Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/100

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Creswick
Crofts
88

Creighton was a frequent contributor. To the first volume he contributed four articles, including those on St. Aidan and Pope Adrian IV. Among his articles in subsequent volumes were those on Chillingworth, John Richard Green, Archbishop Grindal, Sir George Grey, three Thomas Howards, respectively second, third, and fourth dukes of Norfolk, and Bishop Jewel. His latest contribution dealt with Lady Mary Keyes, and was published in the thirty-first volume.

[Obituary notices; Quarterly Review, April 1901; personal knowledge and private information.]

G. W. P.

CRESWICK, WILLIAM (1813–1888), actor, was born on 27 Dec. 1813 near Covent Garden, London. As Master Collins he appeared in 1 831 at a theatre in the Commercial Road, playing an Italian boy in a drama on the subject of 'burking.' After practice with travelling companies in Kent and Suffolk, he played leading business on the York circuit, where he met Miss Paget, whom subsequently he married. His first appearance in London was at the Queen's theatre, Tottenham Street, under Mrs. Nisbett, on 16 Feb. 1835, as Horace Meredith in Jerrold's 'Schoolfellows.' He took part in a failing experiment under Penley at the Lyceum, then returned into the country. On 25 July 1846 he joined Phelps's company at Sadler's Wells, playing Hotspur, and afterwards one or two other parts. On the reappearance of Mrs. Butler [see Kemble, Frances Ann] he played in April 1847, at the Princess's, Master Walter in the 'Hunchback' to her Julia, and subsequently supported her in other characters. At the same house he played with Macready. At the Haymarket he appeared in July as Claude Melnotte to the Pauline of Helen Faucit. On 4 Oct. he was the first Vivian Temple in Marstoii's 'Heart and the World.' He was also seen as Trueworth in the 'Love Chase,' Mordaunt in the ' Patrician's Daughter,' Proteus in 'Two Gentlemen of Verona' (December 1848), Ghost in 'Hamlet,' and Cassio. With Richard Shepherd he began, 17 Sept. 1849, the management of the Surrey, opening as Alasco in Knowles's 'Rose of Arragon.' At the Surrey he appeared as the Stranger, Virginius, Richelieu, Hamlet, &c.; was, 18 Feb. 1849, the first Laroque in H. F. Chorley's ' Old Love and New Fortune,' and was seen as Damon in 'Damon and Pythias,' Adam Bede, &c. Retiring from management in 1862, he played at Drury Lane and other theatres Othello, lago, Macbeth, and Iachimo. Joining again Shepherd in 1866, he played, on 8 Sept., Martin Truegold in Slous's prize nautical drama, 'True to the Core.' In 1871 he went for the second time to America, made his first appearance as Joe in 'Nobody's Child,' a part in which he had been seen at the Surrey on 14 Sept. 1867, and played with Charlotte Cushman and Edwin Booth. In 1877, after accepting at the Gaiety a benefit, in which he played Macbeth, he went to Australia, where he opened at Melbourne as Virginius, and was very popular. Creswick was occasionally seen in London, chiefly in Shakespeare. For his farewell benefit he appeared at Drury Lane on 29 Oct. 1885, in a scene from 'Lear,' forming part of a miscellaneous entertainment. Other parts in which he was accepted were King John, Joseph Surface, Varney in 'Amy Robsart,' and Cromwell in Wills's ' Buckingham.' Creswick died on 17 June 1888, and was buried at Kensal Green. He belonged to the old-fashioned and oratorical school, of which he was one of the last survivors. He was popular in tragedy, and won acceptance in melodrama, but had little subtlety or insight.

[Personal knowledge; Pascoe's Dramatic List; Scott and Howard's Blanchard; Dramatic and Musical Review; Era, 23 June 1888; Sunday Times, various years.]

J. K.

CROFTS, WILLIAM, Baron Crofts of Saxham (1611?–1677), born about 1611, was the eldest son of Sir Henry Crofts (d. 1677) of Saxham Parva, Suffolk, and his wife Elizabeth (d. 1642), daughter of Richard Wortley of Wortley, co. York. His sister Cicely was by 1630 a maid of honour to the queen, Henrietta Maria, and Crofts about the same time entered her service; possibly he owed his rise in some measure to his aunt, Eleanor Wortley, 'the old men's wife,' who married successively Sir Henry Lee, Edward Radcliffe, sixth earl of Sussex, and Robert Rich, second earl of Warwick [q.v.] In 1635 Crofts was sent on some mission to Elizabeth of Bohemia, then at the Hague, who, on his return, 'recommended him to both king and queen that he may have some good place about her nephew the prince' (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1635, p. 267). In the same year he was prosecuted before the Star Chamber for quarrelling with George, lord Digby [q.v.], but before the outbreak of the civil war he seems to have become captain of the guards of Henrietta Maria. In 1642 the commons demanded his removal from court as 'a person of evil fame, and disaffected to the public peace and prosperity of the kingdom' (ib. 1641-3, p. 378; Clarendon, Rebellion, iv. 222).