Commander-in-Chief, the Downs

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Office of the Commander-in-Chief, the Downs
Royal Navy Blue Ensign 1801 to 1864.gif
Ensign of the last Commander-in-Chief
Department of Admiralty
Reports toFirst Naval Lord
NominatorFirst Naval Lord
AppointerFirst Lord of the Admiralty
Subject to formal approval by the King-in-Council
Term lengthNot fixed (typically 1–3 years)
Inaugural holderRear-Admiral Sir John Penington
Formation1623–1833

The Commander-in-Chief, the Downs was a senior Royal Navy appointment established in 1623. The office holder was responsible for the naval command area the Downs Station and its constituent naval forces the Downs Squadron until 1833 when the appointment was abolished.

History

The Downs was the name naval area of sea during the 17th to 19th centuries. It served as permanent base for the navy operating out of Deal. for warships patrolling the North Sea during the age of sail. The command generally covered an area in the southern North Sea near the English Channel off the east Kent coast it is primarily known in Naval History for the earlier Battle of the Downs that took place in 1639. The station lasted until 1815, when due to a change in area command it was absorbed into the Nore Station's control.

Office Holders

Rear-Admiral Sir John Pennington the first Commander-in-Chief, the Downs

Incomplete list includes:[1]

  1. Rear-Admiral Sir John Pennington, 1623-1631
  2. Vice-Admiral Sir John Pennington, 1638-1645 [2]
  3. Vice-Admiral Sir John Mennes 1645-1649 [3]
  4. Rear-Admiral, Richard Badiley, 1649-1650
  5. Vice-Admiral, John Lawson, 1650-1652
  6. Rear-Admiral Nehemiah Bourne 1652-1653
  7. Vice-Admiral, Richard Badiley, 1656-1657
  8. Admiral Sir Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich July 1657 – 1663 [4]
  9. Commodore Thomas Allin, 1663-1664 [5]
  10. Admiral Sir William Penn, November 1664 – 1666 [6]
  11. Rear-Admiral Sir John Holmes, 1667-1677 [7]
  12. Vice-Admiral Sir John Holmes, 1677-1679 [8]
  13. Vice-Admiral, Sir Edward Spragge, 1685 [9]
  14. Commodore Distinction: Stafford Fairborne, 7 January 1695 – 17 January 1697 [10]
  15. Commodore Distinction: Gerard Ellwes, 1707-1708 [11]
  16. Commodore Distinction: Tudor Trevor, 1711-1712 [12]
  17. Rear-Admiral, Sir Charles Wager, 1712-1714 [13]
  18. Commodore Distinction: Philip Cavendish, 1716 [14]
  19. Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon, 1744 [15]
  20. Vice-Admiral Thomas Smith, 1755-1756
  21. Admiral Thomas Smith, 1757
  22. Commodore Distinction: William Boys, 1759 [16]
  23. Commodore Distinction: John Moore.1761-1766 [17]
  24. Rear-Admiral, John Montagu, 1771 [18]
  25. Commodore Distinction:John Elliot, 1777-1778 [19]
  26. Vice-Admiral Matthew Buckle, 1778-1779 [20]
  27. Vice-Admiral Francis William Drake, 1779-1782 [21]
  28. Rear-Admiral John Evans, 1780-1781 *
  29. Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Hughes, 1781-1782 * [22]
  30. Rear-Admiral Sir Richard King, 1790-1791[23]
  31. Rear-Admiral John MacBride, 1793-1794 [24]
  32. Vice-Admiral Joseph Peyton, 1794-1799 [25]
  33. Rear-Admiral John Bazely, 1796-1797 *
  34. Vice-Admiral Skeffington Lutwidge, 1799-1802 [26]
  35. Rear-Admiral Edward Thornbrough, 1803 [27]
  36. Vice-Admiral of the Blue: Philip Patton, 1803-1804 [28][29]
  37. Vice-Admiral of the Red John Holloway, 1804-1807 [30][31]
  38. Vice-Admiral of the White Bartholomew Rowley, 1807-1808 [32][33]
  39. Vice-Admiral of the Red George Campbell, 1808-1811 [34][35]
  40. Vice-Admiral of the White Thomas Foley, 1811-1815 [36]
  41. Rear-Admiral of the Blue, William Hall Gage, 1833.[37]

Temporary command in absence of senior officer *

Note:Between 1782 to 1790 and 1791 to 1793 the station was deactivated.

References

  1. Hiscocks, Richard (1 February 2016). "Downs commander-in-chief 1777-1815 - more than Nelson". more than Nelson. Richard Hiscocks. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  2. Charnock, John (1794). Biographia Navalis; or, Impartial memoirs of the lives of officers of the navy of Great Britain from 1660, Volume 1. London England. pp. 29–31.
  3. Charnock, John (1794). Biographia Navalis; or, Impartial memoirs of the lives of officers of the navy of Great Britain from 1660, Volume 1. London England. pp. 29–31.
  4. Charnock, John (1794). Biographia Navalis; or, Impartial memoirs of the lives of officers of the navy of Great Britain from 1660, Volume 1. London England. pp. 29–31.
  5. Charnock, John (1794). Biographia Navalis; or, Impartial memoirs of the lives of officers of the navy of Great Britain from 1660, Volume 1. London England. pp. 29–31.
  6. Charnock, John (1794). Biographia Navalis; or, Impartial memoirs of the lives of officers of the navy of Great Britain from 1660, Volume 1. London England. pp. 29–31.
  7. Schomberg, Isaac (1802). Naval Chronology: Or, An Historical Summary of Naval & Maritime Events, from the Time of the Romans, to the Treaty of Peace, Volume 5. London, England: T Egerton. p. 224.
  8. Charnock, John (1794). Biographia Navalis; or, Impartial memoirs of the lives of officers of the navy of Great Britain from 1660, Volume 1. London England. p. 106.
  9. Luke, John (1958). Tangier at High Tide: The Journal of John Luke, 1670-1673. Librairie Droz. p. 239. ISBN 9782600034678.
  10. Harrison, Simon. "Stafford Fairborne (d.1716)". threedecks.org. Simon Harrison. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  11. Harrison, Simon (2010–2018). "Commander-in-Chief at The Downs". threedecks.org. S.Harrison. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  12. Harrison Commander-in-Chief at The Downs
  13. Harrison Commander-in-Chief at The Downs
  14. Harrison Commander-in-Chief at The Downs
  15. Schomberg, Isaac (1802). Naval Chronology: Or, An Historical Summary of Naval & Maritime Events, from the Time of the Romans, to the Treaty of Peace, Volume 5. London, England: T Egerton. p. 224.
  16. Harrison Commander-in-Chief at The Downs
  17. Harrison Commander-in-Chief at The Downs
  18. Harrison Commander-in-Chief at The Downs
  19. Harrison Commander-in-Chief at The Downs
  20. Harrison Commander-in-Chief at The Downs
  21. 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. 243.
  22. Marshall, John (2010). Royal Naval Biography: Or, Memoirs of the Services of All the Flag-Officers, Superannuated Rear-Admirals, Retired-Captains, Post-Captains, and Commanders. Cambridge University Press. p. 10. ISBN 9781108022712.
  23. Papers, Relative to Correspondence between Sir Home Popham and the Admiralty, between 1 January 1787 and 31st December 1792. Oxford University. 1808. p. 198.
  24. O’Byrne, William R. (2012). A Naval Biographical Dictionary - Volume 1. Andrews UK Limited. p. 38. ISBN 9781781502778.
  25. Harrison Commander-in-Chief at The Downs
  26. Archives, The National. "Admiral Skeffington Lutwidge, Commander-in-Chief in the Downs, Order to Captain Portlock of the Arrow. Copy. Paper No 6". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. National Archives, 1799 May 26, HO 69/5/6. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  27. Burke, John (1838). A genealogical and heraldic history of the commoners of Great Britain and Ireland. Henry Colburn, London. p. 302.
  28. O’Byrne, William R. (2012). A Naval Biographical Dictionary - Volume 2. Andrews UK Limited. p. 875. ISBN 9781781502792.
  29. Harrison, Simon (2018). "Philip Patton (1739-1815) Appointments". threedecks.org. S. Harrison. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  30. Goodman, Alfred Edwin (1916). Goodman, a Family History. A.H. Timms, Printer. p. 404.
  31. Harrison, Simon (2018). "John Holloway (1747-1826): Appointments". threedecks.org. S. Harrison. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  32. Urban, Sylvanus (1811). Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle. E. Cave, London. p. 586.
  33. Harrison, Simon (2018). "Bartholomew Samuel Rowley (1763-1811):Appointments". threedecks.org. S. Harrison. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  34. The Annual biography and obituary. A & R Spottiswoode, London. 1827. p. 448.
  35. Harrsion, Simon (2018). "Sir George Campbell (1759-1821): Appointments". threedecks.org. S. Harrison. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  36. Marshall, John (2010). Royal Naval Biography: Or, Memoirs of the Services of All the Flag-Officers, Superannuated Rear-Admirals, Retired-Captains, Post-Captains, and Commanders. Cambridge University Press. p. 220. ISBN 9781108022682.
  37. Laughton, John Knox. "Gage William Hall". Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900. Retrieved 15 March 2017.