Vice-Admiral of England

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Office of the Vice-Admiral of
Flag of the Board of Admiralty 1690 to 19th century.gif
First holderVice–Admiral, Sir Robert de Umfraville

The office of the Vice-Admiral of England and also known as the Vice-Admiral of the Fleet was created in 1399 it was the second most powerful position in the Royal Navy until 1801, the title though now an honorary one is still in use today as Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom. He is the deputy of the Lord High Admiral.[1]


The office was created in 1399 as the deputy of the High Admiral of England and the second most powerful position in the Royal Navy, and until 1801. From 1628 the responsibilities of the Board of Admiralty would, in theory, have devolved upon the Vice-Admiral had the entire Board been incapacitated before a new Commission of Admiralty could pass the Great Seal. However, such a contingency never occurred in practice. In 1672 the Office of Lieutenant of the Admiralty is merged with this office subsequently from this date all post holders appointed were styled as of the Admiralty and entitled Vice-Admiral of England. Below the office of Vice-Admiral ranks the Rear-Admiral of England. With the Act of Union in 1707 that amalgamated the Kingdom of England with the Kingdom of Scotland a new office that of Vice-Admiral of Great Britain was created.[2]

Office Holders


  1. Vice-Admiral, Edmund Arnold, 1410-1412.[4]
  2. Vice-Admiral. Sir John Arundell I, Feb-Aug, 1418.[5]
  3. Vice-Admiral, Sir Richard Harliston, 1470–1483[6][7]
  4. Vice-Admiral, William FitzWilliam, 1st Earl of Southampton, 1513-1525[8]
  5. Vice-Admiral, Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle, 1525-1536[9]
Post in abeyance
  1. Vice-Admiral, Sir Thomas Clere, 1546-1552[10]
  2. Vice-Admiral, Sir William Woodhouse, 1552-1564[11]
  3. Vice-Admiral Sir John Clere, Kt. 1557–1558 [12]
Post in abeyance
  1. Admiral Sir Richard Leveson, 1604-1618[13]
  2. Admiral Sir Robert Mansell, 1618-1656[14]
  3. Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich, 1661-1672

Vice-Admirals of England and Lieutenant of the Admiralty


  1. H.R.H. Prince Rupert of the Rhine , 1672-1682
  2. Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton 2 December 1682 – 1689
  3. Sir Arthur Herbert, 1st Earl of Torrington, 1689-1702
  4. Sir George Rooke. 1702-1709


  1. Perrin, W.G. (1928). "The Vice-Admiral and Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom". The Mariner's Mirror. 14 (1): 26–31. doi:10.1080/00253359.1928.10655449.
  2. Perrin.
  3. Perrin.
  4. "ARNOLD (ARNAUD), Edmund (d.1419), of Dartmouth, Devon and Gascony. History of Parliament Online". History of Parliament Trust. 1964–2019. Retrieved 6 July 2019.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  5. "ARUNDELL, John I (c.1366-1435), of Lanherne, Cornw. History of Parliament Online". London: The History of Parliament Trust. 1964–2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  6. Lewis, Samuel (1831). A Topographical Dictionary of England: Comprising the Several Counties, Cities, Boroughs, Corporate & Market Towns ...& the Islands of Guernsey, Jersey, and Man, with Historical and Statistical Descriptions; Illustrated by Maps of the Different Counties & Islands; ... and a Plan of London and Its Environs ... London: S. Lewis & Company. p. 477.
  7. Burke, Sir John Bernard (1850). The St. James's Magazine: And Heraldic and Historical Register. London: E. Churton. p. 329.
  8. Childs, David (2009). Tudor Sea Power: The Foundation of Greatness. Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing. p. 107. ISBN 9781473819924.
  9. Childs, David (2014). The Warship Mary Rose: The Life and Times of King Henry VII's Flagship. Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing. p. 63. ISBN 9781473853096.
  10. Knighton, Dr C. S.; Loades, Professor David (2013). The Navy of Edward VI and Mary I. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 573. ISBN 9781409482406.
  11. Massie.
  12. Blomfield, R. Massie (January 1912). "NAVAL EXECUTIVE RANKS". The Mariner's Mirror. 2 (4): 106–112. doi:10.1080/00253359.1912.10654589.
  13. Massie.
  14. Massie.
  15. Perrin.


  1. Perrin, W.G. (1928). "The Vice-Admiral and Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom". The Mariner's Mirror. 14 (1): 26–31. doi:10.1080/00253359.1928.10655449.