Commodore, First Class (Royal Navy)

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In the Military Branch of the Royal Navy, Commodores ranked and held command after Rear-Admirals and above Captains. Article 170 provides that, "Commodores, when in the presence of Captains senior to them, shall rank and command according to their seniority as Captains."[1]

Article 196 states:

A Captain, when authorised to wear a broad pendant, shall have the temporary title and rank of Commodore, of which there shall be two classes :
(a) A Commodore of the First Class, when he shall have a Captain of the same ship under him ;
(b) A Commodore of the Second Class, when without a Captain of the same ship under him.

Article 197 provides:

Commodore, First Class.—A Commodore of the First Class shall be constituted as such by order of the Admiralty, and shall receive an appointment as First Captain of the ship on board of which his broad pendant shall be hoisted.
2. He shall rank and command next below a Rear-Admiral, and shall wear his broad pendant in presence of all Flag Officers and Commodores, provided there be no senior Captain present. Commodores shall take rank and command of each other according to their seniority as Captains.
3. When transferred to another ship for merely a temporary object it shall not be necessary for him to have an appointment to such ship as First Captain, but should it be found necessary for him to remain on board such latter ship more permanently, an appointment is then to be made to the ship in which he is borne in order to meet the case of his broad pendant being struck under the provisions of clause 4.
4. Meeting a Senior Captain. If a Commodore of the First Class shall meet with a Captain senior to him, who is not a First Class Commodore, he shall immediately strike his broad pendant, and shall rank and command, while it is so struck, only as First Captain of the ship in which he is borne, and according to his seniority as Captain; but on his separating from such senior Captain, he shall re-hoist his broad pendant and resume his rank and command as a Commodore.
5. During the time that his broad pendant is temporarily struck, he is not to be required to keep any accounts as Captain, nor to sign any books or papers, nor to do any other duty than would have been required of him as First Class Commodore; but the Captain under him in the same ship is to continue to execute all the duties of Captain of the ship, in the same manner as the Captain of a flag-ship.[2]

Permitted Retinue

In 1888, a Royal Navy Commodore, First Class was allotted the Secretary, Flag Lieutenant and Coxswain afforded all flag officers and Captains of the Fleet, as well as five domestics.[3]


  1. King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions. I. [K.R. & A.I.] p. 47.
  2. K.R. & A.I.. p. 53.
  3. The Navy List. (February, 1888). p. 190.