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admiral n Cp OED ~ sb 4 'privileged commander of a fishing or merchant fleet' (1708-) DC (Nfld: 1620-) for sense 2; OED 5, SMYTH 20 for sense 3.
   1 The master of an English fishing vessel, chosen weekly to exercise jurisdiction over European fishermen in a Newfoundland harbour.
   [(1578) 1895 PROWSE 34-5 The English are commonly lords of the harbour where they fish, and use all strangers' help in fishing if need require, according to an old custom of the country, which thing they do willingly, so that you take nothing from them more than a boat or two of salt in respect of your protection of them against rovers or other violent intruders, who do often put them from good harbours.) [1583] 1940 Gilbert's Voyages & Enterprises, ii, 400-1 We found also the Frigate or Squirrill lying at anker. Whom the English marchants (that were & alwaies be Admirals by turnes interchangeably over the fleetes of fishermen within the same harbor) would not permit to enter... The manner is in their fishing, every weeke to choose their Admirall a new, or rather they succeede in orderly course, and have weekely their Admirals feast solemnized.
   2 The master of the first English fishing vessel to reach a cove or harbour, exercising certain privileges for the season; FISHING ADMIRAL. Freq in comb admiral's beach, ~ cove, ~ room, etc.
   [1611] 1954 INNIS 56 The 'admiral'of each harbor was allowed only the beach and flakes needed for the number of boats 'that he shall use with an overplus, only for one boat more than he hath.' 1620 WHITBOURNE 21 It is well knowne, that they which adventure to New-found-land a fishing, begin to dresse and provide their ships ready commonly in the moneths of December, January, and February, and are ready to set foorth at See in those voyages neare the end of February. . . And thus they doe, striving to be there first in Harbour, to obtaine the name of Admirall that yeere; and so, to have the chiefest place to make their fish on. [1663]1963 YONGE 56 Mr Waymouth. (who is Admiral [at Renews] and always wore a flagstaff, Sundays a flag, and is called my Lord, the vice-admiral my Lady) had a chyrurgeon. [1670] ibid 132-3 We took the lower Admiral's place [in St John's) for half our boats; the other half we kept at Petty-Harbour. 1699 Act of Wm III, 10 & 11 That (according to the Ancient Custom there used) every such Fishing Ship from England, Wales or Berwick, or such Fishermen as shall from and after the said Twenty fifth Day of March, first enter any Harbour or Creek in Newfoundland, in behalf of his Ship, shall be Admiral of the said Harbour or Creek during that Fishing Season. [1711] 1895 PROWSE 271 One storehouse on admiral's room. 1818 CHAPPELL 111 According to a curious old custom, the sum of sixty pounds sterling is annually bestowed upon the master of that vessel which may chance to arrive first at Forteau, in the beginning of the year; and the person who receives the reward is dignified by the title Admiral of the Fishery for the ensuing season. Where there are no commissioned magistrates, it is the duty of this individual to take cognizance of offences. [1832] 1975 WHITELEY 42 Two days afterwards ... the Admiral Captain Templeton entered my frame [and] kept me from taking my seals. 1837 BLUNT 19 There is however a secure place for boats within a point behind the Admiral's Stage. 1951 Nfld & Lab Pilot, i, 192 Admiral cove, on the eastern side of Grand Bank head, affords anchorage, to vessels with local knowledge.
   3 The first English fishing vessel to reach a harbour in a season.
   [1766] 1971 BANKS 150 In Every harbour the First arriving Ship is admiral of the harbour her Captain administering Justice tho with Frequent Appeals to the [Governor]. 1793 REEVES 8 The ship that first entered the harbour was to be admiral. 1828 MCGREGOR 244 The English ships, however, from this period, were considered the largest and best vessels; and soon became and continued to be the admirals.
   4 The oldest man in a community; cp SKIPPER (1896 Dial Notes i, 377).
   [c1894] PANL P4/14, p. 197 At Heart's Ease, the oldest man of the settlement is called the admiral, and right pleased and proud he is of the title.

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