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Humber Conservancy Red Ensign (England)

Last modified: 2003-07-05 by
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[Humber Conservancy] by Martin Grieve

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1888. Humber Conservancy Commission Red Ensign.

From 1592-1908 Trinity House was responsible for the navigation and pilotage of the Humber Estuary. The Conservancy Commissioners appear to date from about 1888 when the ports of Goole and Kingston-upon-Hull, the latter commonly called Hull, were administratively combined. The date 1852 on the first badge is roughly when the enlargement of the docks in Hull was completed.

24 Feb 1887. Humber Conservators wrote to the Admiralty requesting a defaced Blue Ensign for their salvage vessel S.S. Auckland. The Admiralty consulted the Board of Trade who thought that the Conservancy Seal on a Blue Ensign might be mistaken for a similar ensign already approved for a Government Department. The Conservators agreed to the badge on a Red Ensign.

Warrant. Salvage vessel belonging to Humber Conservancy Commissioners shall be permitted to wear Red Ensign of Her Majesty's Fleet with badge of the Commissioners on the fly thereof, viz, The figure of Humber, a river god with an oar in his right hand, and leaning on two pots from which issue streams typical of the rivers Trent and Ouse, uniting in the background to form the Humber, the word VMBRE below the figure and legend Humber Conservancy Commissioners with date 1852 upon a girdle encircling the design. 30 Jan 1888.

David Prothero, 12 June 2003

Detail of the badge

[Humber Conservancy] by Martin Grieve


1907. Humber Conservancy Board Red Ensign.

[Humber Conservancy] by Martin Grieve

Humber Conservancy Board was formed in 1907, and took over from the Conservancy Commissioners. Another warrant was issued 15 March 1911 for a Red Ensign with a revised badge in which the date 1852 was deleted, and the word Board replaced the word Commissioners.

The Conservancy Board was replaced by the nationalised British Transport Docks Board in 1968.

David Prothero, 12 June 2003

Detail of the badge

[Humber Conservancy] by Martin Grieve


Admiral of the Humber

[Admiral of the Humber] by Martin Grieve based on a photograph by Donald Edwards

I did some calculations from the photograph, and estimate that the badge is 4/9 hoist of flag.
Martin Grieve, 13 June 2003

Until the latter part of the 17th century minor maritime disputes were settled in local Admiralty Courts with the presiding official having the title admiral or vice-admiral. The Lord Mayor of Hull (Kingston upon Hull) was Admiral of the Humber, an estuary on the east coast of England. The last court was held in 1683, but the title has been retained for ceremonial purposes. At one time the Admiral's flag had 'the Admiralty Arms upon it', but the present flag has the seal of the Admiral in the centre of a flag quartering the three coronets of the arms of the City of Hull and a foul anchor.

As a courtesy the flag is flown by any vessel that the Lord Mayor visits on official business.

David Prothero, 13 June 2003

Detail of the badge

[Admiral of the Humber] by Martin Grieve

David Prothero, 13 June 2003

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