Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Crowe, William (d.1743)

CROWE, WILLIAM, D.D. (d. 1743), divine, was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he proceeded B.A. in 1713, was elected to a fellowship, and commenced M.A. in 1717. On 6 Feb. 1721 he became rector of the united parishes of St. Mary Magdalen and St. Gregory, near St. Paul's Cathedral, London, and he was also lecturer at St. Martin's, Ludgate. He was created D.D. at Cambridge in 1728, on the occasion of George II's visit to the university (Cantabrigienses Graduati, ed. 1787, p. 104). In 1730 he obtained the rectory of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, and in September 1731 he was collated to the rectory of Finchley, Middlesex. He was chaplain to Bishop Gibson, and one of the chaplains-in-ordinary to George II. He died at Finchley on 11 April 1743, and was buried in the churchyard of that parish.

By his will he left 3,000l. to Bishop Gibson, who generously gave the money to the testator's poor relations (Whiston, Memoirs, p. 251). He also bequeathed 1,000l. to Queen Anne's Bounty fund, and a like amount to Sir Clement Cotterell Dormer, knight, master of the ceremonies, in remembrance of the many favours received from him when they were at college together.

Cole relates that he was a good Greek scholar, and that he lent his notes and observations to Dr. Bentley, from whom he could never recover them (Addit. MS. 5865, f. 117).

He published several single sermons, of which the following deserve special notice:

  1. ‘Oratio in Martyrium regis Caroli I coram Academia Cantabrigiensi habita in Templo Beatæ Mariæ tricesimo die Jan. 1719,’ London (two editions), 1720, 4to; reprinted with his collected sermons.
  2. ‘The Duty of Promoting the Public Peace,’ preached before the lord mayor 30 Jan. 1723–4, being the anniversary of the martyrdom of Charles I, London (two editions), 1724, 8vo.
  3. ‘A Sermon preached before the House of Commons, Jan. 30, 1734–5, being the Anniversary-Fast for the Martyrdom of King Charles the First,’ London, 1735, 4to.
  4. ‘A Sermon occasion'd by the death of Queen Caroline,’ London [1737], 4to.

A volume of ‘Dr. Crowe's favourite and most excellent Sermons,’ eleven in number, appeared at London in 1759, 8vo (Darling, Cycl. Bibliographica, i. 831). Watt (Bibl. Brit.) mentions an edition of 1744. These sermons were published by the trustees of Queen Anne's Bounty, to whom the author bequeathed 200l. to defray the expense of printing them. Crowe contributed some Greek verses to the Cambridge University collection on the peace of Utrecht.

His portrait has been engraved by J. Smith (Evans, Cat. of Engraved Portraits, No. 14776).

[Authorities quoted above; also Malcolm's Londinium Redivivum, iv. 482; Gent. Mag. i. 405, xiii. 218; Lysons's Environs, ii. 340; Lond. Mag. 1743, p. 205; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. ii. 52.]

T. C.