John Wilson Croker (1780-1857)


Life
b. Waterford; ed. TCD; English Bar, 1800; Irish bar, 1802; Munster Circuit, 1807; MP for Downpatrick, 1807, and later for Dublin University and some English constituencies; acted as Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1808; friend of Canning; founding contributor to Quarterly Review, 1809); appt. Sec. for Admiralty from 1809; spoke against Reform Bill and resigned office, 1830; introduced word ‘conservatives’, 1830; best known as author of scathing review of Keats’s ‘Endymion’ (‘the most incongruous ideas in the most uncouth language’) - though hardly responsible for his death, as Shelley thought; prob. author of Familiar Epistle[s] on the [Present] State of the Stage in Ireland, a verse broadside of 1803, addressed to Richard Daly [Frederick Jones acc. Sir John Gilbert, History of Dublin, ‘Werburgh St.’] and said to have caused the death of an actor impugned in it [acc. Gilbert];
 
answered by Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan) whom he went on to attack in The Freeman’s Journal on publication of The Wild Irish Girl (1806); also thought to be author of Metropolis (See also Andrew B. Carmichael, q.v.); his A Sketch of the State of Ireland Past and Present (1808) was an important pro-Emancipationist contribution to the Emancipation campaign; issued the first reliable edition of Boswell’s Life of Dr. Johnson (1831), though Thomas Macaulay, who detested him ‘more than cold boiled veal’, wrote a slashing review of it - in return for which Croker attacked Macaulay’s History; he remonstrated against the spitefulness of Lord Russell in his life of Moore (The Times, 20 Jan. 1853);
 
Croker was instrumental in formation of committee for erection of Nelson’s Pillar, Dublin; wrote vitriolic attacks on Lady Morgan from a hyper-conservative standpoint; caricatured in Peacock’s Melincourt (1817), Lady Morgan’s Florence MacCarthy (1818), and Disraeli’s Coningsby (1844) as Rigby; a founding member of Athenaeum Club, London, 1824; edited the letters of Lady Suffolk and Horace Walpole; d. Hampton, Middlesex; Croker appears as Rigsby in Disraeli’s Coningsby (1844) and appears, with Castlereagh, in the opening London scenes of John Banim’s Anglo-Irish in the XIXth Century (1828); Croker contributions to Notes & Queries incls. an unfulfilled offer to identify the authors of Baratania; papers of Croker are held in the Osborn Collection of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library (Yale UL); in Dublin, Croker was often mistaken for other satirists. CAB ODNB PI JMC DIB DIW DIL RAF OCEL FDA DUB OCIL
 
[ See portrait of J. W. Croker, in RICORSO Library, infra ]

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Works
Criticism & squibs
  • Tea Table Conversation, An Epistle to the Author of Familiar Epistles … by a Student of TCD [John Wilson Croker] (Dublin: J. Parry 1804), iv, 51pp.;
  • Familiar Epistles to Frederick J-s [Jones], Esq. on the Present State of the Irish Stage (Dublin: John Barlow 1804; Dublin: M. N. Mahon; London: Vernor & Hood 1805; Dublin: Graisberry & Campbell 1805, 1806), and Do. (London: Livermore & Robinson 1875);
  • Dublin run Mad! or, Remarks on Cutchacutchoo, and its History: with a poetical address to the real Innocents of Dublin [.. &c.] (Dublin 1805);
  • Jack in a Passion, or the Critic Criticised [In reply to Familiar Epistles to F. J. Esq. (Dublin 1805);
  • [?Croker,] Histrionic Epistles (Dublin 1807); An Intercepted Letter from J- T-, Esq. … to his friend in Dublin [&c] [6th Edn.] (Dublin: M. N. Mahon 1804, 1805), v, 42pp.;
  • The Amazoniad; or, Figure and Fashion: Scuffle in High Life [with] Notes Critical and Historical [2nd Edn.], 2 Pts. (Dublin: John King 1806), with adds;
  • The battles of Talavera: A Poem [5th Edn.] (London: John Murray 1810), 39pp., and Do. [10th Edn.] (London 1810; other edns. 1812, 1816).
Miscellaneous
  • Editions & translations, Memoirs of the Embassy of the Marshal de Bassompierre to the Court of England in 1626 (London: John Murray 1819), xx, 154pp., 8o.;
  • Elements of Geography (London: John Murray 1829), 94pp. [for children];
  • ed. The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Including a Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, by James Boswell, Esq. A New Edition, with numerous Additions and Notes. By John Wilson Croker , LL.D. F.R.S. Five volumes [8vo.] (London: John Murray 1831); and Do., as Boswell’s Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, ed. Croker, rev. by John Wright, 5 vols. (London: John Murray 1831) [notes by Scott, Croker, Chambers et al.], and Do. [rep. edns.] (Murray 1835, 1848, [Bohn Edn. 1853, 1859], 1860 1898);
  • Progressive Geography for Children (London: John Murray 1847);
  • Stories … from the History of England, from the Conquest to the Revolution (London: John Murray 1817, other edns. 1840, &c.);
  • A Letter on the Fittest Style and Situation for the Wellington Testimonial, about to be erected in Dublin: addressed to John Leslie Foster, Esq. (Dublin: J. Cumming & M. N. Mahon; London: J. Murray 1815) [with plan]. 51pp.;
  • A Sketch of the State of Ireland, Past and Present [2nd Edn.] (Dublin: M. N. Mahon 1808), 63pp.;
  • Essays on the Early Period of the French Revolution … from The Quarterly Review (London: John Murray 1857), x, 571pp.
  • [ded. signed T.C.D.,] History of the Guillotine [ …] Revised from the Quarterly Review [ … &c.] (London: John Murray 1853), viii, 88pp.;
  • Substance of the Speech of John Wilson Croker, Esq. in the House of Commons, on Monday, 4th May 1819; on the Roman Catholic Question (London: John Murray 1819), 86pp.;
  • Memoirs of the Reign of George the Second, from his accession to the death of Queen Caroline, 2 vols. (London 1848), and Do., 3 vols. (London: Bickers & Son 1884).
 
Also, The Works of Alexander Pope, 10 vols. (London:John Murray 1871-89) [from papers of J. W. C.] And see review of Napoleon in Exile, or, a Voice from St. Helena, by Barry E. O’Meara [with other works on Napoleon], in Quarterly Review, vol. 28, London 1823, pp.219-64.
 
Correspondence
  • Correspondence between the Right Hon. J. W. Croker and the Right Hon. Lord John Russell on Some Passages of ‘Moore’s Diary’ with a Postscript by Mr. Croker, Explanatory of Mr. Moore’s Acquaintance and Correspondence with Him (London: John Murray 1854), 35pp.;
  • Louis J. Jennings, ed., The Croker Papers: The Correspondence and Diaries of the Late Right Honourable J. W. Croker [2nd rev. edn.], 3 vols. (London; John Murray: London 1884, 1885);
  • Bernard Pool, ed., The Croker Papers: 1808-1857 [abridged] (London: Batsford [1967]), vii, 277pp., pls. & ports.
 
Related literature
  • R. N. O. [Robert N. Owenson,] Theatrical Tears; a poem occasioned by Familiar Epistles to Frederick J[one]s (Dublin 1804);
  • S. O., [i.e. Sydney Owenson] , A few Reflections occasioned by the perusal of a work, entitled: “Familiar Epistles to F. J[one]s, Esq.” (Dublin 1804);
  • Remarks on the Right Hon. J. W. Croker’s Review of the Memoirs of Thomas Moore, in “The Quarterly” by Nemesis [pseud.] (London 1855), 12o.;
  • The Croaker: and Venus angry: addressed to the author of Cutchacutchoo. To which is prefixed a Letter from John Wilson Croker [2nd. Edn.] (Dublin: C. Downes 1805), 20pp.

See also Percy Fizgerald, Croker’s Boswell and Boswell [ Studies in the ‘Life of Johnson’] (London: Chapman & Hall 1880), viii, [ii], 308pp.

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Criticism
Myron F. Brightfield, John Wilson Croker (London 1940); Robert Portsmouth, John Wilson Croker: Irish Ideas and the Invention of Modern Conservatism 1800-1835 (Dublin: Irish Academic Press 2010), 271pp.

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Commentary
Reviewing Endymion [by John Keats], in Quarterly Review (dated April 1818; publ. Sept. 1818): the reviewer found himself unable to ‘struggle beyond the first of the four books,’ whose diction and forced rhyme he found absurd. (See Poetry Foundation > article on Keats - online; accessed 20.03.2017.

Lady Morgan [Sidney Owenson]’s caricature of Croker as Counsellor Conway Townsend Crawley in her novel Florence Macarthy (1818) - following his berating of The Wild Irish Girl (1806).

‘If ever there was a man formed alike by nature and education to betray the land that gave him birth and to act openly as the pander of political corruption or secretly as the agent of defamation, who would stoop to seek his fortune by effecting the fall of a frail woman, or would strive to advance it by stabbing the character of an honest one - who would crush aspiring merit behind the ambuscade of anonymous security while he came forward openly in the defence of that, vileness which rank sanctified and influence protected - that man was Conway Crawley. He was yet young, but belonging to the day and the country where he first raised his hiss, and shed his venom, success already beckoned him towards her, with a smile of encouragement, and a leer of contempt.’

Source: Quoted on the Croker page of the Sydney Owenson / Lady Morgan webpage; > Croker - online; accessed 18.08.2010.

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Thomas Macaulay, review of Croker’s edition of Boswell’s Life of Johnson, in the Edinburgh Review, Sept. 1831; rep. in The Works of Lord Macaulay, 12 vols. (London: Longmans Green & Co., 1898), Vol. VIII, pp.56-111: ‘This work has greatly disappointed us. Whatever faults we may have been prepared to find in it, we fully expected that it would be a valuable addition to English literature; that it would contain many curious facts, and many judicious remarks; that the style of the notes would be neat, clear, and precise; and that the typographical execution would be, as in new editions of classical works it ought to be, almost faultless. We are sorry to be obliged to say that the merits of Mr. Croker’s performance are on a par with those of a certain leg of mutton on which Dr. Johnson dined, while travelling from London to Oxford, and which he, with characteristic energy, pronounced to be “as bad as bad could be, ill-fed, ill-killed, ill-kept, and ill-dressed.” This edition is ill-compiled, ill-arranged, ill-written, and ill-printed.’ [Cont.]

Thomas Macaulay (Edinburgh Review, Sept. 1831) - cont.: ‘Nothing in the work has astonished us so much as the ignorance or carelessness of Mr. Croker with respect to facts and dates. Many of his blunders are such as we should be surprised to hear any well-educated gentleman commit, even in conversation. The notes absolutely swarm with misstatements, into which the editor never would have fallen, if he had taken the slightest pains to investigate the truth of his assertions, or if he had even been well acquainted with the book on which he undertook to comment. We will give a few instances.’ [Cont.]

Thomas Macaulay (Edinburgh Review, Sept. 1831) - cont.: ‘Mr. Croker tells us in a note that Derrick, who was master of the ceremonies at Bath, died very poor in 1760. [Vol. I, p.394.] We read on; and, a few pages later, we find Dr. Johnson and Boswell talking of this same Derrick as still living and reigning, as having retrieved his character, as possessing so much power over his subjects at Bath, that his opposition might be fatal to Sheridan’s lectures on oratory. [Vol. I, p.404.] And all this is in 1763. The fact is, that Derrick died in 1769. / In one note we read, that Sir Herbert Croft, the author of that pompous and foolish account of Young, which appears among the Lives of the Poets, died in 1805. [Vol. IV, p.321.] Another note in the same volume states, that this same Sir Herbert Croft died at Paris, after residing abroad for fifteen years, on the 27th of April, 1816.’ [IV, p.428; cont.]

Thomas Macaulay (Edinburgh Review, Sept. 1831) - cont.: ‘Mr. Croker informs us, that Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo, the author of the Life of Beattie, died in 1816. [ii. 262.] A Sir William Forbes undoubtedly died in that year, but not the Sir William Forbes in question, whose death took place in 1806. It is notorious, indeed, that the biographer of Beattie lived just long enough to complete the history of his friend. Eight or nine years before the date which Mr. Croker has assigned for Sir William’s death, Sir Walter Scott lamented that event in the introduction to the fourth canto of Marmion. Every schoolgirl knows the lines: “Scarce had lamented Forbes paid / The tribute to his Minstrel’s shade; / The tale of friendship scarce was told, / ’Ere the narrator’s heart was cold: / Far may we search before we find / A heart so manly and so kind!”’ [Cont.]

Thomas Macaulay (Edinburgh Review, Sept. 1831) - cont.: ‘In one place, we are told, that Allan Ramsay, the painter, was born in 1709, and died in 1784; [iv. 105.] in another, that he died in 1784, in the seventy-first year of his age. [V, p.281.] [… /] We will not multiply instances of this scandalous inaccuracy. It is clear that a writer who, even when warned by the text on which he is commenting, falls into such mistakes as these, is entitled to no confidence whatever. Mr. Croker has committed an error of five years with respect to the publication of Goldsmith’s novel, an error of twelve years with respect to the publication of part of Gibbon’s History, an error of twenty-one years with respect to an event in Johnson’s life so important as the taking of the doctoral degree. Two of these three errors he has committed, while ostentatiously displaying his own accuracy, and correcting what he represents as the loose assertions of others. How can his readers take on trust his statements concerning the births, marriages, divorces, and deaths of a crowd of people, whose names are scarcely known to this generation?’ [Cont.]

Thomas Macaulay (Edinburgh Review, Sept. 1831) - cont.: ‘It is not likely that a person who is ignorant of what almost everybody knows can know that of which almost everybody is ignorant. We did not open this book with any wish to find blemishes in it. We have made no curious researches. The work itself, and a very common knowledge of literary and political history, have enabled us to detect the mistakes which we have pointed out, and many other mistakes of the same kind. We must say, and we say it with regret, that we do not consider the authority of Mr. Croker, unsupported by other evidence, as sufficient to justify any writer who may follow him in relating a single anecdote or in assigning a date to a single event.’ [See full text of this review, attached.]

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Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby ([1844] Lehmann, ed. 1948): ‘The world took him at his word, for he was bold, acute, and voluble; with no thought, but a good deal of desultory information; and though destitute of all imagination and noble sentiment, was blessed with a vigorous, mendacious fancy, fruitful in small expedients, and never happier than when devising shifts for great men’s scrapes.’ (p.28.)‘His real business in life had ever been to do the dirty work.’ (p. 368.) Disraeli dislikes Croker as an agent of the high Tory party, opposed to the Reform Bills and all that followed from them. Throughout the novel, his vitriolic attacks on other politicians, generally at the behest of his party, are called ‘slashing’. These are characterised as a promiscuous amalagam of incompatible periods and botched quotations. Disraeli regards the activity of the “queer lot” of Irish members of Parliament as a ‘strange blend of complex intrigue and almost infantile ingenuousness’ (pp.73-74), but notes how high the price they would command. The preface by Walter Allen quotes V. S. Pritchett’s conception of Croker as ‘that rich and perennial political type, the yes-man,’ but objects that the portrait of the Tory politician and journalist is ‘viciously unfair’ (p.15). See further references to Rigsby at pp.28, 21, 247, 265f, 368, op. cit. [1948].

G. C. Duggan, The Stage Irishman (Dublin: Talbot 1937), notes rhymed attacks on contemporary Irish theatre were published, an Aesopiad (1793), and Familiar Epistles (1793) by John Wilson Croker. Croker [181] wrote his Epistle in tetrameter, here reproduced se Quotations] Note also that Croker restored the Calendar of State Papers ‘to their proper place’ [i.e., Dublin] two days before his death.

C. E. Vullamy, Ursa Major: A Study of Dr. Johnson and His Friends (London: Michael Joseph 1946): In 1831 an edition of Boswell’s Life of Johnson, including the Tour to the Hebrides and various odds and ends was published by John Wilson Croker. It was by no means a despicable edition (indeed, it had many merits and a number of extremely valuable notes from various hands), but it was not in Mr. Croker’s nature to be scrupulously attentive to dates, quotations and other matters of equal importance. This edition was attacked with extraordinary vigour by Macaulay in the Edinburgh Review. His review is one of the most incisive and effective of all his writings and it has had a very considerable influence upon the attitude of literary people towards Boswell and Johnson. / Macaulay hated Croker, he hated Boswell, and he had only a moderately tolerant opinion of Johnson. It is not enough to throw aside his review as an effusion of mere prejudice. We shall behave more reasonably if we examnie his allegations, particularly with a view to establishing or disproving their relevance, and endeavour to understand his motives. First of all we have to glance at Croker himself.’ (p.282.) […] Thus Macaulay had good reason as a man of letters to give, Mr. Croker the heartiest of maulings, but he set about his work with the less defensible impulse of personal hatred. And now, having demolished the ineffable Croker, he turned even more fiercely to the demolition of Boswell. In this case the impulse of hatred is less easy to explain.’ (p.285.) [See longer extract, attached.]

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Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, 1789-1850, Vol 1 (gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980): John Croker Wilson, virulently anti-Romantic and another anti-Jacobin, and authority on the French Revolution, which he loathed (see his History of the Guillotine, 1853; also Essays on the Early Period of the French Revolution, reprinting his articles for the Quarterly Review); his Familiar Epistles (‘all the trash the Germans send here’); pays homage to William Preston, of the same opinions. Of Richard Brinsley Sheridan: ‘Was Mr Sheridan’s youth employed only in erecting standards by which we were to measure the caducity of his age?’ (Fam. Epist., p.28). Lady Morgan dared to reply to his satire with A Few Reflections, Occasioned by the Perusal &c (1804); Croker dealt her a severe blow in the Government’s Freeman’s Journal, signing himself “M.T.”: ‘I accuse Miss Owenson of having written bad novels and worse poetry – volumes without number, and verses without end, nor does my accusation rest upon her want of literary excellence. I accuse her of attempt[ing] to vitiate mankind - of attempting to undermine morality by sophistry and that, the insidious mask of virtue, sensibility and truth.’ (December 1806). He further revealed the mortal sin of French influence in St Clair, or the heiress of Desmond (1803) [as] ‘unbridled licence … a continued vein of immorality’. (ibid.) [Cont.]

Patrick Rafroidi (Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, 1980) - cont.: ‘There is good reason to believe he collaborated on Gifford’s scathing article on Ida of Athens, Morgan’s fourth novel, in which her Romantic belief in naturalism became a source of scandal, “Miss Owenson is not without an object of worship … She makes no account indeed of the Creator of the Universe … but … she manifests a prodigious respect for something that she dignifies with the name of Nature … honoured by libertinism in the women, disloyalty in the men and atheism in both.” (quoted in L. Stevenson, ed., The Wild Irish Girl.) Croker admitted in a letter to Robert Peel to being author of a review of France in Quarterly Review, II, 1817. In 1824 he instituted a pseudo-Royal Commission to determine her age. He sought to have the titles granted by the Lord Lieutenant since the Union annulled, so the Quarterly refers to “ci-devant Miladi” and her “ex-knight”. Featured by her in revenge as Conway Townshend Crawley in Florence MacCarthy, by Disraeli as Rigby, and by Thackeray as Wenham, Macauley said of him, “I detest him more than cold boiled veal.” Byron and Shelley believe his review of Endymion (Quarterly XIX, 37, May 1818) hastened Keats’s death; he also demolished Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and crushed Maturin’s Melmoth (XXIV, 48, Jan 1821), as well as assaulting works of Hugo and Alexandre Dumas, Balzac, and of course Rousseau (“a baser, meaner, filthier scoundrel never polluted society”, [Quarterly,] LVI, 111, April 1836) [~21-23]. [Cont.]

Patrick Rafroidi (Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, 1980) - cont.: J. W. Croker condemns the French for dividing their writings between, ‘The Classical and the Romantic - which might better be denominated the Pedantic and the Extravagant - but no one amongst them seems to have once thought of the Natural.’ (‘French Novels’, in Quarterly Review, LVI, 111, April 1836). Rafroidi comments: ‘this is the quality he would seek to attain in Talavera’ [no bibl.; here p.37]. Rafroidi quotes J. W. Croker on the Famine: ‘The recent famine … like every other affliction which comes from the chastening hand of heaven - has brought with it some compensation … ‘ (Quarterly Review, Vol. 85, no. 170, Sept. 1849, p.497 [90]. See also Rafroidi’s bio-bibliographical account of Croker in Vol. II, seq.

Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English: The Romantic Period, Vol. 2 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980): son of the Surveyor Gen. of Customs and Excise for Port of Dublin; ed. TCD and Lincoln’s Inn; Irish Bar; fnd. the Quarterly Review, in 1809, with others; first article a review of Maria Edgeworth’s Tales of Fashionable Life; wrote 270 articles on various subjects; expert on French Revolution; his notorious critique of Keats’s Endymion, Quarterly (Sept. 1818); became Secretary of the Admiralty, and proved himself a remarkable organiser; friend of Wellington and Canning; protected Moore; enemy of Lady Morgan, disliked by Macauley and Disraeli; d. Hampton, Middlesex, 10 April 1857. Bibliog. lists poetry: Familiar Epistles to Frederick J-s, on the present state of the Irish stage (Dublin: John Barlow 1804), xix, 78pp. [as anon.]; British Museum copy of first edn. (with 5 seq.), includes [i.e., bound with] Theatrical Tears (Dublin: Parry 1804) and A Few Reflections occasioned … &c. (Parry 1804) [by Sydney Owenson], being responses to same. Rafroidi cites Myron F. Brightfield, John Wilson Croker (Berkeley 1940) 464pp.; The Amazoniad, or Figure and Fashion, a scuffle in high life with notes critical &c. (Dublin: John King 1806); The Battle of Talavera (Dublin: Mahon 1809) and London edn. of same (Murray 1816), with notes but no author’s name, containing warlike songs. Also prose: The Opinion of an Impartial Observer containing the Late Transactions in Ireland (Dublin: J. Parry, 1803); An Intercepted Letter, from J- T-, Esq. Writer at Canton, to his Friend in Dublin, Ireland (Dublin: M.N. Mahon, 1804), 42pp; A Sketch of the State of Ireland Past and Present (Dublin: Mahon 1808), 63pp.; Correspondence betweeen the Right Hon. J. W. Croker and the Right Hon. Lord J. Russell on some Passages of Moore’s Diary with a postscript by Mr Croker Explanatory of Mr Moore’s Acquaintance with and Correspondence with Him (London: J. Murray 1854), 35pp.; The Croker Papers 1808-1857, ed. Bernard Pool (London: Batsford 1967), 277pp.

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A. N. Jeffares, Anglo-Irish Literature (London: Macmillan 1982), calls Lady Morgan’s Florence MacCarthy (1818), ‘an investigation of the attitude of Big House Ascendency to nationalist movement [which] contains an attack on Croker in the character of councillor Con Crawley’ and remarks that ‘Croker […] is best known for his conservative and often savage criticism - particularily of Lady Morgan - in the Quarterly Review with which he was associated from its foundation.’ (p.97.)

Seamus Deane, ‘The Literary Myths of the Revival’, in Celtic Revivals (Faber 1985; pb. 1987):When Yeats told the Senate that the Anglo-Irish were ‘no petty people’ he was obviously not thinking of the John Wilson Croker type (p.30.) [Incls. bibl. on Croker.]

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Mary Campbell, Lady Morgan: The Life and Times of Sydney Owenson (London: Pandora 1988), gives accounts of Owenson’s answer to his pamphlet on the Irish Stage and his subsequent attack on her novel The Wild Irish Girl in The Freeman’s Journal during 1806: ‘I accuse Miss Owenson of having written bad novels and worse poetry - volume without number and verses without end. Nor does my accusation rest upon her want of literary excellence. I accuse her of attempting to vitiate mankind, of attempting to undermine morality by sophistry, and that under the insidious mask of virtue, sensibility and truth … such are the charges.’ (Campbell, p.72.) Two weeks later: ‘I will be accused of having attacked with coward pen a helpless unprotected female; of the atrocious attempt to injure infant fame and delicate sensibility; every eye will shed a crystal tear for the martyred authoress. I will be acused with the elegant lavishness of sorrow, and all the fashionable volubility of woe. I will be impeached in every sign, and sentenced in every whisper. […] I call upon the parental or the appointed guardians of youth. I require them to peruse the work, and then pronounce their unequivocal judgement on its merits. If they find one page which will act towards the increase of moral rectitude, one voluntary contribution to virtuous feeling, or uncontaminated truth, I will not only qualify my assertions with doubt but retract them with denial.’ In a still later column, he wrote: ‘[…] I will not recede from the prosecution of the undertaking until I shall have convinced the public of the correctness of my original assertion as to the tendency of Miss Owenson’s work […] No threat shall have the power to frighten me into silence while I can render up my humble mite to virtue by pointing out vice concealed under her trappings, with the semblance of feeling and the mimicry of truth.’ Campbell remarks: ‘Whatever his other faults, Croker was always consistent; throughout his life he kept his pen sharp for Lady Morgan, and he became even more powerful as a Tory polemicist when he left Ireland and was able to spread himself in the influential Quarterly Review.’ (p.73.) She had previously referred to his notorious attack on John Keats.

Claire Connolly, ‘Irish Romanticism, 1800-1839’, in Cambridge History of Irish Literature (Cambridge UP 2006), Vol. I [Chap. 10], calls Croker ‘[t]he most significant critical commentator of the Romantic period and spokesman for a range of Tory cultural causes throughout the 1840s [which] included the building of the British Museum to house the King’s Library, the acquisition of the Elgin marbles and the designs for Dublin’s Wellington monument.’ (p.424.) Further: ‘He was one of the founders of The Quarterly Review (established in 1809 in Tory opposition to the Whiggish Edinburgh Review) and devoted the pages of its first number to a slashing review of Owenson’s Ida of Athens.’ (Idem.)

Rolf Loeber & Magda Loeber, A Guide to Irish Fiction, 1650-1900, Dublin: Four Courts Press 2006 [Intro.]: ‘Among the most celebrated literary fights is the Irish author John Wilson Croker’s critique of Miss Owenson’s (later Lady Morgan) The wild Irish girl (London, 1806, 3 vols.). He wrote, “I accuse her of attempting to vitiate mankind - of attempting to undermine morality by sophistry - and that under the insidious mask of virtue, sensibility and truth.”’ (Quoted in C[laire] Connolly, ‘“I accuse Miss 0wenson”: The Wild Irish Girl as media event’ in Colby Quarterly, XXXVI, 2000, p.98;here p.lxv; see Croker’s accusation quoted more fully, under Campbell, supra.)

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Quotations
Familiar Epistles (1793): ‘But can we not ourselves produce / These novelties for Irish use / That we to foreign lands must roam / For goods we used to make at home / Where is the soul of drama fled? / Is genius paralysed or dead? / That artless Southerne’s native shore / Produces tragic bards no more / Shall Farquhar’s, Congreve’s native isle / No more with wit peculiar smile? / And can no kindred soul from death / Catch Sheridan’s expiring breath?’ (Quoted in G. G. Duggan, The Stage Irishman, Dublin: Talbot 1937, p.181.)

An Intercepted Letter (1804): ‘They most wonderfully excell us in dignity; and it is not uncommon to see a shopkeeper sitting behind his counter in all the solemn state of a mandarine, and this indeed is but the lex talionis, for you can hardly imagine how many of the mandarines look like shopkeepers.’ (, cited in W. J. McCormack, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and Victorian Ireland, 1991 Edn., p.10; bibl., McCormack, ‘The Absentee and Maria Edgeworth’s Notion of Didactic Fiction’, in Atlantis, No. 5, 1975, pp.123-25.)

Oxford Dictionary of Quotations: ‘We now are, as we always have been, decidely and conscientiously attached to what is called the Tory, and which might with more propriety be called the Conservative, party.’ also, ‘a game which a sharper once played with a dupe, “Heads I win, tails you lose.”’

The Nation was denounced by John Wilson Croker as being full of‘the deadliest rancour, the most audacious falsehoods, and the most incendiary provocation to war.’ (Quoted in Charles Gavan Duffy, Thomas Davis; cited in review of Aubane Hist. Soc. rep. edn., reviewed in Books Ireland, Nov. 2000, p.322.)[ top ]

Reviewing Frankenstein (Quarterly Review, No. 18 / Jan. 1818): ‘In 1818 John Croker sputtered over the novel’s “tissue of horrible and disgusting absurdity” and concluded that it would please only readers with “deplorably vitiated” tastes, since it “fatigues the feelings without interesting the understanding” and “inculcates no less of conduct, manners, or morality”. (pp.379-85; quoted in Johanna M. Smith, ed., Frankenstein [1818], Bedford/St. Martin’s 2000, ‘A Critical History of Frankenstein’ [pp.237-61], p.239.)

Dublin Castle: ‘a kind of Deity much workshipped by the wild Irish, and which is supposed to have the power of looking into futurity and telling fortunes’. (The Amazoniad; or, Figure and Fashion, a scuffle in high life. With notes critical and historical, interspersed with choice anecdotes of bon ton [2nd edn.] Dublin 1806), p.16n.; quoted in Claire Connolly, ‘Writing the Union’, in Acts of Union: The Causes, Contexts and Consequences of the Act of Union, ed. Dáire Keogh & Kevin Whelan, Dublin: Four Courts Press 2001, p.183.)

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References
Dictionary of National Biography [biog. as above]: contrib. to Quarterly Review, [fnd.] 1809, and famous for scathing criticism of Keats’s “Endymion”; introduced the word ‘conservatives’, 1830; edited Boswell’s Life of Dr. Johnson (1831); criticised by Macaulay and attacked Macaulay’s History (1849) in return; other works incl. An Intercepted Letter from Canton (1804); and Essays on the Early Period of the French Revolution (1857); he is the original of Rigsby in Disraeli’s Coningsby (1844). Note that a number of Coningsbys were associated with Ireland, 1) Archb. of Armagh Edmund (f. 1478); 2) Thomas, Earl C. (1656-1729), a strong Whig, wounded at the Boyne; created Baron C. of Clanbrassil, 1692; English Baron and Earl, 1719; involved in Peace of Utrecht. Note: the remark that William Gifford, not Croker, was the probable author of the attack in the Quarterly Review on Keats.

Charles Read, ed., A Cabinet of Irish Literature (3 vols., 1876-78), b. Galway [but see Irish Book Lover, infra], ed. at TCD; Familiar Epistle[s]; 1807 [sic], elected MP Downpatrick, and subsequently other Irish constituencies including Dublin [Univ.] and some English ones; issued An Intercepted Letter from Canton, satire on Dublin; Songs of Trafalgar; Sketch of Ireland Past and Present; parliamentary antagonist of Lord Macaulay; retired when the Reform Bill of 1832 was passed; editor of Quarterly Review; his attack on Macaulay’s History of England was described as Sydney Smith as an attempt at murder which ended in suicide. He is alluded to in Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, and in Disraeli’s Coningsby as the Marquis of Hereford’s factotum [Rigby].

Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature (Washington: Catholic Univ. of America 1904), gives an extract from The History of the Guillotine.

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Irish Book Lover [Vol. XIV], p.123, offers a correction to the received view and suggests that J. W. Croker was born in Waterford, not Galway, on the authority of his [Croker’s] father, cited in Alumni Dublinensis by Burchaell.

 

Arthur Ponsonby [author of English Diaries from the 16th to the 20th centuries, Methuen 1923], Scottish and Irish Diaries &c (1927), contains extracts from J. W. Croker [pp.170-73]

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R. F. Foster, Modern Ireland (London: Allen Lane 1988), bio-note, p.305: b. Galway; ed. TCD, Bar 1802; satirised Irish society in Intercepted Letters from Canton (1804); calls [A Sketch of] State of Ireland Past and Present (1808) an important pro-Catholic pamphlet-history; MP Downpatrick, 1807-12, Athlone, 1812-18; represented English constituencies, 1818-27 and 1830-32; contested Dublin Univ. seat unsuccessfully in 1818, and successfully in 1827-30; Sec. to Admiralty, 1809-30; associated with Quarterly Review from 1809; retired from Westminster at passing of Reform; applied term ‘conservative’ to Tories, 1830; pilloried by Macauley and Disraeli for cant. ADD, A founder of Quarterly Review, in which is first article was a review of Maria Edgeworth’s Tales of Fashionable Life. A Tory in politics; gave assistance in London to Joseph Sterling Coyne and Thomas Crofton Croker.

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Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 1, selects extract from An Intercepted Letter (1804) and another from A Sketch of the State of Ireland […] &c. (1808) [contributing to the debate on Catholic Emancipation regarding especially the petitions advanced by the Irish whigs under Grattan] in which he argues in round-about fashion for conciliating Catholics: ‘The papist, when able, proscribed the protestant, the victorious protestant copied the papist statute against its enacters. We may doubt that this was wise, but not that it was just. Who pities the inventor and victim of the brazen bull [of Phalaris]’. Further: ‘I can well conceive why Lord Clare would have strangled papist privilege at its birth; why he feared to make the first plunge down the declivity of concession; why he refused power to the numerous and dangerous. But I cannot conceive why we should now feel this after-alarm; why having rushed down precipes [sics], we stop short at the slope; why we indulge the populace, and restrict the few, the rich, the noble, and the loyal. / If we fear the revengeful bigotry of the papist, let us not exasperate, without disarming him. The influence of gentry and priesthood, let us conciliate or unnerve; we are in a practical dilemma. We must resume all that we have granted or grant all that we have retained. / I, confidently, advise the latter course.’ (A Sketch of the State of Ireland, past and present (1808) [FDA1, 1107].

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Libraris & Booksellers

British Library holds—
[1] The Amazoniad; or, Figure and fashion: a scuffle in high life. With notes critical and historical, &c. (Second edition, with additions.) [by John Wilson Croker] 2 pt. John King: Dublin 1806. 12o. .[2] Memoirs of the Embassy of the Marshal de Bassompierre to the Court of England in 1626. Translated with notes [and a life of Bassompierre, by the Right Hon. J. W. Croker]. [another copy] xx, 154pp. John Murray: London 1819. 8o. [3] Boswell’s Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides … With notes by Scott, Croker, Chambers and others. 2 vol. A. Constable & Co.: London 1898. 8o. [4] Boswell’s Life of Johnson: including their Tour to the Hebrides. By the Right Honourable John Wilson Croker … A new edition, thorougly revised, with much additional matter. With portraits. xxiv, 14, 874pp. John Murray: London 1860 [1859, 60]. 8o. [5] Boswell’s Life of Johnson: including their Tour to the Hebrides. By the Right Honourable John Wilson Croker … A new edition, thoroughly revised, with much additional matter. With portraits. [another copy] xxiv, 874pp. John Murray: London 1848. 8o. [6] The Life of Samuel Johnson … Including a Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides … A new edition. With numerous additions and notes, by John Wilson Croker. [With portraits.] [another edition.] To which are added anecdotes by Hawkins, Piozzi, Murphy, Tyers, Reynolds, Steevens, &c., and notes by various hands. [Edited by J. W. Croker, revised by John Wright.] [another copy] 5 vol. John Murray: London 1831. 8o. 10 vol. John Murray: London 1835. 8o. [7] The Life of Samuel Johnson … including A Journal of his Tour to the Hebrides … With numerous additions and notes, by the Right Hon. J. Wilson Croker … revised and enlarged under his direction … by John Wright … Illustrated with … engravings, &c. 10 vol. H. G. Bohn: London 1859. 8o. [8] The Life of Samuel Johnson … including A Journal of his Tour to the Hebrides … New edition, with numerous additions and notes, by the Right Hon. John Wilson Croker … To which are added, two supplementary volumes of Johnsoniana, by Hawkins, Piozzi … and others. And notes by various hands. Also, upwards of fifty engraved illustrations. 10 vol. H. G. Bohn: London 1853. 8o. [9] A Letter to the Editor of the Quarterly Review, in reply to certain strictures in that publication on the Rev. Dr. Keith’s “Evidence of Prophecy.” MS. notes [by J. W. Croker]. 68pp. W. Whyte & Co.: Edinburgh 1836. 8o. [10] John Wilson Croker. [With a portrait] xiii, 464pp. University of California Press: Berkeley 1940. 8o. [11] Elements of Geography; for the use of young children. By the author of “Stories from the History of England.” [The introduction signed: J. W. C., i.e. Right Hon. John W. Croker.] Third edition. 94pp. John Murray: London 1829. 12o. 96pp. John Murray: London 1835. 12o. [12] Progressive Geography for Children. By the author of “Stories for Children.” Fourth edition, revised. [The introduction signed: J. W. C., i.e. Right Hon. John W. Croker] 72pp. John Murray: London 1847. 12o. [13] Stories selected from the History of England, from the Conquest to the Revolution. For children. Fourth edition. [The preface signed: J. W. C., i.e. Right Hon. John Wilson Croker] vi, 180pp. John Murray: London 1818. 18o. [14] Stories selected from the History of England, from the Conquest to the Revolution. For children. Third edition. [The preface signed: J. W. C., i.e. Rt. Hon. John Wilson Croker] [180pp.] John Murray: London. 1817. 12o. [15] Tales of a Grandfather on English History; being a collection of stories taken from the History of England, by J. Wilson C. [i.e. J. W. Croker.] Continued to Queen Victoria by Pearson. xvi, 264pp. J. H. Truchy: Paris 1840. 12o. [16] A Letter on the Fittest Style and Situation for the Wellington Testimonial, about to be erected in Dublin. Addressed to John Leslie Foster, Esq. [With a plan] 51pp. J. Cumming & M. N. Mahon: Dublin; J. Murray: London; London printed 1815. 8o. [17] [A manuscript catalogue of tracts relating to the French Revolution formerly in the possession of J. W. Croker] [1850?] fol. [18] [A manuscript catalogue of works relating to the French Revolution formerly in the possession of J. W. Croker] [1850?] fol. [19] A Reply to the Speech of J. W. Croker, Esq. in the House of Commons … on the Roman Catholic question, with a summary of the Qualification Laws. 59pp. Hatchard; Clarke: London 1819. 8o. [20] [A Sketch of the State of Ireland, Past and Present.] [Fourth edition, with additions.] A Sketch of the State of Ireland, Past and Present … A new edition, revised by the author. Eighth edition. MS. notes. [another edition] 63pp. 1808. 8o. 68pp. John Murray: London 1822. 8o. 65pp. 1822. 8o. 32pp. John Murray: London 1885. 8o. [21] A Sketch of the state of Ireland, past and present. [by the Right Hon. John Wilson Croker.] MS. note. [another edition.] MS. notes. Second London edition. 63pp. Dublin 1808. 8o. 64pp. London 1808. 8o. 64pp. 1808. 8o. [22] A sketch of the state of Ireland, past and present. (Second edition.) [by J. W. Croker] Dublin: M. N. Mahon 1808. 63pp. 8o. [23] Anecdotes pour les enfants, tirées de l’histoire d’Angleterre … [by J. W. Croker.] Traduites de l’anglais par Madam Sophie Tulloch, &c. Aberdeen: A. Brown & Co., [1853]. 205pp. 16 cm. [24] Correspondence between the Right Hon. J. W. Croker and the Right Hon. Lord John Russell, on some passages of ‘Moore’s Diary.’ With a postscript by Mr. Croker, explanatory of Mr. Moore’s acquaintance and correspondence with him. 35pp. John Murray: London 1854. 8o. [25] Essays on the Early Period of the French Revolution … Reprinted from ‘The Quarterly Review,’ with additions and corrections. x, 571pp. John Murray: London 1857. 8o. [26] Familiar Epistles to Frederick J-s [Jones], Esq. on the present state of the Irish stage. [In verse. The dedication signed: T. C. D., i.e. J. W. Croker.] [another copy.] Second edition, with considerable additions. [another copy.] Third edition, with considerable additions. Fourth edition, with considerable additions. [another edition.] Familiar Epistles to Frederick E. Jones, Esq. on the present state of the Irish stage. [by the Right Hon. John W. Croker.] Fifth edition. [another copy.] [another edition.] The Familiar Epistles … These epistles were written in 1804, and addressed to Frederick Jones … on the inefficiency of the actors; and now … Walter Donaldson, Esq., presents them to the public, with remarks from personal knowledge. xix, 78pp. John Barlow: Dublin 1804. 12o. 122pp. John Barlow: Dublin 1804. 12o. 122pp. Printed by M. N. Mahon: Dublin; sold by Vernor & Hood: London 1805. 12o 178pp. Graisberry & Campbell: Dublin 1805. 12o. 110pp. Graisberry & Campbell: Dublin, 1806. 12o. 59pp. Livermore & Robinson: London, [1875.] 8o. [27] History of the Guillotine … Revised from the ‘Quarterly Review,’ &c. viii, 88pp. John Murray: London 1853. 8o. [28] [Lamartine’s Refutation of the Quarterly Review. Escape of Louis-Philippe.] Louis-Philippe et la révolution de février. République de la Quarterly Review à M. de Lamartine, contenant des rectifications et additions qui complètent la relation authentique du départ du Roi et de la famille royale au 24 février 1848. (Extrait de la Revue Britannique.). 32pp. Paris 1850. 8o. [29] Révolution de février 1848. Revue critique de quelques-uns des ouvrages publiés récemment sur l’histoire de cette époque. Départ de Louis-Philippe au 24 février. Relation authentique de ce qui est arrivé au Roi et à sa famille depuis leur départ des Tuileries jusqu’à leur débarquement en Angleterre. (Extrait de la Revue britannique.) [Translation of an article which originally appeared anonymously in the “Quarterly Review.”]. 86pp. Paris 1850. 8o. [30] Resolutions moved by Mr. Croker, on the report of the Reform Bill. March 14 1832. 21pp. John Murray: London 1832. 8o. [31] Stories selected from the History of England … Fourteenth edition, &c. [The preface signed: J. W. C., i.e. Right Hon. John W. Croker.] Seventeenth edition, &c. xii, 205pp. John Murray: London 1847. 16o. xii, 184pp. John Murray: London 1908. 8o. [32] Substance of the Speech of John Wilson Croker, Esq. in the House of Commons, on Monday, 4th May 1819; on the Roman Catholic question. 86pp. John Murray: London 1819. 8o. [33] The battles of Talavera. [by J. W. Croker.] A poem … Fifth edition. London: John Murray 1810. 39pp. 8o. [34] The Croker Papers. The correspondence and diaries of the late Right Honourable J. W. Croker … Edited by Louis J. Jennings … With portrait. [another copy.] The Croker Papers, &c. Second edition, revised, &c. [another copy] 3 vol. John Murray: London 1884. 8o. London, 1884. 8o. 3 vol. John Murray: London 1885. 8o. [35] The Croker papers: 1808-1857. (New and abridged ed.) Edited by Bernard Pool. London: Batsford, [1967]. vii, 277 p.: plates; ports. 25 cm. [36] The Speech of the Right Honourable John Wilson Croker, on the question that “The Reform Bill do pass,” Tuesday, 22nd September 1831. Printed from the Mirror of Parliament. 42pp. John Murray: London 1831. 8o. [37] The Speech of the Right Honourable John Wilson Croker, on the Reform Question, on Friday, March 4 1831. 24pp. John Murray: London, 1831. 8o. [38] Two letters on Scottish affairs, &c. [39] Collection de matériaux pour l’histoire de la Révolution de France depuis. 1787 jusqu’à ce jour. Bibliographie des journaux. Par M. D … … .s. [The preface signed: Deschiens.] [another copy.] MS. notes [by J. W. Croker]. xxiv, 645pp. Paris 1829. 8o. [40] Dublin run mad!!! or, remarks on Cutchecutchoo [a satire on the game of Hide and Seek; the dedication of the second edition being subscribed: F. T. C.] and its history, &c. Second edition. With a poetical address to the real Innocents of Dublin. [another copy.] [another copy.] Dublin run Mad!!! or, Remarks on Cutchacutchoo, and its History: with a poetical address to the real Innocents of Dublin, &c. Dublin 1805. 12o. Dublin, 1805. 12o. Dublin 1805. 12o. Dublin 1805. 12o. [41] Jack in a passion, or the Critic criticised. [In reply to Familiar Epistles to F. J[one]s Esq., &c] Dublin 1805. 12o. [42] A Key to the Orders in Council [respecting trade with French ports, &c. 7 Jan. 1807-21 April 1812. By the Right Hon. John Wilson Croker]. [another copy.] [another copy] 19pp. John Murray: London 1812. 8o. [43] Six Speeches delivered in the House of Commons at the close of the Debate upon the Reform Bill [22 Sept. 1831]. 52pp. C. J. G. & F. Rivington: London 1831. 12o. [44] What next? or the Peers and the third time of asking. [by Sir Henry Rich.] Second edition. [another copy.] Copious MS. notes [by J. W. Croker]. 82pp. J. Ridgway and Sons: London 1837. 8o. [45] Histrionic Epistles. [by the Right Hon. J. W. Croker?]. Dublin 1807. 12o. [46] Croker’s Boswell and Boswell. Studies in the “Life of Johnson.”. viii, 308pp. Chapman & Hall: London 1880. 8o. [47] Royal Memoirs on the French Revolution: containing 1. A narrative of the journey of Louis XVI. and his family to Varennes by Madame Royale, Duchess of Angouleme. 2. A narrative of a journey to Bruxelles and Coblentz by Monsieur, now Louis XVIII. 3. Private memoirs of what passed in the Temple from the imprisonment of the Royal Family to the death of the Dauphin, by Madame Royale, Duchess of Angouleme. With historical and biographical illustrations by the translator [the Right Hon. J. W. Croker]. London 1823. 8o. [48] The Guillotine. [A review by the Right Hon. John Wilson Croker of two French works on the guillotine. An offprint of an article in “The Quarterly Review” of December 1843, with additional pages of illustrations bearing manuscript notes by the author in preparation for his work “History of the Guillotine” 1853] 48pp. [London 1853?] 8o. [49] Memoirs of the Reign of George the Second, from his accession to the death of Queen Caroline. Edited, from the original manuscript by J. W. Croker. [another edition] 2 vol. London 1848. 8o. 3 vol. Bickers & Son: London 1884. 8o. [50] Letters of Mary Lepel, Lady Hervey. With a Memoir, and Illustrative Notes [by the Right Hon. John W. Croker]. [another copy] London, 1821. 8o. [51] The History of Cutchacutchoo. [by John W. Croker. A reply to “Cutchacutchoo; or, the Jostling of the innocents” by F.T.C.] [another issue.] The History of Cutchacutchoo. [by the Right Hon. John W. Croker. A reply to “Cutchacutchoo, or the Jostling of the innocents” by F.T.C] 22pp. M. N. Mahon: Dublin 1805. 12o. Dublin 1805. 12o. [52] Letters to and from Henrietta, Countess of Suffolk, and her second husband the Hon. George Berkeley. From 1712 to 1767. With historical, biographical, and explanatory notes. [Edited by J. W. Croker.] [another copy.] Letters to and from Henrietta, Countess of Suffolk, &c. 2 vol. John Murray: London 1824. 8o. 2 vol. John Murray: London 1824. 8o. [53] A sk&ch of the state of Ireland, past and present. 5th ed., with additions. Dublin: M.N. Mahon 1810. 63p; 22cm [54] An Answer to Familiar Epistles to F. J-s, Esq., on the present state of the Irish Stage. [Verses, subscribed Frederick E. J-s, i.e. F. E. Jones.] Second edition. 24pp. Dublin 1804. 12o. Dublin 1804. 12o. [55] Lamartine’s Refutation of the Quarterly Review. Escape of Louis-Philippe. [An anonymous article, by J. W. Croker, reprinted from “The Quarterly Review,” replying to Lamartine’s “Refutation de quelques calomnies contre la République,” in his journal “Le Conseiller du peuple.”]. 16pp. William Clowes: London 1850. 8o. [56] Answers to Mr. Macaulay’s criticism in the Edinburgh Review on Mr. Croker’s edition of Boswell’s Life of Johnson. Selected from Blackwood’s Magazine. (By Rt. Hon. J. W. Croker.) Second edition. London 1856. 8o. [57] Samuel Johnson, LL.D. [An essay on J. W. Croker’s edition of Boswell’s Life of Johnson.] (Anecdotes of Samuel Johnson, by H. L. Piozzi.) [another edition.] Lord Macaulay’s Essay on Boswell’s Life of Johnson. Edited with notes by F. Storr. New edition. 2 pt. 1856. 56pp. 1875. 56pp. [1882.] [58] New Picture of Paris. MS. notes [by J. W. Croker]. 2 vol. Dublin 1800. 8o. [59] The Political Future of England. Translated [by H. Barrow?] with an introduction and notes [by the Right Hon. J. W. Croker]. [another copy.] Of the Political Future of England. Translated with an introduction and notes. [another edition.] The Political Future of England … From the French [by H. Barrow? revised by the Rt. Hon. J. W. Croker]. London 1856. 8o. London 1856. 8o. London 1856. 8o. [60] Remarks on the Right Hon. J. W. Croker’s Review of the Memoirs of Thomas Moore, in “The Quarterly.” By Nemesis. London 1855. 12o. [61] Theatrical Tears; a poem occasioned by Familiar Epistles to Frederick J[one]s. [by R. N. O., i.e. Robert N. Owenson.] [another copy] Dublin 1804. 12o. [62] A few Reflections occasioned by the perusal of a work, entitled: “Familiar Epistles to F. J[one]s, Esq.,” &c. [The Dedication subscribed S. O., i.e. Sydney Owenson, afterwards Lady Morgan.] [another copy] Dublin 1804. 12o. [63] 1. Napoleon in Exile; or, a Voice from St. Helena … By B. E. O’M. … 2. Memorial de Ste. Hélène … Par le Comte de Las Cases. 3. Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire de France sous Napoléon, écrits à Sainte-Hélène sous le dicta [sic] de l’Empereur … tom 1, dicté au Général Gourgaud. 4. Mélanges historiques, vol. 1, dicté au Comte de Montholon. [A review by J. W. Croker of the works mentioned, extracted from the Quarterly Review, vol. 28, 219-264pp.] [another edition.] An Answer to O’Meara’s Napoleon in Exile; or, A Voice from St. Helena. [London 1823.] 8o. New York 1823. 12o. [64] The Works of Alexander Pope. New edition. Including … unpublished letters and other new materials. Collected in part by the late Rt. Hon. J. W. Croker. With introduction and notes by W. Elwin [and W. J. Courthope. The Life of Pope. By W. J. Courthope]. With portraits and other illustrations. [another copy.] The Works of Alexander Pope, &c. [another copy.] The Works of Alexander Pope, &c. 10 vol. John Murray: London, 1871-89. 8o. 10 vol. London 1871-89. 8o. 10 vol. London 1871-89. 8o. [65] The Croaker: and Venus angry: addressed to the author of Cutchacutchoo. To which is prefixed a Letter from John Wilson Croker. Second edition., 20pp. C. Downes: Dublin 1805. 12o. [66] Remarks in refutation of an article in the 118th number of the Quarterly Review, on Lord John Russell’s speech at Stroud. London: James Ridgeway & Sons 1838. 79pp. 8o. [67] OEuvres oratoires de Mirabeau, ou recueil de ses discours, rapports, addresses, opinions, discussions, reparties, &c., à l’Assemblée Nationale; précédé d’une notice historique sur sa vie [signed, H. M.], et terminé par l’oraison funèbre que Cerutti prononça aux funérailles de l’orateur, &c. MS. note [by J. W. Croker]. 2 tom. Paris 1819. 8o. [68] Mémoires authentiques de Maximilien Robespierre … Mémoires de Charlotte Robespierre sur ses deux frères, &c. [A review, by J. W. Croker, extracted from the Quarterly Review.] Copious MS. notes [by the author]. 64pp. [1835.] 8o. [69] An Intercepted Letter from J- T-, Esq. … to his friend in Dublin, &c. [by John Wilson Croker.] (Sixth edition.) Seventh edition. v, 42pp. M. N. Mahon: Dublin 1805. 12o. Dublin 1805. 12o. [70] An Intercepted letter from J-T-, Esq. [i.e. J. W. Croker] … to his friend in Dublin, Ireland. Second edition. [A satire upon the City of Dublin.] Third edition. Fifth edition. Dublin 1804. 12o. Dublin 1804. 12o. An Intercepted Letter from J-T-Esq … to his friend in Dublin. [by John Wilson Croker] v, 42pp. M. N. Mahon: Dublin 1804. 12o. [72] The Battles of Talavera, a poem. [by J. W. Croker.] Sixth edition, corrected, with some additions. Eighth edition. With some additions. [another copy.] The Battles of Talavera … Eighth edition, &c. [by John Wilson Croker.] [another copy.] L.P. Ninth edition. To which are added other poems. Tenth edition. London 1810. 8o. London 1810. 8o. London 1810. 4o. London 1812. 4o. London 1816. 8o. [73] Tea Table Conversation, an epistle to the author of Familiar Epistles (John Wilson Croker) … By a Student of T. C. D. iv, 51pp. J. Parry: Dublin, 1804. 12°.

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Cathach Books (1996/97) lists Familiar Epistle to Frederick J-S Esquire on the Present State of the Irish Stage (Dublin: Barlow 1804), 78pp.

Belfast Linenhall Library holds Familiar Epistle to Frederick Jones Esq. on the Present State of the Irish Stage, verse (Dublin 1804). Belfast Central Library holds Tracts Upon the Union (1831); also biographies by D. O. Madden (n.d.), and Sir J. [?W] Smyth, John Wilson Croker (1876).

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Notes
Banim’s Croker: John Wilson Croker is a character in John Banim’s Anglo-Irish of the Nineteenth Century [1828] (see Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction, Maunsel 1919).

W. M. Thackeray: in remarking on the Corkonians awareness of things literary in his Irish Sketchbook (1842), Thackeray refers to ‘Mr Croker’s last article in the Quarterly’ - possibly an allusion to John Wilson Croker rather than Thomas Crofton Croker. (See Irish Sketchbook, 1842; Blackstaff, rep. edn. 1985, p.84.)

David Willetts, On the second page of his short account of Modern Conservatism (q.d.), David Willetts, formerly directory of the Centre for Policy studies and now and MP, invokes the question in Disraeli’s Coningsby, “What will you conserve?” I am not sure he answers it … &c. (Times Literary Supplement, 9 Oct. 1992).

Sir James Prior - Prior’s autograph letters to John Wilson Croker was slipped into the copy of The Country House and Other Poems (1846) held in British Library - presumably once owned by Croker. (See James Prior, q.v.)

Denouncing The Nation: Croker denounced the Nation (1842- ) as being full of ‘the deadliest rancour, the most audacious falsehoods, and the most incendiary provocation to war’. (Quoted in Charles Gavan Duffy, Thomas Davis; cited in review of Aubane Hist. Soc. rep. edn., in Books Ireland, Nov. 2000, p.322.)

Emancipate? John Wilson Croker was ‘indisposed’ and absent from Emancipation division in the House [see Dr. R. R. Madden, under Historical Notice of the Penal Laws against Roman Catholics, 1847, 1865].

Conservative: John Wilson Croker coined the term ‘Conservative’ and is thus memorialised in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations: ‘We now are, as we always have been, decidely and conscientiously attached to what is called the tory, and which might with more propriety be called the Conservative, party.’

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