First Lord of the Admiralty

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Office of the First Lord of the Admiralty
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Seal of H.M. Government
Department of the Admiralty
Member of Board of Admiralty
Reports to Prime Minister
Nominator Prime Minister
Appointer Prime Minister
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
Term length Not fixed (typically 3–7 years)
Inaugural holder Richard Weston, 1st Earl of Portland
Formation1628–1964

The First Lord of the Admiralty, [1] or formally the Office of the First Lord of the Admiralty, [2] was the political head of the Royal Navy who was the government's senior adviser on all naval affairs and responsible for the direction and control of Admiralty as well as general administration of the Naval Service of the United Kingdom, that encompassed the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines and other services. It was one of the earliest known permanent government posts. Apart from being the political head of the Royal Navy the post holder simultaneously held the title of the President of the Board of Commissioners for Exercising the Office of Lord High Admiral (known as the Board of Admiralty). The office of First Lord of the Admiralty existed from 1628 until it was abolished when the Admiralty, Air Ministry, Ministry of Defence and War Office were all merged to form the new Ministry of Defence in 1964.

Royal Navy Maritime warfare branch of the United Kingdoms military

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.

Government of the United Kingdom Central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Government of the United Kingdom, formally referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is also commonly referred to as simply the UK Government or the British Government.

Admiralty British Government ministry responsible for the Royal Navy until 1964

The Admiralty, originally known as the Office of the Admiralty and Marine Affairs, was the government department responsible for the command of the Royal Navy first in the Kingdom of England, later in the Kingdom of Great Britain, and from 1801 to 1964, the United Kingdom and former British Empire. Originally exercised by a single person, the Lord High Admiral (1385–1628), the Admiralty was, from the early 18th century onwards, almost invariably put "in commission" and exercised by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, who sat on the Board of Admiralty.

Contents

History

In 1628, during the reign of Charles I, the Duke of Buckingham, Lord High Admiral of England, was assassinated and the office was placed in commission, under the control of a Board of Commissioners.

The first such First Lord of the Admiralty was Richard Weston, 1st Earl of Portland, who was appointed in 1628. The First Lord was not always a permanent member of the board until the Admiralty Department was established as an official government department in 1709 [3] with the First Lord as its head; it replaced the earlier Office of the Admiralty and Marine Affairs. [4] During most of the 17th century and the early 18th century, it was not invariable for the Admiralty to be in commission, so there are gaps in the list of First Lords, and a small number of First Lords were for a time Lord High Admiral.

Richard Weston, 1st Earl of Portland English politician

Richard Weston, 1st Earl of Portland, KG, was Chancellor of the Exchequer and later Lord Treasurer of England under James I and Charles I, being one of the most influential figures in the early years of Charles I's Personal Rule and the architect of many of the policies that enabled him to rule without raising taxes through Parliament.

British government departments ministerial and non-ministerial departments of the UK government

The government of the United Kingdom exercises its executive authority through a number of government departments or departments of state. A department is composed of employed officials, known as civil servants, and is politically accountable through a minister. Most major departments are headed by a secretary of state, who sits in the cabinet, and typically supported by a team of junior ministers.

After the Revolution, in 1690, a declaratory Act was passed, during the reign of William and Mary. Parliament passed the Admiralty Act, vesting in the Commissioners the powers formerly held by the Lord High Admiral of England. [5] and at this point became a permanent Cabinet position.

Cabinet of the United Kingdom Decision-making body of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is the collective decision-making body of Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom, composed of the Prime Minister and 21 cabinet ministers, the most senior of the government ministers.

The Admiralty Commission was dissolved in 1701, but was reconstituted in 1709 on the death of Prince George of Denmark, [3] who had been appointed Lord High Admiral. The office has been held in commission from that time onwards, however, except for a short period (1827–28) when the Duke of Clarence was Lord High Admiral. The Board of the Admiralty comprised a number of “Lords Commissioners” headed by a First Lord. [5]

From the early 1800s the post was always held by a civilian [6] (previously flag officers of the Royal Navy also held the post). In 1832 First Lord Sir James Graham instituted reforms and amalgamated the Board of Admiralty and the Navy Board. By the provisions of the Admiralty Act of 1832, two Lords in committee could legalize any action of the Board. [7]

Sir James Graham, 2nd Baronet British statesman

Sir James Robert George Graham, 2nd Baronet, was a British statesman. He was descended from a family long famous in the history of the English border. He was the eldest son of Sir James Graham, 1st Baronet, by Lady Catherine, eldest daughter of the 7th Earl of Galloway. In 1819, he married Fanny Callander, youngest daughter of Sir James Campbell of Craigforth and Ardkinglas Castle. Sir James was created Doctor of Laws at the University of Cambridge in 1835, was Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow, 1840. He was First Lord of the Admiralty from 1830 to 1834 when he resigned on account of the government pressing for a reform of the Irish Church. He became Secretary of the Home Department from September 1841 to July 1846 and again First Lord of the Admiralty from December 1852 until February 1855. He was a member of the Council of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Deputy Lieutenant for county of Hertfordshire. He represented Hull from 1818 to 1820; for St Ives in 1820; for Carlisle from 1826 until 1829; for East Cumberland from 1830 until 1837; for Pembrokeshire District from 1838 until 1841; for Dorchester from 1841 until 1847; for Ripon from 1847 until July 1852; and was again returned for Carlisle from 1852 until his death in 1861. Graham Land in Antarctica is named after him.

Board of Admiralty authority with administrative and operational control of the Royal Navy

The Board of Admiralty was established in 1628 when Charles I put the office of Lord High Admiral into commission. As that position was not always occupied, the purpose was to enable management of the day-to-day operational requirements of the Royal Navy; at that point administrative control of the navy was still the responsibility of the Navy Board, established in 1546. This system remained in place until 1832, when the Board of Admiralty became the sole authority charged with both administrative and operational control of the navy when the Navy Board was abolished. The term Admiralty has become synonymous with the command and control of the Royal Navy, partly personified in the Board of Admiralty and in the Admiralty buildings in London from where operations were in large part directed. It existed until 1964 when the office of First Lord of the Admiralty was finally abolished and the functions of the Lords Commissioners were transferred to the new Admiralty Board and the tri-service Defence Council of the United Kingdom.

Navy Board organisation with responsibility for day-to-day civil administration of the Royal Navy between 1546 and 1832

The Navy Board and formerly known as the Council of the Marine or Council of the Marine Causes was the commission with responsibility for day-to-day civil administration of the Royal Navy between 1546 and 1832. The board was headquartered within the Navy Office.

In 1868 Prime Minister, William Gladstone appointed Hugh Childers First Lord, who would introduce a new system at the Admiralty. However these changes restricted communication between the board members who were affected by these new regulations, and the sittings of the Board were discontinued altogether. This situation described was further exacerbated by the disaster of HMS Captain in 1870, a poorly-designed new vessel for the navy.

William Ewart Gladstone British Liberal politician and prime minister of the United Kingdom

William Ewart Gladstone was a British statesman and Liberal Party politician. In a career lasting over 60 years, he served for 12 years as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, spread over four terms beginning in 1868 and ending in 1894. He also served as Chancellor of the Exchequer four times.

Hugh Childers British politician

Hugh Culling Eardley Childers was a British Liberal statesman of the nineteenth century. He is perhaps best known for his reform efforts at the Admiralty and the War Office. Later in his career, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, his attempt to correct a budget shortfall led to the fall of the Liberal government led by William Ewart Gladstone.

HMS <i>Captain</i> (1869) ship

HMS Captain was an unsuccessful warship built for the Royal Navy due to public pressure. She was a masted turret ship, designed and built by a private contractor against the wishes of the Controller's department. The Captain was completed in April 1870 and capsized in September 1870 with the loss of nearly 500 lives because of design and construction errors that led to inadequate stability.

The responsibility and powers of the First Lord of the Admiralty were laid down by an Order in Council dated 14 January 1869, [8] and a later Order (19 March 1872) made the First Lord responsible to the Sovereign and to Parliament for all the business of the Admiralty. However, by describing the Lords of the Admiralty as the "assistants" of the First Lord, [9] and by specifically defining their duties, this had, in fact, partially disabled the collective power of the Board.

In 1931, for the first time since 1709, the First Lord was not a member of the cabinet. [10]

In 1946, the three posts of Secretary of State for War, First Lord of the Admiralty, and Secretary of State for Air became formally subordinated to that of Minister of Defence, which had itself been created in 1940 for the co-ordination of defence and security issues.

In 1964, the office of First Lord of the Admiralty was abolished, the last holder being the second Earl Jellicoe, the son of Admiral of the Fleet Earl Jellicoe, and the functions of the Sea Lords were then transferred to the Admiralty Board, which forms part of the tri-service Defence Council of the United Kingdom.

Responsibilities and duties

Between 1800 and 1912 included: [11]

List of First Lords of the Admiralty

First Lords of the Admiralty of England (1628–1701)

First Lord of the Admiralty of England
PortraitName
(Birth–Death)
Term of officeRef
RichardWeston.jpg Richard Weston
1st Earl of Portland

(1577–1634/35) [Note 1]
16281635 [12]
Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey, by circle of Michiel Jansz van Mierevelt.jpg Robert Bertie
1st Earl of Lindsey

(1582–1642)
16351636 [13]
William Juxon from NPG.jpg William Juxon
Bishop of London
(1582–1663)
16361638 [14]
Algernon Percy.jpeg Algernon Percy
10th Earl of Northumberland

(1602–1668) [Note 2]
16421643 [14]
Francis Cottington, 1st Baron Cottington from NPG.jpg Francis Cottington
1st Baron Cottington

(c. 1579–1652)
16431646 [14]
Peter Lely portrait of Henry Capel 1659.jpg Sir Henry Capell
MP for Tewkesbury
(1638–1696)
16791681 [15]
Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham and 7th Earl of Winchilsea by Jonathan Richardson.jpg Daniel Finch
2nd Earl of Nottingham

(1647–1730)
16811684 [16]
Admiral Arthur Herbert, 1st Earl of Torrington by John Closterman.jpg Arthur Herbert
1st Earl of Torrington

(c. 1648–1716) [Note 3]
16891690 [17]
Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke by John Greenhill.jpg Thomas Herbert
8th Earl of Pembroke

(c. 1656–1733)
16901692 [18]
No image.svg Charles Cornwallis
3rd Baron Cornwallis

(1655–1698)
16921693 [19]
No image.svg Anthony Cary
5th Viscount Falkland

(1656–1694)
16931694 [20]
Gibson, Edward Russell.jpg Edward Russell
1st Earl of Orford

(1653–1727)
16941699 [21]
Portrait of John Egerton 3rd Earl of Bridgewater.jpg John Egerton
3rd Earl of Bridgewater

(1646–1701)
16991701 [22]
Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke by John Greenhill.jpg Thomas Herbert
8th Earl of Pembroke

(c. 1656–1733)
17011702 [23]

First Lords of the Admiralty of Great Britain (1709–1801)

First Lord of the Admiralty
PortraitName
(Birth–Death)
Term of officeMinistryMonarch
(Reign)
Ref
Gibson, Edward Russell.jpg Admiral of the Fleet The Right Honourable
Edward Russell
1st Earl of Orford
PC

(1653–1727)
17091710 Godolphin–Marlborough
( ToryWhig )
Anne
Coat of Arms of England (1702-1707).svg
(1702–1714)
[24]
John Leake by Godfrey Kneller.jpg Admiral of the Fleet
Sir John Leake

MP for Rochester
(1656–1720)
17101712 Oxford–Bolingbroke [25]
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1672-1739) Diplomat.jpg Lieutenant-General The Right Honourable
Thomas Wentworth
1st Earl of Strafford
KG PC DL
17121714 [26]
George I
Coat of Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801).svg
(1714–1727)
Gibson, Edward Russell.jpg Admiral of the Fleet The Right Honourable
Edward Russell
1st Earl of Orford
PC

(1653–1727)
17141716 Townshend I [27]
3rdEarlOfBerkeley2.jpg Vice-Admiral The Right Honourable
James Berkeley
3rd Earl of Berkeley
KG PC

(1679–1736)
17171727 Stanhope–Sunderland I [28]
Stanhope–Sunderland II
Walpole–Townshend
George II
Coat of Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801).svg
(1727–1760)
George Byng, 1st Viscount Torrington by Jeremiah Davison.jpg Admiral of the Fleet The Right Honourable
George Byng
1st Viscount Torrington
KB PC

(1663–1733)
17271733 [29]
Walpole
SirCharlesWager.jpg Admiral The Right Honourable
Sir Charles Wager

MP for Westminster
(1666–1743) [Note 4]
17331741 [30]
Daniel Finch (1689-1769), 8th Earl of Winchilsea, 3rd Earl of Nottingham, by Thomas Worlidge.jpg The Right Honourable
Daniel Finch
8th Earl of Winchilsea
PC

(1689–1769)
17411744 [31]
Carteret
4thDukeOfBedford.jpg His Grace
John Russell
4th Duke of Bedford
PC FRS

(1710–1771)
17441748 Broad Bottom
(I & II)
[32]
John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.jpg The Right Honourable
John Montagu
4th Earl of Sandwich
PC FRS

(1718–1792)
17481751 [33]
1stLordAnson.jpg The Right Honourable
George Anson
1st Baron Anson
PC FRS

(1697–1762)
17511756 [34]
Newcastle I
Richard Grenville-Temple, 2nd Earl Temple by William Hoare.jpg The Right Honourable
Richard Grenville-Temple
2nd Earl Temple
PC

(1711–1779)
17561757 Pitt–Devonshire [35]
Daniel Finch (1689-1769), 8th Earl of Winchilsea, 3rd Earl of Nottingham, by Thomas Worlidge.jpg The Right Honourable
Daniel Finch
8th Earl of Winchilsea
KG PC

(1689–1769)
17571757 1757 Caretaker [31]
1stLordAnson.jpg Admiral of the Fleet The Right Honourable
George Anson
1st Baron Anson
PC FRS

(1697–1762)
17571762 Pitt–Newcastle [36]
George III
Coat of Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801).svg
(1760–1820)
[Note 5]
2ndEarlofHalifaxByJoshuaReynoldsNSArtGallery.jpg The Right Honourable
George Montague-Dunk
2nd Earl of Halifax
PC

(1716–1771)
17621762 Bute
( ToryWhig )
[37]
George Grenville (1712-1770) by William Hoare (1707-1792).jpg The Right Honourable
George Grenville

MP for Buckingham
(1712–1770)
17621763 [38]
John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.jpg The Right Honourable
John Montagu
4th Earl of Sandwich
PC FRS

(1718–1792)
17631763 Grenville [38]
John Perceval, 2nd Earl of Egmont by Thomas Hudson.jpg The Right Honourable
John Perceval
2nd Earl of Egmont
PC FRS

(1711–1770)
17631766 [38]
Rockingham I
Chatham
( WhigTory )
Sir Charles Saunders2.jpg Vice-Admiral The Right Honourable
Sir Charles Saunders
KB

MP for Hedon
(c. 1715–1775)
17661766 [39]
Edward Hawke 1.jpg Admiral of the Fleet The Right Honourable
Sir Edward Hawke
KB

MP for Portsmouth
(1705–1781)
17661771 [40]
Grafton
North
John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.jpg The Right Honourable
John Montagu
4th Earl of Sandwich
PC FRS

(1718–1792)
17711782 [41]
Augustus Keppel, Viscount Keppel by Sir Joshua Reynolds.jpg Admiral The Right Honourable
Augustus Keppel
1st Viscount Keppel
PC

(1725–1786)
17821783 Rockingham II [42]
Shelburne
( WhigTory )
Admiral of the Fleet Howe 1726-99 1st Earl Howe by John Singleton Copley.jpg Admiral The Right Honourable
Richard Howe
5th Viscount Howe
PC

(1726–1799)
17831783 [43]
Augustus Keppel, Viscount Keppel by Sir Joshua Reynolds.jpg Admiral The Right Honourable
Augustus Keppel
1st Viscount Keppel
PC

(1725–1786)
17831783 Fox–North [44]
Admiral of the Fleet Howe 1726-99 1st Earl Howe by John Singleton Copley.jpg Admiral The Right Honourable
Richard Howe
5th Viscount Howe
PC

(1726–1799)
17831788 Pitt I [45]
Chatham2.JPG The Right Honourable
John Pitt
2nd Earl of Chatham
KG PC

(1756–1835)
17881794 [46]
George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer.jpg The Right Honourable
George Spencer
2nd Earl Spencer
KG PC DL FRS FSA

(1758–1834)
17941801 [47]

First Lords of the Admiralty of the United Kingdom (1801–1964)

First Lord of the Admiralty
PortraitName
(Birth–Death)
Term of officePartyMinistryMonarch
(Reign)
John Jervis, Earl of St Vincent by Francis Cotes.jpg The Right Honourable
John Jervis
1st Earl of St Vincent
PC

(1735–1823)
18011804 Whig Pitt I George III
Coat of Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801).svg
(1760–1820)
[Note 6]
Addington
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville by Sir Thomas Lawrence.jpg The Right Honourable
Henry Dundas
1st Viscount Melville
PC

(1742–1811)
18041805 Tory Pitt II
Admiral Charles Middleton, later Lord Barham (1726-1813), by Isaac Pocock.jpg The Right Honourable
Charles Middleton
1st Baron Barham
PC

(1726–1813)
18051806 Tory
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey by Sir Thomas Lawrence copy.jpg The Right Honourable
Charles Grey
Viscount Howick

MP for Northumberland
(1764–1845)
18061806 Whig All the Talents
( WhigTory )
Thomas Grenville (1755-1846).jpg The Right Honourable
Thomas Grenville

MP for Buckingham
(1755–1846)
18061807 Whig
Henry Phipps, 1st Earl of Mulgrave by Sir William Beechey.jpg The Right Honourable
Henry Phipps
3rd Baron Mulgrave
PC

(1755–1831)
18071810 Tory Portland II
Perceval
CP Yorke by George Romney.jpg The Right Honourable
Charles Philip Yorke

MP for St Germans
(1764–1834)
18101812 Tory
Robert Saunders Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville.jpg The Right Honourable
Robert Dundas
2nd Viscount Melville
KT PC FRS

(1771–1851)
18121827 Tory Liverpool
George IV
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1816-1837).svg
(1820–1830)
WilliamIVbyLonsdale.jpg His Royal Highness
Prince William Henry
The Duke of Clarence

Lord High Admiral
(1765–1837)
[Note 7]
18271828 Canning
( CanningiteWhig)
Goderich
Robert Saunders Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville.jpg The Right Honourable
Robert Dundas
2nd Viscount Melville
KT PC FRS

(1771–1851)
18281830 Tory WellingtonPeel
William IV
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1816-1837).svg
(1830–1837)
Jamesgrantham.png The Right Honourable
Sir James Graham
Bt

MP for East Cumberland
(1792–1861) [Note 8]
18301834 Whig Grey
George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland.png The Right Honourable
George Eden
2nd Baron Auckland
PC

(1784–1849)
18341834 Whig
Melbourne I
Wellington Caretaker
ThomasEarlGrey.jpg The Right Honourable
Thomas Robinson
2nd Earl de Grey
PC

(1781–1859)
18341835 Conservative Peel I
George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland.png The Right Honourable
George Eden
2nd Baron Auckland
GCB PC

(1784–1849)
18351835 Whig Melbourne II
2ndEarlOfMinto.jpg The Right Honourable
Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound
2nd Earl of Minto
GCB PC

(1782–1859)
18351841 Whig
Victoria
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg
(1837–1901)
Thomas Hamilton.jpg The Right Honourable
Thomas Hamilton
9th Earl of Haddington
PC FRS

(1780–1858)
18411846 Conservative Peel II
1stEarlOfEllenborough.jpg The Right Honourable
Edward Law
1st Earl of Ellenborough
GCB PC

(1790–1871)
18461846 Conservative
George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland.png The Right Honourable
George Eden
1st Earl of Auckland
GCB PC

(1784–1849)
18461849 Whig Russell I
Francis Baring, 1st Baron Northbrook by Sir George Hayter.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Francis Baring
Bt

MP for Portsmouth
(1796–1866)
18491852 Whig
Algernon Percy (1792-1865), 4th Duke of Northumberland by Francis Grant.jpg His Grace
Algernon Percy
4th Duke of Northumberland
PC

(1792–1865)
18521852 Conservative Who? Who?
Sir James Graham 2nd Bart First Lord Admiralty.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir James Graham
Bt GCB

MP for Carlisle
(1792–1861)
18521855 Peelite Aberdeen
( PeeliteWhig )
Palmerston I
1stViscountHalifax.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Charles Wood
Bt GCB

MP for Halifax
(1800–1885)
18551858 Whig
John Pakington 1st Baron Hampton.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir John Pakington
Bt FRS

MP for Droitwich
(1799–1880)
18581859 Conservative DerbyDisraeli II
12th Duke of Somerset.png His Grace
Edward Seymour
12th Duke of Somerset
KG PC

(1804–1885)
18591866 Liberal Palmerston II
Russell II
John Pakington 1st Baron Hampton.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir John Pakington
Bt GCB FRS

MP for Droitwich
(1799–1880)
18661867 Conservative DerbyDisraeli III
Henry Lowry-Corry.jpg The Right Honourable
Henry Lowry-Corry

MP for Tyrone
(1803–1873)
18671868 Conservative
Hugh Childers, Lock & Whitfield woodburytype, 1876-83 crop.jpg The Right Honourable
Hugh Childers

MP for Pontefract
(1827–1896)
18681871 Liberal Gladstone I
George Goschen by Bassano.jpg The Right Honourable
George Goschen

MP for City of London
(1831–1907)
18711874 Liberal
George Ward Hunt (30 July 1825 - 29 July 1877) .jpg The Right Honourable
George Ward Hunt

MP for Northamptonshire North
(1825–1877)
18741877 Conservative Disraeli II
William Henry Smith (1825-1891).jpg The Right Honourable
William Henry Smith

MP for Westminster
(1825–1891)
18771880 Conservative
Thomas Baring Earl of Northbrook.jpg The Right Honourable
Thomas Baring
1st Earl of Northbrook
GCSI PC FRS

(1826–1904)
18801885 Liberal Gladstone II
Lord George Hamilton.JPG The Right Honourable
Lord George Hamilton

MP for Ealing
(1845–1927)
18851886 Conservative Salisbury I
George Robinson 1st Marquess of Ripon.jpg The Most Honourable
George Robinson
1st Marquess of Ripon
KF GCSI CIE VD PC

(1827–1909)
18861886 Liberal Gladstone III
Lord George Hamilton.JPG The Right Honourable
Lord George Hamilton

MP for Ealing
(1845–1927)
18861892 Conservative Salisbury II
5th earl spencer.jpg The Right Honourable
John Spencer
5th Earl Spencer
KG PC

(1835–1910)
18921895 Liberal Gladstone IV
Rosebery
George Goschen by Bassano.jpg The Right Honourable
George Goschen

MP for St George Hanover Square
(1831–1907)
18951900 Conservative Salisbury
(III & IV)

( Con.Lib.U. )
Caricature of William Palmer, 2nd Earl of Selborne (1859-1942).jpg The Right Honourable
William Palmer
2nd Earl of Selborne
PC

(1859–1942)
19001905 Liberal Unionist
Edward VII
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg
(1901–1910)
Balfour
3rdEarlOfCawdor.jpg The Right Honourable
Frederick Campbell
3rd Earl Cawdor
PC DL

(1847–1911)
19051905 Conservative
Portrait of Edward Marjoribanks, 2nd Baron Tweedmouth.jpg The Right Honourable
Edward Marjoribanks
2nd Lord Tweedmouth
PC

(1849–1909)
19051908 Liberal Campbell-Bannerman
Reginald McKenna photo.jpg The Right Honourable
Reginald McKenna

MP for North Monmouthshire
(1863–1943)
19081911 Liberal Asquith
(IIII)
George V
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg
(1910–1936)
Churchill 1904 Q 42037.jpg The Right Honourable
Winston Churchill

MP for Dundee
(1874–1965)
19111915 Liberal
Gws balfour 02.jpg The Right Honourable
Arthur Balfour
FRS DL

MP for City of London
(1848–1930)
19151916 Conservative Asquith Coalition
( Lib. Con. et al.)
Sir Edward Carson, bw photo portrait seated.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Edward Carson
QC

MP for University of Dublin
(1854–1935)
19161917 Conservative Lloyd George
(I & II)
Sir Eric Campbell-Geddes in 1917.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Eric Geddes
GCB GBE

MP for Cambridge
(1875–1937)
19171919 Conservative
Walter Hume Long, 1st Viscount Long portrait.jpg The Right Honourable
Walter Long
FRS

MP for Westminster St George's
(1854–1924)
19191921 Conservative
Viscount Lee of Fareham.JPG The Right Honourable
Arthur Lee
1st Baron Lee of Fareham
GBE KCB PC

(1868–1947)
19211922 Conservative
Leo Amery 1917.jpg The Right Honourable
Leo Amery

MP for Birmingham Sparkbrook
(1873–1955)
19221924 Conservative Law
Baldwin I
1stViscountChelmsford.jpg The Right Honourable
Frederic Thesiger
1st Viscount Chelmsford
GCSI GCIE GBE PC

(1868–1933)
19241924 Independent MacDonald I
William Bridgeman.jpg The Right Honourable
William Clive Bridgeman
JP DL

(1864–1935) [Note 9]
19241929 Conservative Baldwin II
INF3-62 A V Alexander Artist's signature E A B.jpg The Right Honourable
A. V. Alexander

MP for Sheffield Hillsborough
(1885–1965)
19291931 Labour
(Co-op)
MacDonald II
Laszlo - The Rt. Hon. Sir Austen Chamberlain.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Austen Chamberlain
KG

MP for Birmingham West
(1863–1937)
19311931 Conservative National I
( N.Lab. Con. et al.)
No image.svg The Right Honourable
Bolton Eyres-Monsell
1st Viscount Monsell
GBE PC

(1881–1969) [Note 10]
19311936 Conservative National II
National III
( Con. N.Lab. et al.)
Edward VIII
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg
(1936)
Sir Samuel Hoare GGBain.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Samuel Hoare
Bt GCSI GBE CMG JP

MP for Chelsea
(1880–1959)
19361937 Conservative
George VI
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg
(1936–1952)
Duff Cooper 1941.jpg The Right Honourable
Duff Cooper
DSO

MP for Westminster St George's
(1890–1954)
19371938 Conservative National IV
Stanhope7.JPG The Right Honourable
James Stanhope
7th Earl Stanhope
KG DSO MC PC

(1880–1967)
19381939 Conservative
Sir Winston Churchill - 19086236948.jpg The Right Honourable
Winston Churchill
CH TD

MP for Epping
(1874–1965)
19391940 Conservative Chamberlain War
INF3-62 A V Alexander Artist's signature E A B.jpg The Right Honourable
A. V. Alexander
CH

MP for Sheffield Hillsborough
(1885–1965)
19401945 Labour
(Co-op)
Churchill War
(All parties)
Brendan Bracken 1947.jpg The Right Honourable
Brendan Bracken

MP for Paddington North
(1901–1958)
19451945 Conservative Churchill Caretaker
( Con.N.Lib. )
INF3-62 A V Alexander Artist's signature E A B.jpg The Right Honourable
A. V. Alexander
CH

MP for Sheffield Hillsborough
(1885–1965)
19451946 Labour
(Co-op)
Attlee
(I & II)
George Henry Hall 1945.jpg The Right Honourable
George Hall
1st Viscount Hall
PC

(1881–1965)
19461951 Labour
Lord Longford 4 Allan Warren.jpg The Right Honourable
Frank Pakenham
1st Baron Pakenham
PC

(1905–2001)
19511951 Labour
No image.svg The Right Honourable
James Thomas
1st Viscount Cilcennin
PC

(1903–1960) [Note 11]
19511956 Conservative Churchill III
Elizabeth II
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
(1952–present)
Eden
Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham Allan Warren.jpg The Right Honourable
Quintin Hogg
2nd Viscount Hailsham
PC QC

(1907–2001)
19561957 Conservative
10thEarl of Selkirk.jpg The Right Honourable
George Douglas-Hamilton
10th Earl of Selkirk
AFC AE PC QC

(1906–1994)
19571959 Conservative Macmillan
(I & II)
Peter Carington 1984.jpg The Right Honourable
Peter Carington
6th Baron Carrington
KCMG MC PC DL

(1919–2018)
19591963 Conservative
George Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe.jpg The Right Honourable
George Jellicoe
2nd Earl Jellicoe
DSO MC PC

(1918–2007)
19631964 Conservative Douglas-Home

From 1 April 1964 Elizabeth II assumed the title of Lord High Admiral. Ministerial responsibility for the Royal Navy was transferred to the newly created Secretary of State for Defence. [48]

Notes
  1. Baron Weston from 1628, created Earl of Portland in 1633.
  2. Lord High Admiral 1638–1642.
  3. Lord High Admiral 1689.
  4. MP for Portsmouth until 1734; MP for Westminster from 1734.
  5. The Prince of Wales served as Prince Regent from 5 February 1811.
  6. The Prince of Wales served as Prince Regent from 5 February 1811.
  7. As Lord High Admiral .
  8. MP for Cumberland until 1832; MP for East Cumberland from 1832
  9. MP for Oswestry
  10. MP for Evesham until 1935; thereafter created Viscount Monsell.
  11. MP for Hereford until 1955; thereafter created Viscount Cilcennin.

Boards, departments and offices under the First Lord

Fictional First Lords

W. H. Smith portrayed in a Punch cartoon from 13 October 1877 when First Lord, saying: "I think I'll now go below." In Pinafore, Sir Joseph Porter similarly sings: "When the breezes blow / I generally go below". Our New First Lord at Sea.png
W. H. Smith portrayed in a Punch cartoon from 13 October 1877 when First Lord, saying: "I think I'll now go below." In Pinafore, Sir Joseph Porter similarly sings: "When the breezes blow / I generally go below".

The "Radical" First Lord, and a major character, in Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), is Sir Joseph Henry Porter, KCB. W. S. Gilbert wrote to Arthur Sullivan he did not intend to portray the real-life then First Lord, the bookseller and newsagent W. H. Smith, a Conservative, [49] although some of the public, including Prime Minister Disraeli (who later referred to Smith as "Pinafore Smith"), identified Porter with him. [50] The counterparts shared a known lack of naval background. It has been suggested the character was drawn on Smith's actual "Radical" predecessor of 1868–71, Hugh Childers. [51]

Related Research Articles

First Sea Lord professional head of the United Kingdoms Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service

The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff (1SL/CNS) is the professional head of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service. Originally the title was the Senior Naval Lord to the Board of Admiralty when the post was created in 1689. The office holder was then re-styled First Naval Lord from 1771. The concept of a professional "First Naval Lord" was introduced in 1805 and the title of the First Naval Lord was changed to "First Sea Lord" on the appointment of Sir Jackie Fisher in 1904. From 1923 onward, the First Sea Lord was a member of the Chiefs of Staff Committee; he now sits on the Defence Council and the Admiralty Board.

Second Sea Lord

The Second Sea Lord (2SL) is one of the most senior admirals of the British Royal Navy, responsible for personnel and naval shore establishments. Originally titled Second Naval Lord in 1830, the post was restyled Second Sea Lord in 1904. They are based at Navy Command, Headquarters.

Controller of the Navy (Royal Navy)

The post of Controller of the Navy was originally created in 1859 when the Surveyor of the Navy's title changed to Controller of the Navy. In 1869 the controllers office was abolished and his duties were assumed by that of the Third Naval Lord who's title then changed to Third Naval Lord and Controller of the Navy. In 1904 his title was changed again to Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy. In 1965 the office of the Third Sea Lord was abolished. The post holder is responsible for procurement and matériel in the British Royal Navy.

Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford First Lord of the Admiralty

Admiral of the Fleet Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford, PC was a Royal Navy officer. After serving as a junior officer at the Battle of Solebay during the Third Anglo-Dutch War, he served as a captain in the Mediterranean in operations against the Barbary pirates.

Fourth Sea Lord

The Fourth Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Supplies originally known as the Fourth Naval Lord was formerly one of the Naval Lords and members of the Board of Admiralty which controlled the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom the post is currently known as Chief of Materiel (Fleet). As of 2017, it is also known as Chief of Fleet Support.

Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty

The Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty also known as the Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Board of Admiralty was a position on the Board of Admiralty and civil officer of the British Royal Navy. It was usually filled by a Member of Parliament although he attended Board of Admiralty meetings informally he was not made a full member of that Board until 1929, he served as the deputy to the First Lord of the Admiralty in Parliament, he was mainly responsible for all Naval Accounts, Estimates, Expenditure, Finance and Spending proposals from 1625 until 1959.

Surveyor of the Navy

The Surveyor of the Navy also known as Department of the Surveyor of the Navy and originally known as Surveyor and Rigger of the Navy was a former principle commissioner and member of both the Navy Board from the inauguration of that body in 1546 until its abolition in 1832 and then a member Board of Admiralty from 1848-1859. In 1860 the office was renamed Controller of The Navy until 1869 when the office was merged with that of the Third Naval Lord's the post holder held overall responsibility for the design of British warships.

Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty

The office of Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty was the senior civil servant at the Admiralty, of Great Britain the department of state responsible for the administration of the Royal Navy. He was head of the Admiralty Secretariat later known as the Department of the Permanent Secretary. Although he was not a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty, he was as a member of the Board, and did attend all meetings. The post existed from 1702 to 1964.

Naval Secretary

The Naval Secretary is the Royal Navy appointment for which the incumbent of this office is responsible for advising the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff on all matters relating to Flag and General Officers’ appointing. His counterpart in the British Army is the Military Secretary. The Royal Air Force equivalent is the Air Secretary.

Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom

The Lord High Admiral is the titular head of the Royal Navy. Most have been courtiers or members of the Royal Family, and not professional naval officers. The office of Lord High Admiral is one of the nine English Great Officers of State.

Admiralty in the 16th century

The Admiralty and Marine Affairs Office (1546-1707) originally known as the Admiralty Office (1414-1546) was a government office of the Kingdom of England and the English Navy's central command. It was first established in 1414 when the remaining regional admiralties, the Northern and Western were abolished and their functions were unified under a single centralized command. It was administered by the Office of the High Admiral of England, Ireland and Aquitaine later called the Lord Admiral of England. During the sixteenth century it oversaw the creation of standing "Navy Royal", with its own secretariat, dockyards and a permanent core of purpose-built warships, originated in the early 16th century during the reign of Henry VIII. Under Elizabeth I England became involved in a war with Spain, which saw privately owned ships combining with the Royal Navy in highly profitable raids against Spanish commerce and colonies. In 1588, Philip II of Spain sent the Spanish Armada against England to end English support for Dutch rebels, to stop English corsair activity and to depose the Protestant Elizabeth I and restore Catholicism to England. The Spaniards sailed from Lisbon, planning to escort an invasion force from the Spanish Netherlands but the scheme failed due to poor planning, English harrying, blocking action by the Dutch, and severe storms. A Counter Armada, known as the English Armada, was dispatched to the Iberian coast in 1589, but failed to drive home the advantage England had won upon the dispersal of the Spanish Armada in the previous year. The Admiralty of England existed until 1707 when Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland united to form the single Kingdom of Great Britain when it then became known as the Admiralty Department or Admiralty of Great Britain.

Admiralty in the 17th century

During the early 17th century, England's relative naval power deteriorated, In the course of the rest of the 17th century, The office of the Admiralty and Marine Affairs steered the Navy's transition from a semi-amateur Navy Royal fighting in conjunction with private vessels into a fully professional institution, a Royal Navy. Its financial provisions were gradually regularised, it came to rely on dedicated warships only, and it developed a professional officer corps with a defined career structure, superseding an earlier mix of sailors and socially prominent former soldiers.

Admiralty in the 18th century

The Glorious Revolution of 1688 rearranged the political map of Europe, and led to a series of wars with France that lasted well over a century. This was the classic age of sail; while the ships themselves evolved in only minor ways, technique and tactics were honed to a high degree, and the battles of the Napoleonic Wars entailed feats that would have been impossible for the fleets of the 17th century. Because of parliamentary opposition, James II fled the country. The landing of William III and the Glorious Revolution itself was a gigantic effort involving 100 warships and 400 transports carrying 11,000 infantry and 4,000 horses. It was not opposed by the English or Scottish fleets.

Department of the Permanent Secretary (Royal Navy)

The Department of the Permanent Secretary also formally known as Department of the Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty or Department of the Secretary was the Civil Service department responsible for the control, direction and guidance of all administrative functions of the British Admiralty from 1702 to 1964, it was headed by the Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty.

Civil Lord of the Admiralty (Royal Navy) manager of the Royal Navys supporting civilian staff between 1830 and 1964

The Civil Lord of the Admiralty formally known as the Office of the Civil Lord of Admiralty also referred to as the Department of the Civil Lord of the Admiralty was a member of the Board of Admiralty who was responsible for managing the Royal Navy's supporting civilian staff, the works and buildings departments and naval lands from 1830 to 1964.

Lord High Admirals Council

The Lord High Admirals Council was a series of councils appointed to advise and assist the Lord High Admiral of England and then later of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the direction of Naval Affairs also known as Council of the Lord High Admiral when the Board of Admiralty was not in commission the first series took place between 1702-1708 and second and final series of councils took place from 1827-1828.

Victualling Department (Royal Navy)

The Victualling Department originally known as the Department of the Comptroller of Victualling and Transport Services or the Victualling Office, also known as the Department of the Director of Victualling was the British Admiralty department responsible for civil administration of Victualling Yards and the storing and supply of Naval Victuals for the Royal Navy from 1832 to 1964.

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Attribution

This article contains some text from: Vesey, Richard Sir, Admiral, (1896), Naval Administration: The Constitution, Character, and Functions of the Board of Admiralty, and of the Civil Departments it Directs, George Bell and Sons, London. Now in the public domain.

Sources