The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff (1SL/CNS). is the professional head of the Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service; originally the title was the First Naval Lord. The concept of a professional "First Naval Lord" was introduced in 1805 and the title of the First Naval Lord was changed to "First Sea Lord" on the appointment of Sir Jackie Fisher in 1904. From 1923 onward, the First Sea Lord was a member of the Chiefs of Staff Committee; he now sits on the Defence Council and the Admiralty Board. The current First Sea Lord is AdmiralSir George Zambellas (appointed April 2013).
Lords High Admiral were appointed from the 15th century until the 18th, and Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty from the 17th century, as the governors of the English and later British Royal Navy. From 1683 to 1684, there were seven paid Commissioners and one supernumerary Commissioner who served without salary. The number varied between five and seven Commissioners through the 18th century. The standing of all the Commissioners was in theory the same, although the First Commissioner or First Lord exercised an ascendancy over his colleagues from an early date.
In 1805, for the first time, specific functions were assigned to each of the 'Naval' Lords, who were described as 'Professional' Lords, leaving to the 'Civil' Lords the routine business of signing documents. The title of the First Naval Lord was changed to First Sea Lord on the appointment of Sir Jackie Fisher in 1904. From 1923 onward, the First Sea Lord was a member of the Chiefs of Staff Committee; and from 1923 to 1959 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.[a] The title was retained when the Board of Admiralty was abolished in 1964 and its functions integrated into the Ministry of Defence.
Under the current organisation, the First Sea Lord sits on both the Defence Council and the Admiralty Board.
Organisation: How the Royal Navy is Managed Ministry of Defence
^ The Navy List, 1992, corrected to 31 March 1992, pub HMSO, ISSN 0141 6081 pages 4-5. The Navy List, 2008, compiled 3 September 2008, pub TSO, ISBN 978-0-11-773081-6 pages 4-5.
Thomas, David A, A companion to the Royal Navy, pub Harrap, 1988, ISBN 0-245-54572-7 page 31.
MoD Website: people - First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, accessed 23 July 2013
^ "Sainty, JC, 'Lord High Admiral and Commissioners of the Admiralty 1660-1870', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 4: Admiralty Officials 1660-1870 (1975), pp. 18-31.". Retrieved 4 September 2009.
Heathcote, p. 81
^ "The Commissioners ("Lords") of the Admiralty 1828 - 1895". W Loney RN. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
Heathcote, p. 144
Mackay, p. 315
Heathcote, p. 268
"Admiral Sir Francis Bridgeman". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
Kerr, p. 238
Heathcote, p. 83
Heathcote, p. 127
Heathcote, p. 130
Heathcote, p. 252
Heathcote, p. 26
Heathcote, p. 164
Heathcote, p. 75
Heathcote, p. 42
Heathcote, p. 21
Heathcote, p. 217
Heathcote, p. 60
Heathcote, p. 63
Heathcote, p. 90
Heathcote, p. 162
Heathcote, p. 189
Heathcote, p. 150
Heathcote, p. 139
"Sir David Luce". Unit Histories. Retrieved 25 January 2014.