Fleet

The Admiral of the Irish Sea was a senior Navy Royal appointment from 1297 to 1391. The office holder was responsible for the command of the English Navy's Irish Fleet.


he Irish Fleet was a series of temporary formations assembled for particular naval campaigns of various English Monarch's from the thirteenth to seventeenth century. The formation was commanded by senior officers who's title changed a number of times during its existence. In 1298 the first Admiral appointed by a state document issued by Edward I of England was Sir William de Leybourne who was titled as Admiral of the Irish Sea he was given responsibility to command all English ships operating in the Irish Sea.[1]

On a number of occcassions when the Irish Fleet was formed this office was titled as either as Admiral of the Kings Fleet in Ireland or Admiral of the Irish Fleet

Office Holders

Note:Incomplete list of post holders include.

No. rank name date/s appointed as ref
1. Admiral Sir William de Leybourne 1297-1298 Admiral of the Irish Sea and Admiral of the West [2]
2. Admiral Sir Gervase Alard 1304-1305 Admiral of the Irish Sea [3]
3. Admiral John of Argyll 1311-1312 Admiral of the Irish Sea [3]
4. Admiral John of Argyll 1313-1314 Admiral of the Irish Sea [3]
5. Admiral Sir William Cray 1315-1316 Admiral of the Irish Sea [3]
6. Admiral Sir John Athy 1318-1319 Admiral of the Irish Sea [3]
7. Admiral Sir Simon Driby 1319-1320 Admiral of the Irish Sea [3]
8. Admiral Sir Robert Leyburn 1322-1323 Admiral of the Irish Sea [3]
9. Admiral Robert Bataill 1323-1324 Admiral of the Irish Sea [3]
10. Admirals Sir Robert Bendyn and Stephen Alard 1324-1325 Admiral of the Irish Sea (jointly) [3]
11. Admiral Sir Robert Leyburn 1326-1327 Admiral of the Irish Sea [3]
12. Admirals Sir Richard Holland 1335-1336 Admiral of the Irish Sea [3]
13. Admiral Sir John Roches 1389-1391 Admiral of the Irish Sea [3]


  1. Gardiner, Leslie (March 1968). The British Admiralty. Edinburgh, Scotland: Blackwood. p. 20. ISBN 9780851580012.
  2. Godolphin, John (1661). Synēgoros thalassios, A view of the admiral jurisdiction wherein the most material points concerning that jurisdiction are fairly and submissively discussed : as also divers of the laws, customes, rights, and priviledges of the high admiralty of England by ancient records, and other arguments of law asserted : whereunto is added by way of appendix an extract of the ancient laws of Oleron / by John Godolphin ... University of Michigan, An Arbour, MI, USA: W. Godbid for Edmund Paxton and John Sherley. pp. 197–207.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Rodger, N.A.M. (1997). "Appendix V Admirals and Officials". The safeguard of the sea : a naval history of Britain. Vol 1., 660-1649. London, England: Penguin. pp. 504–509. ISBN 9780140297249.