Robert Crowley (printer)

Robert Crowley (printer)

Robert Crowley also Robertus Croleus, Roberto Croleo, Robart Crowleye, Robarte Crole, and Crule (c. 1517 – 18 June 1588), was a stationer, poet, polemicist and Protestant clergyman who was among the Marian exiles at Frankfurt. Crowley appears to have been a Henrician Evangelical who favoured a more reformed Protestantism than was sanctioned at that time by the king and the Church of England.

Under the more favourable conditions of the brief reign of Edward VI, Crowley took part in a well-organised London network of evangelical stationers to argue for the reforms he sought, particularly on behalf of ordinary people, for the spiritual and material health of the nation. In this regard he resembles his contemporaries Hugh Latimer, Thomas Lever, Thomas Beccon, and others, who upheld a vision of England as a reformed Christian commonwealth. Like these others, Crowley attacked what he perceived as corruption and uncharitable self-interest among the clergy and wealthy, land-holding elites whom Crowley saw as inhibiting the progress of true reform. It was during this time that Crowley participated as writer, editor, and/or printer in the production of the first printed editions of Piers Plowman, the first translation of the gospels into Welsh, and the first complete metrical psalter in English, which was also the first English psalter with harmonised music.

Toward the end of Edward's reign and later, Crowley criticised the Edwardian Reformation as being compromised by self-serving, insufficiently reformed aristocrats, and he came to regard the Dissolution of the Monasteries, not as a boon to the people as was originally hoped, but as the replacement of one form of corruption by another. Upon his return to England following the reign of Mary I, Crowley produced a revised and up-dated version of a historical chronicle in which he represented the Edwardian Reformation as a substantial failure because of the corruption of its supposed supporters such as Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley; Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset; and John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland. In Crowley's account of the Marian persecutions and martyrs he represents them as the tragic but potentially redemptive cost – mostly paid by commoners – for the failures of the Edwardian Reformation. This work became the basic source for John Foxe's account of the Marian period in his famous Book of Martyrs.

In the early to mid 1560s Crowley held several positions in the church, and he focused his energies on effecting change from the pulpit and within the church hierarchy. In reaction to what has often been called the Elizabethan Religious Settlement despite its failure to achieve a true consensus, Crowley led the anti-vestiarian faction in resuming the vestments controversy which had taken place during the reign of Edward VI. This role eventually cost Crowley all his clerical offices. During this dispute he produced, in collaboration with other London clergy, what has been called by Patrick Collinson "the first Puritan manifesto". Late in life Crowley was restored to several positions within the church, and he appears to have charted a more moderate course by defending the established church from both Roman Catholicism and the more extreme, emerging nonconformist and Puritan factions which espoused a Presbyterian church polity.

Read more about Robert Crowley (printer):  Early Life, London Publishing Career Under Edward VI, Ordination and Marian Exile

Other articles related to "crowley":

Robert Crowley (printer) - Ordination and Marian Exile
... Crowleywas ordained deacon on 28 September or 29 September 1551 by Bishop Ridley, and referred to as "stationer of the Parish of St Andrew, Holborn" ... Around 1553–1554, or 1555 at the latest, Crowleyhad left England ... Troubles begun at Frankeford in Germany (1575), which covers events from 1554 onward, in 1557 Crowleys signature appeared with those endorsing "the new discipline" at Frankfurt ...

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