Thomas Crofton Croker, Irish antiquary.] The long first part of an Autograph Letter to ‘Mr. Croker’ [unidentified], regarding the life of the poet Thomas Moore, whom he claims exhibits a ‘love for falsification upon all matters’.

[Thomas Crofton Croker (1798-1854), Irish antiquary] [Thomas Moore (1779-1852), Irish poet and friend of Lord Byron]
Publication details: 
‘3 Gloucester road / Old Brompton / Thursday’. Pencil note states ‘2 June’ [1853].
SKU: 25940

An interesting letter regarding the man who was regarded as Ireland's national poet before the appearance of William Butler Yeats. See Croker’s entry, and that of Thomas Moore, in the Oxford DNB. The former contains a paragraph discussing the association between the two men, the conclusion of which explains the context of the present item: ‘At the end of his life Croker (by his own account) was working on a biography of Moore, whom he termed 'an actor—a hypocrite—a swindler—a sensualist and a habitual liar' (Irish Book Lover, 50). Moore was two years dead, but Croker's Life never saw the light of day.’ 4pp, 12mo. On bifolium. Eighty lines neatly written over four pages, with a short postscript added at the head of the first page. The first part only of a long letter. Addressed to ‘Dear Mr Croker’ (the identity of the writer’s namesake is not entirely clear). Lacking the final part and the valediction and hence without signature. He begins by saying that he was sorry to ‘hear from Lord Strangford’ that the recipient’s fainting fits had returned, ‘though in a less formidable degree; and I now deeply regret receiving from yourself so unfavorable an account of your health. Let me however hope for a speedy amendment of it and your perfect restoration.’ He now turns to the man regarded at the time as Ireland’s national poet, Thomas Moore, who had died the previous year. ‘I have not received the Certificate of Moore’s Baptism from Dublin for which I wrote. I suppose the Exhibition there [i.e. the 1853 Great Industrial Exhibition, in progress at the time of writing] has left them time to think of nothing else. From Trinity College I have received the same information that you gave me respecting the date of his entry. He quotes from Moore’s autobiography regarding his parents’ marriage before explaining why he feels that ‘there must be something wrong in this Statement’, with reference to his consultation of ‘the Register at Wexford’. He continues: ‘I have not called upon Mr Greville, because particular reasons prevent my doing so at present; but Lord Lindesborough’s impression of the passage which he read from his Diary to us, exactly coincides with my own.’ He feels that ‘it is impossible not to be struck with perfect astonishment at Moore’s love for falsification upon all matters. He relates an ‘extraordinary instance’ regarding Captain Medwin (with reference to Lord Byron) told to him by ‘Grattan, who called on me the other day’. He then states: ‘The daughters of Mr Power the Music Publisher placed in my hands all their late Fathers papers, and you may remember my consulting you respecting the publication of a Collection of poems with a preface by Moore - somewhere about February 1851. And what you said in reply determined the Misses Power not to take any further steps in the matter then, altho’ legally speaking they were perfectly entitled to do so, the Copy right having been paid for and assigned.’ The ‘young ladies’ ‘might have procured £500 for Moore’s letters to their Father and Mother ranging from 1808 to 1842 and in number upwards of One thousand’, but ‘when it was announced that Lord John Russell would edit the Memoirs of Moore’ they ‘transcribed them and at Mrs. Moores request forwarded them for Lord John’s use, at the same time desiring it to be understood that they declined any pecuniary remuneration and only wished to be of service to the Poets Widow.’ This brings the letter to the end of the fourth page and last page, and the letter’s hiatus. The postscript at the head of the first page reads: ‘You shall have an early copy of the Sale Catalogue, which I think will go to press on Monday next.’ See Image.