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The holder of the post Vice-Admiral of the Coast was responsible for the defence of one of the twenty maritime counties of England, the North and South of Wales, or the four provinces of Ireland.

As a Vice-Admiral, the post holder was the chief of naval administration for his district. His responsibilities included pressing men for naval service, deciding the lawfulness of prizes (captured by pirate ships), dealing with salvage claims for wrecks and acting as a judge.

The earliest record of an appointment was of William Gonson as Vice-Admiral of Norfolk and Suffolk in 1536.

From around 1560 Vice-Admirals of the Coasts acquired a more public profile than they had enjoyed previously. In the second half of the sixteenth century they increasingly received orders from the privy council. In 1561, apparently for the first time, the crown addressed instructions directly to the Vice-Admirals.

There are also a few examples of the title Vice-Admiral of the West. It is not however clear whether this was a separate appointment or possibly some incorrect use of an older title being applied to the holders of the Cornwall or Devon post.

List of Vice-Admiralties[edit | edit source]

England[edit | edit source]

Wales[edit | edit source]

Scotland[edit | edit source]

Ireland[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Lists of post holders for each county are to be found as follows:

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