Albemarle, Arnold Joost van Keppel, Earl of

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Personalities >> Albemarle, Arnold Joost van Keppel, Earl of

Albemarle, Arnold Joost van Keppel, First Earl of,

British Major-General (1697-1702), Dutch General of Cavalry (1703-171?)

born 1669, Dutch Republic

died 30 May 1718, The Hague, Dutch Republic.


Detail of a portrait of Arnold Joost van Keppel, Earl of Albemarle circa 1700, by Sir Godfrey Kneller – Source: Wikimedia Commons

Arnold Joost was born at the end of 1669 at Albemarle/Surrey, England . His baptism was on 30 January 1670 at Zutphen, Gelderland, in the Dutch Republic. His father was Oswald van Keppel, and his mother Anna Geetruid van Lintelo tot de Mars.

As a young boy, Arnold Joost was a page of William III of Orange, then stadtholder of the Dutch Republic. It has been claimed that he was William's lover, but no conclusive evidence has been discovered.

After the coronation of William as King William III of England, Arnold Joost accompanied him to England, where he was appointed chamberlain. After a hunting accident, the relationship between the king and Arnold Joost extended and the latter became the favourite of the king. He was a rival of Johann Wilhelm Bentinck, First Earl of Portland.

In 1695, Arnold Joost was appointed Groom of the Bedchamber and Master of the Robes. This function gave him political influence. He accompanied in the meantime the king on several military campaigns, part in British, part in Dutch service.

In 1696, the king appointed Arnold Joost as Viscount Bury in Lancashire and Baron Ashford of Ashford, in Kent.

In 1697, Arnold Joost was appointed major-general, colonel of different regiments and governor of s´Hertogenbosch (aka Bois-le-Duc). On 10 February of the same year, he became Earl of Albemarle.

In 1699, Albemarle was awarded the command of the 1st Troop of Life Guards. He was also made knight of The Most Noble Order of the Garter.

In 1702, Albemarle was sent to the Dutch Republic to prepare the next campaign of King Wiliam. After the death of William III, who bequeathed to him 200.000 gulden and some property in the gentry, Albemarle returned to the Dutch Republic where he owned the Castle of Huis De Voorst since 1696 and took his seat as a noble in the States General.

From 1703, Albemarle took part in the War of the Spanish Succession as general of cavalry in the Dutch Army.

On 23 May 1706, Albemarle was present at the Battle of Ramillies.

On 11 July 1708, Albemarle was present at the Battle of Oudenarde. He then distinguished himself at the siege of Lille.

In 1710, Albemarle commanded Allied troops during the siege of Aire.

In 1711, Albemarle commanded the second line in the army of the Duke of Marlborough.

In 1712, Albemarle was commander of the Dutch Army. On 24 July, he fought in the Battle of Denain, where he was taken prisoner by the French and returned after release to the Dutch Republic.

Albemarle was married with Geertruid Adam van der Denijn. The couple had one son and one daughter.

Arnold Joost van Keppel, First Earl of Albemarle died on 30 May 1718 at The Hague in the Dutch Republic.


Clan MacFarlane and associated clans genealogy – Arnold van Keppel, 1st Earl of Albemarle

Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Albemarle, Earls and Dukes of", Vol. 1, 1911

genealogieonline – Arnold Joost van Keppel 1st Earl of Albemarle (1670-1718)



Harald Skala for the initial version of this article