Herbert Croft, né le 1er novembre 1751 à Dunster Park et mort le 25 avril 1816 à Paris, 5e baronnet du nom, est un essayiste, biographe et lexicographe anglais.Croft a fait ses études à University College, à Oxford. Après l’obtention de son diplôme, en mars 1771, il intègre Lincoln’s Inn. En 1782, il retourne à Oxford en vue d’entrer dans les ordres.

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  • Herbert Croft, né le 1er novembre 1751 à Dunster Park et mort le 25 avril 1816 à Paris, 5e baronnet du nom, est un essayiste, biographe et lexicographe anglais.Croft a fait ses études à University College, à Oxford. Après l’obtention de son diplôme, en mars 1771, il intègre Lincoln’s Inn. En 1782, il retourne à Oxford en vue d’entrer dans les ordres. Il a reçu la cure de Prittlewell, en 1786, en Essex, mais reste à Oxford quelques années pour accumuler des matériaux en vue d’un projet de dictionnaire de la langue anglaise.Il fut marié deux fois, et le lendemain de son second mariage, il fut emprisonné à Exeter pour dettes. Il se retira ensuite à Hambourg, et deux ans plus tard, sa bibliothèque fut vendue. Il avait accédé, en 1797 au titre de baronnet de Sir John Croft, 4e du titre, un cousin éloigné, mais pas à sa succession. Revenu en Angleterre en 1800, il part une fois de plus à l’étranger en 1802, habitant près d’Amiens, dans une maison appartenant à Lady Mary Hamilton.Il reçut l’aide de Charles Nodier dans certaines de ses nombreuses entreprises littéraires. Il est surtout connu pour son roman Love and Madness (en) basé sur l’assassinat, par James Hackman, de Martha Ray, maitresse de Lord Sandwich, en 1779. On lui doit également la première notice de la vie d’Edward Young, qui était l’ami d’enfance du fils de l’écrivain, mais ce savant et linguiste est aussi l’auteur d’intéressants ouvrages en français, dont Commentaires sur les meilleurs ouvrages de la langue française, Commentaire sur Le petit carême de Massillon (Paris P. Didot aîné, 1815), Bonaparte consul à vie (Paris, C. Pougens, 1803) ou Horace éclairci par la ponctuation (Paris, A.-A. Renouard, 1810).Ce fut lui aussi qui parla le premier du poème pionnier de la littérature fantastique le Dernier Homme du Havrais Grainville. On lui doit encore d’avoir retrouvé le Parrain magnifique, poème en 10 chants de Gresset, qui ne fut publié qu’après la mort de son auteur.Portail de la littérature britannique Portail de la littérature britannique
  • Sir Herbert Croft, 5th Baronet (1 November 1751 – 26 April 1816), English author best known for his novel Love and Madness.Croft was born at Dunster Park, Berkshire, son of the son of Herbert Croft and Elizabeth Young. He matriculated at University College, Oxford, in March 1771, and was subsequently entered at Lincoln's Inn. He was called to the bar, but in 1782 returned to Oxford with a view to preparing for holy orders. In 1786 he received the vicarage of Prittlewell, Essex, but he remained at Oxford for some years accumulating materials for a proposed English dictionary. He was twice married, and on the day after his second wedding day he was imprisoned at Exeter for debt.He then retired to Hamburg, and two years later his library was sold. He had succeeded in 1797 to the baronetcy, but not to the estates, of a distant cousin, Sir John Croft, 4th Baronet. He returned to England in 1800, but went abroad once more in 1802. He lived near Amiens at a house owned by Lady Mary Hamilton, said to have been a daughter of the earl of Leven and Melville. Later he removed to Paris, where he died on 26 April 1816.In some of his numerous literary enterprises he had the help of Charles Nodier. Croft wrote the Life of Edward Young inserted in Samuel Johnson's Lives of the Poets.In 1780 he published Love and Madness, a Story too true, in a series of letters between Parties whose names could perhaps be mentioned were they less known or less lamented. This book, which passed through seven editions, narrates the passion of the soldier-turned-clergyman James Hackman for Martha Ray, mistress of the earl of Sandwich, who was shot by her lover as she was leaving Covent Garden in 1779 (see the Case and Memoirs of the late Rev. Mr James Hackman, 1779).Love and Madness has permanent interest because Croft inserted, among other miscellaneous matter, information about Thomas Chatterton gained from letters which he obtained from the poet's sister, Mrs Newton, under false pretences, and used without payment. Robert Southey, when about to publish an edition of Chatterton's works for the benefit of his family, published (November 1799) details of Croft's proceedings in the Monthly To this attack Croft wrote a reply addressed to John Nichols in the Gentleman's Magazine, and afterwards printed separately as Chatterton and Love and Madness ... (1800).This tract evades the main accusation, and contains much abuse of Southey. Croft, however, supplied the material for the exhaustive account of Chatterton in Andrew Kippis's Biographia Britannica (vol. iv., 1789).In 1788 he addressed a letter to William Pitt on the subject of a new dictionary. He criticized Samuel Johnson's efforts, and in 1790 he claimed to have collected 11,000 words used by excellent authorities but omitted by Johnson. Two years later he issued proposals for a revised edition of Johnson's Dictionary, but subscribers were lacking and his 200 vols. of manuscript remained unused. Croft was a good scholar and linguist, and the author of some curious books in French.The Love Letters of Mr H. and Miss R. 1775–1779 were edited from Croft's book by Mr Gilbert Burgess (1895). See also John Nichols's Illustrations ... (1828), v. 202–218.
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  • Herbert Croft, né le 1er novembre 1751 à Dunster Park et mort le 25 avril 1816 à Paris, 5e baronnet du nom, est un essayiste, biographe et lexicographe anglais.Croft a fait ses études à University College, à Oxford. Après l’obtention de son diplôme, en mars 1771, il intègre Lincoln’s Inn. En 1782, il retourne à Oxford en vue d’entrer dans les ordres.
  • Sir Herbert Croft, 5th Baronet (1 November 1751 – 26 April 1816), English author best known for his novel Love and Madness.Croft was born at Dunster Park, Berkshire, son of the son of Herbert Croft and Elizabeth Young. He matriculated at University College, Oxford, in March 1771, and was subsequently entered at Lincoln's Inn. He was called to the bar, but in 1782 returned to Oxford with a view to preparing for holy orders.
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  • Herbert Croft
  • Sir Herbert Croft, 5th Baronet
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