High Admiral of England

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Office of the High Admiral of England
Coat of Arms Kingdom of England 1509 to 1547.svg.png
Coat of Arms of His Majesty's Government 1509 to 1547
Admiralty Office
Member ofPrivy Council of England
Reports toMonarch of England
NominatorMonarch of England
AppointerMonarch of England
Subject to formal approval by the King-in-Council
Term lengthNot fixed
Inaugural holderJohn de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Beauchamp de Warwick
Formation1360–1512

The High Admiral of England was first created in 1360 conferring an elevated appointment to the earlier office of Admiral of England. Various English monarchs appointed officers with different titles in official documents of the time. Additionally the appointment has also been called the High Admiral of England, Ireland and Aquitaine though that title was only conferred upon six individuals. The office existed until 1512 when it was renamed as Lord Admiral of England.

History

Between 1222 and 1360 only 4 men were conferred upon responsibility for the administration of the English Navy though each of them were styled differently as Admiral of England, (1223-1331). The first office High Admiral of England was constituted in 1360 when John de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Beauchamp de Warwick was appointed High Admiral of England by Edward III as well as the first commission of Admiral of the Fleet, Admiral of the South, North and West.[1][2]

In 1386 Richard II appointed Richard FitzAlan,10th Earl of Arundel the first High Admiral of England, Ireland and Aquitaine by letters patent this title by name was conferred by different monarchs to eighteen other men until 1513 when Henry VIII ceased his claim on the French throne. Between 1407 and 1414 the remaining regional naval command the Northern and Western Admiralty was unified with this office to create a single Admiralty Office for all of England.[3]

During the reign of Henry VIII of England (1509–47) the Navy Royal had expanded to a point where it could not be to be managed by a single High/Lord Admiral of England alone, therefore day-to-day civil management of the navy was handed over to a committee called the Council of the Marine, it later became known as the Navy Board that was headquartered at the Navy Office.

Officer Holders

No. Name Appointed as Term Ref
1. John de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Beauchamp de Warwick High Admiral of England 1360–1361 [4]
2. Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel High Admiral of England, Ireland and Aquitaine 1385-1388 [5]
3. Edward, Earl of Rutland and Duke of Abermarle High Admiral of England 1390-1397 [5]
4. John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset High Admiral of England 1397–1398 [5]
5. Thomas Percy, 1st Earl of Worcester High Admiral of England 1398–1404 [5]
6. Thomas Plantagenet 1st Duke of Clarence High Admiral of England 1404–1406 [5]
7. John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset High Admiral of England 1406–1407 [5]
8. Edmund Holland 4th Earl of Kent High Admiral of England 1407–1408 [5]
9. Thomas Beaufort, 1st Duke of Exeter High Admiral of England, Ireland and Aquitaine 1408–1426 [5]
10. John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford High Admiral of England 1426–1435 [5]
11. John Holland, 2nd Duke of Exeter High Admiral of England, Ireland and Aquitaine 1435–1447 [5]
12. William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk High Admiral of England, Ireland and Aquitaine 1447–1450 [5]
13. Henry Holland, 3rd Duke of Exeter High Admiral of England, Ireland and Aquitaine 1450–1461 [5]
14. Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick High Admiral of England 1461–1462 [5]
15. Richard Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Gloucester High Admiral of England 1462–1470 [5]
16. Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick High Admiral of England 1470–1471 [5]
17. Richard Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Gloucester High Admiral of England 1471–1483 [5]
18. John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk High Admiral of England 1483–1485 [5]
19. John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford High Admiral of England, Ireland and Aquitaine 1485–1512 [6]

Role and Responsibilities

The High Admiral of England was a chief officer of state, and traditionally a soldier rather than a seaman and administrator. His main responsibility was the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Admiralty, which acted in his name. Henry VIII of England signaled a change in policy with the appointment of Sir Edward Howard to succeed the Earl of Oxford in August 1512 as Lord Admiral of England, in that later Lord Admirals had considerable experience of the sea.[7]

Additional Notes

This title did not originally confer command at sea, but jurisdiction over all naval and maritime affairs through an Admiralty Office and the authority to establish courts of Admiralty. To give the High Admiral military command, however, he was also appointed ‘Captain General of Our Fleets and Seas’.

References

  1. Perrin, William Gordon (1922). British Flags; Their Early History and their Developement at Sea, with an Account of the Origin of the Flag as a National Device. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 82.
  2. Higgins, Alexander Pearce; Colombos, Constantine John (1954). The International Law of the Sea. London, England: Longmans, Green. p. 13.
  3. Durston, Gregory (2017). The Admiralty Sessions, 1536-1834: Maritime Crime and the Silver Oar. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 4. ISBN 9781443873611.
  4. Perrin. p82.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 Schomberg. R.N., Captain, Isaac (1802). "Appendix". Naval Chronology: Or, An Historical Summary of Naval & Maritime Events, from the Time of the Romans, to the Treaty of Peace, 1802. London, England: T. Egerton. pp. 187–189.
  6. Nautical Research, The Society for (1927). "The Lord High Admiral and Administration of the Navy". The Mariner's Mirror. Society for Nautical Research. 13: 45.
  7. Hattendorf, John; Knight, Roger; Pearsall, Alan; Rodger, Nicholas; Till, Geoffrey (1993). British Naval documents, 1204-1960: Volume 131. London: Scolar Press for the Navy Records Society. p. 90. ISBN 9780859679473.