Willem van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle

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Willem van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle
William Anne Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle, by Charles Philips.jpg
Born 5 June 1702 Edit this on Wikidata
London Edit this on Wikidata
Died 22 December 1754 Edit this on Wikidata (aged 52)
Paris Edit this on Wikidata

Lieutenant-General Willem Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle KG KB PC (5 June 1702 – 22 December 1754) was a British diplomat and courtier.[1]


Willem was born on 5 June 1702 at Whitehall Palace, London, the son of the 1st Earl of Albemarle and was baptised on 16 June 1702 in St Martin-in-the-Fields with Queen Anne as one of his godparents.[2]

On 21 February 1722, he married Lady Anne Lennox (24 June 1703 – 20 October 1789), a daughter of the 1st Duke of Richmond (and a granddaughter of King Charles II through an illegitimate line), at Caversham, Oxfordshire (now Berkshire) and they had six children:

Willem fought in the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, was Colonel of the 29th Regiment of Foot 1731–1733 and Coldstream Guards from 1744 and 1754, fighting in the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745 and the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

From 1722–1751 he was a Lord of the Bedchamber to George I and George II, and Groom of the Stole 1751–1754. In 1725 he was made a Knight of the Bath (KB) but resigned that honour in 1750 to become a Knight of the Garter. At its creation in 1739, he was a founding Governor of the Foundling Hospital in London. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1751.

He died suddenly on 22 December 1754, aged 52 in Paris, France and was buried on 21 February 1755 in Grosvenor Chapel on South Audley Street, London. He was notoriously extravagant, and is said to have died penniless.

Nancy Mitford remarks that given his love of all things French, it was a blessing that he died before the Seven Years' War broke out.[3] The French in return admired his love of life- " Albemarle aimait son plaisir "- and his wit- when a rapacious mistress admired the beauty of the stars he replied that unfortunately he was unable to buy them for her.[4]


Albemarle County, Virginia in the United States is named for him.


  1. ^ Gunter, Donald R. "William Anne Keppel, second earl of Albemarle (1702–1754)". Encyclopedia Virginia/Dictionary of Virginia Biography. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  2. ^ Person Page 1680, thePeerage. Accessed 8 October 2008.
  3. ^ Mitford, Nancy Madame de Pompadour Hamish Hamilton 1954
  4. ^ Mitford Madame de Pompadour

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Orkney
Crown Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
The Earl of Loudoun
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
None due to the
War of the Austrian Succession
British Ambassador to France
Succeeded by
None due to the
Seven Years' War
Military offices
Preceded by
Henry Disney
Colonel of The Earl of Albemarle's Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
George Reade
Preceded by
The Earl of Cholmondeley
Captain and Colonel of the
3rd Troop of Horse Guards

Succeeded by
The Lord Tyrawley
Preceded by
The Duke of Marlborough
Colonel of the Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards
Court offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Pembroke
Groom of the Stole
Succeeded by
The Earl of Rochford
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Arnold Joost van Keppel
Earl of Albemarle
Succeeded by
George Keppel