"Keele is a village and parish, two and a half miles W by S of Newcastle-under-Lyme, containing 1194 inhabitants, and about 2700 acres of land, most of which belongs to Ralph Sneyd, Esq, the lord of the manor, who has here extensive coal and iron works, and resides at Keele Hall, a large stone mansion pleasantly seated half a mile SE of the village, on an eminence, overlooking a narrow, romantic, and well wooded valley. This house has been the residence of the principal branch of the Sneyd family for more than two centuries, and during the civil wars, Colonel Ralph Sneyd had a small garrison here for the King. It was erected in 1581, but has since undergone many alterations. The late Walter Sneyd, Esq, erected a handsome new west front, which is embattled, and adorned with four octagon turrets. He was for many years Lieut-Col of the Kings Own, or Staffordshire Militia, a distinction which the regiment acquired under his command, whilst stationed at Windsor, where it remained as a kind of body guard for upwards of 14 years, and where Colonel Sneyd received many marks of Royal favour. Silverdale is a scattered village and district, on the north side of the parish, two miles W of Newcastle, where Sneyd and Stanier's, or the Silverdale Company's coal and iron works are situated, and where there is also a silk mill. There is a branch canal to Silverdale, and a railway is to be erected to it from Stoke. Finney Green is a hamlet on the south side of the parish, one and a half miles SW of Keele." [From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
"The Parish Church, St John the Baptist, stands on a lofty summit at the east end of the village, and was rebuilt in 1790. It is an oblong structure, with an embattled parapet and tower. The perpetual curacy is in the patronage of R Sneyd, Esq, and incumbency of the Rev Henry Sudcliffe." [From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
Church of England Registers The parish register of the church of St John the Baptist commences in 1540. The original registers for the period 1540-1980 (Bapts & Mar) & 1540-1904 (Bur), and Banns for the period 1823-1980 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office. Bishops Transcripts, 1668-1869 (with gaps 1675-79, 1684-90, 1766-70, 1856 & 1866) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office. A transcript of the registers for the period 1540-1700 (Bapts) & 1540-1812 (Mar) was published by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society in 1949-50 and reprinted by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
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