Crane, John (DNB00)

CRANE, JOHN (1572–1652), apothecary, was a native of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. He settled at Cambridge, where he became an eminent apothecary, and he appears in the latter part of his life to have practised as a physician (Parr, Life of Abp. Ussher, pp. 320, 321). William Butler (1535–1618) [q. v.], the most celebrated physician of his age, lived in Crane's house, and left him great part of his estate (Cooper, Annals of Cambridge, iii. 121, 123, 450). Edward Hyde, afterwards Lord Clarendon, when about twenty years old, was taken ill at Cambridge, and was attended by Crane. In his ‘Life’ he calls him ‘an eminent apothecary who had been bred up under Dr. Butler, and was in much greater practice than any physician in the university’ (Gent. Mag. lx. pt. i. pp. 509, 510). Crane used to entertain openly all the Oxford scholars at the commencement, and to relieve privately all distressed royalists during the usurpation (Lloyd, Memoires, ed. 1677, p. 634). He was lord of the manors of Kingston Wood and Kingston Saint George, Cambridgeshire (Lysons, Cambridgeshire, p. 223). In 16 Car. I he served the office of sheriff of that county (Fuller, Worthies, ed. Nichols, i. 176).

He died at Cambridge on 26 May 1652, aged 80, and was buried in Great St. Mary's, in the chancel of which church there is a mural tablet with his arms and a Latin inscription (Le Neve, Monumenta Anglicana, ii. 12; Blomefield, Collectanea Cantabrigiensia, p. 97). He gave the house in which he lived in Great St. Mary's parish, after the death of his widow, to the regius professor of physic for the time being. He also gave 100l. to the university, ‘to be lent gratis to an honest man, the better to enable him to buy good fish and fowl for the university, having observed much sickness occasioned by unwholesome food in that kind’ (Fuller, Worthies, ed. Nichols, i. 166). Altogether he bequeathed 3,000l. for charitable purposes, and he left legacies of 200l. to Dr. Wren, bishop of Ely, and Dr. Brownrigg, bishop of Exeter (Cooper, Annals of Cambridge, iii. 450; Charity Reports, xxxi. 16, 379).

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