Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Cressy, Robert

John Cressey in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

CRESSY, ROBERT (fl. 1450?), Carmelite, was a student at Oxford, where he distinguished himself as a theologian. He wrote a book of 'Homiliæ.' These are the only facts about him given by Leland in his 'Commentarii de Scriptoribus Britannicis,' the manuscript of which, however, speaks also of a work written by Cressy treating of the assumption of the Blessed Virgin; but this statement is deleted. Bishop Bale, who refers to Leland as his only authority, adds a variety of particulars. He asserts that Cressy, whose christian name he gives as 'John,' belonged to the Carmelite house at Boston in Lincolnshire, that he returned thither after he had completed his studies at Oxford, became head of his monastery, was buried at Boston, and that he flourished about 1450. Bale has been followed by Pits and Tanner, but neither indicates any other source than Leland; and it is at least curious that the notice in Leland's manuscript immediately preceding that of Cressya, and on the same page relates to a Carmelite of Boston, named William Surfluctus (or Surflete), who flourished about 1466 so that it is perhaps allowable to hazard the conjecture that Bale's eye accidentally strayed to the wrong entry, and transferred to Cressy what really belongs to Surflete. This, however will not account for the change in the christian names.

Leland's Collectanea, iv. 348 (MS., Bodleian Libr.), printed as Comm. de Scriptt. Brit. dlxxxix. p. 482; Bale's Scriptt. Brit. Cat. xii. 81, pt. ii. p. 97; Pits, De Angliæ Scriptoribus, § 837, pp. 642 et seq.; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p.288.]

R. L. P.