The Crabtree Foundation


Curriculum vitae





1754 - Born at Chipping Sodbury into a Methodist family. Sutherland
    Breech-birth leading to counter-theory of ‘evolution in reverse’. Tay
    Fathered by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.  Miller
1762 8 Rousseau sent Crabtree’s mother a copy of Emile. Freeman, M.
1763 9 Dr. Johnson read Crabtree/Churchill poems. Brown
    Precocity recognised in painting by Joshua Reynolds. Armour
    Composed ‘Buttercup Joe’, Gloucestershire folk song. Smith, A. C. H.
1764 10 A relation, Captain Agreen Crabtree, settled at Hancock Point, Maine. Brown
1765 11 Paid 6s 8d as choirmaster’s organ-blower, Chipping Sodbury. Tattersall
1766 12 Travelled to Sowerby, Yorkshire, home of Crabtree/Krabtree family; attended school at Rishworth, Halifax. Smith, Hugh, Jones
1767 13

A choirboy, nicknamed ‘Cuckoo Joe’. Read Priestley’s

History of Electricity, and objected to the inverse square law; influenced by Newton.

Met Jonas Hannay; influenced his The Sea Lad’s Trusty Companion.

    Uncle Jeremiah Crabtree in American colonies supplying domestic servants and other female providers of services; possible father of John Quincy Adams, later 6th U.S. President. McMullen
1768 14 Flute boy on Captain Cook’s first voyage; met Joseph Banks. Freeman, R.
    Involved in biological commando raid at Rio de Janeiro. Fisher
1769 15 Met Richard Price at Newington Green, and delivered his letter to Benjamin Franklin, later published in the Philosophical Transactions; met Lord Shelburne, formerly William Petty, later Marquess of Lansdowne. Harte
    Helped building of ‘Fort Venus’ on Tahiti. Fisher
1770 16 Interest in amorous verse; involved with Jenner and a milkmaid. Jones
    Attended Eton College under the name of Burke. Graham-Campbell
    Objected to a clergyman’s account of what took place at ‘Shakespeare’s Crab Tree’. Emslie
1771 17 Revolutionised actuarial practice with concept of ‘fictitious lives’; subsequently well remunerated by insurance companies. Harte
    Expelled from Eton for lampooning the Headmaster. Graham-Campbell
1772 18 Met Jeremiah ‘Bramah’ Postlethwaite, inventor. Rowe
    Met Joseph Priestley; invented soda water. Mullin
    In Rome as Giuseppe Maria Silvestri, having been spirited there by agents of Pope Clement XIV, whom he assisted in the suppression of the Jesuits; also studied use of tobacco in curing syphilis. Crawford
    Befriended Albanian poet Gjul Variboba in Oxford.  Duma
1773 19 Sent down from Queen’s College, Oxford (Hilary Term), for writing satirical verses about his tutor. Sutherland
    Tutor was Jacob Jefferson, who erased his name from the matriculation list. Scott
    Employed in Cambridge University Library bindery; Brown
    possibly bound, certainly catalogued, The Matrons, Ephesian, Chinese, French, British, Turkish and Roman (London, 1762) and identified the author as Thomas Percy, Bishop of Dromore Crawford
    Lived in London with Bramah/Postlethwaite; invented beer pump. Rowe
    Recruited as a life-long spy. Gee
    Published first of six poems under name of Malcolm M’Greggor. Bromage
    Dr. Johnson lost his cudgel (later Crabtree’s) on the Isle of Mull. Graham-Campbell
    Possibly in Philadelphia on a secret mission involving Thomas Jefferson. Freeman, M.
1774 20 Wrote poems for Jeremy Bentham. Scott
    Resided at the Crabtree Tavern, Tottenham Court Road. Mullin
1775 21 Influenced by Linnaeus’s Sexual Systems of Plants. Fisher
    Produced the Bramah pewter sucking bottle, and later the Crabtree skewer and other child-care items. Freeman, M.
1776 22 Visited Sweden and the Low Countries; met Linnaeus and gave him model of the Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus). Freeman, M.
    Sent to America as a spy; met Thomas Jefferson. Burk
    Possibly involved in drafting the United States Declaration of Independence Freeman, M.
1777 23 Feelgood Plimsby, ancestor of dynasty of Pummerys and Guggenheims, born to Chastity Smallbottom. McMullen
    Sister Fanny Crabtree travelled to Sweden, impersonating her brother, to retrieve the phallus. Latchman
1778 24 Inspired Bramah’s patent of the water closet, and many subsequent patented inventions. Rowe
1779 25 As ‘Batty” got to know Goethe in Weimar. Larrett
    Introduced ‘statistics’ into English, but rejected the term. Harte
    Met John Wesley and challenged him on the efficacy of prayer. Mullin
1780 26 Offered Joseph Banks a pair of unicorn horns for his collection. Fisher
1781 27 Attended the Thrale brewery sale; bought two small vats off Samuel Johnson. Mullin
1783 29 Employed in his Uncle Oliver’s wine business, Crabtree & Hillier, at Orleans; wrote Ode to Claret. Sutherland
    Alias M. M’Greggor, imprisoned for debt in Fleet Prison. Thomas
    Experimented with Watt and water. Smith, A. C. H.
1784 30 Met Joseph Cottle, publisher in Bristol. Bennett
    Involved in the abduction of the Linnaean Collections; ship pursued by the Swedish Navy. Fisher
    On vinous Grand Tour in France with Thomas Jefferson. Burk
1785 31 Met and annoyed Coulomb at Blois. Jones
    Involved in founding The Times; subsequently a prolific foreign and political correspondent for over fifty years. McNally
1786 32 As ‘Tischbein’ met Goethe in Rome. Larrett
    Interfered with Leonardo da Vinci’s manuscript drawings in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan. Armour
1787 33 With Goethe in Naples; met Sir William Hamilton, British envoy, and Emma Harte. Larrett
    Sent by Hamilton to Portugal as ‘Berti’ to obstruct William Beckford. dos Santos
    Provided claret for Thomas Jefferson. Freeman, M.
1788 34 Founded dining club with Richard Price and Lord Shelburne after Price’s sermon before the Society for Commemorating the Glorious Revolution of 1688; all guests to become members ‘save Burke’. Harte
    Researching molluscs rescues Jane Collier from the sea at Poulton-le-Sands; fathers John Payne Collier                                                                                                         Johnson
1789 35 Involved in Steevens’s fake Anglo-Saxon inscription. Graham-Campbell
    Proposed international system of metrification and decimalisation. Mullin
    Infiltrated the Lunar Society in Birmingham. Smith, A. C. H.
    At Orleans intercepted key papers between Madrid and Paris during the Nootka Sound crisis. Mason
    Inspiration of James Boswell in the production of Life of Dr Samuel Johnson; possible references to Crabtree in A. E. Housman’s last poems.  North
1790 36 Took lodgings with Paul Vallon. Sutherland
    Employed at the Bank of England; visited Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy with Wordsworth. Bromage
    At Porlock fathered Joseph William Crabtree, later naval officer who received langridge shot in the groin, retired 1851. Cadwallader
1791 37 Visited Birmingham to foment the mob against Priestley. With Wordsworth in France; met Vallon’s sister Annette; Wordsworth accepted paternity of Crabtree’s child. Sutherland
    Conflict with Browning. Bromage
    Published translation of Volksmärchen der Deutschen under Beckford’s name. dos Santos
    Met Joseph Haydn at Grand Lodge meeting in London, and then travelled to Austria to learn more of Mozart’s music; fell in love with Constanze Mozart and went with her to Baden; contracted venereal disease. Plotted with Constanze to murder Mozart, employing a compound of mercury (later known as ‘Crabtree’s butter’) to poison Mozart while disguised as Joseph Primus. Foreman
    Contribution to Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and later similar influences on Schubert’s Trout Quintet, Tchaikovsky’s first string quintet and Shostakovich’s 10th symphony.  Bogle
    Planned the escape of the French royal family. Mason
1792 38 In Carcassonne at Madame de Stael’s town house. Tancock
    Met the Comtesse de Blague and her dog. Armstrong
    Influenced Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. Bogle
    Completed Mozart’s Requiem under the alias Joseph Eybler. Foreman
    Arranged meeting between Talleyrand and Pitt. Mullin
    Used the name Jean Pierre Chauveau in France and subsequently became a colonel in Napoleon’s Imperial Guard. An Indian raid on Crab Orchard, Kentucky, destroyed all records of Crabtree’s role in the American Revolutionary War. Mason
1793 39 At Juniper Hall, Dorking, as Madame de Stael’s butler, for wedding of Fanny Burney to the émigré General D’Arblay. Tancock
    Visited Hamish Auchtermuchty Anstruther in Pittenweem, Fife, Scotland Armstrong
    Published Gregory King’s autobiography in J. Dalloway’s Inquiry into the Origin and Progress of the Science of Heraldry in England (Gloucester, 1793). Harte
    Likely to have been with Robert Burns in Galloway. Graham-Campbell
    Informed by his father Llewellyn of his Welsh family background. Griffiths
    Discovery and implementation in Edinburgh of “Crabtree Effect” in fermentation of beer. Mowbray
1794 40

At Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndro-

bwllllantysiliogogogoch composing poems for Goethe.

1795 41 Goethe published German translation of Crabtree’s poems revealing his affair with Emma Harte (Erotica Romana). Larrett
     Disrupting "Assignat" auctions in France causing financial turmoil  Chadha
1796 42 Poem signed Joseph de la Pommeraye. Tancock
    Invented Crabtree’s Butter Compound. Tay
    Used the Baroness von Lichtenstein as a dead-letter-box in Innsbruck. Gee
    Witness in law case involving Boulton and Watt, and Bramah. Smith, A. C. H.
    Helped Napoleon extend his reach with the future Empress Josephine. Mason
1797 43 Cured Malthus of the tympanites at Juniper Hall on return from France; propounded precursor of oral contraceptive pill. Tay
    Planned paper notes as legal tender at awkward stage of war with France. Mason
    Designed suspension of gold convertibility enabling Government to finance war effort; advises Privy Council to suspend cash payments, protect gold reserves and circulate Bank notes
     Alleged to have fathered Eugene Delacroix   Chadha
     Evidence from the autopsy gives rise to new disease “Crabtritis”. Crabtree foreskin a possible relic in Santa Maria La Scala in Naples.
Worked as a translator for the Jesuits in Rome.
1798 44 Met Elizabeth, mother of Thomas Hood, poet. Bromage
    Wordsworth virtually admitted to Cottle that he plagiarised Crabtree’s poetry. Bennett
    Wordsworth arranged stay at Porlock; met Coleridge at time of his supposed composition of Kubla Khan. Peake
    Mistaken by Hazlitt for a smuggler in Somerset, but erased from Hazlitt’s account. Dodgson
    Persuaded Wordsworth to quantify certain lines in Tintern Abbey and The Thorn. Mullin
1799 45 Offended by Humphry Davy sneering at Newton’s work in a public lecture. Nyholm
    Served among Bank of England Volunteers. Employment at the Bank of England ended when found in collapsed tunnel. Bromage
    Having recognised the significance of the Rosetta Stone in Egypt, accompanied Napoleon back to France and helped him seize power, and subsequently fell out with Pitt. Mason
    Sailed from Le Havre to Rhode Island with du Pont brothers, arriving 1 January 1800. Rowe
    Fathered Cuban philosopher and educator José de la Luz y Caballero leading to gay icon status.  Miller
1800 46 Wrongly reported dead, along with A. Cottle, from pleuritic fever. Sutherland
    Sister Fanny Crabtree, long in a lunatic asylum as Miss Cott, perhaps began permanently to impersonate her possibly dead brother. Latchman
    Met William Herbert, third son of Earl of Carnarvon. Foote
    Stayed in Philadelphia before returning to France to raise capital for gunpowder mill on Brandywine River; but slipped back to England. Rowe
    Inspired Wordsworth to mock him in Poems on the Naming of Places. Dodgson
    Assisted Henry Cary in translating Dante. Armour
    While in America, founded the Crabtree Institute of America; also journeyed to Crabtree Falls, North Carolina, and to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he comforted a widow; many thereabouts bear the name Crabtree to this day. Smith, A. C. H.
1801 47 Voyaged to India with G. B. Crabtree, import (claret)/export (rhinoceros horns) business in Calcutta. Datta
    Masterminded the first population census. Harte
    In India, China and Macau with artist George Chinnery who may have painted the portrait. Dealing in machinery, opium, wine and rhino horn. Produced pastilles made from crab apples. Indulged in mistresses, heavy drinking and gambling. Nearly died.  Aiken
1802 48 Referred to in Wordsworth’s The Leechgatherer. Sutherland
    Wordsworth dedicated his poem To the Cuckoo to Crabtree on hearing he was still alive. Jones
    Returned to England from France. Thomas
    Attended the Wernerian Natural History Society in Edinburgh, and first realised the implications of chirality. Fisher
1803 49 Inspired Brougham to attack Young’s lecture on light in the Edinburgh Review. Jones
    First met Thomas Campbell. Carter
    As ‘Samuel Purkis’, supplied Coleridge with Indian hemp from Banks’s garden in Hounslow. Fisher
    Returned to India, the first of many visits, incurring the displeasure of the Duke of Wellington. Mason
    Inspired Mexican war of independence of 1810.  Miller
1804 50 Wrote anonymous article on The Women of Bulgaria: a Study of their Anatomy and Physiology. Tay
1805 51 Returned from Calcutta under alias ‘Joseph Blacket’. Datta
    Commenced legal practice as Proctor in London. Thomas
    Present at the Battle of Trafalgar and composed Nelson’s famous and poignant signal; present when Nelson’s last words were misheard. Mason
    Inspired Simon Bolivar to liberate the Americas from Spanish oppression.  Miller
1806 52 Guest of Sir Joseph Banks at the Royal Society to hear Davy’s lecture. Rowe
    Impersonated poet Andreas Bello as Simon Bolivar’s fixer in South America and as a spy for the British Government and the Jesuits.
1807 53 Alias ‘Joseph Blacket’, residing with gamekeeper at Seaham, Country Durham; met Isabella Milbanke, later wife of Byron. Datta
1808 54 Accepted chair at Vilno University, Poland. Carter
    In Portugal fooled the French into being defeated by Wellington at Vimerio; deplored the subsequent convention signed at Sintra, and his deepened enmity with Wellington prolonged the Peninsula War. Mason
    In Cornwall with Richard Trevithick, invented the Crabtree shaft pin for C-link coupling of locomotive vehicles                                                                                                     Tyler
1809 55 Appointed Reader in Criminology, University of Oxford. Hargrove
    Attended dinner party in London with Walter Scott, Davy, Coleridge and others, a poetic incident which continued to play on Coleridge’s mind. Jones
    With Trevithick in demonstration of steam locomotive and wagon in Bloomsbury                   Tyler
    Travelled with Byron in Albania, authored An Englishman in Albania.  Met Ali Pasha and arranged supply of goods, cannons and munitions. Established a vineyard for Krabtri wine.
1810 56 Alexander Maconochie appointed his research assistant. Hargrove
    Known as the ‘cobbler’ poet of Durham. Datta
    Represented in Blake’s drawing ‘The Ghost of a Flea’. Spencer
     Joint author of report on Bank of England monetary policy   Chadha
1811 57 Through Byron, met publisher John Murray. Bennett
    Presented with silver nut-dish by inmates of Oxford House of Correction. Hargrove
1812 58 Adviser to the Home Office on sex legislation. Hargrove
    Exchanged locks of hair with Byron at Murray’s house. Bennett
    Made a baron by Napoleon, and took part in the invasion of Russia. Mason
1813 59 Got Jenner blackballed by the Royal College of Physicians; Jenner sent note reading ‘Pox Vobiscum’. Jones
1814 60 Member of invasion force to America, at Battle of Bladensburg and sack of Washington. Burk
    Probably in China catching crabs and distributing shaft pin couplings  Tyler
1815 61 At the Haycock Inn, Wansford, with Isabella Byron (née Milbanke); fathered Augusta Ada Byron. Tattersall
    At Battle of New Orleans betrayed British army in interests of “special relationship”. Burk
    Played key role in the Battle of Waterloo, and in the Congress of Vienna. Mason
    In Vienna, met Princess Katharina, and also first met Schubert; addressed the Polish question. Sinnhuber
1816 62 Denounced Davy’s Safety Lamp at Royal Institution. Nyholm
    Met Keats in Hampstead. Underwent sex operation. Tattersall
    After sex change threw stones at Prince Regent’s carriage shouting “Votes for women Johnson
1817 63 Portrait of Crabtree needing mercury treatment published in R. Willan’s Delimitations of Cutaneous Diseases. Manuel
     Wrote Ozymandias misattributed to Shelley  Saggerson
1818 64 Introduced the velocipede into Chipping Sodbury. Attended Coleridge’s lecture on Dante with Crabb Robinson. Armour
1819 65 Visited Austria with Wordsworth. Tattersall
    Met Schubert, heard and influenced Trout Quintet. Bogle
1820 66 Helped edit Murray’s Army List, Militia List and Imperial Yeomanry List. Bennett
    Publication of Ars Salutandi. Tattersall
    Sent false information to the Morgen Post in Vienna about weather at the time of Mozart’s death under the alias Joseph Deiner in order to cloud further the truth about Mozart’s death. Foreman
    Wrote sonnet for Wordsworth. Griffiths
1821 67 Cousin George went bankrupt and sent to New South Wales for fraud. Nyholm
    George Crabtree was son of Jeremiah Crabtree. McMullen
    Instrumental in founding the Athenaeum Club with John Murray. Stevenson
1822 68 Visited Walter Scott in Edinburgh. Jones
    Bought Crabtree field, site of projected Camarthen Square, later site of UCL. Scott
    Translated Scott’s Lady of the Lake into Polish. Carter
1823 69 Author of poem in The Cambridge Tart attacking statue of Pitt at Cambridge, erroneously ascribed to Wordsworth. Wilson
1825 71 Proposed trip to India and China on the Kent; shipwrecked in the Bay of Biscay. Cadwallader
1826 72 Proposed the founding of the University of London (now UCL) to Thomas Campbell and Henry Brougham. Stevenson
1827 73 Visited Norway; met Ibsen’s mother. Foote
    Employed at the Bank of England (Exeter branch). Bromage
1828 74 His research led to the Disorderly Houses Act. Hargrove
    Translated McCulloch’s Discourse on the Rise,Progress, Peculiar Objects and Importance of Political Economy into Polish. Carter
    Became Professor of Political Arithmetick at the University of London in petto; inaugural lecture, ‘Sex among the Dead’, created stir, but now lost. Harte
1829 75 At London Zoo, inspired Edward Lear to write The Dong with the Luminous Nose. Spencer
    Invented the Siamese marine engine. Cadwallader
1830 76 Read paper at the Society of Antiquaries. Wilson
    Left employment at the Bank of England (Exeter branch). Bromage
    Attended the ink fish meeting at the Academie Francaise, provoking Cuvier and Geoffroy; demolished Nature Philosophy and Lamarckism. Fisher
1832 78 Retired from legal practice in London; resided at Ashburton in Devon. Thomas
    With Campbell, founded The Literary Association of the Friends of Poland. Carter
    Transformed algebra with theoretical developments ascribed to Evariste Galois, rightfully identified as Crabtree’s Theorem. Lighthill
    Underwent further sex operation following the death of Bentham. Harte
1834 80 Collecting runes and charms in Karelian villages in Finland; inspired the Finnish poetic tradition, and indeed the Finnish nation. Butcher
    Crossed to Boulogne to observe women sea-bathing and on to Paris to accompany godson to attend medical lectures given by P. Ricord and to admire Madame Mars. Manuel
1835 81 On New Year’s Day attended Opéra Francais in Paris, and later that month a performance of Molière at the Théatre Francais. Manuel
    May have been a founder member of the Society of Rechabites. Peake
    Or possibly the Newcastle Teetotal Society, when it was founded. Clarke
1837 83 Attended Professor John Ellison’s demonstration of Mesmerism at University College Hospital; Elizabeth Okey fell into his lap. Clarke
    Poem Ode to a Coral Insect forged by Thomas J. Wise. Brown
1838 84 Went with Harriet Martineau from London to Newcastle, to attend the British Association meeting, and to lecture on phrenology to the Phrenological Society. Clarke
    Announced theory of intellectual symmetry at this meeting. Fisher
    Crabtree Club met at University College London. Harte
    Attended Carlyle’s lecture on Dante in Portman Square; gave instruction on Dante at University College London in disguise. Armour
1839 85 Found not guilty of rape at Devon Assizes, Exeter. Thomas
1840 86 Possible date of Crow MS (removed from Pierpoint Morgan Library in New York) containing Under Crab Tree and other poems anticipating Keats, Housman and T. S. Eliot, etc. Crow
    Helped Verdi complete his second opera Un Giorno di Regno; travels from Egypt to Calcutta; involved in First Opium War  Saggerson
1842 88 Persuades Emperor Daoguang with Mandarin translations of Romantic poems to make peace and is present at signing of Treaty of Nanjing; awarded Order of the Jade Feather  Saggerson
1843 89 Probably responsible for arson which destroyed Bramah’s factory in Pimlico. Smith, A. C. H.
1846 92 Deliberately frightened Wheatstone away from proposed lecture at the Royal Institution; Faraday gave impromptu discourse instead, making remarks which inspired Maxwell to conceive electromagnetic theory. Jones
1848 94 English translation published of Crabtree’s La troupe sort. Tancock
    Arranged Chopin’s visit to London. Carter
    Welcomed Metternich, his friend since 1815, to London. Sinnhuber
    Danced the Xie Shu (crab tree) Shuffle, popularised 100 years later in America as the soft shoe shuffle                                                                                                             Tyler
1851 97 Published under pseudonym of Jane Christmas Blots on the Escutcheon of Rome. A Brief History of the Chief Papal Persecutions, setting in motion the chain of events that led to the unification of Rome with Italy. Crawford
1853 99 Australian poems appeared under the name of Henry Kendall; influenced C. J. Dennis. Nyholm
    Met and inspired Sir Henry Flashman at Rugby School. Anderson
1854 100 Visited Charlotte Bronte in Haworth, Yorkshire. Died and buried at Haworth Church. Tattersall