1797 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Keate

Anonymous, obituary in Gentleman's Magazine 97 (June, July 1797) 535, 613, 796.



28 June. In Charlotte-street, Bloomsbury, George Keate, esq. of whom an account shall be given in our next....

Mr. Keate was articled as a clerk to the late Mr. Palmer, steward to the Duke of Bedford; whence he removed to the Inner Temple, but never practised the law; was elected F.R.S. 17.., and F.A.S. 1766. Soon after his return from his travels, he published An Account of the Government, History, and Laws, of Geneva, 1761, 8vo. One of his first essays as a poet was The Temple Student, an Epistle to a Friend, 1765, 4t, printed for J. Dodsley. Whether the history of the author, prefixed, be his own life (allowing for his death there mentioned to sustain the disguise), we have not learned. Ferney, an Epistle to M. de Voltaire, printed also for Dodsley, 1768, 4to. The Monument of Arcadia, a dramatic Poem, in Two Acts, 1773, 4to, founded on a picture of Poussin, representing some Arcadian shepherds and shepherdesses contemplating a monument, inscribed "Et in Arcadia ego." Sketches from Nature, taken and coloured from the original Design. In Two Volumes, 1773, 12mo (see our vol. LVIII. p. 313). In 1781 he published his poetical works, in 2 volumes, 12mo, with a dedication to Dr. Heberden, and an excellent likeness of himself by Pott and Sherwin. Perhaps the Account of the Pelew Islands, which he drew up and published, 1788, in 4to, is a more lasting monument to his fame than all the preceding ones. Observations on the Roman Earthenware found in the Sea on the Kentish Coast, in Archaelogia, VI. 125. — Mr. K. married a sister of Sir Charles Grave Hudson, of Wanlip, co. Leicester, bart. by whom he had one daughter, Charlotte, who was married, June 9, 1795, to John Henderson, esq. of the Adelphi-terrace (LXV. 524.)...

Mr. Keate was descended from Sir George Hungerford, his great-grandfather, by Lady Frances Duche, only daughter of Francis Lord Seymour, and born at Trowbridge about 1729 or 1730; educated at Kingston school, under Mr. Woodison, whence he went to Geneva, and staid there some years, and at his return settled as a student in the Inner Temple, and was called to the bar. He published

1. Antient and Modern Rome, 1755.
2 Account of Geneva, 1761.
3. Epistle from Lady Jane Grey to Lord Guildford Dudley, 1762.
4. The Alps, a poem, 1763.
5. Netley Abbey, 1764; enlarged 1769.
6. The Temple Student, 1765.
7. A poem on the death of Mrs. Cibber, 1766.
8. Ferney, 1769.
9. The Monument in Arcadia, 1773.
10. Sketches from Nature, 1779.
11. In 1781 he gave an edition of his works, in 2 vols 12mo, with additions, the principal of which was The Helvetiad, a Fragment, written at Geneva, 1756.
12. Epistle to Angelica Kauffman, 1781.
13. The distressed Poet, a serio-comic Poem, in Three Cantos, 1787, stating the principal circumstances of his case in the long and vexatious lawsuit which he was engaged in with an architect who professed himself his friend.
14. Account of the Pelew Islands, 1788.

He wrote several prologues and epilogues for Mr. Newcome's scholars at Hackney. Some complimentary verses by him are found in the European Magazine; and he had adapted Voltaire's Semiramis to the stage, which was superseded at Drury-lane, 1777, by Capt Ayscough. Mr. K. married Miss Hudson in 1769.