Manuscript pen and ink on paper (pot watermark) in neat secretary hand. , [1, blank recto with docketing on verso] ff. Folio (12-1/4 x 8 inches). 16th Century Manuscript List of Lord High Admirals of the British Fleet. Disbound, first two leaves loose, some light soiling and edgwear Provenance: Sir Thomas Phillipps; H.P. Kraus. Item #306056
A late 16th-century manuscript listing of Admirals and Lord High Admirals of the British fleet from the reigns of Edward II to Elizabeth I.
The manuscript comprises 115 entries, each 6-10 lines in length with transcriptions of the letters patent associated with each appointment. It was compiled during the reorganization of the admiralty office by John Hawkins, just 2 years after the English victory over the Spanish Armada. We locate three other copies of this document: two at the British Library in the Harliean collection (6843.30) and the Cottonian manuscripts collection, and a third in the National Maritime Museum (the latter two copies were extended at a later date into the early 17th century).
Despite its title, the manuscript opens with the appointments of Thomas de Coleton in 1264 during the reign of Henry III and William de Leiburn in 1286 during the reign of Edward I. The final entry is for Charles Howard, appointed by Elizabeth I in 1585 and who several years later led the English to victory against the Spanish Armada.
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