Charles Edward Madden, First Baronet

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Admiral of the Fleet Sir Charles E. Madden, Bart.
Photograph: By courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Admiral of the Fleet SIR Charles Edward Madden, First Baronet, G.C.B., O.M., G.C.V.O., K.C.M.G., D.C.L., L.L.D., Royal Navy (5 September, 1862 – 5 June, 1935) was an officer of the Royal Navy during the First World War.

Early Life & Career

Madden was born at Brompton, Gillingham, Kent, 5 September, 1862, the second son of Captain John William Madden, of the Fourth (King's Own) Regiment, by his wife, Emily, second daughter of John Busby, of Kingstown; he was descended from a long line of Anglo-Irish families. He entered the Britannia as a naval cadet on 15 January, 1875[1] and on promotion to Midshipman in 1877 was sent to the Alexandra, the Flagship of (Sir) Geoffrey Hornby, in the Mediterranean, and served in her throughout that famous command.

In 1880 he went to the Ruby, a corvette in the East Indies Squadron, for two and a half years, being promoted Sub-Lieutenant in her in 1881. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant with seniority of 27 July, 1884.[2] Soon after promotion to Lieutenant in 1884 he decided to specialize in torpedo and spent two years in the Vernon torpedo school with an additional six months as staff officer of that establishment.

On 7 July 1887, he was loaned to command the first-class torpedo boat T.B. 72 for manoeuvres.[3]

In 1892 he was appointed Torpedo Lieutenant of the Royal Sovereign, Flagship of the Channel Squadron, and in 1893 resumed his post as staff officer of the Vernon. He was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1896.[4] After three years at sea as commander of the cruiser Terrible and the battleship Cæsar he returned to the Vernon in 1899 for a further two years.

Captain

Madden was promoted to the rank of Captain on 30 June, 1901.[5] He was temporarily reappointed to Vernon on the same day. On 29 October Captain Robinson wrote of him: "Excellent executive officer & torpedo specialist. Would make an excellent Flag Captain." On 13 February, 1902, he was appointed to Renown, flagship in the Mediterranean, for duty with torpedo boat destroyers on that station. He was reappointed to H.M.S. Orion in that capacity from 1 April to 7 August.

On 5 September he was appointed to H.M.S. Duke of Wellington for command of the new armoured cruiser Good Hope, which he commissioned on 8 November as flagship of Rear-Admiral Wilmot H. Fawkes.[6] During this service he took the Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, on a visit to South Africa at the end of 1902. On the occasion of the King's visit to Ireland Madden was appointed a Member of the Fourth Class of the Royal Victorian Order (M.V.O.) on 11 August, 1903.[7]

Rear-Admiral Fawkes wrote of Madden in October, 1904: "Has all the high qualifications for command, knowledge, temper, tact, breadth of view, health, & is looked up to by every officer & man in the ship." He gave up command of Good Hope on 5 November and on 11 November was appointed to the Admiralty for committee work; the Committee on Designs. From 27 December to 9 January, 1905, he commanded H.M.S. Majestic, and on 7 February he returned to the Admiralty as Naval Assistant to the Third Sea Lord and Controller, Captain Henry B. Jackson. He remained with Jackson until 20 December, when he became Naval Assistant to the First Sea Lord, Sir John A. Fisher. He retained this position until 12 August, 1907. On the occasion of the King's inspection of the Home Fleet he was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (C.V.O.) on 3 August.[8]

He was appointed Captain of H.M.S. Dreadnought on 12 August, 1907,[9] and Chief of the Staff to Vice-Admiral Sir Francis C. B. Bridgeman, Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet. On 1 December, 1908, he returned to the Admiralty for Committee work, and on 12 December he was appointed Private Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty, Reginald McKenna. In Madden's service record, Bridgeman noted: "This offr. has no defects; his zeal & judgement are both excellent; his physical qualities are all that could be desired, & he has been the best Flag Capt. & Ch. of Staff an Admiral could possibly wish for. Strongly recomd him for advanct."

When discussing the composition of a new Board of Admiralty in 1909, Fisher wrote to McKenna:

I still cling to Madden as Controller, and Jellicoe is in full accord. Briggs, the only [other] possible, is not to be compared with Madden and would be nowhere for months! simply an automaton signing papers! Besides, I don't see how you are going to get rid of Winsloe so early as January, so the Fourth Sea Lord would not be vacant for Madden.[10]

On 1 January, 1910, Madden was appointed a Naval Aide-de-Camp to King Edward VII, vice Beatty.[11] He was appointed Fourth Sea Lord on 25 January.

Flag Rank

Madden was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 12 April, 1911.[12] He had had unusually short sea service as a post-captain, and only fourteen months' fleet experience, but he was now to be at sea continuously for over eleven years as a flag officer in the main British Fleet, including the whole period of the war of 1914–1918. This succession of sea-roving commands started with him command the first division, Home Fleet from flagship St. Vincent during 1912, the Third Cruiser Squadron from Antrim during 1913, and then, from 19 December, 1913, the Second Cruiser Squadron from Shannon.

In May, 1914, it was announced that in August Madden would succeed Rear-Admiral A. G. H. W. Moore as Third Sea Lord.[13] He turned over his command to Rear-Admiral the Honourable Somerset A. Gough-Calthorpe on 29 July at Chatham,[14] and was appointed to President for Special Service at the Admiralty.[1]

Great War

When Admiral Sir J. R. (afterwards Earl) Jellicoe was appointed to take over the command of the Grand Fleet he asked for his wife's brother-in-law, Madden, who had been designated to rejoin the Board of Admiralty as third sea lord and controller, to accompany him as chief of staff. Madden was accordingly sent to the Iron Duke (Jellicoe's flagship) on 4 August 1914 and remained in her until Jellicoe became First Sea Lord in November 1916, having been promoted acting Vice-Admiral in June 1915 and confirmed in that rank on 10 June, 1916.[15] In Jellicoe's Jutland dispatch of 18 June 1916, Madden's brilliant work as his Chief of Staff was recorded thus: "Throughout a period of twenty-one months of war his services have been of inestimable value. His good judgment, his long experience in fleets, special gift for organization, and his capacity for unlimited work, have all been of the greatest assistance to me, and have relieved me of much of the anxiety inseparable from the conduct of the fleet during the war. In the stages leading up to the fleet action and during and after the action he was always at hand to assist, and his judgment never at fault. I owe him more than I can say." During his time as Chief of the Staff, Madden went to sea in command, for example taking the First Battle Squadron for exercises west of the Orkneys on 23 September, 1915, and again on the 27th.[16] On 1 January, 1916, he was appointed an Additional Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.).[17]

On 15 September he was appointed an Additional Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (K.C.M.G.) for his services at Jutland, dated 31 May.[18]

Jellicoe wrote to Balfour on 19 November, 1916:

You will no doubt remember that I have always stated that I consider Admiral Madden better fitted for the Chief Command than is Admiral Beatty. I am bound to reiterate this opinion although I know that the decision which you announce is taken after much reflection.[19]

On the change of chief command in 1916 Madden was appointed to the command of the first battle squadron, as second in command of the Fleet, with the acting rank of admiral (flag in the Marlborough and later in the Revenge), and retained it until April 1919, having been confirmed in the rank of Admiral on 12 February of that year (vice Sir Berkeley Milne).[20] When Sir David (afterwards Earl) Beatty hauled down his flag as Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet and the war organization of the navy was broken up, Madden was appointed to the command of the newly constituted Atlantic Fleet and Home Fleet with Queen Elizabeth as his flagship, an appointment he held from 1919 to 1922.

Post-war and Atlantic Fleet

Madden was appointed an Additional Member of the First Class, or Knight Grand Cross, in the Military Division of the Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) on 1 January, 1919.[21] In the autumn of 1919 Madden was created a Baronet and granted £10,000 by a vote of parliament, and on finally coming ashore in August, 1922 he received a letter of appreciation from the Board of Admiralty for "the manner in which he exercised command of the Atlantic Fleet and for his services to the Royal Navy and to the Empire." He was appointed First and Principal Naval Aide-de-Camp to the King on 15 August, vice Colville.[22]

Madden was promoted to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet on 31 July, 1924, vice Jackson.[23] He served in 1923–1924 as chairman of the committee on the functions and training of Royal Marines, and in 1925, under the chairmanship of Lord Chelmsford, on that for the list of executive officers of the navy. He was appointed First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff on 30 July, 1927, in succession to Earl Beatty.[24] He would have been placed on the Retired List on 31 July, 1929, but, in order to retain him in office, the First Lord (W. C. Bridgeman) procured a special order in council to secure his remaining Admiral of the Fleet on the Active List supernumerary to establishment, so long as he held appointment as First Sea Lord.[25]

First Sea Lord

Retirement

Madden was placed on the Retired List on 30 July, 1930.[26]

He died on 30 June, 1935.[27] Lady Madden died on 18 November, 1964.[28]

Writing in January, 1946, Admiral of the Fleet Lord Chatfield gave Madden a rather mixed rating coupled with a backhanded compliment:

Madden was not a weak character. He was "reserved" rather than amicable - he did not bide fools gladly. He had a firm, upright character & was essentially loyal - it was the latter quality, not a lack of ideas or forcefulness, that made his 2d in Command to Beatty so successful. The Fleet knew this. In his later years he was tired - that was why he failed in 1930. Defeated, not only, by the Ch. of Ex. [Chancellor of the Exchequer] but by the F.O. [Foreign Office][29]

Admiral of the Fleet Sir Osmond Brock opined:

In my opinion he was one of those many Naval Officers who, partly by much service abroad, & chiefly by becoming immersed in the details of their profession, became confined in their views and therefore when they reach the higher ranks find it difficult to discuss the broad aspects of policy and are at a disadvantage when doing so with men of a wider education - e.g. politicians![30]

See Also

Bibliography

  • Dictionary of National Biography.
  • "Admiral of the Fleet Sir C. Madden" (Obituaries). The Times. Thursday, 6 June, 1935. Issue 47083, col A, p. 21.

Papers

Images

  • 1922 Reginald Grenville Eves portrait in the possession of the Imperial War Museum. Catalogue Number IWM ART 4177.

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Richard H. Peirse
Rear-Admiral in the First Division, Home Fleet
1911 – 1912
Succeeded by
The Hon. Somerset A. Gough-Calthorpe
Rear-Admiral in the First Battle Squadron
1912
Preceded by
F. C. Doveton Sturdee
Rear-Admiral Commanding,
Third Cruiser Squadron

1912 – 1913
Succeeded by
William C. Pakenham

Preceded by
Sir F. C. Doveton Sturdee
Rear-Admiral Commanding,
Second Cruiser Squadron

1913 – 1914
Succeeded by
The Hon. Somerset A. Gough-Calthorpe

Preceded by
New Appointment
Chief of the Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet
1914 – 1916
Succeeded by
Osmond de B. Brock

Preceded by
Sir Cecil Burney
Admiral Commanding,
First Battle Squadron

1916 – 1919
Succeeded by
Sir Sydney R. Fremantle
Second-in-Command,
Grand Fleet

1916 – 1919
Succeeded by
Command Dispersed
Preceded by
New Command
Commander-in-Chief,
Atlantic and Home Fleets

1919
Succeeded by
Sir John M. de Robeck, Bart.
Commander-in-Chief,
Atlantic Fleet

1919 – 1922
Naval Appointments
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M. T.B. 72
7 Jul, 1887[31]
Succeeded by
Somerset A. G. Calthorpe
Preceded by
James A. T. Bruce
Captain of H.M.S. Orion
Apr, 1902
Succeeded by
William De Salis
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Good Hope
5 Sep, 1902[32] – 4 Nov, 1904[33]
Succeeded by
Bernard Currey
Preceded by
Frederick L. Campbell
Captain of H.M.S. Majestic
26 Dec, 1904[34] – 9 Jan, 1905[35]
Succeeded by
Charles E. Kingsmill
Preceded by
Arthur C. Leveson
Naval Assistant to the Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy
7 Feb, 1905[36] – 20 Dec, 1905[37]
Succeeded by
Alexander L. Duff
Preceded by
Reginald H. S. Bacon
Naval Assistant to the First Sea Lord
20 Dec, 1905[38]
Succeeded by
A. Gordon H. W. Moore
Preceded by
Reginald H. S. Bacon
Captain of H.M.S. Dreadnought
12 Aug, 1907[39] – 1 Dec, 1908[40]
Succeeded by
Charles Bartolomé
Preceded by
Hugh Evan-Thomas
Private Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty
14 Dec, 1908[41] – 25 Jan, 1910[42]
Succeeded by
Ernest C. T. Troubridge
Preceded by
Sir Alfred L. Winsloe
Fourth Sea Lord
25 Jan, 1910[43] – 5 Dec, 1911[44]
Succeeded by
William C. Pakenham
Preceded by
?
Rear-Admiral in the First Battle Squadron
5 Jan, 1912[45][46] – 10 Nov, 1912[47]
Succeeded by
The Hon. Somerset A. Gough-Calthorpe
Preceded by
Nucleus Crew Squadron 1909-1912
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Third Cruiser Squadron
? – 19 Dec, 1913[48]
Succeeded by
William C. Pakenham
Preceded by
F. C. Doveton Sturdee
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Second Cruiser Squadron
19 Dec, 1913[49] – 29 Jul, 1914[50]
Succeeded by
The Hon. Sir Somerset A. Gough-Calthorpe
as Vice-Admiral Commanding, Second Cruiser Squadron
Preceded by
New Appointment
Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet
4 Aug, 1914[51] – 27 Nov, 1916[52]
Succeeded by
Osmond de B. Brock
Preceded by
Sir Cecil Burney
Vice-Admiral Commanding, First Battle Squadron
28 Nov, 1916[53][54] – 7 Apr, 1919[55]
Succeeded by
Sir Sydney R. Fremantle
Preceded by
Cecil Burney
as Vice-Admiral Commanding, Atlantic Fleet
Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet
8 Apr, 1919[56][57] – 15 Aug, 1922[58]
Succeeded by
Sir John M. de Robeck
Preceded by
The Rt. Hon. The Earl Beatty
First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff
30 Jul, 1927[59][60] – 30 Jul, 1930[61]
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick L. Field
Court Appointments
Preceded by
The Hon. Sir Stanley C. J. Colville
First and Principal Naval Aide-de-Camp
15 Aug, 1922[62][63] – 31 Jul, 1924[64]
Succeeded by
The Hon. Sir Somerset A. Gough-Calthorpe

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. p. 83.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 25383. p. 3485. 1 August, 1884.
  3. "Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. Saturday, 2 July, 1887. Issue 32114, col C, p. 12.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 26757. p. 3978. 10 July, 1896.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 27335. p. 4780. 19 July, 1901.
  6. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 8 September, 1902. Issue 36867, col E, p. 8.
  7. The London Gazette: no. 27586. p. 5058. 11 August, 1903.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 28048. p. 5390. 6 August, 1907.
  9. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  10. Fear God and Dread Nought. I. pp. 281-282.
  11. The London Gazette: no. 28325. p. 30. 4 January, 1910.
  12. The London Gazette: no. 28485. p. 2967. 14 April, 1911.
  13. "Flag Appointments" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 15 May, 1914. Issue 40524, col C, p. 8.
  14. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 30 July, 1914. Issue 40589, col B, p. 4.
  15. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29621. p. 5828. 13 June, 1916.
  16. Commander Matthew Best's notebook entries for 23 September, 27 September, 1915. Liddle Collection. University of Leeds. RNMN/BEST. Box 1. Volume III.
  17. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29423. p. 79. 31 December, 1915.
  18. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29751. p. 9071. 15 September, 1916.
  19. Balfour Papers. British Library. Add. MSS. 49714. f. 159.
  20. The London Gazette: no. 31201. p. 2738. 25 February, 1919.
  21. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31099. p. 106. 1 January, 1919.
  22. The London Gazette: no. 32740. p. 6157. 22 August, 1922.
  23. The London Gazette: no. 32962. p. 5889. 5 August, 1924.
  24. The Naval Staff of the Admiralty. p. 119.
  25. Order in Council of 21 March, 1929.
  26. ADM 196/42. f. 205.
  27. ADM 196/42. f. 205.
  28. "Obituaries" (Obituaries). The Times. Saturday, 21 November, 1964. Issue 56175, col E, p. 10.
  29. Chatfield to Baddeley. Letter of 10 January, 1946. Baddeley Papers. National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth. MSS 264.
  30. Brock to Baddeley. Letter of 7 November, 1945. Baddeley Papers. National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth. MSS 264.
  31. "Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. Saturday, 2 July, 1887. Issue 32114, col C, p. 12.
  32. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  33. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  34. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  35. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  36. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  37. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  38. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  39. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  40. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  41. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  42. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  43. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  44. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  45. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. Unnumbered page.
  46. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  47. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  48. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  49. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  50. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  51. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/87. f. 124.
  52. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/87. f. 124.
  53. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 2.
  54. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/87. f. 124.
  55. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/87. f. 124.
  56. "End of Grand Fleet" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 3 April, 1919. Issue 42065, col D, p. 13.
  57. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/87. f. 124.
  58. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/87. f. 124.
  59. The Naval Staff of the Admiralty. p. 119.
  60. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/87. f. 124.
  61. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/87. f. 124.
  62. The London Gazette: no. 32740. p. 6157. 22 August, 1922.
  63. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/87. f. 124.
  64. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/87. f. 124.