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helena murphy   Link to this

In 1649 the Council of State of the Commonwealth took over the duties of the Lord Admiral. It set up a committee for the Affairs of the Admiralty and Navy, known also as the Admiralty Committee. Its function was to develop naval policy and strategy with the three generals at Sea, former army officers who now commanded the naval squadrons. The Admiralty directed the Navy Commissioners and the Navy Treasurer in their administrative and financial duties. The Navy Commissioners would have been responsible for logistics, for example shipping food and munitions in chartered merchant vessels to the fleet at sea, such as that off Portugal in 1650 commanded by Robert Blake.
In the 1660's James, Duke of York and Lord High Admiral, along with commanders and administrators like William Batten, William Penn, Samuel Pepys and Peter Pett took a keen interest in the navy. The Navy Commissioners' work expanded between the first and second Anglo-Dutch Wars.
The Lord High Admiral was the officer of state (member of the government) responsible for the navy to the King. He was also a member of the Admiralty Committee of the Privy Council. He advised the government about tactics and discipline, appointed all flag-officers and commissioned the captains and lieutenants of ships in service.
The Court of Admiralty, responsible for jurisdiction over maritime affairs, and the Navy Board which administered the navy were responsible to the Lord High Admiral. The Navy Board was responsible for dockyard management, building and repairing ships, recruitment and seamen's pay, and the appointment of warrant officers.
In 1665 the Admiralty Board and its agents in the dockyards and ports rose to the challenge of the Second Dutch War.The fleet gave as good as it got and held its own against the Dutch in spite of the Medway humiliation.The results of the battles were inconclusive.In the Third Dutch War the Royal Navy's poor tactical performance was due to poor decision making by senior commanders and lack of co-operation on the part of their French allies. Therefore, inferior performance and failure at sea was not due to shoddy administrative or logistical practice on the part of the Admiralty or Navy Board.

sources: Wheeler,the Making of a World Power, Sutton 1999
Kitson,Frank,Prince Rupert Admiral and General at Sea, Constable 1998

vincent   Link to this

A list of the Officers of the Admiralty, May 31st, 1660. From a MS. in the Pepysian Library in Pepys’s own handwriting.

His Royal Highness James, Duke of York, Lord High Admiral.
Sir George Carteret, Treasurer.
Sir Robert Slingsby, (soon after) Comptroller.
Sir William Batten, Surveyor.
Samuel Pepys, Esq., Clerk of the Acts.

also see Commissioners:

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