The son of a wealthy landowner of the same name, George Keate was educated at Kingston-on-Thames school, and articled as a clerk to the steward of the Duke of Bedford. In 1751 he entered the Inner Temple, and though called to the bar in 1753 did not practice. Instead he traveled on the Continent, living at Geneva where he was intimate with Voltaire. Upon returning to England he lived as a gentleman, and worked as a poet, antiquary, naturalist, and painter. In 1766 was elected F.S.A. and F.R.S. Among his works is a drama, "The Monument in Arcadia," based on Poussin's famous painting of "Et in Arcadia Ego."
Ancient and modern Rome. A poem. Written at Rome in the year 1755. 1760.
A short account of the ancient history, present government, and laws of the republic of Geneva. 1761.
An epistle from Lady Jane Gray to Lord Guilford Dudley. Supposed to have been written in the Tower, a few day before they suffered. 1762.
The Alps. A poem. 1763.
The ruins of Netley Abbey. A poem. 1764.
The Temple-student: an epistle to a friend, who had requested the author's opinion of some verses. 1765.
A poem to the memory of the celebrated Mrs. Cibber. 1766.
Ferney: an epistle to Monsr. De Voltaire 1768.
The monument in Arcadia: a dramatic poem, in two acts. 1773.
Sketches from nature; taken and coloured, in a journey to Margate. Published from the original designs. 1779.
An epistle to Angelica Kauffman. 1781.
Poetical works. 2 vols, 1781.
The distressed poet, a serio-comic poem, in three cantos. 1787.
An account of the Pelew Islands, situated in the western part of the Pacific Ocean. 1788.
To Captain Bligh, on his return to England in 1793, after having ... executed the commission entrusted to his care, of transporting the Bread Fruit Trees from Otahite to the Islands of Jamaica and St. Vincent. 1794?