This text was copied from Wikipedia on 22 May 2024 at 3:11AM.

Admiralty most often refers to:

Admiralty can also refer to:



Naval organizations

  • Admiralty (navy), a governmental and/or naval body responsible for the administration of a navy




United Kingdom and earlier states


Ships and shipping

Other uses

See also

6 Annotations

First Reading

helena murphy  •  Link

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

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:

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Admiralty COURT page is helpful:…

Briefly, it says England's admiralty courts date to at least the 1360s and Edward III. At that time there were three courts with admirals responsible for the seas to the north, south and west of England. In 1483 the courts were amalgamated into the High Court of Admiralty, administered by the Lord High Admiral of England (i.e. James, Duke of York in Pepys' time).

The Lord High Admiral appointed judges to the court, and remove them at will. This was amended from 1673, with appointments falling within the purview of the Crown, and from 1689 judges also received an annual stipend and a degree of tenure, holding their positions subject to effective delivery of their duties rather than at the Lord High Admiral's pleasure.

From its inception in 1483 until 1657 the court sat in a disused church in Southwark, and from then until 1665 in Montjoy House (private premises leased from the Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral). In order to escape the plague in 1665, the court was briefly relocated to Winchester and then to Jesus College at Oxford. The plague subsided by 1666, so the court returned to London and until 1671 was located at Exeter House on The Strand before returning to Montjoy House near St. Paul's.

The sole survivor of the independent courts of admiralty is the Court of Admiralty for the Cinque Ports. The jurisdiction of the Court of Admiralty of the Cinque Ports extends in an area with boundaries running from the Naze Tower, Essex along the shore to Brightlingsea, then to Shoe Beacon (or Shore Beacon), (to the east of Shoeburyness, Essex), across the mouth of the Thames Estuary to Shellness, Kent, and around the coast to Redcliffe, near Seaford, Sussex. It covers all the sea from Seaford to a point five miles off Cape Grisnez on the coast of France, and the Galloper Sands off the coast of Essex. The last full sitting was in 1914.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Another Wikipedia page on the history of the Admiralty has this list, and so far as I can tell there was no Admiralty Board for the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Evidently James, Duke of York realized he needed help for the Third War (after the Diary). I include their names because it's likely these gents. gave James advice during the Second War too:

29 January 1661: The Duke of York and Albany, Lord High Admiral

9 July 1673: Admiralty Commission:
Prince Rupert
The Earl of Shaftesbury (ex officio as Lord Chancellor)
The Viscount Osborne (ex officio as Lord High Treasurer)
The Earl of Anglesey (ex officio as Lord Privy Seal)
The Duke of Buckingham
The Duke of Monmouth
The Duke of Lauderdale
The Duke of Ormonde
The Earl of Arlington (ex officio as Secretary of State for the Southern Department)
Sir George Carteret, Bt (ex officio as Vice-Chamberlain of the Household)
The Hon. Henry Coventry (ex officio as Secretary of State for the Northern Department)
Edward Seymour (ex officio as Treasurer of the Navy)

This Board was replaced on 31 October 1674.


This page is about the BOARD OF THE ADMIRALTY and explains how it works, mostly after the 1850's but some mentions of the 17th century…

Ignore the direct to the ADMIRALTY BOARD as it was only created in the 1980's.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys’ loyalty and hard work were rewarded after the Diary in 1673 when he was made Secretary to the Admiralty.

According to Arthur Bryant, Pepys was to become “The Saviour of the Navy” and ended his career as the British equivalent of the French Secretary of State for Marine Affairs, answerable only to the King [James II]. “He had begun his official career forty years before in an age when rank and birth counted infinitely more than they do today, as a subordinate clerk, ignorant of the first rudiments of the profession. He had attained to a unique mastery of its every aspect.

When Pepys ended his career the tonnage of the Navy was 101,032 tons as compared with 62,594 when he began it.” (A. Bryant, Samuel Pepys, The Saviour of the Navy. Collins 1949).

For more on Pepys’ career in the wider Naval context, see…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In the 17th century people generally had their offices in their homes. Therefore, when James, Duke of York, became the Lord High Admiral, the Admiralty Office moved to Whitehall.

During the interregnum it was wherever the holder of the office lived, or wanted it to be.

By the 18th century things had become too big and complicated for this casual approach, so they set up Admiralty Offices. Sorry -- I don't know where that was either.

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