Posts Tagged ‘William Charles Keppel 4th Earl of Albemarle’

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

George Keppel 6th Earl of Albemarle
13 June 1799 – 21 February 1891


George Keppel

General George Keppel 6th Earl of Albemarle was born in Marylebone, he was the third and second surviving son of William Keppel, 4th Earl of Albemarle, and his first wife Elizabeth, fourth daughter of Edward Southwell, 20th Baron de Clifford. In 1851, he succeeded his older brother Augustus as earl. His lifelong friend was Sir Robert Adair. Keppel spent his childhood at his father’s residence Elden Hall and was educated at Westminster School. In 1815, he entered the British Army as an ensign.

Keppel fought with the 14th Regiment of Foot in the Battle of Waterloo. He was transferred as lieutenant to the 20th Regiment of Foot in 1820 and as captain to the 62nd (Wiltshire) Regiment of Foot in 1825. Already two years later, he became major and lieutenant-colonel in 1841. Keppel was promoted to Colonel in 1854 and to Major-General in 1858. He was made Lieutenant-General in 1866 and finally General in 1874. considered political appointment.

Keppel represented East Norfolk in the British House of Commons from 1832 until three years later. He stood unsuccessfully for King’s Lynn in 1837 and for Lymington in 1841, however sat for the latter eventually from 1847 to 1849, before succeeding his brother in the Earldom.

From 1820, Keppel was Equerry to Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex. In 1838, he was appointed High Sheriff of Leitrim. He served as Groom-in-Waiting between the latter year and 1841 and was Private Secretary to the Prime Minister Lord John Russell between 1846 and the next year. He was a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk from 1859 and was Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS) as well as the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA).

On 4 August 1831, he married Susan Trotter, daughter of Sir Coutts Trotter, 1st Baronet in Willesden. They had four daughters and one son. Keppel died, aged 91 in Portman Square in London and was buried in Quidenham. He was succeeded in his titles by his only son William, a great-great-grandfather of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

His works:

  • Personal Narrative of a Journey from India to England (1827)
  • Personal Narrative of Travels in Babylonia, Assyria, Media and Scythia (1827)
  • Narrative of a Journey across the Balcan (1831)
  • Memoirs of the Marquess of Rockingham and his Contemporaries (1852)
  • Fifty Years of My Life (1876)

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

William Charles Keppel 4th Earl of Albemarle
14 May 1772 – 30 October 1849


William Charles Keppel

William Charles Keppel 4th Earl of Albemarle was the only child of General George Keppel, 3rd Earl of Albemarle, and Anne, daughter of Sir John Miller, 4th Baronet. He succeeded in the earldom in October 1772, aged five months, on the early death of his father. He was educated at St John’s College, Cambridge.

On the formation of the Ministry of All the Talents in 1806, Lord Albemarle was appointed Master of the Buckhounds by Lord Grenville. Thereby he became an officer in the Master of the Horse’s department in the Royal Household and also the equivalent of today’s Representative of Her Majesty at Ascot. The Mastership of the Buckhounds being a political office, the holder changed with every government and because the Earl’s patrons fell in March 1807 he lost his position after only one year. He remained out of office until 1830 when he was sworn of the Privy Council and made Master of the Horse by Lord Grey which was the third ranking officer at court (after the Lord Chamberlain and Lord Steward). He continued in this office until November 1834, the last few months under the premiership of Lord Melbourne, and held the same post under Melbourne between 1835 and 1841. Consequently he was responsible for managing all matters equine at the changeover from one reign to the next and, in particular, at Queen Victoria’s Coronation. The Earl was accorded the honour of travelling to Westminster Abbey inside the Gold State Coach with the nineteen-year-old, and as yet unmarried Victoria, who recorded in her diary:

“At 10 I got into the State Coach with the Duchess of Sutherland and Lord Albemarle…It was a fine day, and the crowds of people exceeded what I have ever seen; their good humour and excessive loyalty was beyond everything, and I really cannot say how proud I feel to be the Queen of such a nation”.

In addition to managing the bloodstock of two successive Heads of State, when the horse was still a main mode of transport, the 4th Earl of Albemarle was also a leading racehorse owner of his day. As an owner, William Charles won two Classics (the 1000 Guineas in 1838 with Barcarolle and the 2000 Guineas in 1841), and the Ascot Gold Cup three times (with two different horses) in 1843, 1844, and 1845. The second Gold Cup win, in 1844, was by a colt which the Earl had not yet named. One of the witnesses of this triumph, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, let William Charles know how excited he had been by the race, and the Earl promptly named his horse “The Emperor” in honour of the distinguished Russian visitor. In 1845, when “The Emperor” won the Gold Cup (now renamed The Emperor’s Plate) again the Earl received a massive silver centrepiece paid for by the Tsar as the race prize based on Falconet’s well known sculpture of Peter the Great in St Petersburg, the base flanked by Russian equestrian troops. William Charles’s horses were also victorious in the 1840s in the Cesarevitch and Cambridgeshire major handicaps run at Newmarket.
In 1833 he was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Hanoverian Order.

Lord Albemarle married, firstly, the Hon. Elizabeth Southwell, daughter of Edward Southwell, 20th Baron de Clifford, on 9 April 1792. They had eleven children:

  • William Keppel, Viscount Bury (1793 – 1804), died young.
  • Augustus Frederick Keppel, 5th Earl of Albemarle (1794 – 1851), who married Frances Steer. No issue.
  • Lady Sophia Keppel (c. 1798 – 1824), married Sir James Macdonald, 2nd Baronet and had issue.
  • George Thomas Keppel, 6th Earl of Albemarle (1799 – 1891), through whom is descended Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
  • Reverend Hon. Edward Southwell Keppel (1800 – 1883), Dean of Norwich, married Lady Maria, daughter of Nathaniel Clements, 2nd Earl of Leitrim.
  • Lady Anne Amelia Keppel (1803 – 1844), married Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester, through whom is descended Sarah, Duchess of York; married, secondly, Edward Ellice.
  • Lady Mary Keppel (1804 – 1898), married Henry Frederick Stephenson, MP, and had issue.
  • Admiral Hon. Sir Henry Keppel (1809 – 1904), married Katherine Crosby and had issue.
  • Reverend Hon. Thomas Robert Keppel (1811 – 1863), married Frances Barrett-Lennard, daughter of Sir Thomas Barrett-Lennard, 1st Baronet and had issue.
  • Lady Caroline Elizabeth Keppel (1814 – 1898), married the Very Reverend Thomas Garnier and had issue.
  • Lady Georgiana Charlotte (d. 1854), married William Henry Magan.

After his first wife’s death in November 1817, aged 41, Lord Albemarle married, secondly, Charlotte Susannah, daughter of Sir Henry Hunloke, 4th Baronet, on 11 February 1822. This marriage was childless. He died at Quidenham, Norfolk, in October 1849, aged 77, and was succeeded in the earldom by his second but eldest surviving son, Augustus.

The Dowager Countess, Charlotte Susannah, was nicknamed the “Rowdy Dow” by her stepchildren, who accused her of squandering the family’s fortune. In the words of one biographer: “[She] managed to disperse Keppel heirlooms with extravagant eccentricity.” The Dowager Countess of Albemarle died at Twickenham, London, in October 1862, aged 88.

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