Wednesday, 4 December 2019

1st Earl of Albemarle

ARNOLD JOOST VAN KEPPEL (1670-1718), Lord of Voorst, was descended from a very ancient family of the nobles of Gelderland, a province of the Netherlands, being a younger son of Oswald van Keppel, by Anna Geertruid van Lintelo his wife.

His younger brother, Johan Rabo van Keppel (1675-1733), was Lieutenant-Colonel in the service of the States General, Colonel of a foot regiment, Postmaster-General of the Province of Gelderland, Bailiff of Bois-le-Duc, and a noble of the Province of Overiffel.

1st Earl of Albemarle. Photo Credit: The National Trust

This Arnold van Keppel accompanied the Prince of Orange, 1688, and, on the establishment of his royal master upon the throne of England, was created, in 1696, Baron Ashford, of Ashford, Kent, and Viscount Bury, Lancashire.

His lordship was advanced to an earldom, in 1697, as EARL OF ALBEMARLE, a town and territory in the Dukedom of Normandy.
Aumale, formerly known as Albemarle, is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region in north-western France. The town's Latin name was Alba Marla.
The 1st Earl was subsequently honoured with the Order of the Garter.

"About this time" says Bishop Burnet, "the King set up a new favourite, Keppel, a gentleman of Guelders, who was raised from a page into the highest degree of favour that any person had ever attained about the King.

"He was now made Earl of Albemarle, and soon after Knight of the Garter, and, by a quick and unaccountable progress, he seemed to have engrossed the royal favour so entirely that he disposed of everything that was in the King's power".

"He was a cheerful young man, that had the art to please, but was so much given up to his own pleasure that he could scarce submit to the attendance and drudgery that was necessary to maintain his post."

"He had never yet distinguished himself in anything".

"He was not cold nor dry, as the Earl of Portland was thought to be, who seemed to have the art of creating many enemies to himself, and not one friend; but the Earl of Albemarle had all the arts of a court, was civil to all, and procured many favours."

His lordship married, in 1701, Geertruid Johanna Quirina, daughter of Adam van der Duyn, and had issue,
WILLIAM ANNE, his successor;
He was a member of the nobles in Holland, Deputy Forester, General of the Horse, in the service of the States-General, Governor of Bois-le-Duc etc.

WILLIAM III held his lordship in the highest esteem and bequeathed to him, in a codicil annexed to His Majesty's last will and testament, the Lordship of Bredevoort and 200,000 guilders, the only legacy His Majesty gave from the Prince of Nassau-Dietz, whom he had made his heir.

His lordship was succeeded by his son,

WILLIAM ANNE, 2nd Earl (1702-54), KG, who wedded, in 1722, the Lady Anne Lennox, daughter of Charles, 1st Duke of Richmond, by whom he had fifteen children, eight sons and seven daughters; only six of whom survived their infancy, viz.
GEORGE, his successor;
Augustus, created 1st VISCOUNT KEPPEL;
Frederick (Rt Rev Hon), Lord Bishop of Exeter;
Caroline; Elizabeth.
His lordship, who was a General in the army and had been British Ambassador at the Court of Versailles, was succeeded by his eldest son,

GEORGE, 3rd Earl (1724-72), KG, a military man, who served as aide-de-camp to the Duke of Cumberland at the battle of Fontenoy, 1745, and the next year, being with His Royal Highness at Culloden, was bearer of the dispatches announcing the victory to London.

He subsequently attained the rank of Lieutenant-General, and was commander-in-chief at the reduction of Havana, where he acquired an accession of reputation and increase of fortune.

The 3rd Earl espoused, in 1770, Anne, youngest daughter of Sir John Miller, 4th Baronet, of Chichester, West Sussex, by whom he had an only son,

WILLIAM CHARLES, 4th Earl (1772-1849), GCH,
William Charles Keppel, 4th Earl (1772–1849);
Augustus Frederick Keppel, 5th Earl (1794–1851);
George Thomas Keppel, 6th Earl (1799–1891);
William Coutts Keppel, 7th Earl (1832–94);
Arnold Allan Cecil Keppel, 8th Earl (1858–1942);
Walter Egerton George Lucian Keppel, 9th Earl (1882–1979);
Rufus Arnold Alexis Keppel, 10th Earl (b 1965).
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, Augustus Sergei Darius Keppel, styled Viscount Bury (b 2003).
The Earls of Albemarle held over 2,500 acres in County Leitrim in 1876. The 6th Earl served as High Sheriff of Leitrim, 1838. 
The 4th Earl was married to the Hon Elizabeth Southwell, daughter of Baron de Clifford, a family who also held lands in Leitrim; and it was through this union that the Keppels acquired their Leitrim estates. 
The 4th Earl also had some land in County Limerick, which came into the family through the marriage of the 2nd Earl and the daughter of the 1st Duke of Richmond in 1723. 
The Lady Mairi Bury (née Vane-Tempest-Stewart), daughter of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Londonderry, married, in 1940, Derek Keppel, styled Viscount Bury, son of the 9th Earl of Albemarle.
Former seats ~ Elveden Hall, Suffolk; Quidenham Hall, Norfolk.

First published in November, 2017.

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