Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Admiral, Vice-Admiral, and Rear-Admiral, the various gradations in rank of the highest naval officers in the British navy. Of admirals, a very small number are called admirals of the fleet, and these officers are distinguished from ordinary admirals by receiving additional pay, without additional command; the ordinary admirals display their flags at the maintopgallant masthead, and rank with generals in the army; a vice-admiral displays his flag at the foretopgallant masthead, and takes rank with a lieutenant-general; while rear-admirals carry their flags at the mizzentopgallant masthead, and rank with major-generals. The distinction which formerly existed of three different coloured flags is now done away with. The office of Lord High Admiral has not been held since 1828, when it was held by William IV., then Duke of Clarence. The office was frequently held by Princes of the blood Royal, James II. holding it for several years during Charles II.'s reign, when he was Duke of York. The duties are now performed by commission.