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Keate, Thomas (1745-1821)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0114 MS0195
Held at: Royal College of Surgeons of England
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Full title: Keate, Thomas (1745-1821)
Date(s): 1776-1816
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume
Name of creator(s): Keate | Thomas | 1745-1821 | surgeon


Administrative/Biographical history:

Thomas Keate was born in 1745. He studied as a pupil at St George's Hospital, London, and then became an assistant to John Gunning, surgeon to the Hospital. In 1792, the position of surgeon became available to succeed Charles Hawkins, which was sharply contested by Keate and Everard Home. Keate was elected as surgeon. In 1793 he succeeded John Hunter as surgeon-general to the Army, he was an examiner at the Royal College of Surgeons from 1800, and Master of the College in 1802, 1809, and 1818. As a surgeon he was the first to tie the subclavian artery for aneurysm. However, his reputation at St George's Hospital for not being punctual and being negligent in his duties, caused him to resign his post in 1813. Keate was surgeon to the Prince of Wales (later George IV), and also surgeon to the Chelsea Hospital, where he died in 1821. Keate published Cases of Hydrocele and Hernia (London, 1788), and several controversial papers such as Observations on the Fifth Report of the Commissioners of Medical Enquiry (London, 1808).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Thomas Keate, 1776-1816, comprising a volume of manuscript notes by Keate, taken at lectures on surgery by John Hunter, 1776; lectures by Thomas Keate, 1776-1777; and a letter from Keate of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, to George Chandler, Chairman of the Board of Curators, 23 Oct 1816, describing the presentation of the volume to the College, upon the request of the Court of Assistants. The letter explains that the notes were taken over a period of years, and that afterwards, after consulting with the notes of a friend, Dr John Jebb, they were collated and improved. He also notes that he tried to convey the sentiments of the lectures by verbatim quotation from Hunter.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

As outlined in Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

By written appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction:

No photocopying permitted.

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

This volume was purchased from Mssrs Dulan & Co, in 1891, when they were selling the pamphlets and papers of Sir Richard Owen. This indicates that the volume was removed from the College collections by Sir Richard Owen when he left the College to work at the British Museum.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Donated by Thomas Keate in 1816, on the request of the Court of Assistants.

Allied Materials

Related material:

John Hunter collection, MS0189; and other notes of Hunter's lectures.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Anya Turner.
Source: Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 30, Johnes to Kenneth, London, 1892.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Sep 2008

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