Polydore de Keyser was a Belgian-born British politician.
De Keyser was born in Dendermonde, Belgium, on 13 December 1832.
Some time before 1849, De Keyser immigrated to England. By 1853, he was a naturalized citizen. After becoming a citizen, he established the 400-room Royal Hotel built on the Bridewell Palace plot, a residence built for Henry VIII. From 1856 to 1887 De Keyser ran the hotel himself. The hotel was popular with foreigners visiting London, which is what kept the hotel going. De Keyser speaking 6 languages probably helped. The hotel was also popular with City Companies holding banquets. In 1929, just 30 years after De Keyser’s death, the hotel was destroyed.
De Keyser belonged to several City Companies that were trade guilds for various industries. Including Guilds, Eyewear Makers, Blacksmiths, Butchers, Inn owners, Poulterers, Gold and Silver Wire Drawers.
De Keyser was also the governor of three regional hospitals. They are Bridewell, Bethlehem, and St. Bartholomew.
De Keyser served as the Sheriff of London and Middlesex. He was also elected as a city councilor representing Farringdon Without in the Joint Council Court.
From October 1887 to November 1888 De Keyser served as Lord Mayor of London. He was the first Roman Catholic to take office since the reform. In particular, the last few months of De Keyser’s tenure were marked by the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. From September 1888 to November 1888, five so-called canonical murders occurred. There were other murders that occurred after De Keyser left office, but the other 6 murders, of which 11 were in total, were never proven to be linked to the original five.
De Keyser passed away on January 14, 1898.
De Keyser, England, MacDonald Lodge No. It was a member of 1216.