, in Latin Crocus, one of the revivers of classical learning, was
, in Latin Crocus, one of the revivers of classical learning, was a native of London, educated at Eton, and admitted scholar of King’s college, Cambridge, April 4, 1506. During the time of his scholarship he went to Oxford, and was instructed in the Greek language by Grocyn. He then went to Paris and some other parts of Europe for further improvement, and continued abroad about twelve years, supported chiefly by the liberality of Warham, archbishop of Canterbury. During his residence there he received a very high honour, that of being chosen Greek professor at Leipsic, being the fiirt that ever taught Greek in that university. Camerarius was one of his pupils here. He resided at Leipsic from 1514 to 1517, and afterwards for some time at Louvain in the same capacity. But as now the study of the Greek language began to be encouraged in our own universities, and as they could ill spare a scholar of Croke’s accomplishments, he was invited home, and in 1519, by the interest of Fisher, bishop of Rochester, was chosen public orator, and lecturer or teacher of Greek in that university. Here, likewise, as well as at Leipsic, he was the first who publicly and by authority taught Greek, Erasmus, who preceded him, having only made some private attempts; yet, in some respect he may be said to have succeeded that eminent scholar, as in his oration in praise of Greek learning, he makes honourable mention of Erasmus, and speaks modestly of himself as unworthy to succeed him. Erasmus had so good an opinion of him, that knowing he was poor, he desired dean Colet to assist him. In 1524, having proceeded in divinity, he became doctor in that faculty, and Henry VIII. being informed of his abilities, employed him as tutor to his natural son, the duke of Richmond. This promotion led to higher; for, being introduced at court when the question respecting the king’s divorce was agitated, Dr. Croke was thought a proper person to be sent abroad, in order to influence the university of Padua to the king’s side; which he successfully accomplished, although the enemies of that divorce say, not in the most honourable manner. From Collier we learn that Croke owns, in a letter to his royal master, that he had paid various sums to at least five of the members of the universities of Padua and Bologna, in order to keep them steady to the cause. But Burnet appears to explain this matter more to Croke’s honour.