Richard Duke of Gloucester appointed Lord High Admiral and Great Chamberlain

Richard Duke of Gloucester appointed Lord High Admiral and Great Chamberlain, 18th May 1471

The reward for Richard Duke of Gloucester for his role in the campaign to retake the throne and secure it was further promotion. Already the Constable of England and a senior royal, he was given the two significant roles of Lord High Admiral and Great Chamberlain.

This made him de facto head of the navy and in charge of the workings of the Palace of Westminster.

Calais Fleet

This was a period where the threat to Edward’s crown was still real: the very same day as this appointment saw the Lancastrian Calais fleet depart from the vicinity of London, it was of paramount importance that the most trusted and capable men held key positions.

Negotiations with Thomas Neville

It followed therefore that it was Richard who subsequently negotiated with Thomas Neville, securing the Calais fleet. In doing so, Richard persuaded the Bastard of Fauconberg to surrender himself and the Calais Fleet to the crown: and Fauconberg must have believed the sincerity of Richard’s words.

Raids by the Earl of Oxford

Command of the Calais Fleet was soon to be needed. The Earl of Oxford made an abortive attempt at a seaborne raid on Calais, which may have fallen had the fleet remained in the hands of Lancastrians. Oxford then raided the south coast and engaged in piracy, which was limited by Richard’s ability to put the fleet to sea.


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