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Keppel, Arnold Joost Van

KEPPEL, ARNOLD JOOST VAN, 1st earl of Albemarle, and lord of Voorst in Gelderland (c. 1670-1718), son of Oswald van Keppel and his wife Anna Geertruid van Lintello, was born in Holland about 1670. He became page to William III., accompanied him to England in 1688, and was made groom of the bed-chamber and master of the robes in 1695. On the 10th of February 1696f7 he was created earl of Albemarle, Viscount Bury and Baron Ashford. In 1700 William gave him lands of enormous extent in Ireland, but parliament obliged the king to cancel this grant, and William then bestowed on him L. 50,000. The same year he was made a knight of the Garter. Meanwhile he had served both with the English and Dutch troops, was major-general in 1697, colonel of several regiments and governor of Bois-le-Duc. Of handsome person and engaging disposition, he rivalled Portland, whose jealousy he aroused in the royal favour, possessed William's full confidence and accompanied him everywhere. In February 1702 he was sent by William. then prostrated with his last illness, to Holland to arrange the coming campaign, and only returned in time to receive William's last commissions on his deathbed. After the death of the latter, who bequeathed to him 200,000 guilders and some lands, he returned to Holland, took his seat as a noble in the states-general, and was made a general of horse in the Dutch army. He joined the forces of the allies in 1703, was present at Ramillies in 1706 and at Oudenarde in 1708, and distinguished himself at the siege of Lille. He commanded at the siege of Aire in 1710, led Marlborough's second line in 1711, and was general of the Dutch forces in 1712, being defeated at Denain after the withdrawal of Ormonde and the English forces and taken prisoner. He died on the 30th of May 1718, aged 48. He married Geertruid, daughter of Adam van der Denijn, by whom, besides a daughter, he had a son, William Anne, who succeeded him as 2nd earl of Albemarle.

Of the later earls mention need only be made of the sixth, GEORGE THOMAS KEPPEL (1799-1891), British general, second son of the fourth earl, born on the 13th of June 1799. Educated at Westminster School he entered the army as ensign, 14th Foot, in 1815. He joined his regiment in Belgium and took part in the Waterloo campaign and the march to Paris, joined the second battalion in Corfu, and was transferred to the 22nd Foot, with which he served in Mauritius and at the Cape, returning home in 1819, when he was appointed equerry to the duke of Sussex. Promoted to a lieutenancy in the 24th Foot, he was transferred to the 20th Foot, and went to India, where he was aide-de-camp to the marquess of Hastings until his resignation in 1823, when Keppel returned to England, travelling overland through Persia, Moscow and St Petersburg. He published in 1825 an account of his travels, entitled Journey from India to England. He was aide-de-camp to the Marquess Wellesley, lord-lieutenant of Ireland, for two years, was promoted captain in the 62nd Foot, studied in the senior department of the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, and in 1827 obtained a half-pay unattached majority. He did not again serve on full pay, but rose to be a general. In 1829 he visited the seat of the Russo-Turkish war and was with the British fleet in Turkish waters. In 1832 he was returned in the Whig interest to the first reformed parliament as member for East Norfolk and sat until 1835. He was private secretary to the premier, Lord John Russell, in 1846, and M.P. for Lymington from 1847 to 1849. He succeeded to the title on the death of his brother in 1851. He died in 1891 and was buried at Quidenham, Norfolk. He wrote an account of a Journey across the Balkans, Memoirs of the Marquis of Rockingham, and an autobigraphy entitled Fifty Years of My Life.

See G. E. C(ockayne), Complete Peerage, 8 vols. (London, 1887). For the two Williams de Fortibus, see s.v. Prof. T. F. Tout's articles in the Dict. of Nat. Biog.

1 The name was derived from Fors, a commune in the canton of Prahecq in Poitou. It is spelt Forz in a deed of 1233, and the best vernacular form is, according to Thomas Stapleton (Preface to the Liber de Antiquitate, Camden Soc., 1846, p. xxxiv. note), de Fortz.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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