Admiral was a rank given to the highest naval officers. The British Royal Navy, French Royal Navy, Spanish Royal Navy and the East India Trading Company employed this rank. In the East India Trading Company, an admiral's uniform was gold-trimmed, and complete with shoulder epaulets. Pirates who led fleets or joint crews were known to have assumed the title of admiral.
The word "admiral" in Middle English comes from Anglo-French amiral, "commander", from Medieval Latin admiralis, "emir", admirallus, "admiral", from Arabic amir-al- أمير الـ, "commander of the" (as in amir-al-bahr أمير البحر "commander of the sea"). Crusaders learned the term during their encounters with the Arabs, perhaps as early as the 11th century. The Sicilians and later Genoese took the first two parts of the term and used them as one word, amiral, from their Catalan opponents. The French and Spanish gave their sea commanders similar titles while in Portuguese the word changed to almirante. As the word was used by people speaking Latin or Latin-based languages it gained the "d" and endured a series of different endings and spellings leading to the English spelling "admyrall" in the 14th century and to "admiral" by the 16th century.
Rankings of Admirals
In the British Royal Navy, there were several types of admirals, depending upon their seniority, skill, and accomplishments. The lowest form of Admiral was known as "Rear Admiral". Rear admirals were mostly the newly promoted, younger admirals who generally commanded smaller fleets from a frigate, which they also captained personally; they usually served under an immediate supervisor, commonly a "Vice Admiral". Vice admirals were in control of larger fleets used for war, rather than patrol or single engagements. Above that was the admiral of the fleet who commanded a variety of small squadrons commanded by lesser admirals. The higher ranks of admiral usually possessed a larger warship, such as a ship of the line or other large man of war as their flagship. The only rank above admiral of the fleet was "Lord High Admiral" who were the generals who were in command of the admiralty, the high command for the entire navy.
- James Norrington (East India Trading Company)
- Henry Morgan (English Royal Navy)
- Bratton (British Royal Navy)
- Unnamed admiral (British Royal Navy)
- Lawrence Norrington (British Royal Navy)
- Simon (British Royal Navy)
- Joaquin Da Saldanha (Spanish Royal Navy)
- Maldonado (Spanish Royal Navy)
- Royce (East India Trading Company)
Behind the scenes
- In a deleted scene from Dead Man's Chest, Cutler Beckett promoted James Norrington to the rank of admiral immediately after James gave him the heart of Davy Jones. In an early screenplay draft for At World's End, Norrington was given the rank of Captain, instead of being promoted to Admiral.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean Online, there are several weapons named after the admiral. A Vice Admiral's Cutlass, the Admiral's Cutlass, and the Admiral's Sabre.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean Online, the rank of admiral is bestowed upon a player who achieves the highest rank of Infamy during the Privateering.
- In On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide, it was said that Hector Barbossa became an admiral during the quest for the Fountain of Youth. However, it was confirmed that Barbossa was given the rank of "captain" rather than "admiral" in On Stranger Tides itself.
- Jack Sparrow: Sins of the Father
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (comic) (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End