English Armed Forces

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The English Armed Forces or Armed Forces of England or formally His or Her Majesty's Armed Forces and English Military existed while existed while the Kingdom of England was an independent state (927-1707), and at war with other states.


The English Armed Forces or English Military existed while the Kingdom of England was an independent sovereign state and at war with other states. However, it was not until the 16th century that standing armed forces were established: the Navy Royal (1545-1660) later renamed the Royal Navy from 1660 and the English Army. The Commander-in-Chief of the English Armed Forces was the Monarch of England. Under English constitutional law, the armed forces were subordinate to the Crown. However under the Bill of Rights (1689) no Standing Army was to be maintained during time of peace without the consent of Parliament of England.

English Navy

Service Departments and Offices

Prior to 1414 their were between three and five regional admiralty's established that were defined on the basis of geographical location an Admiral was appointed for direction, control and jurisdiction of a particular area of England they existed from 1298 until 1414 when the last remaining regional commands was unified unified into a single Admiralty Office covering all of England. The main service departments and offices the controlled and directed the service branches were:

Regions of England
  1. Northern Admiralty (1294 to 1412) — Eastern England and North Sea Coast.
  2. Northern, Southern and Western Admiralty (1360-1369) — England and Wales
  3. Northern and Western Admiralty (1364-1367), (1386-1400), (1406-1414) — Eastern, Southern and Western England
  4. Southern Admiralty (1294-1310), (1325-1326) — Southern England and English Channel
  5. Western Admiralty (1294 to 1412) — Southern England and Western England inc Wales

From 1546 the English Navy was managed by two service departments (dual system), the admiralty responsible for naval policy, law and operations and the navy office for the civil establishment. Naval finance was controlled by the navy treasury.

  1. Admiralty Office, (1414-1546)
  2. Admiralty and Marine Affairs Office (1546-1690)
  3. Navy Office, (1546-1707)
  4. Navy Treasury, (1546-1707)
  5. Department of Admiralty (1690-1707)

Service Branches

By 1414 the Navy Royal came into being following the establishment of a single admiralty for all of England of which all former regional fleets were abolished. Following the English Civil War (1642-1651) the Navy Royal was seized by parliamentary forces in 1649 and became know as the Commonwealth Navy (by modern historians). In 1660 following the restoration of the Monarchy of England the former was renamed Royal Navy.The main military service branches were:

  1. Navy Royal, (1413-1649)
  2. Commonwealth Navy, (1649-1660)
  3. Royal Navy, (1660-1690)

Branch Commanders

  1. Office of the High Admiral of England, (1360-1513).
  2. Office of the Lord Admiral of England, (1513-1613).
  3. General at Sea, (1649-1660)
  4. Office of the Lord High Admiral of England, (1613-1649), (1660-1707)

Deputy Branch Commanders

  1. Office of the Lieutenant of the Admiralty, (1397-1707).
  2. Office of the Vice-Admiral of England, (1399–1707).
  3. Office of the Admiral of the Fleet, (1688-1707).

English Army

Service Departments and Office

  1. Armoury Office, (1423-1671).
  2. Office of Ordnance, (1460-1597)
  3. War Office, (1661–1707)
  4. Ordnance Office, (1597-1707).

Service Branches

  1. English Army, (or Army of England)