Admiral of the North, South and West

From Naval History Archive
Jump to navigationJump to search
Admiral of the North, South and West
Animated-Flag-England.gif
Flag of the Kingdom of England
Northern Fleet
Southern Fleet
Western Fleet
Member ofKings Council
NominatorMonarch of England
AppointerMonarch of England
Term lengthNot fixed, (usually for life)
PrecursorAdmiral of the North
Admiral of the South
Admiral of the West
Formation18 July 1360
First holderAdmiral of the Fleet: Sir John de Beauchamp
Final holderAdmiral of the Fleet: Sir Ralph de Spigurnell
Abolished1369
SuccessionAdmiral of the North
Admiral of the West

The Admiral of the North, South and West formally known as Admiral of the Northern, Southern and Western Fleets [1] or Admiral of all the Fleets of England [2] was a senior English Navy appointment and Commander-in-Chief of the English Navy from 1360 to 1369.

History

The naval defence of England from the end of the 13th century was divided into regional commands or 'admiralties' the Admiral of the North, the Admiral of the South and the Admiral of the West. The first royal commission as Admiral to a naval officer was granted in 1303. In 1328 the Admiralty of the South its units, formations and staff was merged with the Admiralty of the North until the end of the fourteenth Century.[3] By 1344 the appointment of an admiral was only used as a rank at sea for a captain in charge of a fleet or fleets.[4]

The appointment of an admiral was not regarded by the English government at the time as an honourary post subordinate to a military rank, their importance attached to their office can be confirmed by the recording of their allowances paid recorded in the Calendar of Patent Rolls.[5] In the fourteenth Century Admirals were paid a respectable salary which was only granted because the position was viewed as substantially important. In addition the rank of admiral was only granted to men of high prestige within feudal hierarchy, most recipients of the office were usually knights but more often earls.[6]

On 18 July 1360 King Edward III of England appointed Sir John de Beauchamp by letters patent, formally 'Admiral of the King's Northern, Southern and Western Fleets' giving him sole command of the English Navy effectively Admiral of the Fleet[7][8] two further post holders would succeed Sir John de Beauchamp.

The Admirals duties usually consisted of assembling fleets for naval expeditions undertaken by the monarch on campaign, maintaining order and discipline and supervising the work of the Admiralty Courts for each region. On major military expeditions the Admiral would go to sea with their fleets and accompany the overall Commander-in-Chief of both sea and land forces usually the King himself but sometimes a nobleman of higher rank than the admiral. Their role was to observe and direct naval battles but not necessarily taking part in them themselves.[9] However from 1344 onward their role was moving from primarily an administrative one to that of a seagoing command.[10]

In 1337 the first known record of the appointment of a "vice-admiral' was granted to a Nicholas Ususmaris, a Genoese, he was made Vice-Admiral of the King's fleet of galleys, and all other ships of Aquitaine. However these appointments were far and few between. There was two further instances of the appointment of Vice-Admirals to Sir Thomas Drayton as Vice-Admiral of the Northern Fleet and Sir Peter Bard Vice-Admiral of the Western Fleet both on 28 July 1338.[11]

Special assistants were appointed to handle two important sub-divisions of the admirals powers. The first was the admiral's lieutenant, or deputy, who handled administrative and legal duties and each of these admirals had one. It would not be until the early 15th century that they would appointed on a more regular basis however they were referred to at this time as the admirals Lieutenant-General this office eventually became known as the Lieutenant of the Admiralty.[12]

The second was the Wardens of the Coast for each region who were responsible for the direction and co-ordination of the fleet, the equipping of boats and processing payments to sailors and superintendence of the Sea Guard Militia assigned to each coastal county.[13]. From the mid fourteenth century there was move to centralise these regional naval authority's as seen with the appointment of the Admiral of the Southern, Northern and Western fleets sometimes refereed to as Admiral of the Fleet or Admiral of England and the Admiral of the North and West this tendency towards unifying regional naval authorities under one admiral eventually led to the creation of the office of the High Admiral of England later called the Lord Admiral of England[14]

The Admirals were logistically supported by the Clerk of the Kings Ships who looked after all the navy's finances whilst victualling of the navy was handled by another one of Kings Clerks.[15]

Office Holders

Post holders include: [16][17]

  1. High Admiral & Admiral of the Fleet: – Sir John de Beauchamp, 18 July 1360 – 2 December 1360. (died in office). [17]
  2. Admiral of the Fleet: – Sir Robert de Herle, 2 December 1360 - 7 July 1364. (died in office) [18][17]
  3. Admiral of the Fleet: – Sir Ralph de Spigurnell, July 1364 - 1369 (retained title for life) [18][17]

See also

References

  1. Twiss, Travers (2012). The Black Book of the Admiralty: With an Appendix. Cambridge University Press. p. xxxiii. ISBN 9781108048910.
  2. Mangone, Gerard J. (1997). United States Admiralty Law. Leiden, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 15. ISBN 9041104178.
  3. Rodger, N.A.M. (1997). "Captains and Admirals: Social History 1204 to 1455". The safeguard of the sea : a naval history of Britain. Vol 1., 660-1649. London: Penguin. pp. 131–142. ISBN 9780140297249.
  4. "History of Naval Ranks and Rates". www.navymuseum.co.nz. National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  5. Bell, Adrian R.; Curry, Anne; King, Andy; Simpkin, David (2013). The Soldier in Later Medieval England. Oxford: OUP Oxford. p. 45. ISBN 9780199680825.
  6. Rodger pp. 131-142
  7. "Trafalgar Ancestors, Glossary". nationalarchives.gov.uk. National Archives, 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  8. 1, St. George Tucker. Vol. (1996). Blackstone's commentaries: with notes of reference to the constitution and laws, of the federal government of the United States, and of the Commonwealth of Virginia; with an appendix to each volume, containing short tracts upon such subjects as appeared necessary to form a connected view of the laws of Virginia as a member of the federal union (Originally published: Philadelphia : William Young Birch, and Abraham Small, 1803. ed.). Union, NJ: Lawbook Exchange. p. xxxiii. ISBN 9781886363168.
  9. Rodger pp. 131-142
  10. National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy
  11. Tucker, St George (2004). "Introduction". Blackstone's commentaries : with notes of reference to the constitution and laws, of the federal government of the United States, and of the Commonwealth of Virginia; with an appendix to each volume, containing short tracts upon such subjects as appeared necessary to form a connected view of the laws of Virginia as a member of the federal union. Vol. 1 (5 ed.). Clark, New Jersey, United States: Lawbook Exchange Ltd. p. xxxii. ISBN 9781886363168.
  12. Blomfield, R. Massie (January 1912). "NAVAL EXECUTIVE RANKS". The Mariner's Mirror. 2 (4): 106–112. doi:10.1080/00253359.1912.10654589.
  13. Rodger pp. 131-142
  14. Rodger pp. 131-142
  15. Rodger pp. 131-142
  16. Twiss, Travers (2012). "Introduction". The Black Book of the Admiralty: With an Appendix. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. xxxiii. ISBN 9781108048910.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Rodger, N.A.M. (2004). "Admirals and Officials: English Admirals 1295 to 1408". The safeguard of the sea : a naval history of Britain from 660 to 1649. New York: W.W. Norton. pp. 504–505. ISBN 9780140297249.
  18. 18.0 18.1 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. pp. 271–273.

Bibliography

  • Clowes, Sir William Laird; Clowes, William Laird; Markham, Sir Clements Robert (1996). The Royal Navy: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present. Newbury: Chatham Pub. ISBN 9781861760104.
  • Houbraken, Jacobus; Rapin-Thoyras, Paul de; Vertue, George (1747). "A List of Admirals of England, 1228–1745". The History of England. London: J. and P. Knapton.
  • Mangone, Gerard J. (1997). United States Admiralty Law. Leiden, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 9041104178.
  • St. George Tucker. Vol. (1996). Blackstone's commentaries: with notes of reference to the constitution and laws, of the federal government of the United States, and of the Commonwealth of Virginia; with an appendix to each volume, containing short tracts upon such subjects as appeared necessary to form a connected view of the laws of Virginia as a member of the federal union (Originally published: Philadelphia : William Young Birch, and Abraham Small, 1803. ed.). Union, NJ: Lawbook Exchange. ISBN 9781886363168.
  • Rodger, N.A.M. (2004). "Admirals and Officials: English Admirals 1295 to 1408". The safeguard of the sea : a naval history of Britain from 660 to 1649. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 9780140297249
  • Twiss, Travers (2012). The Black Book of the Admiralty: With an Appendix. Cambridge, England. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108048910.