GEMMS: Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons
NameRobert Crowley
DenominationChurch of England
Livedb. ca. 1517-01-01 - d. 1588-06-18 (old)
Linked Manuscripts
Linked SermonsSermon on 2 Timothy 4:5 -- preacher (autograph: no)Sermon on Ephesians 5:24 -- preacher? (autograph: no)
Linked Reports
Associated PlacesSt Giles Cripplegate -- ParishSt Lawrence Jewry -- ParishSt Peter-le-Poer (St Peter the Poor) -- ParishMagdalen College -- Place of StudyHereford -- PostSt Paul's Cathedral -- Post
Source of DataHannah Wood
Biographical Sources ConsultedODNB; AO (Foster)
Other NoteBorn in Gloucestershire between 1517 and 1519, Crowley was admitted demy of Magdalen College, Oxford in 1539. He received his BA in 1540 and was made probationer fellow in 1541; appointed a fellow in 1542, he left the university the following year. In 1549 Crowley set up a printing enterprise in Ely Rents, Holborn, publishing 19 texts (10 of his own composition) between 1548-51. In addition to tracts against Roman Catholic doctrine, popular doggerel verse, and editions of Wyclif and Tyndale, Crowley notably published the first printed version of William Langland's "The Vision of Pierce Plowman" in 1550. Crowley left publishing to pursue an ecclesiastical career and was ordained in 1551. Exiled by Queen Mary to Frankfurt am Main from c.1555, he returned to England in 1559 and was collated as archdeacon of Hereford. Crowley was renowned as a popular preacher in London, although few of his sermons survive. Despite speaking out against clerical pluralism, Crowley simultaneously held positions of rector of St Peter-le-Poer (1563), reader of St Antholin's (1563), canon of St. Paul's and vicar of St Giles Cripplegate (1565). Crowley's controversial stance on clerical vestments resulted in the loss of his prepend and suspension from St. Giles; by 1558 he had lost or retired from all of his preferments. After a period of retirement, Crowley found favour again within the church hierarchy. From 1576-78 he served as vicar of St Lawrence Jewry, and was reappointed vicar of St Giles Cripplegate in 1578; he was admitted to the Stationers' Company the same year. Crowley acted a a licenser for book printing from 1579 onwards, receiving a formal appointment from Archbishop Whitgift in 1588. He died 18 June 1588 and was buried beneath the same tombstone in the chancel of St. Giles Cripplegate as his friend John Foxe.
GEMMS record createdJanuary 12, 2021
GEMMS record last editedFebruary 27, 2023