Crane, Edward (DNB00)

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CRANE, EDWARD (1721–1749), presbyterian minister, eldest son of Roger Crane (d 1760), of an old Lancashire family, attached to the parliamentary party and the presbyterian interest, was born at Preston in 1721, and was educated for the ministry in the academy of Caleb Rotheram, D.D., at Kendal (entered in 1738). He appears to have preached for a short time at Ormskirk on leaving the academy. In the summer of 1744 he did duty at Norwich in the absence of John Taylor, the Hebraist, and in March 1745 he was appointed assistant and intended successor to Peter Finch, Taylor's superannuated colleague. His stipend was 60l., but he was able to board for 18l. a year (including wine). In 1747 his congregation, anxious to see him married, raised his stipend to 80l. In 1748 the Dutch congregation at Norwich, worshipping in the choir of the Dominican church of St. John the Baptist, was without a pastor. Overtures were made to Crane, who agreed to undertake the office, in addition to his other duties. On 11 Aug. 1748 he sailed from Yarmouth to Rotterdam, and applied in due course for admission to the Amsterdam classis, with which the Dutch ministers of Norwich had usually been connected. His certificates of ordination and call were satisfactory, but as he scrupled at subscribing the Heidelberg catechism, his admission was refused. This shut him out from the privileges of a fund which would have secured an annuity to his widow. Crane learned Dutch, and began to preach in that language in March 1749. His promising career was suddenly cut short by a malignant fever. He died on 18 Aug. 1749, aged 28, and was buried in the Dutch church. He married (4 Aug. 1747) Mary Park of Ormskirk, and left a daughter Mary (born 1748). A posthumous son, Edward, born 1749, became an upholsterer at Bury St. Edmund's. Two elegies to Crane's memory have been preserved.

[Monthly Repos. 1810, p. 325; Browne's Hist. Cong. Norf. and Suff. 1877, p. 281; Memorials of an old Preston Family, in Preston Guardian, 17 Feb. to 14 July 1877 (gives many of Crane's letters and other original papers).]

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