George Keppel, Earl of Albemarle

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Governor 1761-1772
George Keppel


George Keppel, Earl of Albermarle, was yet another high-ranking British Army officer appointed to the position of Governor of Jersey, who seems to have had no interest in island affairs over the course of 11 years

Early life

General George Keppel, 3rd Earl of Albemarle (1724-1772) was styled Viscount Bury until 1754, becoming 3rd Earl of Albermale in 1757 on the death of his father. He came from a wealthy and powerful Flemish family from Gueldres, close to the Princes of Orange, who had moved to England in the 17th Century. He started his military career in the Netherlands fighting against the French and was in the Battle of Fontenay in 1745 as an aid to the Duke of Cumberland, the brother of King George II of England, becoming later a Field Marshal after the Battle of Culloden, April 1746.

Military career

George Keppel had been commissioned an ensign in the Coldstream Guards in 1738, becoming a captain-lieutenant of the 1st Regiment of Dragoons in 1741, aged 17, and a captain-lieutenant of the Coldstreams on 7 April 1743. Appointed aide-de-camp to the Duke of Cumberland in February 1745, he was promoted to captain and lieutenant-colonel on 27 May 1745. The next year, he was promoted colonel and made Aide de Camp to the King on 24 April 1746. He had fought at the Battle of Culloden with his father and carried the dispatch of Cumberland's success to London.


He was returned as Member of Parliament for Chichester in 1746. He was appointed a Lord of the Bedchamber to the Duke of Cumberland in 1748, a post he held until the Duke's death in 1765. On 1 November 1749 he was given the colonelcy of the 20th Regiment of Foot. He succeeded to the earldom on the death of his father in 1754; his younger brother Augustus replaced him as MP for Chichester.

On 8 April 1755 he became colonel of the 3rd (The King's Own) Regiment of Dragoons. He was promoted major-general on 1 February 1756 and lieutenant-general on 1 April 1759. He was appointed Governor of Jersey on 26 January 1761 and sworn a Privy Counsellor on 28 January.

Keppel was the commander-in-Chief of the invasion and occupation of Havana and west Cuba in 1762. His younger brothers, Capt Augustus and Col William Keppel, both took part in the expedition as well. After a difficult siege, during which the troops suffered heavily from yellow fever, Havana Morro Castle was taken and Havana fell into British hands.

Later life

Keppel was made a Knight of the Garter in 1765 was appointed Keeper of Bagshot Park in 1766. In 1770 he married Anne Miller, daughter of Sir John Miller, 4th Baronet by whom he had a son, William Charles (1772–1849). He was made a general on 26 May 1772, and died in October of that year.

Predecessor Successor
John Huske
1749 - 1761
George Keppel, Earl of Albemarle
1761 - 1772
Henry Seymour Conway
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