Croker, John Wilson, 1780-1857Alternative names
From the description of Autograph letter signed : Molesey, to John Murray, [probably 1834]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270525115
From the description of Autograph letter signed : West Molesey, Sussex, to Lord Palmerston, 1852 June 18. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270531191
John Wilson Croker (1780-1857) was an Irish politician, literary critic, and author. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and Lincoln's Inn, London, becoming an Irish attorney 1802. He soon became well-known for his satirical and political writing, and was elected MP of Downpatrick in 1807. He had a successful political career as Secretary to the Admiralty from 1809-1830, but retired from politics in 1832 due to his opposition to the Reform Bill. In 1809 he helped found the Quarterly Review and he contributed many articles to the publication.
From the guide to the John Wilson Croker Correspondence, 1810-1855, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)
John Wilson Croker, British politician and writer. As a literary critic, his harsh review of Keats's Endymion was blamed for causing the young poet's death -- as Byron put it in Don Juan, Keats was "killed off by one critique" ; "snuffed out by an Article."
From the description of John Wilson Croker manuscript material : 1 linear foot, 1802-1849 (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 153649801
John Wilson Croker (1780-1857) was a native of Galway, Ireland. He moved to London as a young man, served as Secretary to the Admiralty from 1809 to 1830, and wrote on a wide variety of topics. In 1831, he published a new annotated edition of James Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.
From the guide to the Correspondence, 1809-1847 (inclusive);, 1829-1847 (bulk)., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)
John Wilson Croker, British politician and writer. As a literary critic, his harsh review of Keats's Endymion was blamed for causing the young poet's death -- as Byron put it in Don Juan, Keats was "killed off by one critique" ; "snuffed out by an Article.".
From the guide to the John Wilson Croker manuscript material : 1 linear foot, 1802-1849, (The New York Public Library. Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.)
English politician and essayist.
From the description of Autograph letters signed (5) : [London] and various places, to Arthur Wellesley and other correspondents, 1813 July 3-1847 Aug. 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270858894
British politician and man-of-letters John Wilson Croker was born in Ireland, educated at Trinity College, and practiced law in Dublin. He became the protege of Arthur Wellesley, who helped him become secretary of the Admiralty and later secure a seat in Parliament; he remained a key Tory figure for the rest of his life. His conservative political views also informed his literary activities, which earned him the scorn and ridicule of many liberal and progressive authors. An active writer and editor, Croker's literary pursuits are exemplified by his diverse and prolific contributions to the Quarterly Review, which covered politics, literature, and a myriad of other topics, including the French Revolution. Croker is also known for his scathing review of Keats' poem Endymion, cited by some as a factor in the poet's death.
From the description of John Wilson Croker letters to Lord John Russell, 1853-1854. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 62213093
Author, critic and politician born in Galway, Ireland. Educated in Trinity College, he chose the profession of law. He was elected to Parliament in 1807 and appointed secretary of the Admiralty in 1809. He gained literary distinction writing excellent satires and his most important critical work is his edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson, 1831.
From the description of Papers, 1808-1888, (bulk 1808-1857). (University of Florida). WorldCat record id: 48897881
Secretary of the Admiralty and founder of Quarterly Review.
From the description of Autograph letters signed (2) : [n.p., n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270870595
Author, critic and politician, born in Galway, Ireland. Educated at Trinity College, he chose the profession of law. He was elected to Parliament in 1807 and appointed Secretary of the Admiralty in 1809. He gained literary distinction writing excellent satires. His most critical work is his edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson, 1831.
From the guide to the John Wilson Croker Papers, 1808-1888, 1808-1857, (Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida)
John Wilson Croker was a native of Galway, Ireland. He moved to London as a young man, served as Secretary to the Admiralty from 1809 to 1830, and wrote on a wide variety of topics. In 1831, he published a new annotated edition of James Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.
From the description of Correspondence, 1809-1847 (inclusive), 1829-1847 (bulk). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 85213335
British politician, essayist, and admiralty official.
From the description of John Wilson Croker papers, 1791-1899. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 19490810
From the description of Papers, 1793-1861 and n.d. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 122299530
Epithet: PC, MP
British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000209.0x00008b
Humphry Davy (1778–1829, APS 1810) was a British chemist and pioneer in the field of electrochemistry. He was a major figure in the reformed chemistry movement initiated by the French scientist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794, APS 1775).
Davy was the son of an impoverished Cornish woodcarver. As a youth, he was apprenticed to an apothecary-surgeon with whom he pursued a regimen of self-study that included theology, philosophy, poetics, several languages, as well as, botany, chemistry, anatomy, mechanics and physics. In subsequent years, when most of his time was occupied by scientific endeavors, Davy exhibited a particular fondness for philosophical writings and poetry. In 1799 he published his first poems.
However, it was Davy’s aptitude for scientific matters that soon attracted attention. One of the people who recognized his abilities was Davies Giddy (1767-1839), a Member of Parliament with scientific interests. Giddy eventually became Davy’s patron. He allowed his protégé access to his library; furthermore, he persuaded Davy’s master to release him from his indenture so that he could become the assistant to Thomas Beddoes, Giddy’s former teacher at Oxford.
In 1798 Davy joined Beddoes's Pneumatic Institution in Bristol which was established for the purpose of investigating the medical powers of newly discovered airs and gases. There, he made the acquaintance of fellow scientists as well as individuals with literary interests, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), Joseph Cottle (1770-1853), and Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849). In 1797 Davy read Lavoisier’s Traité élémentaire de chimie in French, a study that made a deep impression on him. Two years later he published an essay in which he refuted Lavoisier’s caloric; that same year he established his reputation as a chemist with his book Researches, Chemical and Philosophical, chiefly concerning Nitrous Oxide . . . and its Respiration in which he suggested that nitrous oxide (laughing gas) be used as an anesthetic in minor surgical operations. Davy had arrived at his conclusions after a series of risky experiments with different gases on himself. He described his “emotions” after awakening from the effects of laughing gas as “enthusiastic and sublime.”
Davy engaged in electrochemical experiments that led to several discoveries, including the recognition that the production of electricity was linked to a chemical reaction. He also isolated and analyzed the chemical elements potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, and barium. One of his best-known contributions to the field was his conclusion that, contrary to Lavoisier’s claims, there was no material basis for acidity. In 1810 he announced that the green gas contained in sea salt was an element. He named it chlorine.
As a strong promoter of applied science, Davy also engaged in various practical projects. He researched the chemistry of tanning, promoted improvements to agricultural practices, and developed a miner’s lamp that inhibited the ignition of the methane gas commonly found in mines. Furthermore, Davy was known as an effective lecturer. He made scientific topics accessible to an audience that extended beyond a small circle of fellow scientists.
Davy’s accomplishments were recognized with numerous awards and honors. In 1801 he joined the faculty of the Royal Institution in London. He became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1803, was awarded the Copley medal in 1805, and served as the Society’s president from 1820 to 1827. He was knighted in 1812 and created a baronet in 1818. He was also a founder of the Geological Society of London, the London Zoo and the Athenaeum.
Davy was married to Jane Apreece Kerr, a wealthy and well-connected widow. They did not have children. In 1829, he suffered a stroke while vacationing in Italy. He died a few days later.
From the guide to the Sir Humphry Davy correspondence, 1803-1822, 1803-1822, (American Philosophical Society)
John Wilson Croker was born in Galway, Ireland, on December 10, 1780, the son of John Croker and Hester Rathbone. After attending school in Cork, he entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1796, and was admitted to the Irish Bar in 1802. He then spent time on the Munster circuit, where he met Daniel O'Connell. He entered Parliament as a representative for Downpatrick in 1807, and became secretary to the Admiralty in 1809, a position he held until 1830. He lost a parliamentary election in 1812, but soon reentered the House of Commons, where he represented multiple different districts until 1832. Although he was a Tory, Croker supported Catholic emancipation in Ireland and maintained close political ties with Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, and Sir Robert Peel. He was also a frequent contributor to The Quarterly Review and the editor of an updated edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson . He married Rosamund Carrington Pennell in May 1806. He died on August 10, 1857.
John Gibson Lockhart was born in Scotland on July 14, 1794, and worked as a biographer, critic, and novelist; he published his seven-volume Life of Sir Walter Scott in 1837-1838. His wife Sophia was Scott's daughter. A frequent contributor to Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Lockhart became editor of The Quarterly Review in 1825. He died on November 25, 1854.
Thomas Babington Macaulay was born on October 25, 1800, and became a politician, historian, and essayist. He attended Trinity College, Cambridge, and afterward studied law at Lincolns Inn, London. A Whig, Macaulay served in the House of Commons as well as on the Board of Control for the East India Company. He died on December 28, 1859.
William Huskisson was born on March 11, 1770, and served as a member of Parliament and as secretary to the Treasury. In 1823, he helped to negotiate a free-trade policy as president of the Board of Trade. He was fatally injured in an accident during the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway on September 15, 1830.
George Canning was born on April 11, 1770, and served as treasurer of the Navy under Prime Minister William Pitt in 1804. He held the position of prime minister for four months in 1827, until his death on August 8 of that year.
Spencer Perceval was born on November 1, 1762, and was trained as a lawyer. He entered Parliament in 1796 and succeeded the 3rd Duke of Portland as Prime Minister on October 4, 1809. He remained in office until he was assassinated in the House of Commons in 1812.
Sir George Cockburn, 10th Baronet, was born on April 22, 1772. He joined the Royal Navy in 1781, eventually ascending to the rank of rear admiral. He served during the Napoleonic wars and in the War of 1812, during which he commanded the burning of Washington, D.C., and was later elected to Parliament. He died on August 19, 1853.
From the guide to the John W. Croker papers, Croker, John W. papers, 1765-1860, 1765-1857, (William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan)
1780 Dec. 20:
Born in Galway, Ireland
1796- 1800: Student at Trinity College, Dublin University
1800- 1802: Studied law in London at Lincoln's Inn
1801 Jan. 1:
Act of Union became law, creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and a unified Parliament
Called to the Irish bar
1804 May- 1807 May: Customs comptroller for Wexford, Waterford, and Ross May
Published Familiar epistles to Frederick Jones, Esq, on the present state of the Irish stage
1806 May 25:
Married Rosamund Carrington Pennell
Stood for British Parliament in Downpatrick and defeated
1807- 1832: Member of Parliament
1808 July- 1808 Nov.: Locum tenens for Sir Arthur Wellesley, chief secretary for Ireland, during his first campaign in Portugal and Spain
Published A sketch of the state of Ireland, past and present
Helped found the Quarterly Review
1809- 1830: Secretary to the Admiralty
Published Battles of Talavera: a poem, about Wellesley during the Peninsular War
Published A key to the orders in council
Published Letters on the subject of the naval war with America in the Courier, using the penname Nereus
Visited Paris for the second time with Sir Robert Peel and William Fitzgerald; began research on the French Revolution
Croker's son, Spencer Perceval Croker, died at the age of three
Published Letters of Mary Lepel, Lady Hervey
Published Royal Memoirs on the French Revolution
Published Letters to and from Henrietta, Countess of Suffolk, and her second husband, the Hon. George Berkeley; from 1712 to 1767
Published Letters from the Hon. Horace Walpole, to the Earl of Hertford, during His Lordship's embassy in Paris
Used the label Conservative for the Tory party in the Quarterly Review
Published a new edition of James Boswell's Life of Johnson, with Journal of a tour to the Hebrides
Parliamentary Reform Act passed; Croker retired from Parliament
Close friend, Francis Charles Seymour-Conway, Third Marquess of Hertford, died; Croker executor of estate
Repeal of the Corn Laws
Croker edited and published John, Lord Hervey's Memoirs of the reign of George the Second
Formally gave up connection to The Quarterly Review
1857 Aug. 10:
Died at home in West Molesly, England
Publication of Works of Alexander Pope, by Whitwell Elwin and William John Courthope, using materials Croker collected prior to his death
Louis J. Jennings published the Croker papers: The correspondence and diaries of the late Right Honourable John Wilson Croker . . .
John Wilson Croker was a barrister, politician, literary critic, and author. He was tied to many prominent Tory leaders, and was among the first to call theirs the Conservative Party. Very early in his political career he became a friend of Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington. A strong defender of the Tory party, Spencer Perceval appointed him secretary to the Admiralty when Perceval assumed the office of Premier (Prime Minister). Although some Members of Parliament initially disapproved of Perceval's choice, decrying Croker as a novice and a political rather than a professional figure, Croker held the office through three subsequent premierships. He served in Parliament from 1807 to 1832, standing for Downpatrick (1807-1812), Athlone (1812-1818), Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) (1819 Mar 16-1820), Bodmin (1820-1826), Aldeburgh (1826-1827 May, 1830-1832), and Dublin University (1827 May 15-1830). Croker retained his affection for Ireland, long maintaining both a home and a law practice there, as well as a desire for Irish office. His support of Catholic emancipation led him to electoral loss while standing for several Irish districts, and on those occasions he was appointed to Parliament for "rotten" or "pocket" boroughs controlled by his friends. Although he supported Parliamentary reform that would have abolished some such boroughs, he opposed the Reform Act of 1832 as too radical and used it as an excuse to retire from elected office.
Croker's great passion was for literature; he wrote literary criticism as well as his own poetry, biography, history, and articles on foreign affairs and domestic politics. He had a life-long interest in French politics, particularly as it related to the French Revolution, despotism, and social stability. In the late 1820s, the Guardian, which Croker helped establish twenty years earlier, experienced a change in editorial staff and a concomitant shift in policy. Coincident to these changes, Croker's contributions began to focus on political rather than literary and foreign affairs. After he retired from Parliament, Croker used the Guardian to defend many Conservative positions, particularly those of Robert Peel. Croker's support of and friendship with Peel ended, however, when Peel endorsed the repeal of the Corn Laws. In his later years, Croker concentrated primarily on history and biography.
For a detailed history of Croker's life, see William Thomas, Croker, John Wilson, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004-2005, and Croker, John Wilson, The history of Parliament on CD-ROM, 1998.
From the guide to the John Wilson Croker Papers, 1791-1899 and undated (bulk 1809-1857), (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)
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