(1773 – 5 March 1852) was an English
schoolmaster, one of the most famous headmasters in the history of Eton College
He was born at Wells
, the son of Prebendary William Keate, D.D., rector of Laverton, Somerset
, and brother of Robert Keate
FRCS (1777-1857), Serjeant-Surgeon
to King William IV
and Queen Victoria
He was educated at Eton
and Kings College
, where he had a brilliant career as a scholar. Taking holy orders, he became, about 1797, an assistant master at Eton College. In 1809 he was elected headmaster. The discipline of the school was then in a most unsatisfactory condition, and Dr Keate (who took the degree of D.D. in 1810) took stern measures to improve it. His partiality for the birch
became a by-word, but he succeeded in restoring order and strengthening the weakened authority of the masters. Beneath an outwardly rough manner the little man concealed a kind heart, and when he retired in 1834, the boys, who admired his courage, presented him with a handsome testimonial. A couple of years before he had publicly flogged eighty boys on one day.
Keate was made a canon of Windsor in 1820. He died at Hartley Westpall
, of which parish he had been rector since 1824.