Definitions

Third_Sea_Lord

Third Sea Lord

The Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy was formerly the Naval Lord and member of the Board of Admiralty responsible for procurement and matériel in the British Royal Navy. The title of the office is now simply Controller of the Navy (CofN), and the Controller of the Navy is a member of the Admiralty Board.

The post of Controller of the Navy (sometimes called "Comptroller") was in existence by the 16th century and originally ran the business of the Navy Board until its abolition in 1831.

In the reorganisation of the Admiralty by Order in Council of 14 January 1869, the Controller of the Navy was given a seat on the Board of Admiralty as the Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy (also sometimes known as the Third Naval Lord until 1905). The Controller lost the title of Third Sea Lord and the seat on the Board by an Order in Council of 19 March 1872, but regained them by a further Order of 10 March 1882.

In 1869, the post of Storekeeper-General of the Navy was abolished and its duties merged into those of the Controller of the Navy.

The appointment of Controller of the Navy was abolished in September 1912, although that of Third Sea Lord remained. In 1917 the post of Controller of the Navy was revived, but as a separate civilian position with a seat on the Board of Admiralty. In 1918, the post was once again amalgamated with that of Third Sea Lord.

The title of Third Sea Lord appears to have disappeared in the 1980s, although that of Controller of the Navy remains.

Until after World War II, the Third Sea Lord was usually a Rear-Admiral on appointment, although he could be promoted while he held the position. In the 19th century, he was often a Captain on appointment, although usually promoted Rear-Admiral soon afterwards. From the late 1940s the post increased in prestige and the holder was usually a Vice-Admiral on appointment, although always promoted Admiral during his term of office.

List of Third Sea Lords and Controllers of the Navy

Comptrollers of the Navy (up to 1832)

1832 Post Abolished

Controllers of the Navy (1859-69)

In 1859 the post of Surveyor of the Navy was changed to Controller of the Navy.

Third Sea Lords and Controllers of the Navy (1869–1872)

Controllers of the Navy (1872–1882)

Third Sea Lords and Controllers of the Navy (1882–1912)

Third Sea Lords (1912–1918)

Controllers of the Navy (1917–1918)

Third Sea Lords and Controllers of the Navy (1918–Present)

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