Admiral Of The Fleet
ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET is O. mere honorary distinction, which gives no command, but merely an increase of half-pay, his being £3, 7s. a-day, and that of an admiral £2, 2s. The title has been sometimes conferred on the senior admiral on the fist of naval officers, and was a short time held by the Duke of Clarence, afterwards William IV. In 1851 were appointed, for the first time, two admirals of the fleet, Sir Thomas Byam Martin, G.C.B., and Sir George Cockburn, G.C.B., the last having been appointed for his long and highly-distinguished services. The number of admirals of the fleet now (1874) authorised to be borne is three. If the admiral of the fleet should happen to serve afloat, he is authorised to carry the union flag at the main-top-gallant. mast head, which was the case when the Duke of Clarence escorted Louis XVIII. across the Channel to take possession of the throne of France.
The comparative rank of flag-officers and officers in the army has been settled as follows by his Majesty's order in council, in the reign of George IV: - The admiral and commander-in-chief of the fleet has the rank of a field-marshal in the army; admirals with flags at the main take rank with generals of horse and foot; vice-admirals with lieutenant-generals; rear-admirals with major-generals; commodores of the first and second class with broad pendants with brigadier-generals.
On the active list of admirals there were in 1873 three admirals of the fleet, thirteen admirals, fifteen vice-admirals, and twenty-five rear-admirals.
In addition to these, there were on the reserved list forty admirals and thirty-four vice-admirals; on the retired list forty-three admirals, fifty-five vice-admirals, and sixty-two rear-admirals. As to the numbers to be borne permanently on these lists, and the regulations according to which admirals are retired and reserved, under Mr Childers' retirement scheme, see NAVY.