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National Maritime Museum

Keppel, Augustus, Admiral, 1st Viscount Keppel, (1725-1786)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 KEP

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Keppel, Augustus, Admiral, 1st Viscount Keppel, (1725-1786)

Date(s): [1748-1778]

Level of description: Collection

Extent: lft; 30cm

Name of creator(s): Keppel | Augustus | 1725-1786 | Admiral | 1st Viscount Keppel


Administrative/Biographical history:

Keppel entered the Navy in 1735 and served off the coast of Guinea and then in the Mediterranean. In 1740 he accompanied Anson on his voyage round the world. Anson promoted him to acting lieutenant, which rank was confirmed on Keppel's return to England in 1744. In 1745 his ship ran aground off Belle Isle and he and his crew were taken prisoner by the French; later Keppel was released on parole. After peace was made, in 1748, he was made a captain and sent out in the CENTURION to the Mediterranean as Commander-in-Chief and Ambassador to the States of Barbary to treat with the Dey of Algiers. In 1754 he was appointed to take command of the North American Station and returned home when Boscawen relieved him. In 1755 he was Member of Parliament for Chichester and represented two other constituencies until 1782. He sat as a member of the court martial on Admiral John Byng (1704-1757). In 1758 he was put in command of a squadron which captured Goree, and in 1759 joined Hawke's squadron and fought at Quiberon Bay. He was the naval commander of the force which reduced Belle Isle in 1761 and in 1762 went as second-in-command of the naval forces in the Havana Expedition. when the Commander-in-Chief, Sir George Pocock (1706-1792), returned to England, Keppel was left in command, appointed rear-admiral and remained for a time at Jamaica until the peace. In 1765 and 1766 he was on the Admiralty Board, was promoted to vice-admiral in 1770 and to admiral in 1778. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Channel Fleet in 1778, when the French entered the American War of Independence. After the inconclusive battle off Ushant, Keppel and his deputy, Palliser (1723-1796), blamed each other. At the subsequent court martial requested by Keppel, he was acquitted but soon afterwards struck his flag; this ended his active service. He was briefly First Lord of the Admiralty, for two short periods in 1782 and 1783, and was created Viscount Keppel in 1782. See Thomas Robert Keppel, The Life of Augustus Viscount Keppel (London, 1842).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Augustus Keppel, consisting of two groups. The first, deposited on permanent loan in 1944, is a collection of letters, 1778, from the Admiralty and Keppel's replies. There are also court martial resolutions on Admiral Byng, 1757. The second, purchased in 1946, is a series of order books, 1748 to 1778, and two Quarter Deck order books, 1761 to 1762, 1778.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in two groups. The first, deposited on permanent loan in 1944 by Lord Albemarle, the second the Museum purchased through the Caird Fund, from Lord Albemarle.


Related material:

The Ipswich and East Suffolk Record Office holds most of the Albemarle family papers.


Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 2011.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2010-08-26

Naval affairs | Military affairs | Military science | Social sciences
Naval operations | Military operations | Military engineering
Ships logs | Primary documents | Documents | Information sources
Administration of justice

Personal names
Byng | John | 1704-1757 | Admiral
Keppel | Augustus | 1725-1786 | Admiral | 1st Viscount Keppel

Corporate names
Royal Navy