Lord High Admirals


The office of Admiral of England, or Lord Admiral and later Lord High Admiral was created in approximately 1400. In 1546 King Henry VIII established the Council of the Marine later to became the Navy Board to oversee administrative affairs of the naval service. Operational control of the Navy remained the responsibility of the Lord High Admiral, who was one of the nine Great Officers of State.

In 1628, Charles I put the office of Lord High Admiral into commission and control of the Royal Navy passed to a committee in the form of the Board of the Admiralty. Control of the Navy was passed to and from the board and the Lord High Admiral a number of times until 1709 when the powers of the Lord High Admiral were finally vested in the Board of Admiralty. The Board of Admiralty consisted of admirals (known as Sea Lords) and civilian lords, normally politicians. The professional head of the Royal Navy was (and still is) known as the First Sea Lord. The civilian minister and president of the Board was known as the First Lord of the Admiralty.

Office Holder


Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter 1413-1426
John Beaufort, Duke of Bedford 1426-1435
John Holland, 2nd Duke of Exeter 1435-1447
William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk 1447-1450
Henry Holland, 3rd Duke of Exeter 1450-1461
William Neville, 1st Earl of Kent 1462
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester 1462-1470
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick 1470-1471
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester 1471-1483
John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk 1483-1485
John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford 1485-1513
Sir Edward Howard 1513
Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey 1513-1525
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond 1525-1536
William Fitzwilliam, 1st Earl of Southampton 1536-1540
John Russell, 1st Lord Russell 1540-1542
Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford 1542-1543
John Dudley, Viscount Lisle 1543-1547
Thomas Seymour, 1st Lord Seymour of Sudeley 1547-1549
John Dudley, 1st Earl of Warwick 1549-1550
Edward Clinton, 9th Lord Clinton 1550-1554
William Howard, 1st Lord Howard of Effingham 1554-1558
Edward Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln 1558-1585
Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham 1585-1619
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham 1619-1628
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