Thursday, April 6, 2006

William Crowe: On Commentaries

Before Charles Spurgeon, D. A. Carson, Tremper Longman, and Derek Thomas wrote books on commentaries, there was William Crowe. In 1663 he anonymously published An Exact Collection or Catalogue of our English Writers on the Old and New Testament with a second addition in 1668 (pictured).

Crowe was educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and became rector of Barnby and vicar of Mutford in 1613. However, Crowe is mostly remembered as a bibliographer. He catalogued the Lambeth Palace Library, assisted cataloguing one of the largest private collections in England (Holdsworth collection), and compiled this list of commentaries. Denied a post as librarian at Cambridge in 1668, he became schoolmaster of the hospital of Holy Trinity at Croydon. He died an unfortunate and tragic death in 1675 and was buried in the cemetery of the parish church at Croydon on 11 April.

His collection of commentaries is an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to identify key biblical, exegetical, and homiletical resources that would have been available to the English Puritans. If you have access to the Early English Books Online (EEBO) collection, this work is well worth your perusal. For more info on Crowe, see Simon Lancaster, "Crowe, William (1616-1675), bibliographer and schoolmaster," Oxford DNB.

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