Southern Admiralty

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Southern Admiralty
Royal Arms of England (1198 - 1340) v2.jpg
Royal Arms of the Kingdom of England 1198 to 1340
Admiralty overview
Formed1294
Dissolved1326
Superseding department
JurisdictionEngland Kingdom of England
HeadquartersPortsmouth
England
Admiralty executives
Parent AdmiraltyOffice of the Admiral of England

The Southern Admiralty was an admiralty and regional command of the English Navy established in 1294 that was administered by the Admiral of the South from 1294 to 1326 when it was merged into with the Western Admiralty.

Historical Overview

From the end of the 13th century until the beginning of the 15th century naval defence and operations of the the Kingdom of England were defined on the basis of geographical location an Admiral was appointed for the civil administration, legal jurisdiction and naval operations of a particular area of England. In 1326 its absorbed into the Western Admiralty. The Southern Admiralty controlled the South Coast of England from the Thames to Bristol and the English Channel and Southern North Sea. Within each admiralty a deputy commander or sub-admiral called the Lieutenant or Vice-Admiral appointed to each commanding Admiral and assigned responsibly for enforcing admiralty law in that jurisdiction as well as superintending the Wardens of the Coast who controlled stretches of coast line in the maritime counties that were part of their particular region by the 16th century these were known as the Vice-Admiralties of the Coast. Each region had a local defence force called the Sea Guard Militia an early forerunner of the Sea Fencibles. The admiralty existed until 1326.

In Command

The Southern Admiralty was controlled and directed by the office of the Admiral of the South the first incumbent was Admiral, Sir William de Leybourne and the final office holder was Admiral, Sir Nicholas de Crioll. In all two officers served as Admiral of the South.