William Sharman Crawford

Life
?1739-1800; b. Antrim; minister of Strabane, Co. Tyrone, 1766-98; MA Glasgow, DD, 1785; promoted Volunteer movement, 1778, and issued Volunteer Sermons (1779, 1780); estab. non-sectarian Strabane academy, 1785; admitted into Antrim presbytery, 1798; wrote critique of Chesterfield’s Letters to His Son, 1776; his epistolary History of Ireland (Dublin 1783), a patriotic (‘whiggish’) account, published with 1,470 subscriptions, extols Jonathan Swift as a figure of real importance in the emergence of Irish freedom, and does not condemn his Toryism. ODNB DIB DIW

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Quotations
‘If the flame of patriotism which, for almost five years, has burned in the breast of our people with so pure and so bright a lustre be not permitted to die, what coincidence of circumstances diffuse a cheering light upon our prospect! Emancipated from foreign bondage; by the blessing of peace, our intercourse, with new advantages, opened with the several nations of Europe, with Africa, with the West Indies, with our brethern in America, who, after a glorious struggle, have, with us, attained the accomplishment of their wishes.’ (Crawford’s History of Ireland, 2 vols. Strabane, 1783, 2, p.387; cited in J[oep] Th. Leerssen, ‘Antiquarian Research: Patriotism to Nationalism’, Cyril J. Byrne and Margaret Harry, eds., Talamh an Eisc: Canadian and Irish Essays [Irish Studies St. Mary’s Coll.] (Halifax Can.: Nimbus Publ. Co. 1986), pp.71-83.

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