admiralty, board of
admiralty, board of defined in 1939 yearadmiralty, board of - Admiralty, board of;
admiralty, board of - Governing authority of the British Navy. The Lords of the Admiralty constituting the Board are commissioners appointed by letters patent for executing the duties of a lord high admiral. The office was first put into commission in 1628, and in 1690 a declaratory Act confirmed the powers of the lord high admiral in the Admiralty Board. From 1709 onward, except in 1827-8, when the duke of Clarence was lord high admiral, the office has always remained in commission. The Navy Board, the Commissioners for Victualling, and other bodies, subordinate to the Admiralty, conducted the work of shipbuilding, dockyard work, victualling, etc.; but this divided control, which had led to many difficulties, ended in 1832, when the duties of the Navy Board and the other commissioners were transferred to the Lords of the Admiralty, who, under orders in council, became heads of the civil departments.
The First Lord, the minister who is now responsible for the navy to the minister of Defence, presides over the Board of Admiralty, and there is a maximum of 16 members. They include the First Sea Lord, who is also chief of naval staff, the deputy First Sea Lord, the Second Sea Lord (chief of naval personnel), the Third Sea Lord (Controller), the Fourth Sea Lord (chief of supplies and transport), the Fifth Sea Lord (chief of naval air equipment), the vice-chief of naval staff, the assistant chief of naval staff (trade), the assistant chief of naval staff (weapons), the Parliamentary Secretary, the Civil Lord, the Financial Secretary, the Controller of Merchant Shipbuilding and Repairs, and the Permanent Secretary.
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