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John Wilson Croker (1780 - 1857):
Politician and writer


John Wilson Croker was born in Galway, though some sources say Waterford, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. In 1807 he became a Tory member of parliament for Downpatrick, County Down, and was active in the literary and political circles of London, founding the Atheneum and co-founding and contributing to the Quarterly Review along with Scott, Canning and Southey. It is said that Disraeli, in his novel Coningsby, portrayed Croker as the character Rigby. He served as First Secretary to the Admiralty from 1809 to 1830. He published Stories for Children from English History; Boswell's Johnston; Military Events of the French Revolution and A Sketch of the State of Ireland, Past and Present, though he is perhaps best known for his savage review of John Keats's 'Endymion'. He also wrote a history of the guillotine and supposedly first applied the label 'Conservative' to the Tory party. He was responsible for erecting Nelson's column in Dublin.


Born: 20 December 1780
Died: 10 August 1857
Kate Newmann