The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty were the members of The Board of Admiralty, which exercised the office of Lord High Admiral when it was not vested in a single person. The commissioners were a mixture of politicians without naval experience and professional naval officers, the proportion of naval officers generally increasing over time. In 1940, the Secretary of the Admiralty, a civil servant, became a member of the Board. The Lord High Admiral, and thus the Board of Admiralty, ceased to have operational command of the Royal Navy when the three service ministries were merged into the Ministry of Defence in 1964, when the office of Lord High Admiral reverted to the Crown.
From the appointment of Warwick until 1660, appointments during this period were made by Parliament or a part thereof.