Creighton, Robert (1639?-1734) (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 13
Creighton, Robert (1639?-1734)

by William Barclay Squire

CREIGHTON or CREYGHTON, ROBERT (1639?–1734), precentor of Wells, was the son of Robert Creighton, bishop of Bath and Wells [q. v.] He was born about 1639, and probably went into exile with his father. In 1662 he took the degree of M.A. at Cambridge, where he was elected fellow of Trinity College and professor of Greek. The latter post he seems to have held for only one year, as in 1663 Le Neve (Fasti, ed. Hardy, vol. iii.) gives the name of James Valentine as professor, though according to Chamberlayne (Present State of England) he was professor until 1674. From 1662 to 1667 he was prebendary of Timberscomb, Wells, and on 3 April 1667 he was appointed to the prebendal stall of Yatton in the same cathedral. On 2 Jan. 1667–8 Creighton was recommended by royal letters of Charles II for a canonry in the cathedral on a vacancy occurring, and on 2 May 1674 he was made canon, and on the same day installed as precentor. In 1678 he received the degree of D.D. at Cambridge, and in 1682 published a sermon on the ‘Vanity of the Dissenters' Plea for their Separation from the Church of England,’ which he had preached before the king at Windsor. The ‘Examen Poeticum Duplex’ of 1698 also contains three Latin poems from his pen. In 1719 he gave an organ to the parish of Southover, Wells, and on two occasions gave sums to the almshouses in the same parish. He died at Wells 17 Feb. 1733–4, and was buried there on the 22nd following. Creighton is now solely remembered as a musician. He was taught music at an early age, and was passionately devoted to its pursuit. Burney's statement (iii. 599) that he was once a gentleman in the chapel of Charles II must be a mistake, unless it refers to the time when he was in exile. He wrote a few services and anthems, which, though not very powerful nor original, are exceedingly good music, and are still frequently performed. Creighton was a married man, and had a family, several members of which were connected with Wells during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

[Le Neve's Fasti, ed. Hardy, i. 181, &c., iii. 614, 660 (the statement at p. 660 of the last volume, that the Robert Creighton who was Greek professor at Cambridge in 1662 afterwards became bishop of Bath and Wells, is an error. The bishop

was Greek professor in 1625); Grad. Cantab.; Collinson's Hist. of Somerset, iii. 410; Harl. MS. 7339; Dickson's Cat. of Music in Ely Cathedral; Hawkins's Hist. of Music, v. 100; Brit. Mus. Cat. of Printed Books; Act Books of the Dean and Chapter of Wells Cathedral, communicated by Mr. W. Fielder.]

W. B. S.