Rear-Admiral of the Narrow Seas

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Office of the Rear-Admiral of the Narrow Seas
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Flag of the Kingdom of England
Reports toLord High Admiral, Board of Admiralty
NominatorMonarch of England, First Lord of the Admiralty
AppointerMonarch of England
Subject to formal approval by the King-in-Council
Term lengthNot fixed , (usually for life)
Inaugural holderRear-Admiral Henry Palmer
Formation1563-1654

The Rear-Admiral of the Narrow Seas also known as the Rear-Admiral for the guard of the Narrow Seas [1] was a senior Royal Navy appointment. The post holder was chiefly responsible for the command of the English navy's Narrow Seas Squadron [2] also known as the Eastern Squadron [3] that operated in the two seas which lay between England and Kingdom of France (the English Channel particularly the Straits of Dover) and England and the Spanish Netherlands later the Dutch Republic (the southern North Sea) from 1412 to 1688.[4].

His subordinate units, establishments, and staff were sometimes initially known as the Command of the Narrow Seas later called the Narrow Seas Squadron.[5]

History

The first royal commission as Admiral to a naval officer was granted in 1303. By 1344 it was only used as a rank at sea for a captain in charge of a fleet or fleets.[6] In the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the Kingdom of England claimed sovereignty over certain bodies of water close to the British Isles.Two seas those between the Kingdom of France and England (the English Channel particularly the Straits of Dover) and the Spanish Netherlands later the Dutch Republic and England (the southern North Sea). As a result of England's claim of these territorial waters there was an enforceable requirement placed on any foreign ships passing through the area to acknowledge all English warships. England also exercised control over all fishing rights within the same waters. Among the most important naval postings during these times was the Admiral of the Narrow Seas sometimes called the Vice-Admiral of the Narrow Seas to denote he was junior to the Lord Admiral of England these flag officers were formally appointed by the crown.[7] His responsibilities were to guard the narrow seas from foreign threats, protect English fishing vessels and enforce English sovereignty over said waters. Claims to the narrow seas lasted until the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland agreed to set a new three mile limit along with other European countries in 1822.[8]

Office holders

Rear-Admiral of the Narrow Seas
No. rank name date/s notes ref
1. Rear-Admiral Sir John Hawkins May–Jul, 1563 [9]
2. Rear-Admiral Henry Palmer 1587-1588 [10]
3. Rear-Admiral Sir John Penington 1625–1626 as Rear-Admiral for the Guard of the Narrow Seas [11]
4. Rear-Admiral Sir John Penington 1631–1634 as Rear-Admiral for the Guard of the Narrow Seas [12]

References

  1. Keeler, Mary Frear; Cole, Maija Jansson; Bidwell, William B. (1997). Commons Debates 1628. Boydell & Brewer. p. 210. ISBN 9781580460095.
  2. Winfield, Rif (2010). "Appendices: Appendix 1: English Naval vessels engaged in the action against the Armada 1588". British Warships in the Age of Sail 1603-1714: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. p. 285. ISBN 9781783469246.
  3. Childs, David (2014). Pirate Nation: Elizabeth I and her Royal Sea Rovers. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. p. 141. ISBN 9781848322943.
  4. Blanchard, W. O. (September 1951). "The Narrow Seas". Journal of Geography. 50 (6): 221–230. doi:10.1080/00221345108982679. ISSN 0022-1341.
  5. Humble, Richard (1986). "Four Centuries of Sea Power 1509 to 1919". The rise and fall of the British Navy (1. publ. ed.). London: Macdonald Queen Anne Press. p. 35. ISBN 9780356122274.
  6. "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.
  7. Rodger, N.A.M. (1997). "Social History of Officers 1509-1603". The safeguard of the sea : a naval history of Britain. Vol 1., 660-1649. London, England: Penguin. p. 298. ISBN 9780140297249.
  8. "Narrow Seas - Oxford Reference - in The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea". oxfordreference.com. University of Oxford. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  9. Knighton, Dr C. S.; Loades, Professor David (2013). The Navy of Edward VI and Mary I. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 552. ISBN 9781409482406.
  10. Childs, David (2014). Pirate Nation: Elizabeth I and her Royal Sea Rovers. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. p. 141. ISBN 9781848322943.
  11. Keeler, Mary Frear; Cole, Maija Jansson; Bidwell, William B. (1997). Commons Debates 1628. Boydell & Brewer. p. 210. ISBN 9781580460095.
  12. Fulton, Thomas Wemyss (2002). The Sovereignty of the Sea: An Historical Account of the Claims of England to the Dominion of the British Seas, and of the Evolution of the Territorial Waters, with Special Reference to the Rights of Fishing and the Naval Salute. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. p. 231. ISBN 9781584772323.