Crowfoot, John Rustat (DNB00)

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CROWFOOT, JOHN RUSTAT (1817–1875), Hebrew and Syriac scholar, son of William Henchman Crowfoot, a medical man in large practice, was born at Beccles, Suffolk, on 21 Feb. 1817. He was educated at Eton, where he obtained a foundation scholarship. He matriculated at Caius College, Cambridge, in 1833, and graduated B.A. as twelfth wrangler in 1839. The following year he was elected fellow of his college, of which, and also of King's College, he was appointed divinity lecturer. He took his degree of M.A. in 1842, and B.D. in 1849. In 1848 he contested the regius professorship of Hebrew unsuccessfully with Dr. Mill, and printed his probation exercise on Jer. xxxiii. 15, 16. He did curate's work at Great St. Mary's, Cambridge, 1851–3, and in 1854 accepted the living of Southwold, Suffolk, which he held till 1860, when he became vicar of Wangford-cum-Reydon in the same county. Here he died on 18 March 1875. He married, on 27 Aug. 1850, Elizabeth Tufnell, by whom he had an only son, who died young. While at Cambridge Crowfoot issued several pamphlets on university matters: ‘On Private Tuition,’ 1844; ‘On a University Hostel,’ 1849; ‘Plea for a Colonial and Missionary College at Cambridge,’ 1854. He also published ‘Academic Notes on Holy Scripture,’ 1st series, 1850, and an English edition with notes of Bishop Pearson's five lectures on the Acts of the Apostles and Annals of St. Paul. Towards the close of his life, in 1870, he published, under the title of ‘Fragmenta Evangelica,’ a retranslation into Greek of Cureton's early Syriac text of certain portions of the first two gospels. In connection with this work Crowfoot, in 1873, made an expedition into Egypt in search of Syriac manuscripts of the gospels, with the view, in his own words, of ‘getting as near as possible to the very words of Christ.’ Crowfoot was a diligent and devoted parish priest.

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