Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Crawley, Richard

CRAWLEY, RICHARD (1840–1893), scholar, born at Bryngwyn rectory on 26 Dec. 1840, was eldest son of William Crawley, archdeacon of Monmouth, by his wife, Mary Gertrude, third daughter of Sir Love Jones Parry of Madryn, Carnarvonshire. From 1851 to 1861 he was at Marlborough College. He matriculated from University College, Oxford, as an exhibitioner on 22 May 1861, and graduated B.A. in 1866, having taken a first class both in moderations and in the school of lit. hum. In 1866 he was elected to a fellowship at Worcester College, which he held till 1880. Called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn on 7 June 1869, Crawley never practised owing to ill-health, which compelled him to reside abroad for many years. He was thus free to cherish unhampered a native love of literature. At length, in April 1875, he became director of a life assurance company, and that business largely occupied him until his death on 30 March 1893.

Crawley had an admirable literary taste and a wide knowledge of literature. In the ample leisure of his early manhood he perseveringly essayed various branches of it. In 1868 he published 'Horse and Foot,' a witty satire on contemporary literary effort in the manner of Pope, which is now of historical value. A more serious endeavour, 'Venus and Psyche and other Poems,' which appeared in 1871, proved less distinctive. 'The Younger Brother,' a play in the style of the Elizabethan drama, which Crawley dedicated to his father, followed in 1878. Crawley contributed some sparkling verse to conservative newspapers during the general election of 1880. These he collected in a volume called 'Election Rhymes' in the same year. But his most notable performance was a translation of Thucydides's 'History of the Peloponnesian War.' His rendering of the first book came out in 1866, and the whole was issued in 1874. It was an able and vigorous piece of work, although it secured little recognition.

[Athenæum, 8 April 1893; Times, 8 April 1893; private information.]

S. L.