S. R. Crockett

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S. R. Crockett
Samuel Rutherford Crockett
Born (1859-09-24)September 24, 1859
Duchrae, Balmaghie, Kirkcudbrightshire
Died April 16, 1914(1914-04-16) (aged 54)
Resting place Balmaghie
Occupation Minister
Ethnicity Scottish
Period 1890-1914
Genre Novel

Samuel Rutherford Crockett (24 September 1859 – 16 April 1914), who published under the name "S. R. Crockett", was a Scottish novelist.


He was born at Duchrae, Balmaghie, Kirkcudbrightshire, the illegitimate grandson of a farmer. He was raised on his grandfather's Galloway farm, won a bursary to Edinburgh University in 1876,[1] and graduated from there during 1879.[2]

After some years of travel, he became in 1886 minister of Penicuik. During that year he produced his first publication, Dulce Cor (Latin: Sweet Heart), a collection of verse. He eventually abandoned the Free Church ministry for full-time novel-writing in 1895.[2]

Bank House, Penicuik: the property was occupied by Crockett around 1886 and J. M. Barrie often stayed with him there

The success of J. M. Barrie and the Kailyard school of sentimental, homey writing had already created a demand for stories in Lowland Scots,[3] when Crockett published his successful story of The Stickit Minister during 1893. [2] It was followed by a rapidly produced series of popular novels frequently featuring the history of Scotland or his native Galloway. Crockett made considerable sums of money from his writing and was a friend and correspondent of R. L. Stevenson, but his later work has been criticised as being over-prolific and feebly sentimental.[4]

During 1900, Crockett wrote a booklet published by the London camera manufacturer, Newman & Guardia, comparing cameras favourably to pen and pencil and explaining how he encountered the N and G advertisement.[5]

He died in France on holiday in early 1914, and the subsequent outbreak of the First World War meant a delay in his remains being buried in his home kirkyard at Balmaghie.

Legacy and influence[edit]

  • J. R. R. Tolkien credits him as an influence on his wolf-fight scenes: “the episode of the 'wargs' (I believe) is in part derived from a scene in S. R. Crockett's The Black Douglas, probably his best romance and anyway one that deeply impressed me in school-days”.[7]


Caricature of author Samuel Rutherford Crockett from the Aug. 5, 1897, issue of Vanity Fair
  • The Sticket Minister (1893)
  • The Raiders (1894)
  • The Lilac Sun-bonnet, D. Appleton and company, 1895
  • Mad Sir Uchtred (1894)
  • The Men of the Moss Hags (1895)
  • Sweetheart Travellers, Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1895
  • Cleg Kelly and The Grey Man (1896)
  • The Surprising Adventures of Sir Toady Lion (1897)
  • Lochinvar, Copyright 1897, Published (1898) by Harper and Brothers
  • The Standard Bearer (1898)
  • The Red Axe (1898)
  • The Black Douglas (1899),[8][9][10] published by Doubleday & McClure Co.
  • Kit Kennedy (1899)
  • Joan of the Sword Hand, American News, 1900
  • Little Anna Mark in 1900
  • Cinderella: a novel, James Clarke & Co., 1901
  • The silver skull, Smith, Elder, 1901
  • Flower o' the Corn (1902)
  • Red Cap Tales, Adam and Charles Black, 1904
  • Raiderland, Dodd, Mead and Company, 1904
  • Maid Margaret (1905)
  • The Adventurer in Spain Ibister and Co., Ltd., 1903 (non-fiction)
  • The white plumes of Navarre, Religious Tract Society, 1906
  • Little Esson (1907) London,Ward,Lock
  • Red Cap Adventures (1908)
  • Silver Sand (1914)


The Raiders concerns the historical Gypsy leader John Faa, who much later becomes a character in His Dark Materials.

The Black Douglas features Gilles de Retz, the associate of Jaon of Arc and the reputed origin of Bluebeard.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ D. Daiches ed., "The Penguin Companion to Literature: 1" (1971) p. 127
  2. ^ a b c Chisholm 1911.
  3. ^ I. Ousby ed., The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English (1995) p. 503
  4. ^ D. Daiches ed., The Penguin Companion to Literature: 1 (1971) p. 127
  5. ^ British Journal of Photography, 20 July 1900, p. 450.
  6. ^ "The papers of Samuel Rutherford Crockett". Edinburgh University. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ Quoted in J. D. Rateliff, Mr Baggins (2007) p. 216
  8. ^ Project Gutenberg
  9. ^ Google Books
  10. ^ Goodreads
  11. ^ J. D. Rateliff, Mr Baggins (2007) p. 216 and p. 224


  • Bleiler, Everett (1948). The Checklist of Fantastic Literature. Chicago: Shasta Publishers. p. 88. 

Further reading[edit]

M. M. Harper, Crockett and Grey Galloway (1907)

External links[edit]