Lieut.-General Sir William Anne van Keppel KG, 2nd Earl of Albemarle

Lieut.-Gen. Sir W. A. van Keppel Appointed Colonel of the Regiment on 22nd November 1731.

Sir William Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle born on the 5th June 1702 at Whitehall Palace, Whitehall, London. He was the son of Sir Arnold Joost van Keppel, 1st Earl of Albemarle and Gertrude de Quirna van der Duyn.

He was baptised on 16th June 1702 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Covent Garden, with Queen Anne 1 of Great Britain as his godparent.

On the 25th August 1717 he was appointed Captain and Lieutenant-Colonel in the service of the 2nd Foot Guards.

He succeeded to the title of 2nd Baron Ashford, of Ashford, Kent on the 19th May 1718. He succeeded to the title of 2nd Earl of Albemarle on the 19th May 1718. He succeeded to the title of 2nd Viscount Bury, co. Lancaster on the 19th May 1718.

He held the office of Lord of the Bedchamber to the Prince of Wales (later King) between October 1722 and 1751.

He married Lady Anne Lennox, daughter of Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond and Anne Brudenell, on the 21st February 1722 at Caversham, Oxfordshire, England.

He was invested as a Knight, Order of the Bath (K.B.) on the 18th May 1725. On the 31st March 1727 he was appointed Aide-de-Camp to the King George 1, with the rank of Colonel in the Army.

On the 22nd November 1731 he was appointed Colonel of the late Colonel Disney’s Regtiment (29th Foot), and on the 8th May 1733 he was transferred to the Colonelcy of the 3rd Troop of Horse Guards.

He held the office of Governor of Virginia from 26th September 1737 to 1754.

He gained the rank of Brigadier-General on the 2nd July 1739 and the rank of Major-General on the 18th February 1742. The following year 1743 he led his Troop in the charge at the Battle of Dettingen.

In October 1744 he was transferred to the Colonelcy of the Coldstream Guards, which he remained to 1754. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745. Gained the rank of Lieutenant-General on the 3rd January 1745. He was Commander-in-Chief of the forces in Scotland on the 23rd August 1746 and commanded the Foot wing of the army at the Battle of Culloden on the 16th April 1746 and in 1747 he commanded a Division of Infantry at the Battle of Val or Laffeld.

He resigned as Knight, Order of the Bath in 1749 and was appointed Ambassador to the Court of Versailles (office of Ambassador to France) between 1749 and 1754. He was invested as a Knight, Order of the Garter (K.G.) on the 12th July 1750. He held the office of Groom of the Stole between 1751 and 1754. He was invested as a Privy Counsellor (P.C.) on the 12th July 1751. He held the office of a Lord Justice on the 30th March 1752, during the King's absence in Germany.

He died suddenly in his coach after supper in Paris on the 22nd December 1754 at the age 52. He was buried on the 21st February 1755 at Chapel, South Audley Street, Grosvenor Square, London. He died intestate and his estate was administered on the 15th February 1758.

Walpole commented that, "his figure was genteel, his manner noble and agreeable." In 1760 Marmontel wrote that, "he was par excellance what is called a gallant homme, noble, sensible, generous, full of loyalty, frankness, politeness, and goodness; he united what is best and most estimable in the characters of the English and French."

Children of Sir William Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle and Lady Anne Lennox:
General Sir George Keppel, 3rd Earl of Albemarle - born 5th April 1724, died 13th October 1772.
Admiral Augustus Keppel, 1st and last Viscount Keppel of Elveden -born 2nd April 1725, died 3rd October 1786.
Lt.-Gen. Hon. William Keppel - born 5th November 1727, died March 1782.
Rt. Rev. Hon. Frederick Keppel - born 19th January 1728, died 27th December 1777.
Lady Caroline Keppel - born c. 1734.
Lady Elizabeth Keppel - born 15th November 1739, died 2nd November 1768.