Thomas Crofton Croker (1798-1854)

[T. Crofton Croker;] b. Buckingham Square, Cork, 15 Jan., in the house of his maternal grandmother (a widow), being the only son of Major Thomas Croker of the 38th regt. of foot, and and Maria, dg. of Croker Dillon of Baltidaniel, Co. Cork; god-son of Sir E. Crofton, Bart.; first employed in merchant business with Lecky and Mark [aetat. 15]; helped establish Cork Scientific Society in his teens; became known as a painter, and illustrated his own works; exhibited at Cork Society from 1817; travelled in the south of Ireland with Joseph Humphreys, a Quaker; collected folklore in the countryside, frequently returning to do so throughout his life; contrib. to Literary and Political Examiner, 1818; moved to London on the death of his father (22 March. 1818); visited Thomas Moore in Wiltshire; appt. to clerkship at the Admiralty at age of 21 through patronage of J. W. Croker, a friend of his father’s, though no relation; contributed to Morning Post, and edited at various times The Keepsake (1824), Fraser’s Magazine and Gentleman’s Magazine; he also provided an antiquarian design for the title-page engraving in Moore’s Irish Melodies, No. 9 (1821);
issued Researches in the South of Ireland (1824), an ‘arrangement of notes’ made on tours of 1812 and 1822, acc. T. F. D. Croker; the book, issued by John Murray, was illustrated by Francis and Marianne Nicholson, with both of whom he travelled there in 1821; m. Marianne in 1830 - with whom a single child, Thomas Francis Dillon Croker (the author of his Memoir, b. 31 Aug. 1831); issued Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (1825), which was rapidly translated by the Grimm brothers as (Irische Elfenmärchen, 1826), with whom he corresponded, 1826-28 - the correspondence appearing in the second volume of the foregoing; in it he held that the ‘present fairies of Ireland, if not Gothic creations, were at least modelled in the same school and age with the elves of northern Europe’ (“Fairies and supernatural agency” [chap. title], Researches);

received letter of praise from Sir Walter Scott which he prefixed to the second edition (1826) and provided in an appendix to the reissued series of Vols. 1 & 2 of 1834; introduced to Walter Scott at Lockhart’s in Pall Mall; he also wrote a play, Daniel O’Rourke; or, Rhymes of a Pantomime (Adelphi, Dublin Christmas 1826), based on oral fairy legend already included his works - the suggestion coming from Walter Scott; elected to the RIA, 1827; issued a second series consisting in Vols. 2 & 3 in 1 vol. - the latter being concerned with Welsh and other nation ‘fairy superstitions’ (1828); ded. Part II to Scott (‘in admiration of his genius and gratitude for his kindness’); issued Barney Mahoney (1832), while living at “The Rosery”, Barnes Common, Surrey [Pref.]

excavated with others the Roman town of Noviomagus at Bromley, Kent; co-fnd. Camden Society, 1839, and also co-fnd. the Percy Society (1840-), with Dyce and others, for the publication of old English lyrics and ballads, editing several eighteenth-century Irish songs in the series dealing with Thurot’s seizure of Carrickfergus and his subsequent death in battle, 21-26 Feb. 1760; also co-fnd. the Archaeological Assoc., 1843; elected a member of Hakluyt Society, for publication of Rare and Valuable Voyages, Travels, and Geographical Records, 1846; he designed the engraved title-page of the 8th number of the Irish Melodies, and produced Landscape Illustrations of Moore’s ‘Irish Melodies’ (1835) for James Power, and later supplied an epistolary preface to Notes on Letters of Moore to his Music Publisher, Power (NY 1853), forbidden to be printed in England, detailing the rupture of 1832-33 to which he was a witness;
reached the position of first clerk, with Ł800 a year; retired on a generous pension of £580, 1850 [aetat. 52]; he was intimate with Sir Walter Scott, and son-in-law of Francis Nicholson; latterly lived at Rosamond’s Bower, at Fulham, his home for eight years and a house and neighbourhood which he notarised in privately printed works (A Description of Rosamund’s Bower, 1843); the house contained a museum room where he hosted numerous literary lights - among whom Scott, Maria Edgeworth, Sylvester Mahony [Fr. Prout], Mr. & Mrs. S. C. Hall, Lord Braybrook, Lord Strangford, Lord Northamption, Sir Emerson Tennant, and Sydney Smith; also Walk from London to Fulham (1860), posthum.; d. at home, 3 Gloucester Rd., Old Brompton, 8 Aug. 1854 [aetat. 57]; bur. in Brompton Cemetery, sharing a grave with his father-in-law, his wife Marianne and -afterwards - his son [see under Notes, infra];

Fairy Tales and Legends was reprinted by Tegg in 1859 with a memoir by his son Thomas Francis Dillon Croker, FSA, FRGS; letters of Croker to other members of the the Noviomagus Society are held at the Firestone Library of Princeton UL, chiefly to Robert Balmanno, the New York publisher; deemed at his death to have the largest private collection of Irish antiquities; Croker had a hare-lip and was unusually small in stature; he was familiarly known as ‘the member for fairy-land’ in later life - as reported by Lover, remarking on his figure in “All Hallow Eve”, a painting by Maclise exhibited in the RA, 1833; the article in the New DNB (2004) is by W. J. McCormack. IF ODNB JMC DIB DIW DIH DIL MKA RAF OCEL OCIL FDA

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[ For a listing of, with links to, digital copies of works by Croker held at the Gutenberg Project and Google Books/Internet Archive, see attached. ]

Folklore studies and related works (topography, fiction & verse)
  • Researches in the South of Ireland Illustrative of the Scenery, Architectural Remains, and the Manners and Superstitions of the Peasantry, with an appendix containing a private narrative of the Rebellion of 1798 (London: J. Murray MDCCCXXIV [1824]), 393pp., 4°., ill. [17 lithographs by Marianne Nicholson, incl. front.; the appendix written by Jane Adams - with errata; printed by C. Roworth, acc. colophon], and Do. [electronic edition; available at CELT online]; Do., intro. by Kevin Danaher [facs. rep. of 1824 1st Edn.] (IUP 1968), viii, [6], 393pp., ill. [17 pls.]; Do. [another facs. edn.] (Dublin: IAP 1981) [see contents];
  • [as anon.] Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (London: John Murray 1825), ill. [by Croker, and Alfred & Marianne Nicholson; contains The Shefro; The Cluricaune; The Banshee; The Phooka; Tierna na Og.] (See details of further series and editions - infra.)
  • Daniel O’Rourke, or Rhymes of a Pantomime. Founded on that story [2nd edn.] (London: Mr. Ainsworth 1828), 30pp. 15cm. [orig. publ. as Harlequin and the Eagle [title on spine: Poetical Pamphlets];
  • Legends of the Lakes, or Sayings and Doings at Killarney, collected chiefly from manuscripts of R. Adolphus Lynch, Esq. H.P. King’s German Legion 2 vols. (London: Ebers & Co. 1829), ill. [9 pls.], 18°; Do., rep. as Killarney Legends; / Arranged as / A Guide to the Lakes / edited by T. Crofton Croker (London : Fisher, Son, & Jackson, 1831), xvi, 294pp.. 8°; Do. (London: Henry G. Bohn, York Street Covent Garden 1853), xvi, 294pp., ill. [by engravings by L. & E. Byrne after Alfred Nicholson and Mrs Crofton Croker.] (See details - infra.)
  • [Legends of the Lakes; or, Sayings and doings at Killarney. Collected chiefly from the manuscripts of R. A. Lynch. With plates. A new edition. Revised by T. Wright ... with an introduction by T. F. D. Croker (London: William Tegg & Co. [1876]), xv, 287pp., ill. 12°.
  • Legends of the Lakes: or, Sayings and Doings at Killarney: Collected Chiefly from the Manuscripts of R. Adolphus Lynch / by T. Crofton Croker [facs. rep.; 2 vols. in 1], ed., intro., and notes by Neil C. Hultin & Warren [U. Ober. Series / Scholars’ facsimiles & reprints, Vol. 557 (Ann Arbor: [2008]), (various pagings), ill. [6pp. of pls., map, music; 24cm.] Adventures of Barney Mahoney (London: Fisher, Son & Jackson [1832]), 299pp. and Do. [2nd edn.] (1832), 8°/17cm. [actually by Mrs Croker; verse ded. to Hon. Mrs. Caroline Norton - see full text version in RICORSO Library > via note, infra];
  • The Popular Songs of Ireland, collected and edited, with introductory notes, by T. Crofton Croker (London: Colburn 1839), xix, 340pp., 12°; and Do. [another edn.], intro. by H. Morley LLD, Professor of English at University College, London [Morley’s Universal Library, 40; (London: George Routledge & Sons. 1886), 320pp., 8° [printed by Ballyntine Press - Ballantyne, Hanson & Co., Edinburgh & London]. (See also Popular Songs published for the Percy Society, 1845, infra). Contents: St. Patrick; The Shamrock; The Potato; Whisky; The Irish Oak; Local Songs [129ff.; num. loc., ending with The Praise of Waterford] - available at Google Books - online; accessed 26.12.2011.
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Historical works & editions
  • ed., The Christmas Box: An Annual Present for Children, 2 vols. (London: John Ebers & Co.; Edinburgh: William Blackwood 1828, 1829), viii, 240, [1]pp, ill., 18cm.
  • Landscape Illustrations of Moore’s ‘Irish Melodies’ (London: Power 1835);
  • ed., The Tour of the French Traveller M. de la Boullaye le Gouz in Ireland AD 1644 (London: T. W. Boone 1837);
  • ed., Memoirs of Joseph Holt, General of the Irish Rebels in 1798 [ ... &c.] (London: Henry Colburn 1838), [2], viii, 139pp. [trans. of Les voyages et observations du sieur de la Boullaye Le Gouz ..., Paris, 1653];
  • ed., Narratives Illustrative of the Contests in Ireland in 1641 and 1690 [Works of the Camden Society, No. 14] (London: Camden Society; printed by J. B[owyer] Nichols, MDCCCXLI [1841]), xiv, 149., 35pp. 23cm. [contains The Siege of Ballyaly Castle, by Maurice Cuffe, Esq., [pp.1-23]; Macarić excidium, or the destruction of Cyprus, containing the last war and conquest of that kingdom written originally in Syriack, by Philotas Phyloxypres, translated into Latin by Gratianus Ragallus, and now made into English by C[harles] O’K[elly], pp.28-107]; Report of the Council, 1841; Report of the Auditors, 1841; Laws of the Camden Society; Members of the Camden Society. Notes and Index.  
  • A Description of Rosamond’s Bower, Fulham, distant three miles from Hyde Park Corner, the residence of T. Crofton Croker ...: With an inventory of the pictures, furniture, curiosities, &c. &c. &c. [publ. in 5 pts.] ([London] 1842, 1843), x, 32pp., ill. [2 lvs. of pls.], 4°/27cm. Pt. I: Dec. 1842; Pt. II: Jan. 1843; Pt. III: March 1843; Pt. IV: April 1843 [refers to miniatures of his father and mother displayed in the drawing-room]; Pt. V: May 1843 [dates on wrappers], with collective t.p. dated MDCCCXLIII [1843]; wrapper on Pt. I styled one of an edition of 15 copies printed for private circulation only].
  • A Selection from a Thousand and One Inscriptions at Rosamond’s Bower, Fulham [in verse, ed. by T. C. Croker] (St. Albans 1844), 11cm.;
  • Notes on Various Discoveries of Gold Plates, chiefly in the south of Ireland ... From the “Collectanea Antiqua” [rep. from Charles Roach Smith, Vol. III], ... &c. (London 1854), 7-58pp. [offprint; item 11 of 19 bound together], ill. [woodcuts];
  • [Pref. letter to] Notes from the Letters of Thomas Moore to his music publisher, James Power. With an introductory Letter from T. C. Croker [with an additional engr. title-leaf, London 1853; with a] Letter from Thomas Crofton Croker ... to J.S. Redfield ... respecting the sale ... of the letters of Thomas Moore. (NY: Redfield [1854]), xxxii, ix, 176pp, 19cm., ill. 4 lvs. of pls. [copies in Oxford UL, Cambridge UL, Glasgow UL, Manchester UL, & TCD; see full text in RICORSO Library, attached].
Guildhall Library, City of London, holds A walk from London to Fulham (s.n. 1856), illustrated by original sketches and other material by Frederick Wm. Fairholt, being a copy of the work as originally published extracted from Fraser’s Magazine’ Vol. 31, 1845, pp.1-16, 188-205, 330-42, 445-57 & Vol. 32, 1845, pp.631-46; inlaid, with a few relevant letters interspersed; [with] original pencil sketches and india paper proofs of etchings for Fairholt’s ills., mounted to folio size; MS, t.-p. and introductory note.
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Percy Society Publications &c.,
  • The Historical Songs of Ireland, illustrative of the revolutionary struggle between James II and William III, edited, with introductory notes, by T. Crofton Croker [Percy Soc.: Early English poetry, ballads, and popular literature of the Middle ages, Vol. I] (London: Printed for the Percy Society, by C. Richards, St. Martin’s Lane MDCCCXLI [1841]), viii, 139pp. [Advertisement dated 26th January, Rosamund’s Bower, Fulham.] Contents: Lilleburlero; The Reading Skirmish; King James’s Welcome to Ireland; Undaunted Londonderry; The Protestant Commander; The Boyne Water; The Death of the Duke of Schomberg; The Woman Warrior; The Conquest of Ireland [in French]; The Stout Inniskillin Man; The Treaty of Limerick; It was a’ for our Rightfu’ King; The Jacks put to Their Trumps [each with Intro., ballad, and notes] .
  • ed., A Pastoral in Imitation of the First Eclogue of Virgil [encomium of Fellows of TCD first pub. Dublin 1719] (London: Percy Soc. 1842);
  • ed. Autobiography of Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick, with introduction and notes, by T. C. Croker [Early English Poetry, &c. Vol. 22] (London: Percy Society 1842), 8°;
  • ed., Beleeve as You List: A Tragedy written by P. Massinger / Now first printed ... edited by T. Crofton Croker [ Early English poetry &c., Vol. 27] (London: Percy Society 1849), xiv, 108pp., 8o/20cm.;
  • Remarks on an Article Inserted in the Papers of the Shakespeare Society [London, 1849], 15pp. [“Statement made to the Council of the Percy Society, 5th April, 1849 ... [concerning] Massinger’s play of Believe as You List”, signed by Croker];
  • A Kerry Pastoral [reprinted for Percy Soc.] (London: T. Richards 1843);
  • The Keen of the South of Ireland [printed for Percy Soc.] (London: T. Richards 1844);
  • Popular Songs Illustrative of the French Invasions of Ireland, edited, with introductions and notes, by Crofton Croker [rep. for the Percy Soc. [in] Early English Poetry, Ballads, and Popular Literature of the Middle Ages [bound ser]., Vol. XXI; (London: T. Richards for the Percy Society 1845-47), in 4 pts., 8°/18cm. [Pt. I: Genuine and curious memoirs of the famous Captain Thurot, [b]y John Francis Durand; Pt. II: “The Siege of Carrickfergus”, pp.10-13; “Thurot’s Dream”, pp.17-19; “The Capture of Carrickfergus [by Thurot in 1760]”, pp.20-23; Pt. III-IV: The Bantry bay and Killala invasions];
  • Britannia’s Pastorals. A third book. Now first edited from the original manuscript preserved in the library of Salisbury Cathedral, [ed.] by T. Crofton Croker [Early English Poetry, Vol. 30] (London: Percy Society 1852), ii, 50pp. 8°.
  • Recollections of old Christmas: a masque. Performed at Grimston, Tuesday 24th Dec. 1850 ([n.p. [Tadcaster?] 1850], 22, ix, [1]pp., ill., 22cm. [Masque written at the request of Lady Londesborough, with index to references and meanings of old words; bookplate of Edward Hailstone in copy at York Minster; other copies at Glasgow UL, British Library, Leeds UL, Manchester UL, and Chetham’s Library (Manchester)];
  • Catalogue of a Collection of ancient & mediaeval rings and personal ornaments formed for Lady Londesborough [with Prefatory letter signed T. Crofton Croker] ([London: Richards], printed for private reference, 1853), viii, 88pp., ill. [2 folded pls.], 26cm.

Note: Popular Songs [...] &c. (London: T. Richards 1845-47), in 4 Parts: Pt.II: “The Siege of Carrickfergus”, pp.10-13; “Thurot’s Dream”, pp.17-19; “The Capture of Carrickfergus [by Thurot in 1760]“, pp.20-23; Pt. III: “Bantry Bay ”; Pt. IV: “Killala Invasion”];

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  • The Queen’s Question Queried. A Pedantless, Philippic Production. By an Irish Barrister at Law [i.e. T. Croften Croker]. 88th edition (London: William Wright 1820), 36pp., 8° [no other edns. known; re. Queen Caroline, consort of George IV].
    We Met and We Parted: A Ballad Dedicated to Miss D’Olier, the words by T. Crofton Croker; the music by Alex. D. Roche (London: J[ames] Power [1822]), 5pp., score, 35mm.
  • Oh! Twine Me a Bower: Ballad, sung by Miss Roche, at the Melodists’ Annual Concert, written by Thos. Crofton Croker Esq.; composed and dedicated to Mrs. Samuel Carter Hall, by Alex. D. Roche (London: Published by J. Power [1827]), mus. [1 score, pp.3-7], 33cm. [for voice & piano]; Do. [?another edn.] (London: Burleigh 1837), mus. [1 score], f.7-3, 36cm.; caption title. A Vision of the Prior’s Bank: a Christmas Revel, Enacted at Fulham [by T.C. Croker ([London] 1839), 23cm. [2 copies of which the second lacks final leaf but with notices of The grand tournament [and] Order of the procession of supper; held in Oxford UL].
  • A Walk from London to Fulham, revised and edited with a memoir of the author by T. F. D. Croker, with add. illustrations by F. W. Fairholt (London: W. Tegg 1860), 159pp., 8° [ TCD Lib. Fag F.14.25]; Do. [another edn.] Enlarged and in many places rewritten, by B. E. Horne (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co. 1896), vii. 327pp.; Do. [another edn.; facs. rep. of 1860 1st Edn.; Boethius, 5, 3] (Clifden, Co. Kilkenny: Boethius Press 1984), [6], 256, [10]pp., ill., 21.1cm. [see Guildhall Cat., supra]; and Do. [3 microfiches] (Chadwyck-Healey 1991).
  • Robert Day & W.A. Copinger, eds., The Ancient and Present State of the City of Cork: containing a natural, civil, ecclesiastical, historical and topographical description therof / by Charles Smith; reprinted by the “Cork Historical and Archaeological Society”;, with the addition of numerous original notes, &c., from the MSS. of the late Thomas Crofton Croker and Richard Caulfield, 2 vols. (Cork: Guy 1893), 25cm.
  • contr. “The Three Advices” to Too Late; and Other Interesting Stories [... &c.] [1867.] 8° [BL] .
See also ...
  • Specimen of the Catalogue of the Great Sale at Gooseberry Hall, with puffatory remarks ([London]: T. and W. Boone [1842]), xvpp., ill., 25cm. [satire on Walpole’s Catalogue of the classic contents of Strawberry Hill, referenced by T.C. Croker, cf. Notes and queries, Ser. 10, Vol. 12, p.217; but vide Catalogue .. 1854, infra];
  • Catalogue of the Greater Part of the Library of the late Thomas Crofton Croker ... which will be sold by auction ... December 18th, 1854 ([London: Puttick & Simpson 1854]), 55pp., 8°.
  • Catalogue of a Highly Valuable and Important Collection of Antiquities, formed by the late Thomas Crofton Croker ... which will be sold by auction ... December 21st, 1854, &c. ([London: James Fell Puttick & William Simpson 1854]), 38pp., 8°.
  • Edmund Curtis, ed., ‘The unpublished letters of T. Crofton Croker’, in Irish Book Lover, 28 (1941) pp.6–12, 27–33.

Also, ed., with intro., Murroghoh [viz., Murrough] O’Connor, A Kerry pastoral in imitation of the first eclogue of Virgil [Early English Poetry, Vol. 7] (London: Percy Society 1842), 8º

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Bibliographical details
/ in the / South of Ireland / Illustrative of / the Scenery, Architectural Remains, and the Manners / and Superstitions of the Peasantry / with
/ An Appendix / containing / A Private Narrative of the Rebellion of 1798 (London: John Murray, Albemarle St. MDCCCXXIV [1824]), 393pp. [printed by C. Roworth, London]. Advertisement [i.e., preface]. Chaps.: 1. History and National Character [1]; II. Scenery and Travel [18]; III. Limerick [37]; IV. Kilmallock [61]; V. Fairies and Supernatural Agency [78]; VI. Charleville, Doneraile, and Buttevant [100]; VII. The Blackwater River [119]; VIII. Youghall [143]; IX. Keens and Death Ceremonies [166]; X. Cork [185]; XI. Cork Harbour [207]; Manner and Customs [220]; Cloyne [238]; Architecture and Ancient Buildings [259]; XV. The River Lee [274]; XVI. Blarney [291]; XVII. Mines and Minerals [310]; XVIII. Literature [325]. Ills. [set forth in] Directions to Printer [and chiefly accredited to Miss Nicholson and Alfred Nicholson in the Advertisement]: Round Tower at Cloyne, Co. Cork, to face Title; Cascade at Powerscourt [37]; Limerick [55]; Carrigogunnel Castle [58]; The North Gate at Kilmallock [61]; Kilmallock [63]; Kilmallock (Figures on Verdon Tomb and Ground Plan) [65]; Kilcolman (The Residence of Spencer [sic]) [109]; Buttevant Abbey [113]; Ollistrum’s March, with the movements as played in the South of Ireland on the pipes (score) [incls. Lamentations of the Munster Women; Chimes or Bells; Long Dance [116]; Lismore [125]; Castle Rown Roche [145]; Mallow [141]; Ardmore, County Waterford [161]; Druidical Altar, Castle Mary [i.e., dolmen 254]; Carrincurra Castle [284]. Errata - for are read is [130]; for Hibernia read Hibernica [211]; for chyphers read cyphers [135]; for oceana read ocean [179]; for Senant read Senan [189]; for Milliken read Millikin [307]; for at Boyne read at the Boyne [341]. (See Researches, [... &c.; rep. edn.] intro. by Kevin Danaher (See full text version, attached.)

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Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (Edns. of 1825, 1826, 1834, &c.)
  • [as anon.] Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (London: John Murray 1825), ill. [by Croker, and Alfred & Marianne Nicholson; contains The Shefro; The Cluricaune; The Banshee; The Phooka; Tierna na Og.]; Do. [2nd edition] (London: John Murray 1826), 326p., ill. [with add. letter from Sir Walter Scott prefaced].
  • FAIRY LEGENDS / and / TRADITIONS / of the / SOUTH OF IRELAND / Part II (London: John Murray MDCCCXXVIII [1828]), v-x [Preface, ‘In redeeming ...’], 327pp.; Ded.: “To Sir Walter Scott, Bart., This Volume is Inscribed, in Admiration of his Genius, and Gratitude for his Kindness, by T. Crofton Croker.” T.p. engraving of fairies on vine sprig; printed by Thomas Davison, Whitefrairs, London [t.p. verso]; The Etchings by, and Wood engravings after the drawings of W. H. Brooke, F.S.A. [ded. verso]. (For table of contents - as attached; for Preface, see under Quotations, infra.]
    Fairy Legends / and / Traditions / of the / South of Ireland. / The new series. / Two volumes in one / Embellished with numerous engravings, and wood cuts, from designs by [W. H.] Brooke. [Murray’s Family Library, No. 47; abridged edn.; on front boards] (London: Printed for John Murray M DCCC XXVIII. [1828]), [Vol. 1:] xii , 326, [Vol 2:], xxxii, 300pp., ill. Contents. Vol. I: The merrow. The dullahan. The fir-darrig. Treasure legends. Rocks and stones. Vol. II: Translation of the Brothers Grimm’s essay. The Mabinogion and fairy legends of Wales; Additional Notes on the Irish Legends in the First Volume by the Brothers Grimm (pp.295-300). [18cm.; printed by Thomas Davidson - at foot of p.300 (final page) following The End.].
  • Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland [2 vols. in 1] (London: John Murray MDCCCXXXIV [1834]), v-vi [Preface], 344pp. [anon. but with ded. verses to Dowager Lady Chatterton [of] Castle Mahon. signed in autograph-style: T. Crofton Croker; printed by A[ndrew] Spottiswoode, London.] (See contents & extracts, attached.)
  • Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland / Second Edition / Two volumes in One (London: John Murray, Albemerle Street; and Thomas Tegg & Son, Cheapside. MDCCCXXXVIII [1838]), viii [Preface, [iii]-iv; Contents, v-vi], 344pp. Epigraph [t.p. verso]: ‘Come l’ araba Fenice / Che si cia, ognun lo dice; / Dove sia, nessun lo-sa.’ - Metastasio; Ded. verses to Dowager Lady Chatterton [of] Castle Mahon. signed in autograph-style: T. Crofton Croker [vii]; concluding verses [p.341], with a letter from Sir Walter Scott as Appendix, pp.342-44; printed by Bradbury & Evans, Whitefriars [London] - t.p. verso. (The Contents are identical to those of 1834 edition above - as attached; only varying in pagination of the Preface.)
  • Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland [another edn.], by T. Crofton Croker, with a short memoir by his son (London: W. Tegg & Co. 1859), xii, vi, 344pp.; Do. [another edn.], 1862), xxx, 366pp., ill. [1 lf.], 20cm. [pref. dated 1862];
  • Do., as Fairy Legends [...], A New and Complete Edition, edited by T[homas] Wright, M.A. With a memoir of the author by his son, T. F. Dillon Croker, F.S.A. (London W. Tegg [1869?] [1870] [1871], 1882), xxxiv, 486pp., ill. [by Maclise and Green], mus., 352pp., 8°
  • Do., as Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland [The Illustrated Library of The Fairy Tales of All Nations ser.] (London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co. [1886?]) [see details];
  • Do. [7th edn.] ([London]: Swan Sonnenschein 1906), 352pp., ill. 19cm.;
  • Do. as Fairy Legends of Ireland, New and Complete Edition [ed.] by T. Wright, with illustrations by Maclise and Green [8th edn.] (London: George Allen 1912), 352pp., ill., 19cm. [Cover and spine title and half-title: Fairy Legends of Ireland. Running title: Irish fairy legends];
  • Do. [facs. rep. in 1 vol. with var. pagings, being a rep. of 3-vol. orig. of 1825-28] (NY: Lemma Pub. Corp., 1971) [16 x 24cm];
  • Do. [facs. rep.], intro. & annot. by Neil C. Hultin & Warren U. Ober [Scholars’ facsimiles & reprints, Vol. 380] (NY: Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints 1983), x, 398pp [rep. of Pt. 1, 1825 1st Edn.].,
  • Do. [facs. rep.], [with a] new introduction by Francesca Diano (London: Collins 1998), xxx, 393pp.;
  • Do. [trans. as] Síobhra na mbeann is na ngleann, Brighid Ní Loingsigh d’aistrigh (Baile Átha Cliath: Oifig an tSoláthair 1939), 115pp. 8°. [For full listing, see attached.]

Note: Do., rep. in Legends and Tales of Ireland (London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, &c. 1879, 1900), rep. as Ireland: Myths and Legends [facs.] (London: Senate 1995, 1988), 436pp., pp.270-36. [Another facs. edition by Bracken, 1987 [details under Samuel Lover, infra.]

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Legends of the Lakes, or Sayings and Doings at Killarney, collected chiefly from manuscripts of R. Adolphus Lynch, Esq. H.P. King’s German Legion 2 vols. (London: Ebers & Co. 1829), [3rd edition] (London: Henry G. Bohn, York Street Covent Garden 1853), xvi, 294pp., ill. [by engravings by L. & E. Byrne after Alfred Nicholson and Mrs Crofton Croker.] This edition is styled ‘a condensation and popularisation of Legends of the lakes; or Sayings and doings of Killarney’ in Adverts., p.iii];

Contents: Verse Letter of Introduction, v-viii; Contents, ix-xiii; Topographical Index, xiv-vi; Chaps.: The Inn; The Embarkation; The Excursion, The Island, The Abbey, The Waterfall, Aghadoe, The Gap, The Upper Lake, The Descent, The Middle Lake, Mangerton, The Stag Hunt, The Lake of Killeran, Ahahunnig, Loch Kittane, Philadown, A Night in the Glens [see extract], The Return, The Departure... &c; pls. incl. In the Gap of Dunlow; available at Google Books online - and note, botched pagination and misordered pages, c.257ff - with the header of Chap. IXX (The Return) running on in Chap. XX (The Departure)]; Note also directions to the binder: Music plates numbered 1, 2, 3, 4,5, and 6, to be placed between pages 230 and 231.

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FAIRY LEGENDS [as scripted font on bias beneath ill.forming top of t.p. border] and Traditions of the South of Ireland by T. Crofton Croker, Esq. A new and Complete Edition by T. Wright, Esq. M.A. F.S.A., &c. with illustrations by Maclise and Green. W. Swan Sonnenschein & Co. [T.p. facing: The Illustrated Library of The Fairy Tales of All Nations - choicely illustrated, printed and bound. Series I. Original Farily Tales my Native Authors [Scandanavian; Germany; new Arabian Nights; Finland]; Series 2 [Folk Tales from the Mouth of the People [Spain; Scandanavian; American; Ireland; Lancashire; Portugal; Brittany; others in preparation]; Extra Series [in prep.] Old Norse Sagas; Popular Books; Flower Lore; Gesta Romanorum; Wonder World [Tales of Enchantment from all Lands] W. Swan Sonnenschein & Co. Paternoster Row. [Small caps used ad lib.; see facs. infra.]

Croker, Fairy Legends (London: Sonnenschein) [7th Edn.]
Croker, Fairy Legends (1906)
Croker, Fairy Legends (1906)
[ images supplied by Síle Harrington ]
Note: The inscription on the half-title page reads Geraldine Penrose-Fitzgerald 1886; copy was purchased in Mercier’s bookshop, Cork, in 1969 [information of Síle Harrington.]

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MS material ...
Poems [.. &c.] (Cork 1815), [20] lvs. [8 blank], 20cm. - a book of poems hand-written and illustrated with hand-drawn vignettes by the author, in octavo notebook; watermarked with fleur-de-lis arms and the initials J.R.; original marbled wrappers bound in; front free endpaper with pencilled inscription: From S.J.B. 1882-iv-11; Bound in 19th century green morocco with a plain gold tooled fillet and the cartouche arms of Robert Day stamped in gold on the upper cover; marbled endpapers; with engraved armorial bookplate of Robert Day; signed; W.S. f[eci]t 1894; bookseller’s ticket: Chas. J. Sawyer Ltd. ... 93 New Oxford-st. London. [Sole copy held in V&A Libraries.]

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  • T. F. Dillon Croker, memoir of T. C. Croker, in Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland[rep. edn.] (London: William Tegg, 1862);
  • B[ridget] G. MacCarthy, ‘Thomas Crofton Croker 1798-1854’, in Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, 32 (Dec. 1943), pp.539-56;
  • John Hennig, ‘The Brothers Grimm and T. C. Croker’, in The Modern Language Review, 41, 1 (January 1946) pp.44–54 [see extract];
  • Richard M. Dorson, ‘The First Group of British Folklorists’, in The Journal of American Folklore, 68, 267 (Jan.-March 1955), pp.1–8;
  • R. O’Donnell & B. Reece, ‘A Clean B[r]east: Crofton Croker’s Fairy Tale of General Holt’, in Eighteenth-Century Ireland, 7 (1992) pp.7–42.
  • Heinz Kosok, ‘Thomas Crofton Croker’s Fairy Legends: A Revaluation’, in ABEI Journal: The Brazilian Journal of Irish Studies, 3 ([Sao Paolo] June 2001), pp.51-62.
  • W. J. McCormack, The Dictionary of National Biography (OUP 2004).
See also references in
  • Russell Alspach, Irish Poetry From the Invasion to 1798 (Phil: Pennsylvania UP 1959), passim; Robert Welch, A History of Verse Translation from the Irish, 1789-1897 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1988); Mary Helen Thuente, W. B. Yeats and Irish Folklore (1980), and Heinz Kosok, Explorations of Irish Literature (Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier 2008) - et al.

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James Hardiman in Irish Minstrelsy (1831; IUP rep. edn. 1971): ‘Our patriotic countryman, T. Crofton Croker, Esq., is now engaged on the subject of Anglo-Irish song. He will separate the ore from the dross; and rom his talents and research, much may be expected in this department of national literature. [lxxvii, ftn.]

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Sylvester Mahony [“Father Prout”] cites Croker at the outset of his columns in Fraser’s Magazine: ‘During my short stay at Watergrasshill, a wild and romantic district of which every brake and fell,every bog and quagmire, is well known to Crofton Croker - for it is the very Arcadia of his fictions, I formed an intimacy with this Father Andrew Prout [..., &c.’; quoted in Benedict Kiely, ‘Irish Potato and Attic Salt’, ‘A Raid into Dark Corners and Other Essays, Cork UP 1999, pp. 66-78, p.70.)

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T. F. D. Croker, “Memoir”, prefixed to Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (1859 Edn.) [pv.-xii - commencing]: ‘The late eminent genealogist, Sir W. Betham of Dublin, Ulster King-at-Arms, well known as the author of numerous works on the Antiquities of Ireland, and Mr. Richard Sainthill, an equally zealous antiquariay still living in Cork, were to of the most intimate friends and correspondents of the author of the present volume. / The first-named gentleman drew up an elaborate table tracing the Croker pedigree as far back as the battle of Agincourt. The Croker crest - “Deus alit eos” - was granted to Sir John Croker, who accompanied Edward IV on his expedition to France in 1475, as cup and standard bearer; but without going back to the original generation, or tracing the Limerick or any other branch of the family, it will be sufficient to say here that the Crokers, if they did not “come over with William the Conqueror” came originally from Devonshire, and settled in Ireland in the reign of Elizabeth. Thomas Crofton Croker was the only son of Thomas Croker, who, after twenty-five years of arduous and faithful military service in North America, Holland, and Ireland, and after having purchased every step in the army, was gazetted brevet-major on 11th May, 1802, in the same regiment which he had at first joined (the 38th, or 1st Staffordshire Foot) ... Thomas Croker was the eldest son of Richard Crvoker, of Mount Long in the county of Tipperary, who died on the 1st January 1771; and his mother was Anne, the daughter of James Long of Dublin, by the Honourable Mary Butler, daughter of Theobald the seventh Earl of Cahir. ...’ The Memoir includes a list of Croker’s publications - viz., The Christmas Box [Scott, Lockhart, Ainsworth, Maria Edgeworth and Miss Mitford, et. al.; publ. by Ainsworth, 1828-29]; Legends of the Lakes, or Sayings and Doings at Killarney, collected chiefly from the Manuscripts of R. Adolphus Lynch, Esq., H.P., King’s German Legion, with illustrations by Maclise (Ebers 1829; 2nd edn. in 1 vol., Fisher 1831); contrib. to Gentleman’s Magazine and Fraser’s Magazine from 1831; steward at dinner for Hogg the Ettrick Shepard, 1832; Landscape Illustrations to Moore’s Irish Melodies with Comments for the Curious (Power 1835; only one number); A Memoir of Joseph Holt, General to the Irish Rebels in 1798. From Holt’s Autobiographical MS in the possession of Sir W[illiam] Betham [... &c.] (Colburn 1837); The Journal of a Tour in Ireland in 1644 translated from the French of M. de la Boullaye le Gouz, assisted by J. Roche, Father Prout, Thomas Wright, and Mrs. Crofton Croker (Boone 1837), ded. to Disraeli [”much attention and kindness received many years ago ...”]; The Popular Songs of Ireland (Colburn 1839); A Description of Rosamund’s Bower, Fulham

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H. Halliday Sparling, ed., Irish Minstrelsy: Being a selection of Irish Songs, Lyrics, and Ballads (London: Walter Scott 1888): ‘His knowledge of history was more than equalled by misapplication of its meaning, and Popular Songs of Ireland gave to the world the thought and feeling of a class as that of a nation, and seemed for ever to confirm the slander that Irish songs were “either pure English, or mere gibberish”.’ [Introduction, xvii.]

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W. B. Yeats, Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (London: Walter Scott 1888), Introduction: ‘Croker and Lover, full of the ideas of harum-scarum Irish gentility, saw everything humorised. The impulse of the Irish literature of their time came from a class that did not - mainly for political reasons - take the populace seriously, and imagined the country as a humorist’s Arcadia; its passion, its gloom, its tragedy, they knew nothing of. What they did was not wholly false; they merely magnified an irresponsible type, found oftenest among boatmen, carmen, and gentlemen’s servants, into the type of a whole nation, and created the stage Irishman. The writers of ’forty-eight, and the famine combined, burst their bubble. Their work had the dash as well as the shallowness of an ascendant and idle class, and in Croker is touched everywhere with beauty - a gentle Arcadian beauty.’ (p.xv; goes on to compare Carleton, et al.)

Note: Yeats included the following stories from Croker’s Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (1825-26; 1828, &c.) in his own folklore compilation, Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (1888):

    —“The Priest’s Supper”


    —“The Legend of Knockgrafton”


    —“The Brewery of Egg-shells”


    —“The Soul Cages”


    —“Flory Cantillon’s Funeral”


    —“Master and Man”


    —“Daniel O’Rourke”


    —“The Banshee of the MacCarthys”


    —“The Confessions of Tom Bourke”


    —“The Legend of O’Donoghue”


    —“The Story of the Little Bird”


    —“The Giant’s Stairs”



[ The story-titles below are given in actual sequence but do not run continuously in Yeats’s volume - being interspersed with prose and verse from other sources. The initial page number of each listed here provides a link to full-text in the Ricorso “Irish Classic” Library. ]

Note also that Yeats selects “The Soul Cages”, which is excluded from Croker’s 1-volume edition of 1828 and subsequent editions, suggesting that his own copy was the 1826 complete stories in 2 vols. [i.e., 3 vols. in 2] which was subsequently abbreviated b y the omission of all the Welsh material [i.e., Vol. 3] and selected Irish stories.

For the table of contents and a full-text version of Fairy and Folk Tales [... &c.], go to RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics > W. B. Yeats” - via index, or direct.


See also a condensed listing of the contents of Yeats’s compilation under Yeats, Works, infra.

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W. B. Yeats, Representative Irish Tales (1891): ‘Crofton Croker, the historian of the fairies and an accomplished master of this kind of poetry, was much more palpably injured than was Lover by his narrow conception of Irish life. He had to deal with materials dug out of the very soul of the [26] populace. You feel the falsity at once. The people take the fairies and spirits much more seriously. Under his hands the great kingdom of the sidhe lost its nobility and splendour. “The gods of the earth” dwindled to dancing mannikins - buffoons of the darkness. The slighter matters of other-world life - the humour, the pathos - fared better. “The Priest’s Supper” and “Daniel O’Rourke” deserve to be immortal. I was unfortunately prevented by the plan of these volumes - a plan that does not allow me to stray from Irish human nature to Irish fairy nature - from including either, but I have substituted a fine conversation with an Irish “fairy doctor”, or village seer.’ (Facs. Edn., ed. Mary Helen Thuente, Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1979, pp.26-27; see copy in RICORSO Library, via index or direct.)

Croker reproved: “Tir-na-n-óg,” Mr. Douglas Hyde writes, “The Country of the Young,” is the place where the Irish peasant will tell you geabhaedh tu an sonas aer pighin, ‘you will get happiness for a penny,’ so cheap and common it will be. It is sometimes, but not often, called Tir-na-hóige; the ‘Land of Youth.’ Crofton Croker writes it, Thierna-na-noge, which is an unfortunate mistake of his, Thierna meaning a lord, not a country. This unlucky blunder is, like many others of the same sort where Irish words are concerned, in danger of becoming stereotyped, as the name of Iona has been, from mere clerical carelessness.” (W. B. Yeats, sel. & ed., Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland, London NY: Walter Scott 1888, [Notes,] p.323; see full-text, attached, or read at Internet Archive - online.)

W. B. Yeats: ‘Croker was certainly no ideal collector. He alters his materials without word of warning, and could never resist the chance of turning some naïve fairy tale into a drunken peasant’s dream. With all his bouyant humour and imagination he was continually guilty of that great sin against art - the sin of rationalism.’ (Uncollected Prose, ed. John Frayne, p.187; quoted in Edward Hirsch, ‘“Contention Is Better Than Loneliness”: The Poet as Folklorist’, in The Genres of Irish Literary Revival, ed. Ronald Schleifer, Dublin: Wolfhound Press 1980, p.17). [See examples under St. Patrick, Commentary, infra.]

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Henry Morley [LLD; Prof. of English Univ. College, London], Introduction to Popular Songs of Ireland, collected by Thomas Crofton Croker [Morley’s Universal Library, No. 40] (London: Routledge 1886), pp.[5]-8, written commemoratively, relates that T. C. Croker was the son of Major Croker, counting among his friends John Wilson Croker of Galway (not a relative), who for more than twenty years, after 1809 was Sec. to the Admiralty; ‘John Wilson Croker’s Secretaryship of the Admiralty, however solved the material problem of life for his young friend [when] at the age of 21 Thomas Crofton Croker was made a junior clerk at the Admiralty and thenceforth proceeded to work his way up to the position of a first clerk with $800 a year’. Retired at the age of 52 on pension of $580 p.a. [... &c.]; d. Old Brompton; member of Hakluyt Soc., for publication of rare and Valuable Voyages, Travels, and Geog. Records, 1846.

John Hennig, ‘The Brothers Grimm and T. C. Croker’, in The Modern Language Review, 41, 1 (Jan., 1946), pp. pp.44-54 [available online; accessed 24.12.2011] - commencing: ‘The five biographical articles which have so far appeared on Thomas Crofton Croker are unanimous in regarding it as a conspicuous sign of the immediate success of his collection of Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (London, 1825) that within the year were translated by the brother Grimm. The relations between Croker and the Grimms, however, have never been studied in detail. I have reason to assume that none of those who wrote on Croker ever saw a copy of the original of the Grimms’ translation. In his address at the Annual Meeting of the Philological Society, Oxford, 1915, W. P. Ker did not even mention Irische Elfenmärchen. The only one who made any real contribution to the study of Croker’s relatins with the Grimms was T. F. Dillon Croker who in the second edition of his Memoir of his father, prefacing Wright’s edition of Fairy Legends (1862), published the leter which Wilhelm Grimm wrote on 29 July 1826 in reply to Croker’s letter of 16 June 1826. / The Fairy Legends were reviewed in the first issue of 1826 of the Göttingische Gelehrte Anžeigen (1, 6, 12 Jan. 1826). This anonymous review was by Wilhelm Grimm, in whose Kleinere Schriften (II, Berlin 1882) it was reprinted. Willhelm Grimm gives great praise to the external appearance of Croker’s collection; Brooke’s illustrations reminded him of Cruickeshank’s (sic). (A few years before, Cruikshank had illustrated Taylor’s edition of the Kinder-und Hausmärchen.) After comparing the Irish fairy legens to the Arabian Nights, Grimm continues: “Irlander werden die dargestellten Scene, einzelne Zuge, sprichwortliche Redensarten dem Volke sugehorige Scherze un Gleichnisse, unubersetzbare Bulls schneller [...]”’ (p.44.)

Note: As apart from the five articles he has in mind, Henning cites the entries on Croker in DNB, V (1908) based on Charles Read’s Cabinet of Irish Literature, III, 137ff, and D. McCarthy in Studies, XXXII, 1943, 539ff. He also cites Croker’s translation of the Grimms’ Einleitung and Notes, and speaks of a rep. edn. of Irische Elfenmärchen, ed. by Johannes Rutz which includes a short survey of the racial, geographical, spiritual and historical background of the fairy tales which he [Henning] calls ‘an interesting contribution to German Irelandkunde before it received its new political impulse.’

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Padraic Colum: Colum regarded the Croker poem, ‘There’s a dear little plant that grows in our isle, / ’Twas Saint Patrick himself, sure, that set it [...]’, to be found in Popular Songs of Ireland, as ranking among ‘the worst verse in the world.’ (Colum, A Treasury of Irish Folklore, 1954.)

B. G. McCarthy, ‘He belongs to a garrison as truly cut off from the real life of Ireland as if, in fact, they were enclosed within the Pale. It was scarcely to be hoped that people of the privileged class would question the system from which their privileges were derived or inquire into the fate of the submerged majority … But those who Croker labels “peasant” were not a separate social class. They were a separate people - the remnants of the natice Irish who had been reduced to the lowest social level and who differed from their alien ascendancy oppressors in rce, in language, in culture, in religion.’ (B. G. MacCarthy, ‘Thomas Crofton Croker’, in Studies, 32, 1943, pp.539-56; p.541; quoted in Eva Stoter, ‘Grimmeig Zeiten: The Influence of Lessing, Herder and the Grim/bm Brothers on the Nationalism of the Young Irelanders’ [Conference Paper], ‘Ideology and Ireland’, Galway 1996).

Francis Shaw, S.J., ‘The Irish Folklore Commission’, in Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, 33, 129 (March 1944), pp.30-36 [review of Seán Ó Suilleabháin, Handbook of Irish Folklore; Jeremiah Curtin, Irish Folk-tales, and Béaloideas (Vol XII)] ‘[...] We may go back to the year 1927 and cast a first glance behind. At the time it is hardly untrue to say that the rich mine of Irish oral tradition had scarcely been touched. Indeed a great, if not the greater, portion of the mine had been flooded by the rising waters of English language and influence. And even if the waters could have been pumped out, what was dead could not be brought to life. In the nineteenth century Irish folk tradition could provide a Crofton Croker with an amusing hobby and could serve to tickle the literary palate of the England of the [32] Georges.’ [Refs. B. G. McCarthy, 1943.] (Available at JSTOR - online; accessed 17.01.2012.]

Claire Connolly, ‘Irish Romanticism, 1800-1839’, in Cambridge History of Irish Literature (Cambridge UP 2006), Vol. I [Chap. 10]: ‘Croker borrowed extensively from the antiquarian researches of the Cork poet Jermemiah Joseph Callanan. Callanan and Croker corresponded, with the younger poet seeking payment for material he had collected in Cork and Kerry. Corker wa also involved with the Grimm borhters; in his chapter on “Fairies and Supernatural Agency”, Croker compares “the fairies of Ireland” to “the elves of Northern Europe”.’ (Researches in the South of Ireland, London 1824, p.78; Connolly, p.427.)

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Researches in the South of Ireland (1824): ‘The rough and honest independence of the English cottager speaks the freedom he has so long enjoyed, and when really injured his appeal to the laws for redress and protection marks their impartial and just administration: the witty servillity of the Irish peasantry, mingled with occasional bursts of desperation and revenge - the devoted yet visionary patriotism - the romantic sense of honour, and improvident yet unalterable attachments, are evidence of a conquest without system, an irregular government, and the remains of feudal clanship, the barbarous and arbitrary organisation of a warlike people. (Quoted on Conrad Bladey’, Irish Potato Famine Commemoration Page [online; accessed March 1997; defunct. 12.11.2010].

Researches in the South of Ireland (1824) - cont: ‘[...] Crossing the Ballyhoura mountains towards Doneraile, the huts of the peasantry had so cheerless and deplorable an aspect as to awaken a thousand painful ideas. In the smoke and dirt of an Irish cabin, there is a great and positive want of comfort; yet, on observing the neglected means by which the labouring classes might improve their condition, it would almost lead to the belief that they {102} are happier in their own way than they could be made by any innovation. Much censure has been thrown upon absentee landholders, whom I will not vindicate; but there seems to be an inherent spirit of indolence and obstinacy in the lower order of Irish, which even the presence of their lord would with difficulty overcome, that thus enables them to live without any apparent notion of comfort or even common decency. They seem indeed to feel some degree of pride in being destitute of wants, and evidently prefer the exclusion of light from their dwellings. When a window of a foot square has been made by their landlord, they usually close it up with turf, boards, or rags, leaving perhaps a strip of an inch broad; in many instances it is closed entirely, and the only light admitted is by the door, to which the women bring their needle work or spinning, on rare occasions of industry when they can forsake the fascinating smoke of their turf fires. They are consequently exposed to the weather, and have to rise whenever any inmate requires to pass, or when the pig (who considers himself lord of the mansion) chooses to alter his position; but “it just does well enough sure - it answered our fathers before us why.” They will even defend the filthy practice of having these animals constantly in their dwellings. I recollect once trying to convince a man that he might with very little trouble improve the state of his cabin, by building a shed for his pig and banishing him the chimney corner; but he coolly answered, “Sure then and who has a better right to be in it? Isn’t he the man of the house? and isn’t it he that will pay the rent?” ’ (pp.102-03 [chap. VI].)

[ For longer quotations from Research in the South of Ireland - including some dealing with fairy-lore (incl. ‘changelings’), see attached - or go to the full-text version in RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics”, via index, or direct. ]

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Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, Pt. II (1828), Introduction: ‘The collection of Welsh legends which appears in this volume [i.e., Vol. 3 of Fairy Legends, 1828] will, I doubt not, prove acceptable to you, as from their similarity with those current in other countries, they afford additional proof that the fairy creed must have been a completed and connected system. I have taken some pains to seek after stories of the elves in England; but I find that the belief has nearly disappeared, and in another century no traces of English faries will remain, except those which exist in the works of Shakespear [sic], Herrick, Drayton, and Bishop Corbet.’ ( p.v; quoted in Eva Stoter, ‘Grimmeig Zeiten: The Influence of Lessing, Herder and the Grimm Brothers on the Nationalism of the Young Irelanders’ [Conference Paper], ‘Ideology and Ireland’, Galway 1996).

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Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, Pt. II (1828) - Croker expressed the belief that that ‘the delusions of Irish folklore among the peasantry retarded the progress of their civilisation.’ (Fairy Legends, Vol II, p.vii; cited in Mary Helen Thuente, W. B. Yeats and Irish Folklore, 1980, p.65.) [See Preface, as seq.]

Preface to Fairy Legends [... &c.] Part II (1828): ‘In redeeming a promise made in the preface to the second edition of the Fair Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, and placing before the public a second part o fthe same work, I trust that the indulgence which the former volume has experienced will be extended to the present collection.
 The literary intercourse of European nations is now so great, and translation so common, that a writer has in general but little reason to plume himself on his work having appeared in French or German Dress. But the character of the translator may confer value on that otherwise indifferent circumstance; and I cannot but feel and express a considerable degree of satisfaction at observing my former volume translated into German by [v] such eminent scholars ad the brothers Grimm, whose friendship and valuable correspondence it has also procured me. Their version, which I had not seen when the second edition appeared, is, as might be expected, faithful and spirited; and to it they have prefixed a most learned and valuable introduction respecting fairy superstitioin in general.
 “Whoever,” says Dr. Grimm, in the preface to the German translation, “has a relish for innocent and simply poetry, will feel attracted to these tales. They possess a peculiar flavour which is not without its charms, and they come to us from a country of which we are in general reminded in but few, and those not very pleasant relations. It is, moreover, inhabited by a people whose antiquity and early civilization is attested by history; and who, as they in part still speak their own language, must retain living traves of their former times, to show which the belief in supernatural beings here exhibited yields, perhaps, one of the best examples.”
 The following extracts from the public prints are evidences of the popular superstition of Ireland, and are in themselves to remarkable [vi] to be omitted in a work professing to illustrate the subject. Deeply as I lament such delusion should exist, these facts will sufficiently prove that I have not (as has been insinuated) conjured up forgotten tales, or attempted to perpetuate a creed which had disappeared. On the contrary, my aim has been to bring the twilight tales of the peasantry before the view of the philosopher; as, if suffered to remain unnotived, the latent belief in them may long have lingered among the inhabitants of the wild mountain and lonesome glen, to retard the progress of their civilization.’

[Here Croker quotes a newspaper report of a case of Child Murder from Tralee Assizes, July 1826, given in the Morning Post [n.d.], concerning one Anne Roche, ‘an old woman of very advanced age, indicted for the murder of Michael Leahy, a young child, by drowning in the Fleask’ characterised as ‘a homicide committed under the delusion of the grossest superstition’ inasmuch as the child, though four, ‘could neither stand, walk, or speak - it was thought to be fairy-struck’ - [... vii] and that ‘it was not done with intent to kill the child but to cure it - to put the fairy out of it.’’

[A verdict of “Not Guilty” was returned under the instructions of Baron Pennefather, the judge in the case. Croker now adds a second case:]

‘An inquest was held on Saturday last, on the body of a man of the name of Connor, a schoolmaster, in the neighbourhood of Castle Nenor, county of Sligo. This unfortunate man had expressed his determination to read his recantation on the following Sunday, notwithstanding all the efforts of his friends to deissuage him; they succeeded in enticing him into a house, where he was found suspended from the ceiling. A verdict of Wilful Murder against persons unknown [viii] was found at the inquest, and warrants were issued against his own father and two of his cousins on suspicion of having perpetrated the deed. These persons endeavoured to circulate a report that he had been hanged by the fairies. It appeared on the inquest of that those persons, who were the first to give the alarm, had passed by some houses in the immediate vicinity of the house where the body was found hanging.’ (Dublin Mail, 18th April, 1827; here pp.viii-ix.)
 It would be in the power of every one conversant with the manners of the country to produce instances of the undoubting belief in these superstitions, if not so formal and revolting as the foregoing, yet fully as convincing.
 Notwithstanding the collection of Irish legends, which I have formed in this and the former volume, the subject is far from being exhausted. But here, at least as relates to Ireland, I have determined to finish my task. A third or supplementary volume will, however, appear under the same title; and although forming a separate work on the fairy superstitions of Wales and other countries, it may be considered as illustrative of those current in Ireland. (p.ix.)
 In conclusion, I have to offer my very best acknowledgements for the many communications with which I have been favoured. To Mr. Lynch, in particular, my thanks are due for a manuscript collection of legends, from which those of “Diarmid Bawn, the Piper”, and “Rent Day” have been selected. The material assistance, however, derived from various sources will be evident, and these sources are so numerous as almost to preclude individual mention.’ (p.x.) [Engraved fig. of fairy flying with bluebell stem.]

Note: the last paragraph is omitted from the otherwise identical preface (though differently paginated) in the 1834 edition.

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Croker on the Irish language ...
Fairy Legends and Traditions in the South of Ireland, Pt. II (1828) - section notes relative to “The Soul Cages”

Dunbeg Bay is situated on the coast of the county Clare, and may be readily found on any map of Ireland. Corragh, or currugh, is a small boat used by the fishermen of that part, and is formed of cow hides, or pitched cloth, strained on a frame of wicker-work. The boldness and confidence of the navigators of these fragile vessels often surprises the stranger. By the Irish poets they are invariably termed broad-chested or strong-bowed corraghs; “Curraghaune aulin cleavorshin” as it is pronounced. It is carabus of the later Latin writers - thus described by Isidore: Carabus, parva scaphae ex vimine facta, quiae contexta crudo corio genus navigii praebet - Isodorus, Orig., l. xviii. c.1, It is also described in some pleasing verses by Festus Avienus [...]. (p.53.)


On the Irishisms used in the legend of “The Soul Cages”, a few words. Arrah is a common exclamation of surprise. It is correctly written ara, and, according to Dr. O’Brien, signifies a conference. A popular phrase is, “Arrah, come here now,” i.e.., come here and let us talk over the matter.

Duc an Durras, Anglicè, the stirrup cup, means literally the drink at the door; from Deoch, to drink, and Doras, or Durus, a door. In Devonshire and Cornwall, it is called Dash an Darrus, probably a corruption of the old Cornish expression.

Raparee was the name given to certain freebooters in the times of James and William. It is used in the story rather as a term of regard, as we sometimes employ the word rogue.

Thrie-na-helah may be translated by the English word topsy-turvey.

Pinkeen and sawneen are diminutives; the former of Penk or Pink, the name of the little fish more commonly called in England, Minnow.Sowkin is evidently a contradiction of Soulkin, the diminutive of soul. It answers to the German Seelchen, and is an old English expression, no longer, it is believed, to be met with in this country, but very common as a minor oath in Ireland. (p.57.)

By the Laws is, as is well known, a softening down of a very solemn asservation. If taken literally, people may fancy it an oath not very binding in the mouth of an Irishman, who is seldom distinguished by his profound veneration of the Statute Book. This, however, only proves that law and justice in Ireland were essentially different things; for Sir John Davies, himself a lawyer, remarked, long since, how fond the natives were of justice; and it is to be hoped that a regular and impartial administration will speedily impress them as synonyms on the minds of the Irish peasantry.
 Few need to be informed that the lower orders in Ireland; although their tone is different, speak the English language more grammatically than those of the same rank in England. The word yez, or yous affords an instance of their attention to etymology; for as they employ you in speaking of a single person, they naturally enough imagine that it should be employed in the plural when addressing more than one.
 “A hair of the dog that bit him,” is a common recommendation of an old toper to a young one, on the morning after a debauch.
 “Shall we pluck a hair of the same wolf today, Proctor John?” - Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair, Act I, Scene I.

(Fairy Legends [... &c.] , Pt. II (1826), pp.57-58; available at Google Books online.)
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The Confession of Tom Bourke”, in Fairy Legends [... &c.; (London: John Murray & Thomas Tegg 1838): ‘The term “fairy struck” is applied to paralytic affections, which are supposed to proceed from a blow given by the invisible hand of an offended fairy; this belief, of course, creates fairy doctors, who by means of charms and mysterious journeys profess to cure the afflicted. It is only fair to add, that the term has also a convivial acceptatiion, the fairies being not unfrequently made to bear the blame of the effects arising from too copious a sacrifice to the jolly god. / The importance attached to the manner and place of burial by the peasantry is almost incredible; it is always a matter of consideration and often of dispute whether to deceased shall be buried with his or her “own people”.’ (p.49, n.)

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A Night in the Glens”, in Legends of Killarney [... &c.] (?1831; 1853 Edn.): ‘[...] An Irishman may be said to love fighting well, whiskey better, and dancing best of all; indeed, his legs seem to move instinctively at the sound of the bagpipe; and hence it happened that the useless door was taken off its hinges, and placed in the middle of the floor, than Paddy Haly made a bow to Mary Dono9ghue, and, flinging off his brogues, called for a double jig, and began to caper away on the prostrate planks, making them rattle again with his thumbing, as he went through the various movements of a moneen jig - at the same time snapping his fingers, and uttering a joyous whoops.’ (p.235).

Jolly priests, in Legends of Killarney [... &c.] (?1831; 1853 Edn.): ‘“God be with you, Father Reilly,” exclaimed the doctor, as he passed one of these memento mori’s; “for you were as good and as gay a little fellow as ever stepped.” / Upon enquiry I found that Father Reilly, was one of those jolly, social, charitable, old, “butter-booted” priests, who were so different from the political, unsocial, jesuitical, sly, young, canting, soberly-clad priests of the present day, for which reason, I copied the inscription on his tomb.’ (p.248).

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The Irish Funeral Cry (the Ullaloo, Keeners and Keening at Irish Funerals)” [by q.auth.], in Dublin Penny Journal, [1, 31], 26 Jan. 1833): ‘[...] From Mr. T. Crofton Croker, we quote the following highly graphic account of the performance of a keener by profession of the present day: “Having a curiosity [...] to hear the keen more distinctly sung than over a corpse, when it is accompanied by a wild and inarticulate uproar as a chorus, I prevailed on an elderly woman who was renowned for her skill in keening, to recite for me some of these dirges. This woman, whose name was Harrington, led a wandering kind of life, travelling from cottage to cottage about the country, and though in fact subsisting on charity, found everywhere not merely a welcome, but had numerous invitations on account of the vast store of Irish verses she had collected and could repeat. Her memory was indeed extraordinary; and the clearness, quickness, and elegance with which she translated from the Irish into English, though unable to read or write, is almost incredible. Before she commenced repeating, she mumbled for a short time, probably the beginning of each stanza, to assure herself of the arrangement, with her eyes closed, rocking her body backwards and forward, as if keeping time to the measure of the verse, She then began in a kind of whining recitation, but as she proceeded, and as the composition required it, her voice assumed a variety of deep and fine tones, and the energy with which many passages were delivered, proved her perfect comprehension and strong feeling of the subject.” (Available at Library Ireland - online; accessed 05.09.2009.) See also remarks on Harrington/Hullachan under Yeats, Notes > Cathleen Ni Houlihan, infra.

Preface to Historical Songs of Ireland (Percy Soc. 1841): “There is an old adage, that “the least said is the soonest mended;” to the profound wisdom of which the Editor subscribes. Nevertheless, in editing the following songs, he has said a great deal more than is necessary, to recal to the reader’s mind the precise circumstances under which the songs, selected by him to illustrate an important page in the history of the British Isles, were written. He has been induced to pursue this course, and to deviate from the path which prudence dictated he should follow, by the strong light under which party feelings may regard even at the present moment some of the points touched upon in this Collection. The endeavour honestly to perform his duty as Editor, without reference to party objects, has perhaps led him into the error of minute contemporary illustration; which, if it should be so considered after thus explaining his motive, he trusts will be indulgently viewed by the members of the Percy Society. The Editor most gratefully acknowledges the assistance he has received from many kind friends, while passing this little publication through the press. / Rosamond’s Bower, Fulham, 26th January, 1841.” Note: the volume contains “Lilliburlero” and other songs of the James/William conflict in Ireland - viz., the ‘Revolution’ of the title.

Irish bulls: Among many annotations - mostly historical - Croker remarks on the language of “The Stout Inniskillin Man” - and specifically the line: ‘If a woeful sad ditty to know thou art willing, man, / Open they ears, joy, and then thou shalt see’: ‘A specimen of that figure of speech called a bull. To Irishmen speaking imperfectly the English language, may be ascribed the national reputation for blunders.’ (p.115, n.) See further notes under Sylvester O’Hanlon, Jonathan Swift, et al. (Cf. R. L. & Maria Edgworth’s Essay on Irish Bulls, 1802, under Maria Edgeworth, Quotations, as infra.

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On classical learning: ‘a tattered Ovid and Virgil may be found even in the hands of common labourers’ (Researches in the South of Ireland, 1824, p.326; Stanford, p.25.) Note also that the title was previously used by Sir Richard Cox in a work of 1689. (Quoted in W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition, IAP 1976; 1984.)

The hedge-school master: ‘In an evening assembly of village statesmen he holds the most distinguished place, from his historical information, pompous eloquence, and classical erudition. His principles [verge] closely indeed on the broadest republicanism; he delivers warm descriptions of the Grecian and Roman commonwealths; the ardent spirit of freedom and general equality of rights in former days - and then comes down to his country, which is always the ultimate political subject of discussion.’ (Researches &c., 1824, p.329-29.)

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Dedication Barney Mahoney (1832):
“To the Hon. Mrs. Caroline Norton”

LADY, think not, tho’ thou do’st brightly move
In fashion’s round, that I will ought relate
Of high life, like unto Moore’s “Summer Fête,"
Which he to thee inscribes, all dames above.
Nor is my tale made up of “lumps of love;"
Nor ground chivalric do I dare debate
With skilful James. Nor yet as vainly prate
Of deeds historic, flinging down the glove,
That all may judge between me, and Sir Walter!
Nor emulous of Bulwer, nor of Hook,
Do I adventure with my little book.
Nor of that quiet humourist, John Galt, or
A dozen more. - For lo! my scene I pitch in
Ude’s empire; region unexplored - the kitchen.

READER! if sound of hearty lung, or phthisical,
You smile, or cough, look gay, or grave, or rational;
Dwell City-wise - or think the world of fashion all,
And laugh at Cockney box on jaunty Chiswick mall;
Deem not my little book severe and quizzical,
Or that I rudely lay the sportive lash on all.
My novellette I hold to be quite national;
And, in its inward spirit, truly metaphysical.
From it my countrymen may draw a moral,
And see themselves, for they have small opacity;
Theirs is ambition - silver-tongued loquacity,
Empty profession; but, we shall not quarrel -
I do believe, with fault and folly teeming,
The Irish heart, when tried, will shine with bright redeeming.

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Note: Barney Mahoney (like Our Village) is said by T. F. D. Croker and others to be by Mrs. Croker and is produced here on account of the “Irish” literary discourse in use. (See also Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature, 1904 - as infra.) A full-text digital version of this novel has been included in the RICORSO Library of “Irish Classics” solely on account of its peculiar interest as an example of the negotiation of Irishness, regionality and dialect in an English metropolitan and, more broadly, imperial context as viewed from the a standpoint of the cultural and ideological perspective pertaining to the Crokers. Some commentary and notes arising from the editorial process have been added. See text attached, or proceed via Library > Irish Classics > Authors > index.

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Dictionary of National Biography, calls him a friend of Tom Moore to whom he sent reliques of Irish poetry; founder of Percy Society, 1840, and British Arch. Assoc., 1843; best known works, Fairly Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (1825), and Popular Songs of Ireland (1839).

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Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature (Washington: Catholic Univ. of America 1904), gives 10 extracts (pp. 680-738), incl. “The Confessions of Tom Bourke”; “The Soul Cages”; “The Haunted Cellar”; “Teigue of the Lee”; “Fairies or No Fairies?”; “Florry Cantillon’s funeral”; “The Banshee of the MacCarthys”; “The Brewery of Egg-Shells”; “The Story of the Little Bird” [recorded verbatim from an old woman at a holy well; printed in Amulet, 1827]; and verse, “The Lord of Dunkerron” [‘... O’Sullivan More / Why seeks he at midnight the sea-beaten shore ... loud, loud was the call of his serfs for their chief; / They sought him with accents of wailing and grief: / He heard, and he struggled - a wave to the shore / Exhausted and faint, bears O’Sullivan More!’ [end]. Notes that a poem translated from Irish appeared in The Morning Post, bringing him to the notice of Crabbe; supplied airs to Tom Moore, who acknowledged same; exhibited in Fine Art Exhibition, Cork 1817; also illustrations in The Literary Examiner, shortlived Cork periodical; his sketches of Sunday’s Well illustrated by verses by Father Prout [‘In yonder well there lurks a spell ... &c.’]; London, 1818; Fairy Legends trans. [by Brothers Grimm] as Irische Elf-Märchen.

Justin McCarthy, ed. Irish Literature (1904) - biographical notice, cont.: John Murray [his publisher] advised Croker to return to Ireland to ‘glean the remained of the fairy legends and traditions which he suspected were still to be found lurking among its glens ... making the most of my time hunting up and bagging all the old “gray superstitions” I could fall in with’; President of Soc. of Antiquaries in 1828; his wife wrote some stories appearing under his name (viz. “Barney Mahoney”, and “My Village versus Our Village”) [both 1832; cited as two very pop. humorous books, n.d., in DIW, and therein attributed as prob. by Mrs Hall]; fnd. member of Camden Society in 1839, and Percy Society in 1840; Historical Songs formed part of third year’s issue by the former; General Holt edited from MS in possession of Sir William Betham - see under Owen Connellan, supra]; contrib. 16 drawings to first volume of the Hall’s Ireland; edited an autobiography of Mary Countess of Warwick (1848); also a lost play supposed to be by Massinger (1849); retired 1850 with a pension; caught the very voice of the people ... &c., according to Yeats.

D. J. O’Donoghue, Poets of Ireland (Dublin: Hodges Figgis 1912), adds that only one copy of “History of Kilmallock” was printed, and this was given to Thomas Moore (see Moore’s letters to Dublin University Magazine, 1849, Vol. 2, p.213). Also cites a son, Thomas Francis Dillon Croker (1831-1912), who wrote poems for Mirth, [&] Sharpe’s London Magazine, and was known as an antiquarian.

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Robert Hogan, ed., Dictionary of Irish Literature (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1979), cites Researches &c (1824 [sic]) not admired but not greatly successful; Fairy Legends a popular success, bringing praise from Wilhelm Grimm, Maria Edgeworth, and Walter Scott (who described Croker as ‘little as a dwarf, keen-eyed as a hawk, and of easy, prepossessing manners, something like Tom Moore’). The stories are inhabited by Banshees, Merrows, Phooksas and Cluricaunes, taken from dictation and arranged in effective narrative structures. Yeats remarked that his work ‘caught the very choice of the people, the very pulse of life ... full of harum-scarum gentility, [he] saw everything humorised. His work is touched everywhere with beauty - a gentle Arcadian beauty’ [in Fairy & Folktales of the Irish Peasantry, 1888].

Brian McKenna, Irish Literature, 1800-1875: A Guide to Information Sources (Detroit: Gale Research Co. 1978), cites The Adventurers of Barney Mahoney (London 1832), and drama, Harlequin or Eagle, or the Man in the Moon and His Wife (Adelphi 1826); Daniel O’Rourke, or Rhymes of a Pantomime (1828); Recollections of Old Christmas, A Masque (1890); obituary in Gentleman’s Magazine, NS (1854), pp.397-401; ‘Unpublished Letters of T. Crofton Croker,’ ed. Edmund Curtis, Irish Book Lover 28 (1941); also Bridget C. MacCarthy, ‘Thomas Crofton Croker 1798-1854,’ in Studies, 32 (1943) pp.539-56 [casts doubt on his knowledge of Irish]; Neil C Hultin, ‘Mrs Harrington, Mrs Leary, Mr Croker, and the “Irish Howl”, Éire-Ireland 20.4 (Winter 1985), pp.43-64.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), contains a sole editorial reference, viz., with Eyre Evans Crowe’s Today in Ireland, Croker’s Fairy Legends and Traditions in the South of Ireland (both 1825), [is a] characteristic specimen of the kind of material that was to be incorporated into the fiction of novelists like Gerald Griffin and John & Michael Banim [ed.].

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Libraries & Booksellers
Cathach Books
(Cat. 12) lists Killarney Legends, Arranged as a Guide to the Lakes (London 1831), small 8°; Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, ‘new and complete edition’ (London: Tegg n.d.) [Cathach 1996-97].

Emerald Isle Books (Cat. 95): Memoirs of Joseph Holt, General of the Irish Rebels in 1798; edited from his original manuscript in the possession of William Betham (Colburn 1838) [1st edn. with details of Holt’s history and the contents of 2 vols.]

University of Ulster Library (Morris Collection) holds Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland as illustrative of Irish political and domestic history, manners, music and superstitions (Percy Soc., 1844); The Keen of the South of Ireland as illustrative ... &c (1844); Popular Songs of Ireland (1886).

Belfast Libraries: Belfast Central Library holds 15 titles incl. Seven Irish Tales (1857), ill. Eifriede Abbe; incl. Croker, Patrick Kennedy, Letitia Maclintock [ltd. edn. 275] Linenhall Library holds Familiar Epistles (1805) [by John Wilson Croker].

The Library of Herbert Bell (Belfast) holds a copy of Fairy Legends & Traditions From The South of Ireland (London 1826)

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W. M. Thackeray: Thackeray refers to Crofton Croker’s ‘lake fairy or princess’ at Glengarriff in The Irish Sketchbook (1842; Blackstaff, 1985) p. 128.

A grave place: The gravestone at Brompton Churchyard which marks the shared burial place of Thomas Crofton Croker, his father-in-law Francis Nicholson (described thereon as a landscape painter), his wife Marianne [née Nicholson; given as Crofton Croker] (1792-?1854), and his son Thomas Francis Dillon Croker (1832-1912). [See online; accessed 28.09.2010.]

Metastasio?: - See the epigraph to Fairy Legends and Traditions [1835-28] (1834 Edn.): “Come l’araba Fenice / Che si cia, ognun lo dice; / Dove sia, nessun lo-sa.” (Metastasio) - and see note with Contents of that edition, attached.

Charlotte Brooke: see reference to Brooke’s Reliques of Ancient Irish Poetry [as Relics of Irish Poetry], in the section notes on Merrows in of Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, Pt. II (Murray 1828) here p.13ff.; espec. p.17) - as given under Brooke, supra.

The Percy Society: For members of the Percy Society, who are listed in front pages of The Historical Songs of Ireland , ed. T. C. Corker (Percy Soc. / C. Richards 1841) - see under Thomas Percy, q.v., infra.

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