Augustus Keppel, 1st Viscount Keppel (1725-1786), naval officer and politician, was the son of William Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albermarle (1702-1754) and his wife, Anne (1703-1789), daughter of Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond. In 1735, aged 10, Keppel entered the navy and his career began off the coast of Guinea. He was later appointed commodore, commanding in the Mediterranean on the Centurion where he was to apply judicious pressure to the Dey of Algiers to restrain the piratical operations of his subjects. On the journey to Algiers he was accompanied by Joshua Reynolds and in Minorca he painted the first of his six portraits of Keppel. Keppel returned to England in 1751 after having negotiated a treaty with the Dey of Algiers. Four years later he was involved in the conflicts surrounding the Seven Year's War before returning to England and becoming MP for Windsor from 1761 to 1780, during which time he was promoted to Rear Admiral and became a member of the Admiralty Board. In 1782 he became First Lord, was created Viscount Keppel, Baron Elden and was sworn in as a Member of the Privy Council. He died, unmarried, in October 1786.
This is a reduced part-copy after the rectangular three-quarters-length oil on canvas portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds of 1779, in the National Maritime Museum, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection, inv. BHC2822.