1) An officer with responsibility for a forest or woods, a term in use long before gamekeeper.
1258 Geoffrey le Kepur, Pontefract. An Act of 1488-9 referred to Foresters and other kepers within the Kynges Forest. In 1599-1600, George Dodsworth of Settrington was bayliffe of the mannour & deputy keper of the woodes under George Blenkoe: he was doubtless of the same family as James Dodsworth who 21 years earlier was keper of the woods by reason Symond Dodesworth his father had a lease of the under woods. In c.1565, it was alleged in a court case that Sir Richard Cholmeley Kepers selles the Quenes Majesties woodes at theyre pleasure, Pickering. A survey of Roundhay Park in 1503 referred to William Nettylton which was keper there and in 1663 a payment was made to the Keeper of the parke, Ripon Minster. The office was referred to as a keepership, as in 1539 when Edward Man of Bramley Grange was granted the keipershipe of the woods by Fountains Abbey. In 1609, Robert Smith of Grassington was paid 10s in parte for his kepershipp there.