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Sketch of Crofton Croker in his home
Funerary monument, Brompton Cemetery, London

Thomas Crofton Croker (15 January 1798 – 8 August 1854) was an Irish antiquary.



Born at Cork, for some years Croker held a position in the Admiralty, where his distant relative, John Wilson Croker, was his superior.[1]

Croker devoted himself largely to the collection of ancient Irish poetry and Irish folklore. He assisted in founding the Percy Society and the Camden Society. He and his wife's testimonies about funereal customs, particularly the tradition of keening the deceased are among the earliest and most significant contributions to the understanding of the Irish language lament and the accompanying traditions. The first part of his Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland was published in 1825; it went to six editions, and was translated into German by the Brothers Grimm (Irische Elfenmärchen, 1826). Parts two and three followed in 1828, the latter including Croker's translation of the long Grimm preface to part one.

Croker published Legends of the Lakes: Or, Sayings and Doings at Killarney in 1829, in which he featured discussions of the music of his friend the Irish piper James Gandsey.

Croker died in 1854 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.


Croker married in 1830 Marianne Nicholson (1792–1854), daughter of Francis Nicholson.[2] T. F. Dillon Croker FSA, FRGS, was their son and only child.[3]


  • Researches in the South of Ireland (1824)
  • Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, 3 vols. (1825–28) [1]
  • Daniel O'Rourke (1829)
  • Legends of the Lakes, or Sayings and Doings at Killarney (1829)
  • Barney Mahoney (1832)
  • Popular Songs of Ireland (1837)


  1. ^ Hultin, N. C. (1987), "Belief and Interpretation in T. Crofton Croker's Legends of the Lakes", Folklore, 98: 65–79, doi:10.1080/0015587x.1987.9716397, JSTOR 1259402
  2. ^ Fenwick, Simon. "Nicholson, Francis". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/20132.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ "Thomas Crofton Croker (obituary)". The Gentleman's Magazine. 1854.

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons – via Wikisource.

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