Keepe, Henry (DNB00)

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KEEPE, HENRY (1652–1688), antiquary, born in Feuter (now Fetter) Lane, in the parish of St. Dunstan-in-the-West, London, in 1652, was the son of Charles Keepe, who served as a cornet in Sir W. Courtney's regiment of cavalry during the whole of the civil wars, and was afterwards employed in the exchequer office. Henry entered New Inn, Oxford, as a gentleman-commoner in Midsummer term 1668. Leaving the university without a degree, he returned to London and studied law in the Inner Temple. For eighteen years he belonged to the choir of the abbey church of St. Peter, Westminster. He died at his lodgings in Carter Lane, near St. Paul's, at the end of May 1688, and was buried in the church of St. Gregory adjoining the cathedral. ‘This person,’ says Wood, ‘had changed his name with his religion for that of Rome, in the reign of King James II, his lodgings also several times, and died, as I have heard, but in a mean condition.’ Keepe's last publication appeared under the pseudonym of Charles Taylour.

His works are:

  1. ‘Monumenta Westmonasteriensia; or an Historical Account of … the Abbey-Church of Westminster,’ London, 1682, 8vo. Dedicated to the Earl of Arundel. Keepe projected a splendid edition of this work, with copperplate engravings, on the plan of Dugdale's ‘St. Paul's,’ and he issued a printed prospectus to solicit subscriptions, but failing to obtain sufficient encouragement, he abandoned the design.
  2. ‘The Genealogies of the high-born Prince and Princess George and Anne of Denmark,’ London, 1684, 12mo. Dedicated to the Princess Anne.
  3. ‘A true and perfect Narrative of the strange and unexpected Finding of the Crucifix and Gold Chain of that pious Prince S. Edward, the King and Confessor, which was found after 620 years' interment. By Charles Taylour, Gent.,’ London, 1688, 4to.
  4. A manuscript account of the city of York, begun about 1684, containing a minute description, in correct terms of blazon, of the coats of arms in the churches. Francis Drake, in his ‘Eboracum’ (1736), acknowledges heraldical assistance from Keepe's collections.

[Brayley's Hist. of the Abbey Church of Westminster, p. 71; Dodd's Church Hist. iii. 463; Gillow's Bibl. Dict.; Gough's Brit. Topogr. i. 762, ii. 423; Jones's Popery Tracts, No. 349; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), pp. 1256, 2600; Moule's Bibl. Heraldica, p. 222; Willis's Current Notes, 1853, p. 81; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iv. 238.]

T. C.