HOUSE OF KNIGHTS TEMPLARS
18. THE PRECEPTORY OF KEELE (fn. 1)
An estate in Keele worth £2 3s. 7d. was given to the
Knights Templars by Henry II, probably in 1168-9.
By 1185 the Templars were also holding land at
Onneley (in Madeley) worth 2s., likewise a gift of
Henry II. (fn. 2) Richard I confirmed Henry's gifts in
1189 as the vill of Keele and its appurtenances. (fn. 3)
From at least 1206 the Templars were letting the
Keele property. (fn. 4)
At some time during the 13th century Keele
became a preceptory. By the 1250s the 'Templars of
Keele' were holding half a virgate at Stanton upon
Hine Heath in Shropshire (probably at Booley) by
gift of Richard of Stanton and land at Adeney (in
Edgmond, Salop.) by gift of Clement of Adeney,
who had become their man. (fn. 5) A Preceptor of Keele
occurs in 1271. (fn. 6) At the quo warranto proceedings
of 1293 the Master of the Templars upheld his
claim to view of frankpledge, assize of bread and
ale, and 'theng' in Keele. (fn. 7) By 1308 the Templars
held rents in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Onneley,
Stanton, and Nantwich as part of the manor of
Keele. (fn. 8)
In 1308, after the condemnation of the Order, the
Crown seized Keele with the rest of the Templars'
property, retaining it until 1314. (fn. 9) Although it should
have passed to the Knights Hospitallers, Keele was
in fact secured by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster,
evidently as lord of Newcastle-under-Lyme, and on
his execution in 1322 it reverted to the Crown. It
was only in 1324 that Keele was granted to the
Hospitallers. (fn. 10) Instead of establishing a new preceptory they made the manor part of their Commandery of Halston (Salop.). (fn. 11)
Roger de Boninton, occurs 1271. (fn. 12)
Henry Damary, occurs as commander in 1292
and 1293. (fn. 13)
Ralph de Tanet, occurs 1308. (fn. 14)
No seal is known.
||Thanks are due to Miss L. M. Midgley for providing
details from documents in the British Museum and the
Public Record Office.
S.H.C. i. 55 sqq.; Beatrice A. Lees, Records of the
Templars in Eng. in the 12th Cent. 31; Bk. of Fees, i. 143.
The value of the Keele property is taken from the Pipe
R. (which from 1190-1 give it as £2 3s. 4d.: S.H.C. ii(1),
11 sqq.); the Templars' own survey of 1185 gives the
value as £5 6s. 8d. (Lees, op. cit. 31). This survey also
mentions small properties elsewhere in Staffs. given by
other benefactors than the king: ibid. 30, 31.
||Lees, Records of Templars, 141.
||B.M., Cott. MS. Nero E. vi, f. 167.
Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 55, 65. R. W. Eyton,
Antiquities of Shropshire, ix. 293, suggests that Ric. of
Stanton may have been the Ric. fitz Halufri who was
living in the late 12th cent. Booley is mentioned from 1331,
when Stanton has disappeared from the accounts: B.M.,
Cott. MS. Nero E. vi, f. 168. Adeney does not occur after
the 1250s among the Templars' lands.
S.H.C. vi(1), 267.
||E 358/18, m. 4.
||Ibid.; /19, m. 36.
||E 358/15, mm. 11, 14; /16, mm. 8, 9; S.C 6/1146/11,
m. 3. It was described as a member of the earl's manor of
Newcastle-under-Lyme in an inquisition into his estates
in 1327: S.H.C. 1913, 3. During this period the rents in
Nantwich were evidently lost. Rents in Balterley (in
Barthomley) occur by 1352: Univ. of Keele, Sneyd MSS.,
||Univ. of Keele, Sneyd MSS., S. 2/1, Ct. Roll, Mar. 29
S.H.C. vi(1), 49.
Sel. Bills in Eyre (Selden Soc. xxx), 43-44.
||E 358/18, m. 4.