Crabb, Habakkuk (DNB00)

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CRABB, HABAKKUK (1750–1794), dissenting minister, was born at Wattesfield, Suffolk, in 1750, being the youngest but one of fifteen children. His father was a deacon of the congregational church at Wattesfield, a man of private property, who latterly became a maltster. Habakkuk was a pupil of John Walker, congregational minister at Framlingham, and in 1766 proceeded to Daventry Academy under Caleb Ashworth [q. v.] He injured his constitution by close study. Leaving Daventry in 1771 he became minister at Stowmarket, where he was ordained on 3 June 1772. In 1776 he removed to Cirencester, and thence to Devizes, as assistant to his brother-in-law, John Ludd Fenner, in 1787. On 25, Feb. 1789 he undertook the pastorate at his native place, but his theology (he was probably an Arian) was too latitudinarian for the congregationalists of Wattesfield; he resigned the charge on 15 Aug. 1790, and became minister at Royston. The more orthodox portion of the congregation quietly seceded. Crabb was much beloved by his own people, and esteemed by all. Robert Hall speaks of his character as ‘too well established to have anything to hope from praise, or to fear from censure.’ He died after a short illness on 25 Dec. 1794. In 1778 he married Eliza Norman of Stowmarket, who died in childbed in 1792, and left seven children. Henry Crabb Robinson, the diarist, was his nephew.

A posthumous publication was ‘Sermons on Practical Subjects,’ Cambridge, 1796, 8vo (published by subscription for the benefit of his family).

[Funeral sermon, by S. Palmer, with funeral oration by Robert Hall and elegy by J. T. R. [John Towill Rutt], 1795; Brief Memoirs, by Hugh Worthington, prefixed to posthumous sermons, 1796; Prot. Diss. Mag. 1795, pp. 31, 40, 120, 1796, p. 121; Monthly Repos. 1822, p. 196; Browne's Hist. Cong. Norf. and Suff. 1877, pp. 473, 535.]

A. G.