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Augustus Keppel

1725 – 1786

Augustus Keppel (1725–1786), naval officer, joined the navy at the age of ten and had risen to the rank of commander by the time he was nineteen. Promoted to Commodore in 1748, Keppel served as commander of the Mediterranean fleet and of the British North American naval contingent in the Seven Years War. He also had a long parliamentary career, serving as the member for Windsor and then Surrey from 1761 until 1780. Keppel was First Lord of the Admiralty at the time of Cook’s Endeavour voyage, the navigator naming Great Keppel Island and Keppel Bay in his honour in May 1770. Keppel was also a close friend of Sir Joshua Reynolds, who painted his portrait on several occasions.

Updated 2018