First Sea Lord

First Sea Lord

The First Sea Lord is the professional head of the Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service. He also holds the title of Chief of Naval Staff and is known by the abbreviations 1SL/CNS. The current First Sea Lord is Admiral Sir Jonathon Band (appointed 7 February 2006).


Between 1795 and 1827 the head of the Royal Navy was known as the "Admiral of the Fleet". This office later became a rank.

*Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe 1795–1799
*Sir Peter Parker 1799–1811
*Prince William, Duke of Clarence 1811–1827

Prior to 1809 naval officers had occasionally served as First Lord of the Admiralty, or president of the Board of Admiralty. However, between 1809 and 1828 the office was invariably held by a civilian politician.

The title of First Sea Lord was first given to the senior Naval Lord on the Board of Admiralty in 1828. The First Sea Lord was a member of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and in rotation with the representatives of the other services (the Chief of the Imperial General Staff and Chief of the Air Staff) would serve as the chairman of that committee and head of all British armed forces (from 1956 the post was known as the Chief of the Defence Staff).

The title was retained when the Board of Admiralty was abolished in 1964 and its functions integrated into the Ministry of Defence.

First Naval Lords, 1828–1904

*Sir George Cockburn, 10th Baronet 1828–1830
*Sir Thomas Hardy, 1st Baronet 1830–1834
*The Hon. George Heneage Dundas 1834
*Charles Adam 1834
*Sir George Cockburn 1834–1835
*Sir Charles Adam 1835–1841
*Sir George Cockburn 1841–1846
*Sir William Parker, Bt 1846
*Sir Charles Adam 1846–1847
*James Whitley Deans Dundas 1847–1852
*The Hon. Maurice Fitzhardinge Berkeley 1852
*Hyde Parker 1852–1854
*The Hon. Maurice Fitzhardinge Berkeley 1854–1857
*The Hon. Sir Richard Saunders Dundas 1857–1858
*William Fanshawe Martin 1858–1859
*The Hon. Sir Richard Saunders Dundas 1859–1861
*The Hon. Sir Frederick Grey 1861–1866
*Sir Alexander Milne 1866–1868
*Sir Sydney Dacres 1868–1872
*Sir Alexander Milne 1872–1876
*Sir Hastings Yelverton 1876–1877
*George Wellesley 1877–1879
*Sir Astley Cooper Key 1879–1885
*Sir Arthur Acland Hood 1885–1886
*Lord John Hay 1886
*Sir Arthur Acland Hood 1886–1889
*Sir Richard Vesey Hamilton 1889–1891
*Sir Anthony Hoskins 1891–1893
*Sir Frederick Richards 1893–1899
*Lord Walter Kerr 1899–1904

First Sea Lords, 1904–1964

*Sir John Arbuthnot Fisher 1904–1910
*Sir Arthur Knyvet Wilson 1910–1911
*Sir Francis Bridgeman 1911–1912
*Prince Louis of Battenberg 1912–1914
*The Lord Fisher 1914–1915
*Sir Henry Jackson 1915–1916
*Sir John Jellicoe 1916–1917
*Sir Rosslyn Wemyss 1917–1919
*The Earl Beatty 1919–1927
*Sir Charles Madden, Bt 1927–1930
*Sir Frederick Field 1930–1933
*The Lord Chatfield 1933–1938
*Sir Roger Backhouse 1938–1939
*Sir Dudley Pound 1939–1943
*The Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope 1943–1946
*Sir John Cunningham 1946–1948
*The Lord Fraser of North Cape 1948–1951
*Sir Rhoderick McGrigor 1951–1955
*The Earl Mountbatten of Burma 1955–1959
*Sir Charles Lambe 1959–1960
*Sir Caspar John 1960–1963
*Sir David Luce 1963–1964

First Sea Lords, 1964–present

*Sir David Luce 1964–1966
*Sir Varyl Begg 1966–1968
*Sir Michael Le Fanu 1968–1970
*Sir Peter Hill-Norton 1970–1971
*Sir Michael Pollock 1971–1974
*Sir Edward Ashmore 1974–1977
*Sir Terence Lewin 1977–1979
*Sir Henry Leach 1979–1982
*Sir John Fieldhouse 1982–1985
*Sir William Staveley 1985–1989
*Sir Julian Oswald 1989–1993
*Sir Benjamin Bathurst 1993–1995
*Sir Jock Slater 1995–1998
*Sir Michael Boyce 1998–2001
*Sir Nigel Essenhigh 2001–2002
*Sir Alan West 2002–2006
*Sir Jonathon Band 2006–present

ee also

*Flagship of the First Sea Lord
*Chief of the Defence Staff (United Kingdom)
*Second Sea Lord
*Third Sea Lord
*Fourth Sea Lord
*Fifth Sea Lord

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