Thomas Crofton Croker

Croker, Thomas Crofton, author, the only child of Major Croker, was born in Buckingham-square, Cork, 15th January 1798.

In 1813, he was apprenticed to a merchant in Cork, but managed to nurture the archaeological tastes he had early acquired.

He contributed sketches to local exhibitions, and wrote occasionally for a local periodical.

On his father’s death in 1818 he went to London, where he obtained an appointment at the Admiralty through the influence of John W. Croker, a friend but no relative.

In 1821 he visited Ireland, and formed the plan of a work, published in 1824—Researches in the South of Ireland.

The success of his next work, Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, published anonymously in 1825, was so marked that he wrote a second series, illustrated by Maclise, which met with as favourable a reception.

Both works have been translated into German and French.

These and other books, such as his valuable Memoir of General Holt, Popular Songs of Ireland, and various tales, established his reputation as a writer, and especially as an accurate collector of Irish fairy and legendary lore.

He retired from Government service in 1850 on a pension of £580, and died at 3 Gloucester-road, Old Brompton, London, on 8th August 1854, aged 56.

He was buried in Brompton Cemetery.

He was described by Sir W. Scott, as “little as a dwarf, keen-eyed as a hawk, and of easy, prepossessing manners, something like Tom Moore.”

His Fairy Tales are enriched with notes, showing the points of similarity between Irish legends and those of other countries.


89. Croker, Thomas Crofton, Memoir prefixed to Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland: T. F. D. Croker. London, 1862.

116. Dublin University Magazine (34). Dublin, 1833–’77.

125a. Encyclopaedia, Chambers’s. 10 vols. London, 1860–’8.