Western Admiralty

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Western Admiralty
Coat of Arms Henry IV and Government of the Kingdom of England 1399 to 1413.jpg
Coat of Arms Henry IV and Government of the Kingdom of England 1399 to 1413
Admiralty overview
Formed1294
Dissolved1406
Superseding department
JurisdictionEngland Kingdom of England
HeadquartersPortsmouth
England
Admiralty executives
Parent AdmiraltyOffice of the High Admiral of England

The Western Admiralty was a government office and regional command of the English Navy established in 1294. It was administered by the Admiral of the West from 1294 to 1406. It was unified with the Northern Admiralty creating the Northern and Western Admiralty on three occasions from (1364-1367), (1386-1400), (1406-1414). In 1414 as the last remaining regional command it was absorbed into a central command called the Admiralty Office that covered all of England.

The main naval formation under this office was called the Western Fleet.

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 the responsibilities of the Southern Admiralty. After 1326 the Western Admiralty controlled the West Coast of England and Wales from Bristol to Carlisle and the Irish Sea and, the South Coast of England from the Thames to Bristol including 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 1406 when it was unified with the Northern Admiralty to create the Northern and Western Admiralty. In 1414 as the last remaining regional command it was absorbed into a central command called the Admiralty Office that covered all of England.

In Command

Admiral of the West

The Western Admiralty was controlled and directed by the office of the Admiral of the West the first incumbent was Admiral Sir William de Leybourne and the final office holder was Admiral, Sir Richard Clitherow. In all forty four officers served as Admiral of the North. He was assisted by a Lieutenant or Deputy Admiral.

Lieutenant-Admiral of the West

The Lieutenant Admiral of the West was a senior Navy Royal appointment established in 1381. The office holder served as one of two deputy admirals to the Admiral of the West for the charge of the Northern Admiralty of the Kingdom of England until 1402

Naval Forces

The Western Fleet also known as the Western Squadron was a series of temporary naval formations that were raised for particular campaigns and expeditions of the Kingdom of England from the late 13th century until the beginning of the 15th century. The Western Fleet was controlled and directed by the Admiral of the West.

References

See Also