Vice-Admiral of Great Britain

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Office of the Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom
Royal Navy White Ensign 1799 to 1801.gif
Ensign of the Royal Navy
Department of the Admiralty
Member ofBoard of Admiralty
Reports toFirst Sea Lord
NominatorFirst Lord of the Admiralty
AppointerPrime Minister
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
Term length1-4 years
Inaugural holderSir George Rooke

The Vice-Admiral of the Great Britain was an honorary office generally held by a senior Royal Navy admiral. He was the official deputy to the Lord High Admiral, now an honorary (although once operational was styled as Vice-Admiral of the Fleet). He was appointed by the Sovereign on the nomination of the First Naval Lord. Despite the title, the Vice-Admiral of Great Britain was usually a full admiral or admiral of the fleet.


The office of Vice-Admiral of the Great Britain has its roots in the ancient post of Lieutenant Admiral or Lieutenant of the Admiralty, the deputy or assistant to the High Admiral. The Vice-Admiral of Great Britain following the 1707 union with Scotland) was the second most powerful position in the Royal Navy, and was officially called the Lieutenant of the Admiralty. As the official deputy of the Lord High Admiral this office continued until 1801 when it was superseded by the Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom and Ireland. His official deputy was the Rear-Admiral of Great Britain.

Office Holders

  1. Sir George Rooke 1 May 1707 – 24 January 1709?
  2. James Berkeley, 3rd Earl of Berkeley 21 March 1719 N.S. – 17 August 1736
  3. Sir John Norris April 1739 – 14 June 1749
  4. George Anson, 1st Baron Anson 4 July 1749 – 6 June 1762
  5. Henry Osborn 4 January 1763 – 1765
  6. Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke 5 November 1765 – 16 October 1781
  7. George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney 6 November 1781 – 24 May 1792
  8. Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe 9 June 1792 – March 1796
  9. Alexander Hood, 1st Viscount Bridport March 1796 – 1801