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CROOKE, SAMUEL (1575–1649), divine, son of Thomas Crooke [q. v.], was born at Great Waldingfield, Suffolk, on 17 Jan. 1574–5. Having received his early education at Merchant Taylors' School, he entered Cambridge as a scholar of Pembroke Hall, and was afterwards chosen fellow, but the master refused to allow the election. Soon after this he was admitted one of the first fellows of Emmanuel College, being at that time B.D. He was a good classical scholar and well skilled in Hebrew and Arabic. He also spoke French, Italian, and Spanish, and had read many books in these languages. He was appointed rhetoric and philosophy reader in the public schools. In compliance with the statutes of his college he took orders on 24 Sept. 1601, and immediately began to preach in the villages round Cambridge. In 1602 he was presented to the rectory of Wrington, Somerset, by Sir John Capel, and soon afterwards married Judith, daughter of the Rev. M. Walsh, a minister of Suffolk. At Wrington, ‘where the people had never before … a preaching minister, he was the first that by preaching … brought religion into notice and credit’ (Life and Death, p. 11). When in April 1642 the commons voted to call an assembly of divines for the reformation of the church, Crooke was one of the two chosen to represent the clergy of Somerset. The assembly, however, did not meet until the next year, and then Crooke's place was filled by another. On the outbreak of the civil war he was active in persuading men to join the side of the parliament (Mercurius Aulicus, p. 39). When the king's power was re-established in Somerset in the summer of 1643, it appears that soldiers were quartered in his house, probably to bring him to obedience, and when the royal commissioners visited Wrington in September he made a complete submission, and signed eight articles, promising among other things that he would preach a sermon in Wells Cathedral and another at Wrington testifying his dislike to separation from the established religion and his abhorrence of the contemning of the common prayer. His submission occasioned great rejoicing among the royalists in London and elsewhere. ‘I would your late cousin, Judge Crooke, were alive either to counsel or condemn you,’ wrote one of his own party (Mercurius Britannicus, p. 7; E. Green, p. 6). The taunt seems to imply that Crooke's father was a brother of Sir John Croke [q. v.], and of his brother Sir George [q. v.], who died in 1642. It was probably written by some one who was ignorant of the subject, for Robert Crooke does not seem to have been a member of the family of Sir John Croke or Le Blount, the father of the judges (Croke, Genealogical History of the Croke Family). In 1648, when a scheme was drawn up for the ‘presbyterial government’ of Somerset, Crooke was one of the ministers appointed to superintend the united district of Bath and Wrington (The County of Somerset divided into Severall Classes, 1648). In this year also his name stands first to ‘The Attestation of the Ministers of the County of Somerset,’ which he probably drew up. This attestation is especially directed against ‘the removal of the covenant and the obligation to take the engagement.’ He died on 25 Dec. 1649, at the age of nearly seventy-five. His funeral, which took place on 3 Jan. following, was attended by an extraordinary number of people and by ‘multitudes of gentlemen and ministers.’ A commemoration sermon was preached in his memory on 12 Aug. 1652. After Crooke left Cambridge he presented some books to the university, to Pembroke Hall, and to Emmanuel College, writing in them Latin verses preserved in the ‘Life and Death of Mr. Samuel Crook.’ He also wrote ‘A Guide unto True Blessedness,’ 8vo, 1613, and in the same year a short epitome of the ‘Guide’ entitled a ‘Brief Direction to True Happiness for … Private Families and … the younger sort;’ a volume containing three sermons, 8vo, 1615; a sermon printed separately, and ‘Divine Character,’ published posthumously, 8vo, 1658. He also left ‘divers choice and sacred aphorisms and emblems,’ which have not been published, and Cole says that he had seen a copy of Latin verses by him on the death of D. Whitaker. Crooke left a widow but no children.

[ANΘΟΛΟΓΙΑ, or the Life and Death of Mr. S. Crook, by G. W.; Cooper's Athenæ Cantab. ii. 434; Brook's Lives of the Puritans, iii. 107; A Biographical Notice of Sam. Crooke, by E. Green, Bath Field Club Proc. III. i. 1; Hunt's Diocese of Bath and Wells, pp. 202, 206, 208, 214, 216; Mercurius Aulicus, p. 39; The County of Somerset divided; Attestation of the Ministers of Somerset; Cole's Athenæ Cantab. Addit. MS. 5865, fol. 27; Watt's Bibl. Brit. i. 272.]

W. H.