Dr Keate was educated at Eton and Kings College, Cambridge, where he had a brilliant career as a scholar. In 1809 he was elected headmaster of Eton. The discipline of the school was then in a most unsatisfactory condition, and Dr Keate took stern measures to improve it. His partiality for the birch became a by-word. 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.