A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1970.
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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.