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George Crabbe Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Apr 1989

Biographical History

George Crabbe (?-1884) was an English clergyman who served in Norfolk, as well as a friend of Edward FitzGerald.

Edward FitzGerald was born Edward Purcell on March 31, 1809 near Woodbridge in Suffolk. An English writer, FitzGerald is best known for his English translation of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.

George Crabbe was the grandson of the poet George Crabbe. Crabbe, the Rector of Merton, was a long-time friend of FitzGerald, and of Edmund Kerrich and Ernest G. Doughty, the executors of the FitzGerald estate. FitzGerald died in his sleep during his annual visit to Merton on June 14, 1883.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The George Crabbe Collection consists of 43 items, all of which relate to the death, will, and disposition of property and personal effects of British author and translator Edward FitzGerald. Several letters in the collection offer expressions of sympathy to Crabbe from FitzGerald's friends and relatives (William E. Crowfoot, William Donne, Robert H. Groome, Annie Kerrich, Jane Wilkinson). Most of the other letters include discussions about the provisions of the will, arrangements for the evaluation of FitzGerald's art and book collections, and the disposition of his personal effects. E. G. Doughty writes ( 11 Aug 1883):

I think, no doubt, that the 'things' generally will go better sold here where FitzGerald's taste was known than afar off - so many wd. like a memento of him.

In addition to the 34 incoming letters is a copy of an Edward Fitzgerald letter ( Apr 1883) to his niece Frances Kerrich, in which he earmarks money to be set aside for herself and her sister Elizabeth, with provision for

...continuing certain little pensions and payments which I have made during my life in this neighbourhood, and which you can continue better than anyone else, inasmuch as you know some of the People, and well know the Howes here, who can tell you about all. Through them also you can pay what is to be paid to the several persons in question; whether half yearly, monthly, or weekly, as seems best for them and most convenient to you.

There are also two outgoing draft letters by George Crabbe.

Miscellany consists of six undated documents relating to the FitzGerald Estate.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is divided into 2 series: correspondence and miscellany. Correspondence is separated into incoming and outgoing correspondence, with each subseries being arranged chronologically. There is an index to the correspondence located at the end of the finding aid.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

The Special Collections Research Center's rare book collection houses nearly 300 editions of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, including copies of FitzGerald's original translation. Please search the Classic Catalog for a complete listing.

In addition, the Alfred Terhune Collection relating to Edward FitzGerald contains material related to FitzGerald as does Robert Bernard Martin's manuscript of With Friends Possessed: a Life of Edward FitzGerald, a biographical study published in 1985.

Subject Headings


Cowell, Edward B. (Edward Byles), 1826-1903.
Crabbe, George, fl. 1858-1883 -- Archives.
Doughty, Ernest G.
FitzGerald, Edward, 1809-1883.
Groome, Francis Hindes, 1810-1889.
Kerrich, Edmund.
Kerrich, Frances.

Corporate Bodies

Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge.


Clergy, Great Britain.
English literature, 19th century.
Executors and administrators, Great Britain.

Genres and Forms



Executors and administrators.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

George Crabbe Collection
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents



Index to Correspondence


Index to Correspondence