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Richmond, Sir Herbert William, Admiral, (1871-1946)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0064 RIC
Held at: National Maritime Museum
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Full title: Richmond, Sir Herbert William, Admiral, (1871-1946)
Date(s): [1886-1933]
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 15ft; 465cm
Name of creator(s): Richmond | Sir | Herbert William | 1871-1946 | Admiral


Administrative/Biographical history:

Richmond entered the Navy in 1885 in the BRITANNIA. From 1887 to 1890 he served on the Australian Station in the NELSON, CALLIOPE and ORLANDO. He was a midshipman in the RUBY, Training Squadron, 1890 to 1891, spending some time in the Channel MINOTAUR. In 1892 he was promoted to lieutenant and served in the surveying ship STORK, Mediterranean, until 1893. After a short period in the ACTIVE, Training Squadron, in 1894, he went to the VERNON to specialise in torpedoes and remained on the staff until 1897. He then served as torpedo officer in the EMPRESS OF INDIA, RAMILLIES and CANOPUS, Mediterranean, 1897 to 1900, and in the MAJESTIC, Channel Fleet, 1900 to 1903. He was promoted to commander in 1903. After a brief period at the Admiralty he served in the CRESCENT, flagship at the Cape of Good Hope, from 1904 to 1906. He then returned to the Admiralty for two years, when the Fisher reforms were in progress, and was promoted to captain in 1908. Richmond was captain of the DREADNOUGHTH, flagship of the Atlantic Fleet, from 1908 to 1911. This was followed by two years in command of the FURIOUS and VINDICTIVE, attached to VERNON, during which time he delivered a series of lectures to the Naval War College. In 1913 he became Assistant Director of Operations at the Admiralty. After a short spell in 1915 as liaison officer with the Italian fleet he commanded the COMMONWEALTH, Third Battle Squadron, from 1915 to 1917, and the CONQUEROR, Grand Fleet, 1917 to 1918. In 1918 he was appointed Director of Training and Staff Duties at the Admiralty but in 1919 returned to sea in the ERIN. He was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1920 and appointed first to revive the War Course and later to be President of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. From 1923 to 1925 he was Commander-in-Chief, East Indies, and was promoted to Vice-Admiral in 1925. He set up and headed the Imperial Defence College between 1926 and 1931, being promoted to admiral in 1929. He retired in 1931 and in 1934 was appointed to the Vere Harmsworth Chair of Imperial and Naval History. He subsequently became Master of Downing College, Cambridge. Richmond's active interest in naval history, in which he came to specialize, began while he was still a serving officer. He also had strong views on contemporary naval policy which were not always acceptable to the Admiralty. He was the author of numerous books, lectures and articles on the Navy in history and in the present day. His most famous work is 'The Navy in the War of 1739 to 1748' (3 vols, Cambridge, 1920). See A.J. Marder, 'Portrait of an Admiral; the life and papers of Sir Herbert Richmond' (London, 1952) and D.M. Schurman, 'Education of a Navy' (London, 1965).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir Herbert William Richmond, comprising logs, 1887 to 1891 and 1894; diaries, 1886 to 1920; diaries of Lady Richmond, 1914 to 1915; commonplace books on service topics; lectures and lecture drafts; press cuttings; photographs and a large amount of official, semi-official and private correspondence. There are letters written home by Richmond, 1879 to 1900, and 1904 to 1906, and his letters to and from Admiral W.H. Henderson (q.v.), 1912 to 1933. In addition there are some papers of Sir Julian Corbett (1854-1922) the naval historian, which were given to Richmond by Lady Corbett.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were presented to the Museum by the family in 1948 and 1966 and additional material was presented by Captain S.W. Roskill in 1962.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 2011.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:

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